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Oakland is renowned for being a cutting-edge district with a bustling cultural landscape. A standout feature of Oakland, especially for wine lovers, is the many urban wineries dotting the downtown area. One of the best things about Oakland’s wineries is their close proximity. You don’t need to travel hours away deep into the country to sample the area’s most luscious wines.

Oakland’s Urban Wine Trail

Oakland is a one of a kind area—meaning their wineries will be just as unique. On the Oakland Urban Wine Trail, you’ll visit wineries housed in renovated warehouse spaces. There are a total of ten wineries on the trail and all locations are conveniently accessible by public transportation. Most of the locations are within blocks of one another in Jack London Square. Grapes used to produce the wine are all sourced locally in California. The Oakland Urban Wine Trail isn’t painful to your pocketbook either since many of the tastings cost less than $5. Tasting room hours vary by location, but most have openings from Thursday through Sunday weekly. Highlights on the trail include:

  • Urban Legend-Run by former scientists, Urban Legend relies largely on locally grown organic grapes to create their eclectic wines. The winery believes in honest blends that highlight the flavors of the regional cuisine. If you love their wines, you could opt to join their exclusive wine club.
  • Brooklyn West-This is typically the first stop on the Oakland Urban Wine Trail for good reason. The winemakers believe in a “no limits” approach in producing their varieties. They choose the best grapes throughout the state and make small batches to preserve integrity.
  • Jeff Cohn Cellars-If you’re bored with your normal go-to glass of red or white wine, then you must make a stop at Jeff Cohn Cellars. The winery offers many experimental (and very delicious) blends to visitors. Make sure you order a glass of Zinfandel since the cellar is famed for their take on the classic drink.

Winery Tours

Although you can certainly print out a map and follow Oakland’s wine trail on your own, guided tours are also popular. The tours allow you to connect with fellow wine lovers while getting the inside scoop on each of the stop’s best varieties. For instance, East Bay Winery Bike Tours starts in Oakland near the ferry launch. The guided bicycle ride goes through the city with numerous stop at the urban wineries. To unwind, you’ll also pedal alongside the beach for part of the tour. Extranomical Tours has chauffeured weekend outings for groups to try the best wines from the East Bay. The tour is half-day with stops at three pre-selected wineries.

Oakland Wine Festival

For the third annual year, the Oakland Wine Festival will be held at the Claremont Club and Spa on July 15. Advanced tickets are required with many of the tastings and elegant meals expected to sell out. The event will include a double blind tasting to vote on the best area wines.

There will be a grand tasting with reserved indoor seating or poolside seating. Dinner with the Winemaker features a five-course meal with five specially chosen wines from a knowledgeable producer. Sponsored wineries expected at the event include Silverado Vineyards, Chappellet Winery, Rombauer Vineyards and Peju Province Winery and Vineyards.

An Oakland winery visit is far from traditional, but no less spectacular. You’ll love the casual atmosphere coupled with world-class wine. When you’ve finished your tour, sampling and dining, come back to relax at Lake Park. Our retirement community in Oakland offers a vibrant, maintenance-free lifestyle as well as a variety of supportive living options. To schedule a tour, please contact us today.

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