When researching San Diego County wineries for my NBC segment, I asked my local wine blogger friends if they have any favorites. Bill over at Cuvee Corner suggested that I check out Sunshine Mountain Vineyard in San Marcos. I’m so glad I did, and also just noticed this boutique winery was voted number one San Diego Winery in the San Diego’s Best awards. I completely understand why.
The Secret Ingredient
No, it’s not a special grape. Owners Claire and Ed Kruger say that their secret ingredient is family. Theirs is quite large, with lots of grandchildren to keep them busy as well as all the people who help them from grape to bottle. See that cute little boy on the 2009 Estate Red Blend label? That’s their grandson. During my segment, NBC’s Artie Ojeda remarked on and off camera that he loves the label and what it stands for. Many others do too.
San Marcos? I had no idea there were grapes growing up there, but low and behold there are. Sunshine Mountain Vineyard’s grapes are south facing, so they receive morning sun and late afternoon ocean breezes to cool them down. You may schedule a private tour and tasting online. It’s gorgeous. Have a look at their property below.
Sunshine Mountain Vineyard Wines
The grapes grown in the San Marcos location are Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. After the grapes are harvested, they cold soak the wines (this technique I’ve only recently learned about) to preserve color and enhance the flavor. The wines are then aged in new or once used French oak barrels. Sunshine Mountain Vineyard also sources grapes from outside San Diego County to make a nice Santa Barbara County Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and more. You can have a look at current availability and buy their wines online.
2009 Estate Red Blend
I think Claire and Ed will appreciate that I actually did drink this wine with my family. My mom and dad both thought it was great, as did I. I think it would pair well with a wide range of foods, but it was smooth as silk with a chicken dish. This Estate Red Blend retails for a very reasonable $19.
So, head up to Sunshine Mountain Vineyard for a tasting. You won’t be disappointed by the wine or the company.