New kids on the West Berkeley wine block: 5 must-sip spots

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Packed with warehouses, West Berkeley doesn’t exactly scream tasting room territory. But look closely, and you’ll find more than 10 wineries clustered within a mile, delivering wine-country quality without the pretense or traffic. The movement began in 2011, when Donkey and Goat Winery set up shop, followed by Broc Cellars in 2013.

Since then, several new tasting and tap rooms have debuted. Discover the newcomers with this walkable itinerary that — of course — includes food. Like the journey, the math is easy: these wineries are typically open between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and prices for tastings hover around $15, waived with bottle purchase.

11:30 a.m. Brunch at Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar
Start your day with brunch at Bartavelle Coffee and Wine Bar. (Courtesy Kathryn Bowen)

With a day of drinking ahead, grab something that won’t weigh you down or leave you slurring after your first sips. Bartavelle hits the spot with Euro-Mediterranean twists on millennial brunch staples, such as avocado and prosciutto toasts, and a Toscana salami sandwich with pecorino and arugula on pizza bianca. It’s a popular venue, so there may be a line. Arrive early and enjoy a glass of biodynamic or organic vino, which Bartavelle typically buys from the Kermit Lynch store next door. 1603 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley;

For more food and drink coverage
follow us on Flipboard.1 p.m. Begin with bubbles at Blue Ox Wine Co.

It’s a 15-minute stroll to your first stop at Blue Ox. Winemakers Josh Hammerling and Noah Kenoyer first bonded over their love of sparkling in 2017, while working at nearby Broc Cellars. In 2018, the duo produced a vintage under their Blue Ox moniker, a nod to Paul Bunyan, his bovine and Hammerling and Kenoyer’s Midwestern roots. With room to spread out and pops of pink and teal, their tasting room likewise evokes a modern, California-meets-heartland vibe. Come for the 2018 “Sunflower Sutra,” a crisp, pan-Californian sparkling, and stay for the 2018 “El Topo” Mourvèdre, blooming with blackberry and pepper. 1350 Fifth St.;

2 p.m. Get whimsical at Windchaser Wine Co.
West Berkeley’s wine scene is exploding with tasting rooms. (Courtesy Kathryn Bowen)

Your next destination is just around the corner, but you’ll feel transported to a barrel room in a beach town once inside Windchaser. Proprietor Dave Gifford’s love of windsurfing inspired the winery’s name, which matches its wanderlust aesthetic. You’ll sip under twinkle lights to the soft hum of reggae. Gifford applies a minimal intervention approach to create unfined and unfiltered wines using spontaneous fermentations. Don’t miss his fizzy, tangy 2017 “Funky” Anderson Valley Chardonnay, or his polished 2017 Mendocino Ridge Syrah. 1375 Fourth St.;

3 p.m. Vibe at Vinca Minor

Two right turns later, enter Vinca Minor, the West Berkeley wine block’s newest addition. Though winemaker Jason Edward Charles uses old vines to create vibrant high-acid, low-alcohol styles, there’s nothing antiquated about Vinca’s boho-chic …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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