New winery and tasting room exclusively feature locally-grown grapes
Posted on July 21, 2018
There’s no need to look further than the recent opening of urban winery and tasting room Sans V for proof that the San Diego wine scene continues to barrel ahead. The Escondido facility, which opened in May, features three local wineries and vineyards, the first concept of its kind in the county.
The wines of the featured labels include Stehleon Vineyards, Vesper Vineyards, and Jack Simon Vineyards, and all are, “at a minimum, sustainably farmed,” explains Sans V winery representative Tami Wong. In addition, all the wines poured at the tasting room are really “homegrown” — made entirely in San Diego County, from grape to glass.
Another thing the vineyards have in common is that Al Stehly, owner of Stehleon Vineyards, manages many of the vineyard properties and is in the process of gaining certifications for sustainability.
Despite the similarities, each vineyard still brings its own perspective to the wine bar. Stehly’s daughter, Alysha, and her husband, Chris Broomell, run Vesper, likely the biggest cult favorite of the three. The pair sources its grapes throughout the county and create wines that aim to exemplify the unique and varied microclimates and vineyard sites found across the San Diego region.
Stehly and his wife, Lisa, run Stehleon Vineyards, with abundant help and input from Alysha. The vineyard’s wines come from small, custom sites that are hand-pruned and hand-harvested. The Jack Simon label focuses on Iberian and Rhone grape varieties grown in the foothills of the Palomar Mountains where the decomposed granite, warm days with plenty of sunshine, and the ocean breezes that flow in on cooler nights are a premium local terroir.
For Wong and the forces behind Sans V, this collaborative effort focused on sustainably farmed grapes and minimally processed wines represents a new future for winemaking in the county. “I believe some of these sites, like the Rockwood Ranch vineyard, could become the eventual ‘grand crus’ of San Diego,” Wong says. “But we won’t know for sure until the next generation is doing the work. Right now, we have the opportunity to start at the beginning and follow along as the vines and the winemakers mature.”
“Wine in San Diego is just getting started,” Wong continues. “We are only beginning to figure out what grows well here and how to make it our own. So, the time is now to be an early adopter and get on the train. Sans V provides a perfect opportunity to get acquainted with three wineries at one time.”
The Sans V tasting room is open Friday through Sunday, and by appointment. The tasting flights feature wines from all three wineries and, for $20, include a winery tour. Groups of six or more are advised to call ahead to reserve a spot. 760.741.1246, sansv.com