Where to Sip in the West’s Best Urban Wine Scenes
Urban oenophiles now have more options than ever for tasting experiences just an Uber or train ride away
Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone
Within walking distance from the beach, the pier, and the Amtrak station, this revitalized warehouse district is an easy day trip by train from L.A. The roughly 12-square-block area continues to attract new tasting rooms, plus creative cocktail bars and restaurants. Here’s the latest heat map.
Margerum Tasting Room. Margerum’s new space in the Hotel Californian stands out with its Spanish colonial architecture and Saltillo tilework. The tasting bar is made from reclaimed oak-barrel staves; plus there’s a clubby mezzanine lounge and heated patio. Wine to taste: M5 – Rhône Varietal Red Blend.
Melville Winery. A master of cool-climate varietals, Melville’s sleek, bistro-inspired tasting room is decorated with test-tube chandeliers and photos from its Santa Rita Hills winery. Wine to taste: Estate Pinot Noir — Sta. Rita Hills.
Skyenna. Surfer and winemaker Lenny Germano showcases Rhône varietals and hosts live DJs at his bohemian wine lounge. Wine to taste: Syrah.
Paradise Springs Winery. This winery has vineyards in Virginia and Santa Barbara and pours wines from both at its indoor-outdoor tasting room. Wine to taste: Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc.
Test Pilot. Tropically themed, Test Pilot serves elevated craft cocktails. Cocktail to try: Passion Fruit Mule.
Tyger Tyger. Southeast-Asian street eats from Grant Achatz–alum chef Daniel Palaima. Dish to order: Pork larb noodle bowl.
Funk Zone Farm. This pop-up farmstand takes place on the first and third Saturday of each month.Buy: Aprovecho fava beans. 136 E. Yanonali St.
3 More Unexpected Urban Wine Scenes
Sonoma-based Blanchard Family Wines recently debuted a beautiful tasting room in Denver’s new Dairy Block Alley. Wines are made from California-grown grapes; food pairings feature Colorado-sourced ingredients.
Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of Tool and the winemaker behind Merkin Vineyards and Caduceus Cellars, now has a tasting room and wine store in Old Town Scottsdale. A wine-friendly tapas menu features ingredients sourced from Keenan’s father’s farm.
Leslie Preston, the winemaker at Coiled Wines, cut her teeth at Napa’s Stag’s Leap Winery before returning home to Idaho. A downtown lounge complements her Garden City winery (pictured above), where she makes small-batch Syrah, Riesling, and a Petit-Verdot blend.