San Diego wine enthusiasts have another reason to head to Little Italy this fall - San Diego Cellars. The fully operational urban winery, tasting room and kitchen, is set to officially grand open to the public on Saturday, November 9 at 2215 Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy. The recently opened urban facility, encompassing a tasting room and kitchen, wine preparation area and outdoor garden patio, is currently open Tuesday through Sunday at 3pm.
As the first and only urban winery in the Downtown/Little Italy area, San Diego Cellars is also the first in the area to serve wine on tap and to offer one liter refillable bottles (dubbed “CRUzers”). Initial wine varietals (bottles and on tap) at the new venue include three Syrahs, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Old Vine Zinfandel, Viognier, and a Viognier/Chardonnay Blend. The winery sources grapes from several vineyards throughout California including locally grown San Diego County grapes.
“San Diego has such a strong craft beer following and we wanted to be part of a movement to make craft wine just as accessible,” said Todd Hipper, owner of San Diego Cellars. “By applying similar concepts used in major breweries to our winery, such as having rotating wines on tap, preparing the wine on-site, and implementing a refillable bottle program, we’re looking to instill a growing passion in San Diego’s wine scene.”
Winemaker Todd Hipper began making wine as a hobby with friends after moving back home to San Diego in the mid 2000s; however, the hobby quickly blossomed into much more when he began producing several hundred cases of wine a year starting in 2008. An attorney by trade, Hipper has a passion for winemaking and travelling around San Diego County and California sourcing great vineyards and fruit to bring back to the winery. Hipper’s personal project, Hipper Family Winery, allows creative freedom when making his wines, whether it’s searching out old Zinfandel vineyards or experimenting with new varietals and off beat wine regions.
Wines are available for tasting and consumption on site, as well as for retail purchase by the bottle, case, or CRUzer to take home. San Diego Cellars also offers a selection of local craft beers and wines by the glass and a menu of small plates, including artisan cheeses and charcuterie, bruschetta dishes and fresh salads.
Patrons are welcome to sign up, at no cost, for the Spiller Wine Club, which provides a number of benefits, including discounts on wine and merchandise, complimentary tastings, access to pre-sale wines, and quarterly wine club pick up parties.
San Diego Cellars expects to increase production to approximately 2,000 cases of wine per year. All wines are made and aged on the winery premise from grapes sourced from San Diego County and other select premium wine appellations throughout California.
“We’ve always wanted to bring our wines to an actual setting where they could be savored and enjoyed,” said Hipper. “This unique urban space, tucked within Little Italy’s design district, was an instant draw and ideal fit for us.”
San Diego Cellars will host live entertainment, private parties for wine club members and offers a unique event venue available to rent for special occasions.
San Diego Cellars is open at 3pm Tuesday through Sunday and closes at 9pm on Tuesdays, 10pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 8pm on Sundays.
For more information, visit SDCellars.com or call the winery at (619) 269-9463.