California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 53

25

Undiscovered Wine Regions

Expand your viticultural horizons with this trek that
begins in San Diego County, traverses the Central Valley,
and continues north to the Sierra Foothills

C A L I F O R N I A W I N E C O U N T RY N E A R LY R E AC H E S T H E
Mexican border in San Diego County, where the proud winemaking
tradition dates back to the 18th century. Start your trek 30 miles north
of downtown, in Escondido, where acclaimed Hungry Hawk Vineyards
& Winery grows 15 varietals on vineyards with spectacular views.
Rows of grapes stretch along the beautiful San Pasqual Valley, where
you can also see animals from around the world at San Diego Zoo
Safari Park, 10 minutes away.
Past Escondido, I-15 defies preconceptions of interstates. You'll
work your way through the boulder-strewn slopes of Rainbow Valley
on the way to the Temecula Valley. Head out for a spin along the
valley's De Portola Wine Trail to Robert Renzoni Vineyards, which
brings the flavors of Italy to the region, thanks to its trattoria and
acclaimed Montepulciano. With more than 30 wineries, including
some with bed-and-breakfasts and luxury hotels, the valley
earned recognition as one of Wine Enthusiast's 10 best wine travel
destinations for 2019.
About an hour north, you'll reach Rancho Cucamonga's Joseph Filippi
Winery & Vineyards. Tour this fifth-generation family operation, whose
wine inspired the Grateful Dead's "Pride of Cucamonga."
As you climb into the rugged Cajon Pass along I-15, then drop into
stands of Joshua trees, it's fair to wonder what you're doing in the
Mojave Desert. But grapes sometimes grow where you least expect.
Past the surprising fleet of jumbo jets at the Mojave Airport, stored
here because of the dry conditions, Highway 58 leads to the town
of Tehachapi (elevation 4,193). This mountain community is apple
country but there's wine too, and Triassic Vineyards is celebrated for

J OSEPH FI LI PPI W I N ERY & V I N EYA RD

its Zinfandel and Syrah. In spring, the view of poppies blooming in the
and casual atmosphere, the tasting room is an appealing setting

Cummings Valley is spectacular.
Back on the road, you'll pass the Tehachapi Loop, a
.75-mile spiral and marvel of railroad engineering completed in 1876.
It allows longer trains to loop over themselves as they slowly work

including Cabernet Sauvignons made with grapes from Lodi.
Continue up 99 to Madera, then follow the Madera Wine Trail as

their way up. Highway 58 then drops into the foothills on the way to

it travels into the foothills to such winemakers as Idle Hour Winery,

Bakersfield, where you'll go north on Highway 99.

located 14 miles from the south entrance to Yosemite. You'll stay in

From Bakersfield, it's about 90 miles through farmlands to
Kingsburg, a town best known for a water tower shaped like a giant
Swedish coffee pot and the world's largest box of raisins at the

PHOTOGRAPH: BEVAN WAITE

to discover San Joaquin Valley native Oscar Ramos-Torres' wines,

the foothills as you wind into Gold County and the mining town of
Murphys, the hub of the Calaveras County wine scene.
Through rounded hills and oak woodlands, Highway 49 leads to

Sun-Maid headquarters. And with Rhône varietals produced from its

what may be the region's prettiest town-Sutter Creek. End your

foothills estate near Yosemite National Park, Ramos Torres Winery

journey with a walk through town and discover outstanding Amador

offers a surprising destination for wine lovers. With its rich woods

County wines, including the Zinfandels at Scott Harvey Wines.

3
days

S TA R T Escondido
F I N I S H Sutter Creek

616
miles

I N S I D E T I P Consider
driving this route from late
spring into early fall when the
vineyards are in full bloom and
at their most beautiful.

M O S T S U R P R I S I N G TA S T I N G R O O M LO C AT I O N Kingsburg in the Central Valley

53



California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures

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Contents
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Cover2
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - 1
California Road Trips - 50 Life-Changing Adventures - Contents
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