Ventura County Wine Trail

Plan B Wine Cellars is a high-end craft winery specializing is red varietals.
Plan B Wine Cellars is a high-end craft winery specializing is red varietals. Courtesy Visit Ventura.
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By Michele E. Buttelman 

According to the Beverage Trade Network California is the largest wine producing region in the United States with more than 1,200 wineries and 107 different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). 

California produces 90 percent of all wine produced in the U.S. and ranks No. 4 worldwide in terms of overall wine production. 

That’s a lot of wine to taste and savor.  

There are four wine producing regions in California, the North Coast, Central Coast, Central Valley and South Coast. 

The North Coast is home to some of California’s most award-winning wines. Napa Valley and Sonoma are the top two California sub-regions in California and popular for wine tasting vacations. 

However, don’t overlook the Central Coast when planning your wine tasting getaways. 

For a weekend close to home the Ventura Wine Trail is the perfect place to start.  

The Panaro family are fifth generation Italian-American winemakers.
The Panaro family are fifth generation Italian-American winemakers. Courtesy Visit Ventura.

Ventura Wine Trail 

While not as famous as Napa, agricultural Ventura County had long been home to wine grapes and wineries in early California. 

But parasitic diseases and prohibition put most wineries out of business and the vines were removed when citrus and strawberries became popular money-making crops.  

In 2004 Ventura County was home to only seven wineries. 

Today, Ventura County has more than two dozen wineries, some with vineyards. 

Vineyards are now reclaiming land once reserved for more lucrative crops.  

The variety of minerals in the soil and the cold air that blows in from the ocean make the region well suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, but Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are also stars. 

The wines made by The Ojai Vineyard are poured in the finest restaurants world-wide. The tasting room offers more than 300 wines to enjoy.
The wines made by The Ojai Vineyard are poured in the finest restaurants world-wide. The tasting room offers more than 300 wines to enjoy. Courtesy The Ojai Vineyard.

Ojai 

Get a taste of Ojai Valley’s terroir at Boccali Vineyards & Winery, Topa Mountain Winery and The Ojai Vineyard. Ojai is also home to the Central Coast’s first organic winery, Casa Barranca. 

Topa Mountain Winery  

821 W. Ojai Ave., 

Ojai CA 93023 

www.topamountainwinery.com 

Just outside downtown Ojai with scenery framed by the Topa Topa Mountain Range, you will find a perfect place to enjoy a glass of handcrafted wine. The first estate vines were planted in 2009, with varietals selected based on the region’s unique climate and soil. Since opening its doors in 2016, Topa Mountain Winery has become one of the more popular tasting spots in Ojai. Open daily. Reservations recommended. 

Topa Mountain Winery is located just outside downtown Ojai with scenery framed by the Topa Topa Mountain Range.
Topa Mountain Winery is located just outside downtown Ojai with scenery framed by the Topa Topa Mountain Range. Courtesy Topa Mountain Winery.

Boccali Vineyards & Winery 

3277 E. Ojai Ave., 

Ojai, CA 93023 

www.boccalivineyards.com 

This family owned and operated winery in Ojai offers samples of estate-grown Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel… all grown, produced and bottled in the Ojai Valley. The tasting room is housed in the vineyard’s family-run Italian restaurant, Boccali’s Pizza and Pasta. Sit beneath the oak trees and take in the beauty of Ojai’s famous “East End.” Tastings Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.  

The Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room 

109 S. Montgomery St., 

Ojai, CA 93023 

The wines made by The Ojai Vineyard are a culmination of four decades pursuing excellence with fruit grown in the region. From Stockholm to New York, their wines are poured in the finest restaurants world-wide. The tasting room offers more than 300 wines to enjoy. Open daily.  

Casa Barranca Organic Wines 

208 E Ojai Ave., 

Ojai, CA 93023 

www.casabarrancawines.com 

Casa Barranca was the first organic winery on the Central Coast. Enjoy tastings in the winery’s Craftsman-inspired tasting room in the heart of historic downtown Ojai. Open daily. 

Majestic Oak Vineyard 

321 East Ojai Ave., 

Ojai, CA  93023 

This family-owned vineyard was established in 2015. Open daily. 

Oxnard/Camarillo 

Find Kosher wines, barrel tastings and a villa-inspired tasting room at Oxnard/Camarillo wineries. 

Herzog Wine Cellars 

3201 Camino Del Sol,  

Oxnard, CA 93030 

From a winemaking history that survived the courts of Kaiser Franz Joseph of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to a Europe torn by war, to the streets of New York City and finally to the vineyards of California, the Herzog family’s amazing story is rivaled only by the quality of their award-winning Kosher wines. 

In 1985, eight generations after the Herzog family began making wine, Herzog moved from New York to the Napa Valley. In 2005 Herzog built its own custom winery in Oxnard. 

Enjoy artisan wines and five-star cuisine at Herzog Wine Cellars. Open Sunday through Thursday.  

Magnavino Cellars barrel room in Oxnard.
Magnavino Cellars barrel room in Oxnard. Courtesy Magnavino Cellars.

Magnavino Cellars  

961 N. Rice Ave., Suite 5, 

Oxnard, CA 93030 

There is always something going on at Magnavino – winery tours, winemaker dinners, special tastings, cupcake pairings, vertical tastings, holiday boutique or live music in the winery’s villa-inspired tasting room. Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays. 

Cantara Cellars 

126 Wood Road # 104,  

Camarillo, CA 93010 

Known for a broad selection of award-winning red and white wines, the winery offers barrel tastings of its vintages paired with cheeses and other snacks served in a low-key lounge area. Open daily.  

Ventura 

The city of Ventura is home to numerous tasting venues, many located just minutes from each other in downtown Ventura.  

Four Brix Winery and Tasting Room 

2290 Eastman Ave # 109,  

Ventura, CA 93003 

Four Brix Winery opened in 2011. This craft winery located in the heart of Ventura specializes in internationally-inspired wine blends. With a total production of around 2,500 cases, their wines are in high demand. Relax in the “The BrixHouse” tasting room that offers music most weekends and enjoy a tasting flight, as well as a charcuterie platter or a pizza. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  

Plan B Wine Cellars 

3520 Arundell Circle #107 

Ventura, CA 93003 

Plan B Wine Cellars is a high-end craft winery specializing is red varietals. Open Saturdays and Sundays. 

Panaro Brothers Winery  

4517 Market St., Suite 7 

Ventura, California 93003 

As fifth generation Italian-American winemakers, the Panaro family and their winery enjoy making Central Coast grapes into single-varietal and blended wines. This small artisan winery in midtown Ventura features more than 20 varietals in both red and white wines. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

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