Opening an Urban Winery

We have been so blessed by all of the great people who have come into our urban winery and shared their time with us. All of these people have confirmed to me that wine people are nice happy people, so I want to thank all of you who have stopped by. Namaste.


The First Six Weeks:


I think most of our systems are now in place and everyone has been so helpful and understanding when we run into a bump; fortunately there haven’t been too many. Since we have an urban winery, everything that was forgotten or needed is readily available in Carmel Mountain or Rancho Bernardo.

Our Founders Wine club reached capacity of 50 people within the first few weeks and now the Zen and Zen Master clubs are starting to expand. We have our first wine club pickup party June 18th. We also have a member’s only custom blend as part of the pickup (Lot #615). It’s only available to club members. So if you want it, you know what you got to do.


  • Every Thursday for the month of June and July we are hosting Ladies Night. Ladies you can get $2 off your glass of wine from 5-7pm. And for the guys, you get to pay for the ladies 🙂
  • Friday and Saturdays we put out some complementary light snacks from 5-7 to go with your wine. What a perfect way to unwind from the week and rejuvenate the soul and spirit.
  • Check the website for other dates and events.

Gallery Showings:

Nancy Davis Dow

08fcd429-8d2f-4a4f-a079-5bfadeff0888Nancy Davis Dow had a fantastic gallery showing of her amazing artwork; if you haven’t seen it yet, then please to come on by very soon. Many of the artwork pieces are available for purchase and she will also create a custom piece just for you. Since our urban winery is located in a business park, there is plenty of parking so stop on  by.

Lisa K

c9e90c90-ce90-419d-a8c9-eb6bc3ce5c4cOn Friday and Saturday June 26th and 27th our very own Lisa K will have her amazing photography premiered. I believe she will be showcasing Koi and wine themed images.

After 17 years of shooting professionally, she knows what she is doing and her artwork is stunning. When printed on metals to colors saturate and produced incredible pieces.

Monica Royal

746904c4-a5be-413a-b614-e196a8340ef2Our friend Monica Royal will premiere on July 17. She is an award winning photographer who specializes in macro photography and fine art. Her artwork is amazing so be sure to come on by and be fascinated by the huge world of the small.


If you are an artist, or know an artist who would like a gallery show in the tasting room, please let us know immediately. Interest is growing and time slots are going to start filling up very quickly once the word gets out.

Grapes: Flowers through Véraison

Wine grape farmers in the norther hemisphere are carefully watching the progression of the vines and starting to size up their 2015 crop. The chart below shows how the berries change and the various stages of development.
The progress of 2015 grape development is widely varied across California; in the north some farmers are struggling with late blooming vines while in San Diego some growers are experiencing veraison which is about 3 weeks early. Verasion is when a young berry begins to change color signifying that is has begun the ripening process. What this means to the winemaker is that this year, just like every year, is unique.

Grape Contracts:

So we have begun the process of establishing our 2015 grape contracts and thing are moving quickly.  Most farmers now have a good understanding of their yields and we have to sign commitments to buy their fruit in the fall when it is ready. There is a symbiotic relationship between growers and winemakers and they work together to harvest the fruit at optimal ripeness so that high quality wines can be produced.

When fruit is picked to early the resulting wine is often thin with little flavor and is often acidic.  Fruit picked to late produces wine with a cooked, jammy or tastes like raisins & prunes. This over ripe wine also packs a greater alcohol content that creates a burning sensation. When high quality grapes from world class growing regions is properly picked and processed, the resulting wine is phenomenal.

We also are establishing our logistics that include transportation, equipment, barrels, supplies, and myriad of other details. Everything needs to be in place when those precious little berries are ripe and mature to make high quality wine.

So far we have Syrah coming from Napa, Merlot from Sonoma, Malbec and Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, and a Zin. We have currently committed to 18 tons of fruit or about 50 barrels or 15,000 bottles of liquid wonderfulness. The fall will be very busy for us.

Wine Production Classes:

During crush, we will be offering classes on how a berry is converted into wine and then how the wine then is barreled, aged, tested, treated, tasted, bottled and labeled.  If you are interested in participating, then check our website for class details closer to the fall.
Members also have the rare opportunity to make their own wine in one of two ways.

  1. The first is the “digital wine making experience”.  We will dedicate a certain batch of grapes and let you decide how it should be made.  I will post a question (i.e. should we do this or that) and will explain the end effect of that decision. All of the participating members then get to cast their vote, the majority wins and that is what will be done. At the end of the production (if you participate), you will have the opportunity to purchase that wine. 4d27cef5-5e6a-492e-8576-f5ad3b2ae8e1
  2. The second option available to members is for you to purchase grapes directly from us and you decide how it should be made. In essence this is your wine and with our help, it will be great wine. This is hands on, get it done type work and only serious future winemakers should consider this option. In about May of 2016 we will bottle your wine and put your custom label on it. How’s that sound? Stop by the winery and talk to us about the details.

Blind Tastings:

339ecb86-70b3-42d1-bda9-edf5cdab2d3fI want to give a special shout-out to our club members who rose to the occasion and subjected themselves to having to perform the arduous task of meticulously going through the rigors and extreme scrutiny and technical understanding while performing the dutiful evaluation of wine.  Yes, you got it right; they drank wine and expressed their opinion.

As many of you know, we are constantly in search of unfinished wine to add to our collection while waiting for our fermented wine to be bottled.I had put out a request to our club members looking for people who wanted to learn how to technically evaluate wine (just like Robert Parker) and to give their evaluation and opinion on potential wines. We sampled and evaluated a whole bunch on wines. The good news was that nothing was horrible, but nothing was stellar either. The search continues.

If you are interested in learning how to do this yourself, check out the class schedule on the website. Once you go through the class, you too are eligible to evaluate wine with us.

Entertain Us:

What types of events you would like to attend at the winery? We want to know!

Should it be live music, or bad poetry? It could be trivia night or a murder mystery. How about a movie night in the barrel room or a class on cheese making? If you have an idea, shoot us an email, we would love to hear your ideas.

Even better, if you would like to coordinate and event such as a jewelry party, Tupperware party, Mary Kay or give a class on whatever, please let us know and we can get you on the schedule.

Special blend for club members

3c37bf37-734d-4fca-8903-8a2b7bc75a3cOver the last few weeks, Lisa and I have developed Lot #615 which is a Merlot based special blend only for wine club members. We only produced 126 bottles of it and over 60 will go out with wine club members on June 18th.

Remember wine club is free to join and a great way to socialize.

We took our Merlot as a base and added two other wines to give it a more pronounced personality, body, color and texture. We really like it a lot and hope you do too.

Members can purchase this limited edition wine only in the tasting room for $30 (not including your club discount). We will only be selling 4 cases of it and it will sell out quickly.

Updating our website and winery

37e2da87-5606-431d-b622-e9a153679348Over the next few weeks, we will be doing a complete overhaul of the website, so please be patient with us. But, if you do see some glaring mistake, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would really appreciate it.

We will also be upgrading the barrel room to get it ready for 2015 crush season and for private events.

If you are interested in hosting your own private event in either the tasting room or barrel room, please contact us and we will figure out all of the details. The total space will accommodate around 50 people. We will even help you figure out the theme, refreshments, food and works to make your event fun and memorable.


Lisa and Darius Miller