Californians are truly blessed when it comes to wine. Looking to try a new bottle or red? There’s likely a bottle shop right down the street not too far from home.
And with wine regions such as Napa, Sonoma, and Paso Robles right at our doorstep, a wine tasting weekend is so easy to come by.
But what if you’re from Southern California and looking for a wine tasting experience that’s closer to home? Sure, there is no shortage of wine tasting rooms, bottle shops, and wine bars in LA, but what about actual wineries?
If you love wine and live in the Los Angeles area, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t have to travel to Napa or Sonoma to go wine tasting! There are some really great wineries offering incredible experiences just a short car ride away.
These nearby wineries and tasting rooms are great as a day trip, or even as a long weekend getaway. We’ve gathered the best of the best for you in this post, though the exact winery you choose will depend on how far you’re willing to travel. Get your designated driver ready and happy sipping!
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Tasting Rooms, Vineyards, and Wineries Close To Los Angeles, California
1. San Antonio Winery (Los Angeles, CA / Tasting Room)
Grab your friends and get ready for one heck of an easy drive down to San Antonio Winery. Conveniently located right in Downtown Los Angeles, San Antonio Winery offers a fun-filled day with both wine tastings and wine tours.
San Antonio Winery, founded in 1917 by Italian immigrant Santo Cambianica, is still going strong four generations later. Their wine grapes are sourced from their estate vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa, but the winery remains in Downtown Los Angeles.
They have a wonderful outdoor patio where you can enjoy everything from light, sparkling whites to earthy, dark reds.
To round out your wine tasting adventure, stop by the winery’s very own restaurant, Maddalena Restaurant, where you can enjoy delicious pasta, salads, meats, and other Italian entrees while you sip your wine.
2. Malibu Wines (Malibu, CA / Vineyard)
If you like wine and you have yet to take a trip to Malibu Wines, do you even live in LA? Kidding, but Malibu Wines is a really popular winery among local Angelenos!
Not only does it make for a super easy day trip, but you’ll immediately feel like you’re worlds away–without actually being too far from Los Angeles proper! Expect a very scenic vineyard and tasting room, plenty of grass for picnicking, and ample amounts of fun, themed activities throughout the week!
For example, on Thursdays there are movie nights, Friday nights feature karaoke, Sunday is for yoga and mimosas, and more.
For something even more exciting, you can even opt for the much-loved Malibu Wine Safari, blending the experience of a real-life safari with classy wine tasting!
The Malibu Wine Safari is where you will literally jump into an off-roading vehicle with your group (along with your favorite bottle of wine) as you are guided through the property seeing both vineyards and animals of all kinds, including their famous giraffe!
On this guided adventure, you will tour Saddlerock Ranch to learn about the history behind the region, the ranch, and its amazing wines. You can even feed the animals while stopping to taste different wines. What an unbeatable combo!
Some other cool wine experiences they offer include the Malibu Wine Hike, Vintage VW Bus Wine Tour, and 4×4 Private Vineyard Adventure Tour.
3. Cielo Farms (Malibu, CA / Vineyard and Tasting Room)
Cielo Farms is another winery with an expansive tasting room situated in the hills above Malibu.
The Barn at Cielo Farms showcases Woodstock and Estate wines, which you can enjoy on the outdoor lawn while also taking in the lush landscape and panoramic views of the Santa Monica Mountains. What better way to enjoy a glass of wine than with an enchanting sunset along with the ocean-scented air?
Cielo Farms offers two different flight tasting options, each with an assortment of four wines. Flights are available Wednesdays and Thursdays and advanced reservations are required for all guests and members.
During the week, they serve salads and charcuterie boards. Fridays through Sundays, in addition to salads and charcuterie boards, there are artisan pizzas that are cooked to perfection in their wood-fired oven! Unfortunately, they are currently not allowing outside food or drink.
4. Rosenthal – The Malibu Estate (Malibu, CA / Tasting Room and Patio)
Rosenthal is unique as it’s the only wine bar and tasting room on the Pacific Coast Highway. Yes, you read that right– the Rosenthal Malibu Estate Tasting Room is located just across from the beach in Malibu, CA!
Now, this isn’t technically a full-on vineyard with large amounts of land that you could tour, but it does have a tasting room and large outdoor space for enjoying your wine.
If you’re looking for coastal views, live tunes, and a laidback tasting experience in a sprawling garden patio, this is definitely the spot for you!
If you visit on Saturdays and Sundays, you’ll be treated to the addition of food trucks during their Food Trucks Saturdays and Sundays. Not feeling the food trucks? No worries, you are allowed to bring your own food or picnic (though no outside alcohol is allowed).
All in all, this casual tasting room near Los Angeles is the ideal place for a quick weekend day trip with friends. Tasting flights are approximately $28.
5. Angeleno Wine Co. (Los Angeles, CA / Tasting Room)
With a focus on unique varietals, Angeleno Wine Co. aims to push the boundaries of what Southern California wine growing can be.
While you won’t be able to visit an actual vineyard when you visit Angeleno Wine Co., they do work with small, family-owned, Los Angeles County vineyards in Agua Dulce and Antelope Valley.
Tannat, Graciano, Godello, Loureiro, Treixadura and Alicante Bouschet are some of the unique varietals that Angeleno Wine Co. makes into wine every year. If you’re looking for naturally made wines and wines that are 100% vegan, this is the tasting room for you.
6. Cornell Winery and Tasting Room (Agoura Hills, CA / Tasting Room)
Looking for the perfect spot to hang out and destress in Santa Monica Mountains? What about a wine tasting venue that gives off nothing but charming, western cottage feels? Cornell Winery and Tasting Room is just that!
The idea behind this business, located just in between Malibu and Agoura Hills, was to build a place where local producers could present and sell their wines. Cornell features wines ranging from Los Angeles to Monterey, but does place a heavy focus on the producers in the Santa Monica Mountains.
All in all, this is a lovely spot with rustic charm, perfect for wine tasting with a group. They have a good amount of outdoor seating and live music to keep you all entertained!
If you are interested in adding a meal to your visit the Old Place Restaurant is just next door! This world-famous steakhouse has been operating for 50+ years and is still as yummy as ever.
7. Moraga Bel Air Vineyards (Los Angeles, CA / Tasting Room)
Moraga Vineyards, located right in the Santa Monica Mountains, not only produces some really great wines, but it is also located in one of the most beautiful locations in all of Southern California!
This is a great place for wine growing, as the daily breezes coming off the Santa Monica Bay keep the vineyard temperatures moderate.
The Moraga Estate offers club membership opportunities, so if you’re looking to try out some exclusive wines and want the chance to attend a private wine tasting at The Estate, then consider signing up for the Moraga Estate membership.
Do note that Moraga Bel Air is not open to the public, so membership is required if you want to taste wines on the property.
Other Wine Country Destinations in Southern California
While LA’s wine scene is growing and really just getting started, if you just venture out a bit further, you’ll be able to access a world of wonderful wine countries and wine-centric towns like Ojai, Paso Robles, the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos, and Temecula.
8. Ojai, CA
The people of Ojai Valley love their wine! Wine aside, Ojai is worth spending an entire long weekend in alone. This laidback California community, just a 20-minute drive from Ventura, boasts a strong Spanish and Western feel.
If outdoor activity, Spanish-style buildings wrapped in bougainvillea, wine tasting, and health-conscious eateries are your thing, Ojai will be the perfect weekend retreat for you.
What you’ll notice pretty immediately is that Ojai is a very arts-centric town filled with great restaurants, wine tasting venues, art galleries, and craft and artisan shops.
If you’re looking to relax, unwind and enjoy some good wine, Topa Mountain Winery is the place. Enjoy your tasting flight in the lounge area of the Tasting Room or in the outdoor seating areas where you can enjoy the scenic gardens and vineyards. You are allowed to bring your own picnics and coolers, so while the tasting flights are on the pricier side, packing your own food will cut down on the overall costs.
The property is located along the Ojai Valley Bike Trail, which makes it a great place to stop for lunch and wine tasting before continuing on your journey! Stop by on Saturdays and Sundays for live music.
If you’re looking for another picturesque environment for wine tasting, check out Old Creek Ranch Winery located a few minutes outside of town. You’ll get to sample great wines in a beautiful, relaxing rural ranch setting.
If you have time for more and don’t mind the indoor tasting room setting, also check out Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room (specializes in pinot noir, syrah, and a range of white wine varietals), Tipple & Ramble (a popular wine bar), and a few other venues in town.
9. Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara! How can anyone not love the Mediterranean atmosphere of Santa Barbara, CA? After all, the city’s nickname is the “American Riviera”.
One of the most iconic things to do in Santa Barbara is to grab some wine and even a meal in the Funk Zone, a relatively new area of former fishing warehouses now turned to a hub of trendy restaurants, bars, and wine tasting rooms.
Popular tasting rooms include Area 5.1 Winery, J Wilkes Wines, and Pali Wine. Carr Winery is another great wine tasting spot that’s about a half-mile away from the madness of the Funk Zone.
Need a restaurant recommendation on this urban wine trail? The Lark is super popular among locals and tourists.
If you’re looking for ice cream to follow up that meal, you NEED to stop by McConnell’s. My one and only recommendation–the cookies and cream flavor (prepare to be mindblown by the power of the flavors)!
Looking to call it a night in Santa Barbara? Really great choice, because the lodging options are endless. We recommend La Playa Inn Santa Barbara.
10. Santa Ynez Valley, CA
There’s little doubt among wine aficionados that Santa Barbara Wine Country is one of the best wine-making regions in Southern California. Just two hours north of Los Angeles sits the Santa Ynez Valley–the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country.
Santa Ynez Valley is home to six distinct towns each with its own culture, atmosphere, and unique experiences. These towns are Ballard, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Buellton, Solvang and Santa Ynez. We’ll only highlight a few below, but do note they are all worth visiting, especially if you have a long weekend to spare!
This charming region has a laidback and inviting feel to it, with plenty of estates serving up all types of sip-worthy reds and whites.
11. Solvang, CA
Lots of people know Solvang as the little slice of Europe located in Central California, founded in 1911 by Danish immigrants who wanted a feeling of familiarity after immigrating to the USA. But did you know Solvang is also a really popular wine tasting destination too?
In town, you can find dozens of wine (and beer) tasting rooms, wine bars, and gourmet food shops filled with the bounty of nearby vineyards and farms.
Among the most popular are Sunstone Winery, Casa Cassara Tasting Room, Brave & Maiden Estate, and Rideau Vineyard.
For those outdoor vineyard estate vibes, we especially love Rideau Vineyard for its stunning outdoor setting where you can sip your Great Rhone varietals. Not only are the wines and the outdoor surroundings amazing, but so is the food! They also have live music from time to time, which only adds to the overall experience!
12. Los Alamos, CA
Surrounded by ranches, farms, and vineyards sits a quaint little town called Los Alamos. This town is only seven blocks long, yet reflects as much Old West heritage as any small town on California’s Central Coast. Not many people know, but this tiny old-west town is actually a wine country destination!
While you’re in the Santa Ynez Valley in the heart of the Santa Barbara wine country, Los Alamos is well worth a visit. You can spend a few moments perusing art galleries and antique shops, as well as enjoying the wine tasting rooms. There is also a great variety of restaurants here.
For really great wine tasting, head to Bedford Winery, Casa Dumetz Wines, Lo-Fi Wines, or Muni Wine.
13. Lompoc, CA
Guess what the main attraction is here at Lompoc? You guessed it, more wine tasting! Lompoc, an hour north of Santa Barbara, is a popular getaway destination for wine lovers, especially those visiting from the Los Angeles area.
Here, you’ll find close to a dozen wineries to explore, from boutique tasting rooms in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto to beautiful estate vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills.
Many of the locally-made, small-batch wines are produced in the Lompoc Wine Ghetto, where (contrary to its name) you’ll find award-winning wines and artisan winemakers! In fact, the Lompoc Wine Ghetto is the largest concentration of small-production tasting rooms in all of Santa Barbara County.
The Lompoc Wine Ghetto is great for those looking to taste fine wine in a comfortable urban setting. For those estate vineyard vibes, head to the Sta. Rita Hills AVA to reach beautiful estate wineries and vineyards including Babcock, Foley, Melville and Sanford.
14. Temecula Valley, CA
A 2-hour drive from Los Angeles takes you to Temecula Valley, a popular Southern California wine region that features hundreds of award-winning wines across various wineries and tasting rooms. Located just east of the I-15 highway, Temecula Valley is widely recognized as the ‘jewel’ of Riverside County!
No matter which varietal of wine you’re looking for, you can probably find it here! Temecula is known for its super diverse wines, ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot to Mourvedre, Viognier to Chardonnay. This wine valley is home to over 40 wineries that produce 500,000 cases annually.
If you are looking for pointers on where to start, here’s where to taste when visiting this up-and-coming wine region: Baily Vineyard & Winery (specializes in wines made from cabernet sauvignon and other traditional Bordeaux varieties), Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery (great for full-bodied reds), and the luxurious Carter Estate Winery (elevate your experience with the Wine & Food Pairing)!
And alongside the wonderful wine tasting options, you’ll find a whole assortment of great restaurants, bed and breakfasts, inns, resorts, gift shops and outdoor spaces perfect for picnicking!
Although times may vary, most of the wineries are open daily for visitors from 10a to 5p.
15. Paso Robles, CA
About 3 hours away from LA and 30 miles east of Highway 1 in Central California, you will find the quaint, hidden gem of a town known as Paso Robles. Paso Robles is one of California’s fastest-growing and up-and-coming wine regions, and I love it because it’s really not too much of a tourism hotspot at the moment.
This town almost reminds me of Napa and Sonoma in Northern California, with how its downtown area is structured, brimming with things to do! Spanning across several blocks in the downtown area, there are many wine tasting rooms, artisan gift shops, and gourmet shops selling quality items such as olive oil and soaps.
If you have the time, make a pit stop in the center of town and allocate ~2 hours to peruse the shops, grab some wine (Justin Winery is great), and hang out by the tree-lined town square.
If you have more time, head to the surrounding areas to explore the many other picturesque wineries and estates. Paso Robles has great weather, so it’s almost always ideal for sipping and eating al fresco style! If you’re looking for a glass of wine with a view, Calcareous Vineyard and DAOU Vineyards are the most scenic in Paso Robles.
Pro Tip: The wineries in Paso Robles are mostly clustered together into the East Wineries and the West Wineries. That means you’ll want to stick to one of these sides when picking which wineries to visit.
Where To Stay: Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles
Bonus Tip! If you’re here during the night, be sure to check out Bruce Munro’s Field of Light at Sensorio. This immersive art installation is comprised of an array of over 58,800 stemmed fiber-optic lightbulbs, gently illuminating the landscape in morphing colors.
And there you have it–some of the best wine regions in Southern California as well as the best wineries near Los Angeles, CA! Is there a winery you particularly love that didn’t make it on this list? Drop a comment below, we’d love to hear about it!
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