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Forget Napa; San Francisco Has Wineries, Too

We just returned from eight days in San Francisco—our first visit back since moving on July 31, 2011—and while some aspects haven’t changed a bit (the overwhelming herbal stench in the Haight, for example), I constantly marvel at how many new things can crop up in an already bustling town once you leave it alone for a couple of years.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaOne movement that has evolved in our absence is the addition of wineries in San Francisco. That’s right: Now you don’t even have to make that traffic-jammed drive up Highway 29 to see production and taste grapes fresh from the vines; you can do that right in the heart of the city.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, California Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaWhich is why we loved Bluxome Street Winery so much. Open for two years now, it’s tucked away on a quiet side street in the middle of SoMa, near AT&T Ball Park and walkable from Union Square. For the first time ever, I actually was present in the midst of the harvest, so we arrived for some early afternoon drinking and got to watch the sorting process in motion while we sipped.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, California Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaMeghan Shaw, who is the tasting room manager at Bluxome, told us that back in San Francisco’s heyday, urban wineries were the thing, but they dissipated after the 1906 earthquake and then the 18th Amendment/Prohibition—a double whammy for the local wine scene. And while many wine bars have popped up all over the city in recent years, Bluxome is truly unique in that it’s an actual winery smack in the middle of San Francisco, aiming to recreate the golden days of wine in the Bay Area.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaDon’t get me wrong: I love Wine Country. It’s beautiful. It’s warm. It’s an experience everyone should have at some point. It’s also not the only option. Only in San Francisco for an afternoon? Don’t waste it in a car; get your wine on in the city. In San Francisco for multiple days? Great. Spend your day in Napa or Sonoma, but also visit Bluxome and see how the two compare.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaAnd if you love a good farmer’s market, then don’t miss the Meet Market on the last Saturday of every month. Bluxome is also a popular venue for private events like wedding receptions, and had it been around when I was getting married, I would have held our rehearsal dinner here instead of Foreign Cinema, no contest.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaWe tasted about every kind of wine Bluxome offers—I needed a serious nap post-visit—and even bought two bottles to take back to Tennessee with us (thank God they didn’t break in our suitcases!).

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaWhile I always go back and forth on whether I prefer white or red—it really varies on the season and my mood; I’m partial to both—my favorite of all of Bluxome’s varietals was the 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaIt didn’t hurt that we gobbled down this amazing charcuterie and cheese plate alongside it! The Wall Street Journal called winemaker Webster Marquez a “rock star of Pinot Noir,” so really how can you go wrong drinking anything the guy makes?

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, CaliforniaMany more San Francisco travel tips to come in the following weeks (since clearly I didn’t do a good enough job covering all facets of the city while living there, if evidenced by the dozens of emails I still get a month asking for recs on where to eat, drink, go, etc.). Is there something specifically you’d like to learn about the City by the Bay to help plan your next trip?

Bluxome Street Winery, San Francisco, California

Visitor Info:

Bluxome Street Winery

53 Bluxome Street, San Francisco (between 4th and 5th Avenue)

415-543-5353

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 7pm (though sometimes Bluxome closes for private events, so call ahead to make sure they’re open)

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Comments ( 20 )

  1. Did you get to crush grapes with your toes? Allison says thats what you do during harvest?
    John Housholder recently posted..How to choose the right WordPress hosting solution for your website – in the showerMy Profile

  2. Love this! I so desperately need to get back to SF for another visit. 3 years is WAY too long!!!
    Beth recently posted..Etch 1 Year Anniversary + a giveaway!My Profile

  3. This is on my list for my next stay in San Francisco, partly because of that plate and your recommendation of their Pinot Noir. I have noticed wineries and tasting rooms opening, even here in Sacramento. It makes sense since wine is such an integral part of the culture in Northern CA.
    Jenna recently posted..Summer’s Over…and Now What?My Profile

  4. I just can’t stop staring at that glass of rose’ wine.
    Raymond Waruhari recently posted..Tips and Secrets to Gorilla Tracking in RwandaMy Profile

  5. This looks like the perfect thing to do before heading out to dinner at one of San Fran’s delicious restaurants!
    Annette | Bucket List Journey recently posted..Go Glamping in the Center of Africa’s SerengetiMy Profile

  6. Really glad you mentioned this! As much as I want to go to Napa, it probably won’t be on our first trip to San Fran because we won’t have a car.

    This will be a great option for us! :)
    Beth recently posted..Foto Friday: The Three Note-Issuing Banks of Hong KongMy Profile

  7. The fact that Matt and Chris are creating an urban wine experience at the Bluxome Street Winery is exciting. But it’s even cooler that San Francisco’s historic wine district, located South of the Slot, where foot traffic is heavy, and food trucks can (and do!) pull right up to the doorway for pairings, is back in business.
    Dino Pittman recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  8. hope you enjoy your full journey . enjoy life enjoy world enjoy traveling.
    i am expecting some more interesting post from your side . keep posting.India Golden Triangle Tours

  9. I would love to see a post outlining the different neighborhoods in San Francisco…SoMa, the Haight, Richmond District, etc…

  10. I had no clue! I’ll have to check it out next time I’m home – sounds like that pinot noir is a must-drink.
    Emily in Chile recently posted..Why I like AthensMy Profile

  11. I agree that my taste for red vs. white changes with the seasons. Now that it’s getting cooler, I’m ready for some red! Red wine makes me want chocolate though.
    Patrice recently posted..Indulging in New OrleansMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] Is the time right for the second golden age of wine in the Bay Area? Find out why this blogger says “Forget Napa; San Francisco has wineries, too.” @lunaticatlarge […]

  2. […] Sip wine at Bluxome. Day drinking is the best, though I might have had a bit too much vino as all I wanted was a nap after our two hours at Bluxome Street Winery! […]

  3. […] Sip wine at Bluxome. Day drinking is the best, though I might have had a bit too much vino as all I wanted was a nap after our two hours at Bluxome Street Winery! […]

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