ESV tasting tours

Tour The Mid-Peninsula Wine Trail

By Betty Taylor | June 28, 2017
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Good news for Peninsula wine lovers: An urban wine trail has taken root in the neighborhood. The vibrant restaurant rows of Laurel Street in San Carlos and Broadway in Redwood City have been destinations for Silicon Valley foodies. Now the buzz is building for nearly a dozen wineries and micro-wineries that have popped up on the “other side” of the Caltrain tracks.

This new mecca of urban wineries, known as the Mid-Peninsula Wine Trail, is home to award-winning wines in a variety of styles, from grapes that are sourced from the Santa Cruz Mountains and other nearby regions.

Domenico Winery paved the way for the scene, opening in San Carlos in 2004. Dominick Chirichillo produces “Cal-Italia” wines including an award-winning Primivito, made from 95% Croatian Zin, grown at Dominick’s Amador County vineyard, blended with 5% Syrah. A newly renovated winery and event space scheduled to open in early 2018 will offer daily wine tastings, as well as food.

Cuvée Wine Cellars, located on Washington Street, is well known for Bordeauxstyle Cabernet blends. It also pours wine from Paso Robles–based Thomas Alexander winery and micro-wineries Old County Cellars, Zoetic and Wesolek. Cuvée and Domenico are the heartbeat of the “Mid-Pen” wine scene and have helped other winemakers on the trail get their start.

Just a short walk down the street is Russian Ridge Winery. Winemaker Scott Townsend and his family started making wine in ’97 at their home near the open preserve on Skyline Boulevard, eventually opening this winery and tasting room with a cool urban vibe in 2014. Their red Concerto blend was a 2017 double gold winner at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition.

Right next door is Flying Suitcase Wines started by Danish winemaker Anders Vinther, who began making wine in 2012 at Domenico. As a biotech exec for a French company, Vinther logs a million miles a year between harvests and still manages to produce a range of award-winning wines, including Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel. With wife Vikki (who is Scottish), he opened the bright and stylish, kid-friendly tasting room a year ago.

At the trail’s northern post is Waxwing Wine Cellars, whose signature Pinots and Syrahs average scores of 90+ by Wine Enthusiast. Winemaker Scott Sisemore made his wine at both Domenico and Cuvée before opening his 1,000-square-foot wine cellar in 2013. Situated in an industrial park, Waxwing, neighboring Old World Wine and Spirits and Alpha Acid Brewing Co., carry on a tradition of Friday Night Flights.

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