San Diego Cellars

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The Devil’s Due

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Upcoming act: The Devil’s Due on May 10th from 8:00PM-11:00PM.

San Diego Cellars Spring Wine Club Newsletter–Pick Up Party March 1

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Hello Spillers!  If it wasn’t for the fabulous weather we’ve been having, it would be hard to believe that we are already heading into Spring of 2014, but then next thing you know it is time for our Spring wine club pick up!
We will be having our next wine club pick up party at the winery on Saturday March 1 starting at 6pm.  As always, we will have some complimentary appetizers from Chef Samantha’s kitchen, some new wine releases (see below!), and live music from 8-11 pm.
We hope you can join us on Saturday March 1, but if not then you can come in any time between now and then and pick up your wine club order, or just send me an email to let me know what you want included in your order and we can hold/ship it for you as necessary.
New Wine Releases!
We are changing things up a little bit as we prepare to roll out some new wine releases.  Since our last wine club pick up we have debuted a pair of  new wines made from Spanish varietals, our 2012 Paso Robles Albariño and our 2012 Arroyo Seco Tempranillo.  The Albariño is light and refreshing and a perfect pairing with seafood, and the Tempranillo is a rich mixture of bright red fruit and toasty oak.  Both wines are on tap and available for CRUzer fills.
In addition, we also are also preparing the following wines for release, and will have them available in time for the wine club party:
2011 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
2011 Paso Robles Petite Sirah
2011 Solano County Syrah/Zinfandel Co-fermented Blend
To make room for these new wines, we will be pulling wines currently featured on the tap system as we prepare them for bottling.  Time allowing, we should have some 2009 Syrah, 2009 Old Vine Zin, 2010 Santa Ynez Syrah bottled and ready to go in time for the party.
Finally, a special announcement for those of you who are fans of our 2008 San Diego County Cabernet Sauvignon–we are almost sold out!  Our most recent inventory shows that we only have about 4 cases of 2008 Cab left so make sure to let us know if you want us to hold some for you!  Get it while you still can!
Live Music!
For those of you who haven’t heard yet, San Diego Cellars is now doing live music every Saturday night from 8 to close.  Make sure to come by and check out some of the exciting local artists we are supporting.
In addition, we are proud to announce that we will be doing another ticketed event featuring Sofia Rei on Saturday March 29!  Sofia is an amazingly talented singer and performer from Argentina who plays a mixture of South American folk fusion and Latin jazz.  An instructor at Berklee School of Music, Sofia has recently played at both the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated on projects with people such as John Zorn and Bobby McFerrin.
Here is some video of here performing:
For more info check out our facebook event page here:
To purchase tickets go here:
This show will sell out, so get your tickets early!
Thank you everyone for continuing to support us here at San Diego Cellars.  We are so excited that the weather is getting nicer so that people can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine on our patio.  Stay tuned for more news regarding upcoming events, menu changes, and additional new wines that are in the works.  We hope to see you on March 1!

San Diego Cellars was listed as one of the “19 hottest wine bar across the country” by Eater National.

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San Diego Cellars was listed as one of the “19 hottest wine bar across the country” by Eater National. What an honor! Take a look at the rest of the article here.

San Diego Cellars’ first major concert at the winery, we are proud to present Pedro Sa’ Moraes from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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On Saturday January 25, we are proud to present Pedro Sa’ Moraes, currently on a North American tour from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Pedro is an amazing musician on the cutting edge of contemporary Brazilian music. Pedro’s current tour is taking him to such prestigious stages as Yoshi’s in San Francisco, and we couldn’t be happier to present you the opportunity to see him here in San Diego.

This will be our first major music event at San Diego Cellars
Tickets are $12 in advance, and are available for purchase at:

or by calling or emailing me with your ticket order. Because of our space constraints, we do expect this concert to sell out!

Here are some links to Pedro’s music:
Here is some additional information on Pedro, including a recent write up from the New York Times of his performance the other night in New York City:
Over the last ten years, Pedro has been hailed by the most important newspapers in Brazil as “a brilliant singer and songwriter” (O Globo – Rio), “the next step in brazilian music” (A Tarde – Salvador) and “a moment of bliss” (Estado de Minas). After touring Brazil extensively since 2003, the artist started consolidating an international career, with tours to Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. Since 2010 he is often watched live in the US, performing in festivals such as the Chicago World Music, Brazil Summerfest (NYC), SXSW (Austin) Philadelphia Film and Music Festival and others, as well as in clubs such as the Elbo Room (San Francisco), MOMO’s (Austin), Joe’s Pub (NYC), Key Club (LA) and Performing Art Centers, such as the Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago). His first album, Claroescuro (Lightdark), was released in 2010 by Austin Based Caravan Music, and was acclaimed by press outlets such as NatGEO Music, NPR and the Boston Globe, which featured it amongst the ten best World Music CD’s of 2010.

New York Times review: <;post_id=1391397243_10202942016256673#_=_> -“Guitarist and singer Pedro Sá Moraes is a great introduction to Rio de Janeiro’s adventurous music scene. At turns rocking and lyrical, Moraes demonstrates his ability to mine Brazil’s rich musical veins and turn traditional rhythms and forms on their heads” – Tim Wilkins (

Happy New Year from San Diego Cellars and final chance to Order December Wine Club

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We wanted to take the time and wish all of you a Happy New Year as we head into 2014.  it has been a great year at San Diego Cellars, and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to finish it out with here at our new location in Little Italy.  As we finish out the year, we had just a couple of announcements we wanted share with you…
Those of you who were at the December Wine Club party and bought our improvised Cruzer with the printed label may have noticed by now (as we recently did) that the label washes off when you wash the bottle in water.  However, the problem has been solved, as we received our order of properly silk screened Cruzers from the manufacturer.  If you bought one of the temporary label Cruzers please bring it back in any time and exchange it for an actual water proof Cruzer.  Thanks for bearing with us!
I also wanted to give those of you who haven’t picked up your December wine club order yet one last chance to pick your wines for your December shipment.  We are open tomorrow, New Year’s Eve, from Noon to 6 if you would like to come by and select your wines for pick up (or if you just want to buy more wine for the big night).  Otherwise, feel free to send me an email telling me which wines you would like to select, and I will charge you for them and hold them for pick up at the winery.  If we do not hear from you in the next couple of days I will be processing wine club orders on New Year’s Day (a fun holiday activity for me!) and will make a selection for you based on any preferences you have expressed.  If you have not yet gotten your December order and still want to select your wines, then please email me ASAP!
We have some wonderful plans for January and into the New Year, from new wine releases to some amazing music acts so stay tuned for more news as we head into 2014.
Thank you for your support, have a Happy New Year, and Cheers!

San Diego Cellars hosts book signing event for Larry Zeiger’s “Nice Legs”

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Thanks everyone for a successful book launch and signing by local authors Larry Zeiger and Jack Beddows at San Diego Cellars, a downtown urban winery, tasting bar and kitchen. Guests were able  to meet Larry Zeiger and Jack Beddows, who were selling and signing copies of their new book, “Nice Legs”. Guests were able to also sample and purchase San Diego Cellars’ recently released CRUzer of 2009 Syrah, Nice Legs Cuveé, personally selected by the authors to best represent the quintessential ‘Nice Legs’ experience.
“Nice Legs: A Pairing of Wine & Words” is a compilation of humorous stories the authors’ wine-induced conversations with friends, family and strangers, acquired over the years whilst fulfilling their monthly tradition of seeking out wine bars throughout the world. “Nice Legs” is available to purchase at Amazon and CreateSpace. In addition to the limited release “Nice Legs” Cuveé, San Diego Cellars will also have a wide variety of hand-crafted wines available in both traditional 750ml bottles as well as the unique refillable, eco-friendly CRUzer bottle. San Diego Cellars is San Diego’s only downtown urban winery with a custom tasting bar and gourmet pairing kitchen.

Quick reminder that our December Wine Club Pick Up Party is on Sat. 12/14/13 from 12-6pm at the Winery.

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Just a quick reminder that our December Wine Club Pick Up Party is today from 12-6pm at the Winery.  Please come join us and bring some friends.  We will have appetizers, some barrel samples for you to taste, and live music from 3-6 with Los Caballeros.  If you can’t make it during that time feel free to stop by any time this weekend or next week to pick up your December Wine Club order.  We look forward to seeing you down here!
Despite getting a second shipment of Cruzers in, we are already starting to run low again as they are turning out to be quite a popular item.  If you already have a Cruzer please bring it with you to refill.
On a side note, San Diego Cellars was just listed at #11 in‘s “19 Hottest Wine Bars in the Country Right Now” list:
See you at the winery.

San Diego Cellars December Spiller Club Pick Up Party–December 14

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Hello Spillers!
We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving filled with fun, family, friends, food, and wine.  November has been a great opening month for San Diego Cellars and we want to thank all of you who have made it in to support us since we officially opened for business.  We are excited for the upcoming holidays and are eager to share our wines with as many old and new friends as possible.
We hope to see you all at our December Spiller Club Pick Up Party in two weeks on Saturday December 14.  We’ll be doing a private event for Spiller Club members and their guests from 12-6 pm, followed by additional holiday festivities open to the public from to 6 – 11pm.  Please come in to the store any time on the 14th so that you can select your December wine allotment, and then stay to hang out and enjoy some of our exclusive wine club perks, including some samples of new wines we are preparing for release, sample appetizers from Chef Samantha’s kitchen, and live music.
New Wines:
Since our last party we added a new wine to our wines on tap and for filling up your CRUzer.  We are now featuring our 2012 Viognier from Paradise Road Vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley.  This wine is clean and crisp with a refreshing mineral finish while still maintaining the full body and floral notes you expect from a Viognier.
We are also looking forward to adding other new wines to the line up and will be serving samples of our Hipper Family 2011 Syrah/Zin Blend, some 2011 Petite Sirah from Paso Robles, and some of the Hipper Family 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon from Pine Mountain.  Plans are in the works for bottling some of our tap wines soon, including the 2009 and 2010 Syrah, the 2009 Lodi Zin, and the 2012 Napa Chardonnay, and we will be rotating some of these other new wines into our tap and CRUzer line up.  Stay tuned for news regarding bottling, as we will have a party and will need volunteers to help with the bottling truck.
New Menu Items:
As many of you know, Chef Samantha has added a new selection of flat breads to the menu.  If you haven’t stopped in yet to try them you will have the chance to sample some of them at the upcoming Pick Up Party.  Current selections include pistachio pesto with heirloom tomatoes and burrata, San Diego Cellar’s special pepperoni featuring Crow’s Pass Farms mini bell peppers and Pt. Loma Salumi, and an arugula walnut pesto flat bread with prosciutto and parmesean.
In more recent news, rumors of rabbit sausage have been floating around the kitchen…
2013 Harvest Report:
Crush season is over, and it looks like 2013 was another great vintage for California.  We are very excited about the new wines we made this year, as we are working with some great new vineyards.  On the local front this year we made Cabernet Sauvignon and Primitivo from a vineyard in Bonsall, Zinfandel from Gloriosa Vineyard in Campo, and a Sauvignon Blanc from Warner Springs that may be this year’s winner.  We also made one barrel of the Lake Wohlford Viognier we used in 2008 and 2009, and it is tasting delicious.  Three barrels of Mourvedre represent our first foray into buying grapes from Temecula, and we are optimistic about the results, hoping for a single varietal release as well as using it to blend with some of our other new wines.
In addition to local grapes, we made Merlot from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma, Pinot Noir and Syrah from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County, Albarino from Paso Robles, and a Tempranillo from Clement Hills in Lodi.
Overall, we think it was a great harvest and crush, and I am excited to see where these wines go as they age in barrel.
We hope to see you on the 14th of December.  If you can’t make it for the party, then please feel free to come in anytime before then to select your December wine club order.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!

Another great review by diary of a MAD HUNGRY WOMAN

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Here is another great review of San Diego Cellars – Winery by “diary of a MAD HUNGRY WOMAN” please check out her blog for some great pics our food, below is her review:

If you think wine can only be made out in the middle of nowhere where there is a lot of rolling hills, then think again. I recently visited a winery slap in the middle of San Diego’s little Italy where small batches of really excellent wines are being made and introduced to the locals.

The grapes are purchased from various growers and the wines are produced out back right off the patio area. Step outside and you will see the bins where the grapes are going through their fermentation process.

There is a tasting room where you can enjoy the array of wines created by owner and vintner Todd Hipper and a lot of them are on tap! Yes, on tap! This is the coolest part: a lot of the wines are available for sale in a CRUzer, a 1000ml glass bottle, an ecofriendly refillable, swing-top bottle. The CRUzer is to wine what a growler is to beer and you can buy any of the wines on tap in this CRUzer and then bring it back to be refilled again.

On the evening of my visit, I met Rich Stern, CEO and Business Manager of San Diego Cellars, who chatted with me about my likes and dislikes and then helped me with a tasting of wines which would pair well with the nibbles we were having. He even was kind enough to pose for me when I requested a photo of him dispensing wine from their wine taps!

I started with a pour of the 2012 San Diego Cellars, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir Rose ($5 glass/$20 CRUzer). This refreshingly light wine with a nice hint of fruitiness. It went really well with the first plates which arrived.

The winery’s in-house chef Samantha Roach is a graduate of the Art Institute and was right on site making sure everything was spot-on. She stopped by to chat for a little bit explaining the small bites she has created as ideal pairings for the wines.

Daily Charcuterie Plate ($15) changes from time to time, but tonight, it was prosciutto, Point Loma Salumi, pork liver pate made in-house and pickled vegetables.

I was blown away by how absolutely sublime the pork liver pate was. Creamy textures filled with savoriness and aromas from the spices and herbs used. This was my favorite thing on the plate besides the pickled vegetables which Chef Roach created. The amount of tartness combined with the crunchiness of the vegetables are in perfect harmony and I couldn’t stop eating them.

The Gourmet Cheese Plate ($15) was next and comprised of some of my favorites: double cream brie, Humbolt Fog, Point Reyes blue and gouda. There was both fresh and dried fruit as well as a delectable house-made fig jam.

My next pour was the 2008 San Diego Cellars, San Diego County Syrah ($6 glass/$25 bottle) which I loved so much I bought a bottle to take home with me. Even though it was aged in oak barrels, it wasn’t overpowering and possessed a really pleasant mineral finish.

The Crostini Appetizer ($9) we chose was the heirloom tomato jam with burrata, micro basil on seasoned crostini. The heirloom tomato jam is predominantly tomatoes and sugar but packs a really flavorful punch pairing well with the creamy burrata.

I went ahead and tasted the next two syrahs on offer from consecutive years. I enjoyed the 2009 San Diego Cellars, San Diego County Syrah ($6 glass/$25 CRUzer) just a tad more than the 2008, but unfortunately they didn’t offer it in a bottle and I don’t live close enough to come back to refill the CRUzer.

The 2010 San Diego Cellars, Santa Ynez (Paradise Road Vineyard) Syrah ($8 glass/$32 CRUzer) was the other one I tasted.

Flatbreads ($10) make a great accompaniment because the carbs help soak up the alcohol you won’t be able to resist drinking here. Pistachio Pesto, heirloom tomato, burrata with micro basil is a great vegetarian offering……

….. however, I enjoyed the Arugula Walnut Pesto with prosciutto and parmesan with dressed mixed greens tremendously. It’s probably the added saltiness from both the prosciutto and the parmesan and everyone knows what a salty palate I have!

My final tasting was a 2011 Mignanelli Winery, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($8 glass/$32 bottle), a fabulously easy to drink, yet full bodied red. I love pinot noirs so I might be a little bias on this one.

Those of you who love wine will delight in San Diego Cellars’ unique array available to the public. They make great Christmas presents and the CRUzer, a unique one if you are giving away as gifts to friends living in San Diego. Go check them out as soon as possible! You won’t be sorry.

Latest Review of SD Cellars by San Diego City Beat

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Check out the latest review of San Diego Cellars by San Diego City Beat by Jen Van Tieghem.

Most local winemaking operations set up shop on the rural outskirts while tasting rooms spring up in well-trafficked areas. San Diego Cellars (2215 Kettner Blvd.) balances both at a quaint spot in Little Italy where wines are both made and served.

Nestled among office buildings and interior-décor shops, the location is just a block from craft-beer juggernauts Bottlecraft and the newly opened Ballast Point Brewing on India Street. San Diego Cellars fills a void for wine-lovers, offering a casual setting in a vibrant neighborhood where guests sample wines by tasting or glass. 

A friend and I opted for a tasting and, for $10 each, selected six wines to try. Not normally a fan of rosé, I let my friend have at the only pink wine on the menu. However, at her coaxing, I took a sip. The rich flavor of Pinot Noir grapes with only a faint sweetness made this one easily drinkable.

The standouts, for me, lay on the other side of the menu. I tried multiple Syrahs, a Cabernet Sauvignon and an old vine Zinfandel—all of which I enjoyed. The 2009 and 2010 Syrahs topped my list. The 2009 was smooth and tasted like ripe berries and jam. The 2010 had a sharp acidity but held notes of cocoa and pepper. If you’re a wine drinker with patience, this would be one to hold on to—also, could you lock a bottle away for me?

One interesting concept here is what they call a CRUzer. Similar to a growler purchased at a brewery, this refillable glass container is an ecofriendly bottle option. Another selling point: the CRUzer is filled to 1,000 milliliters (a bit more than standard 750-milliliter bottles.)

While the modest winery celebrated its grand opening only weeks before my visit, it already has a regular clientele; many patrons knew the bartenders by name and enjoyed their tastings for free as members of the wine club—a perk that convinced my friend and me to split a membership.