I love the story behind this winery. Rosa and Gerry Cordiano moved from Italy to San Diego in the early 1990s. They shared their love of Italian food via opening several restaurants around the county, but winemaking was their first love. Eventually, they pursued that dream too. The Cabernet Sauvignon above, mentioned in my NBC San Diego segment about San Diego County Wineries, is one of the best bottles of wine I’ve had from San Diego, and worth the roughly $30 price tag.

Prima Amore

Prima Amore is the name of their vineyard. It means “first love” and is dedicated to Rosa, symbolizing their passion for winemaking. I read a quote from one of Gerry and Rosa’s children in an article a while back, mentioning that very few people know that Gerry built the winery literally with his own hands. Talk about a labor of love.

They Could Not Have Picked A Prettier Location

Look at how beautiful this photo is. It was taken by Shira at La Jolla Wine Tours. Cordiano Winery is located in the scenic San Pasqual Valley. If you speak with anyone who has been to Cordiano Winery, they talk about enjoying wine on this patio and that visiting this family-owned and operated winery is like being welcomed into someone’s living room.


People also rave about the pizza. They have an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven where they bake hand-tossed, homemade pizza (on weekends only; on weekdays, the pizza is made indoors). What is better than pizza and wine?

How To Get There

Your best bet is to call La Jolla Wine Tours. They’ll pick you up from most San Diego County locations, so driving isn’t a worry. They frequently stop at Cordiano Winery, in fact, I’m told it’s one of their favorites. But, if you’re going out there alone, stop at Bernardo Winery, too, while you’re at it. You’ll be hearing about them next week. You’ll need to buy the Cordiano wine at the winery. Club members receive a 20% discount. They are open from 11 a.m. until sunset, Wednesday through Sunday.

*Vineyard photo credit: La Jolla Wine Tours

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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