It had been awhile since I gave serious thought to wineries in Ventura County. Years ago, in the 1990s, we were fairly frequent visitors to Leeward Winery, which had space in an industrial park on Johnson Drive. And later, we also enjoyed visiting Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard as well as Old Creek Ranch Winery in Ojai. And speaking of Ojai, there was always felt but rarely seen the presence of Adam Tolmach of The Ojai Vineyard, making his great Central Coast Syrahs.
The Ventura County Wine Association (www.vcwines.com) consists of seven wineries:
Bella Victorian Vineyard (www.bellavictorianvineyard.com) in Camarillo
Cantara Cellars (www.cantaracellars.com) in Camarillo
Four Brix Winery (www.fourbrixwine.com) in Ventura
Herzog Wine Cellars (www.herzogwinecellars.com) in Oxnard
Magnavino Cellars (www.magnavino.com) in Oxnard
Old Creek Ranch Winery (www.oldcreekranch.com) in Ventura [bordering Ojai]
Panero Brothers Wines in Ventura
The above wineries are also part of The Ventura County Wine Trail (www.venturacountywinetrail.com), but additional wineries also participate, including:
Alma Sol Winery (www.almasolwinery.com)
Boccali Vineyards & Winery (www.boccalivineyards.com)
Calabasas Peak Vineyards (www.calabasaspeakvineyards.com)
Camarillo Custom Crush Winery (www.camarillocustomcrush.com)
Los Robles Hills (www.losrobleshillswinery.com)
Malibu Sundowner (www.malibusundownerwines.com)
Malibu Wines (www.malibuwines.com)
Montage Vineyards (www.montagevineyards.com)
Rancho Ventavo Cellars (www.ranchoventavo.com)
Rosenthal The Malibu Estate (www.rosenthalestatewines.com)
San Vicente Cellars (www.sanvicentecellars.com)
Squashed Grapes (www.squashedgrapes.com)
Sunland Vintage (www.sunlandvintagewinery.com)
Vino V Wines (www.vinovwines.com)
The wineries range from Malibu to almost Ojai. Some aren’t open to the public, or are only open by appointment. Many are based in industrial parks [shades of the old Leeward Winery!].
But clearly there is a lot going on here.
It obviously ain’t Napa, or even Paso Robles, in terms of number of wineries. But there are enough wineries to devote a few days, or a few day trips.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a few of the wineries. I’ll write about them in upcoming articles.
Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.