|Located 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, nestled inside the quaint town of Rancho Bernardo, lies one of the best-kept secrets in the county...
The Bernardo Winery
116 years old, and still fully functional as a producing winery, Bernardo has lessened in size and grown in character. 'Strewn' with Unique Village Shops including a coffee shop and salon, and boasting an award winning cafe, Bernardo Winery has turned into more of a destination than ever.
Founded in 1889 on what was a Spanish Land Grant, 5 partners opened the Winery. With the start of the prohibition, the wine business diminished. Vincent Rizzo, first generation Rizzo owner, had the forethought to buy the winery during the prohibition from the dwindling partnership and continue production of sacramental wine and grape juice guaranteed to ferment by the end of the road.
Moving from Sicily to the land of opportunity in 1905, Vincent made a living building fruit boxes in Detroit. An opportunity arose to move to Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, and open a few bars. On visiting the Bernardo land grant for a hunting trip, he noticed the winery was for sale.
Vincent Rizzo bought the Bernardo Winery from the original 5 partners in 1927. The valley that the winery is located in was covered in vineyard, not a house was in sight and the closest town was Escondido. Producing over 150,000 gallons of wine in the late 1940's, The Bernardo Winery was a major wine supplier of San Diego County. As well as wine, the winery produced Cold Pressed Virgin Olive Oil from the many olive trees that were located on the property, supplying much of the tuna canneries in downtown San Diego.
Ross Rizzo took the winery over from his father, Vincent in 1962. With much ambition, Ross has turned the winery into what it is today, a destination.
With the loss of vineyards, Bernardo imports much of its grapes from various regions of California including Paso Robles, Monterey, Rancho Cucamonga and of course San Diego County.
With more than 12 Village Shops, a coffee shop, a salon, an award winning cafe, and of course a tasting room, the Bernardo Winery is a must see.
One step in the gates and you are transported 6000 miles away and 100 years into the past to a place south of Sicily... a courtyard with beautiful Mediterranean gardens, lush vineyards and a quite homely atmosphere, where everyone calls you family.
13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte
San Diego, CA 92128
Click here for map
The Bernardo Winery Tasting Room
Open Daily from 9am to 5pm
$5 for 5 tastes logo glass complimentary