Orange County Wineries You Need to Explore

All the following wineries are highly recommended on Yelp. If you haven’t been, now’s a good time to check them out.

Orange Coast Winery Founded in 2011 by Doug and Debbie Wiens, this winery sources grapes from vineyards in Temecula Valley and the Lodi area of Northern California. Doug is the winemaker and one of the founding partners of Wiens Family Cellars in Temecula. Visit the winery’s two tasting locations at 869 W. 16th St., Newport Beach, and 3734 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. 949-877-0336, and 949- 645-0400,

Newport Beach Vineyards & Winery A privately owned estate, it grows and produces wines on a property located in Upper Newport Bay. Founded in 1998 by Richard Moriarty, it’s the region’s first winery to revitalize the tradition of making wine that dates to the turn of the 19th century. The vineyard is tiny at 1,200 vines, producing a meritage blend of five traditional Bordeaux red varieties. The 2010 OC Estate, Unobtainium Meritage Red is the winery’s first estate wine using 100 percent grapes from its vineyard. A wine cave is available to entertain groups of 12 to 200, and a tour and wine tasting are available by appointment. 2128 Mesa Drive, Newport Beach, 949-630-8662,

Cowboy Canyon Winery A newer winery, it’s located in the middle of working horse stables in the eastern hills of Orange County. Winemaker Michael Cipolla produces a barbera and red blend sourced from the Sierra Foothills, a sangiovese and chardonnay sourced from Paso Robles, and a meritage red wine sourced from Napa Valley. A Rhone red blend is made from estate grapes grown on the adjacent Giracci Vineyards property. A tasting room is also on the adjacent Giracci Winery property. 16162 Jackson Ranch Road, Silverado, 714-202-0212,

Giracci Vineyards and Farms Ten acres of vineyards, horseback riding areas, vintage historic buildings, streams, and mature oak trees are tucked away in Santiago Canyon. Among the wines offered are a merlot and primitivo port sourced from Paso Robles, a cabernet franc sourced from the Sierra Foothills, and a cabernet sauvignon sourced from Napa Valley. Wine tasting ($12) is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 16162 Jackson Ranch Road, Silverado, 714-202-0212,

Pozzuoli Vineyard & Winery A producer of Paso Robles wines, it has a wine-tasting room and bottle-aging facility on Red Hill Avenue in Tustin. It recently opened a tasting room, microbrewery, and pizzeria called Centro at 140 E. Main St. in Old Town Tustin. Tasting with Italian appetizers is $18 ($12 with wine purchase). Long-time Tustin residents, Enrico and Daniela Pozzuoli, produce about 1,000 cases of several red varietals per year from their Paso Robles Estate vineyard, many of which are unusual blends. 15481 Red Hill Ave., Tustin, 714-258-8817,

Laguna Canyon Winery Owners Marlowe and Darren Huber produce wines made from grapes sourced from Sonoma County vineyards that have received numerous awards from the Orange County Fair Wine Competition. A premium “Laguna Canyon” brand and a good cause brand, “Purple Paws,” are available. The tasting room is open daily except Monday. Private events and parties are available at the working winery on Laguna Canyon Road. 2133 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, 949-715-9463,

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