NorCal wine tasting… in the middle of San Francisco?

Cellar 360 at Ghiradelli Square, San Francisco

For many, a trip to San Francisco just isn’t complete without a jaunt to Napa and its many wineries. But what if you don’t have time to make the drive up to wine country? Not to worry: A visit to one of the many tasting rooms or wine bars right in the heart of San Francisco can be the perfect stand in.

Ghirardelli Square, home to the Fairmont Heritage Place hotel, is home to two charming choices for wine lovers: Wattle Creek Tasting Room and Cellar 360.

  • Wattle Creek Winery, based out of Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley, has brought their renowned wines to San Francisco for both sampling and purchasing, featuring a tasting room with expert staff on hand. Look for their sparking shiraz, a favorite that often sells out.
  • Cellar 360 is a wine shop, tasting room, and education center all in one, serving up California wines for free in their tasting room. Check their calendar for information on the many tasting events and seminars held daily, or just stop by and enjoy a glass of wine.
  • Off Market Street, next door to the Four Seasons Hotel, is Press Club.

  • Press Club, a tasting room and wine bar rolled into one, has sleek decor and a great location. The tasting bar presents wines from six Northern California wineries and pairs its wine with light appetizers, all in a swank, upscale setting.
  • Tucked away down an alley in Hayes Valley, sitting behind a nondescript door, is wine bar Hôtel Biron.

  • Hôtel Biron is the type of locals-only wine bar that even many (other!) locals have yet to discover, in part thanks to its clandestine location. Staying at Hotel Whitcomb or nearby? Grab a map — this rewarding treat is only about five blocks away. This unpretentious little wine bar serves up wines from California as well as the world over, and has a knowledgeable staff, comfortable atmosphere, and some of the best cheeses you’ll ever try.
  • –Joanne Greenberg

    [Photo credit: lut4rp/Flickr]