San Francisco, the New Found Wine Country

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In February, guests joined by the fireplace in the Presidio Clubhouse with more than a dozen wineries poured their products. Such wine charity events happen routinely, though with $17,000 raised, this was modest by Napa Valley principles.

Nearly every participant joined the event were either lived or made wine in San Francisco. Proceeds from the inaugural gathering of Wordup of Winemakers of the Richmond District and Upper Panhandle were destined for libraries west of Divisadero.

"I think we'll do it again," says Outer Richmond resident Mel Knox, who first made wine in 1980 and helped to organize the event.

In fact, San Francisco is now home to dozens of winemakers and winery owners - straight on up to Mayor Gavin Newsom. A new Wine Country has been found and it is San Francisco.

Inside between auto glass shops and warehouses, at least six wineries are making wine inside the city limits, three arrived in the past two years. Three winery tasting rooms are opened in the city, each pouring their labels.

A cultural shift among winemakers who increasingly acknowledge the sacrifice and spiral cost of living along the wines in Napa or Sonoma.

My home is San Francisco. I had no intention of moving out of San Francisco, so I did everything to bring the winery to myself, says Andrew Vingiello.


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