A long time ago when we wanted to go to wine country we had to make an early morning drive up the coast to Santa Barbara County. Well, lo and behold we have a burgeoning community right underneath our syrah-sniffing noses. Save yourself the headache of fighting traffic and explore the Orange County Wine Trail.
The map above shows the location of all 10 wineries listed on the Orange County Wine Trail. Below is a quick description of what makes each so special.
1: Cowboy Canyon Winery specializes in native Italian varietals and Bordeaux blends. These friendly proprietors make delicious full-bodied wines that go perfectly with a nice herb-crusted roast.
2: Frisby Cellars These locals are following their dream by crafting French-inspired wines. This maker sources grapes at some of the finest vineyards on the Central Coast, so keep an eye out for these rising stars.
3: Giracci Vineyards and Farms is one of the most beautiful properties nestled in Silverado. Make an appointment to sip a mouth-watering sauvignon blanc among the vineyard’s majestic oak trees.
4: Hamilton Oaks Winery is the first winery I had the pleasure of visiting. They make an outstanding Barbara that is chewy and rich, rivaling the best from Piedmont.
5: Laguna Canyon Winery, located in the hip Laguna Canyon just miles from the beach. this winery creates a wide variety of wines, mainly from the popular AVAs within Sonoma.
6: Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery With grapes grown right in Newport Beach, Richard and Marilyn Moriarty are true pioneers. Their flagship wine is a Bordeaux blend called the OC Estate. This meritage is produced from 100 percent Newport Beach fruit. Fascinating
7: Orange Coast Winery sources grapes from estate-owned vineyards in Temecula Valley and Lodi. Its vision is to use only the finest fruit, with great time and attention given to the vineyards responsible for its award-wining wine.
8: Orange Coast Winery – Ocean Cellar is the name of the second tasting room created from the Orange Coast Winery. Located in Corona del Mar, this location offers all of our favorites, including the “Endless Summer Red Blend.”
9: Pozzouli Vineyard & Winery This property focuses exclusively on Paso Robles. Only making 1,000 cases a year, Pozzouli ranks quality over quantity. Visit the tasting room in Tustin or make a day trip and break away to the winery in Paso Robles.
10: Rancho Capistrano Winery boasts the largest selection of wines available locally. Rancho Capistrano Winery makes the perfect retreat from a busy day. Try the resident chef’s strawberry bruschetta with a glass of dry rosé.
Wine Adventures Tip: If you find yourself lost in Trabuco Canyon and you’re looking for a humble meal, stop in at Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse. The steaks are grilled over a mesquite fire and served with a generous portion of western beans. Make sure to dress to impress—and wear a tie!