The Coast News Group
Adam Carruth has just opened his second urban winery in North County. His newest location is in Carlsbad’s downtown Village. Photo by Frank Mangio
Community Taste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Adam Carruth expands his urban winery

Adam Carruth has re-arranged the landscape in downtown Carlsbad Village with his second North San Diego location.

He petitioned successfully with the city of Carlsbad to extend the boundaries of the Village along State Street, and now joins Campfire Restaurant and Baba Coffee for a fascinating group of hospitality service businesses. He has successfully operated Carruth Cellars in Solana Beach for some six years, offering Carruth Cellars wines exclusively.  Carruth sources North Coast grapes from notable wine areas like Sonoma, Napa and Santa Maria. The grapes are then crushed, pressed, fermented, barrel aged and bottled at his local urban wineries and tasting rooms. He likes to call it “bringing grapes to the people.”

And some very nice grapes they are!

On the white side, you can taste a Sauvignon Blanc 2015 from Lake County with a pink grapefruit and apple flavor. A step up is the 2014 Russian River Chardonnay with a creamy cover for a fresh citrus pop.

On the red side, don’t miss the Napa Knight’s Valley Carruth Merlot from the fabulous 2012 vintage, with a note of caramel to blend with the clove and currant flavor. In a recent interview with Carruth, he was ready to roll in the Carlsbad wine scene.

“I’m open, and it’s a work in progress,” he said. “Improvements are still being made. We’re really excited about our grape sources from Napa and Sonoma, and our Pinots coming from Oregon’s Willamette Valley. I can tell you that Pinot Noirs and Rosés are really increasing in popularity here.  My customers love the smooth, easy flavor with a finish that really begs for more.”

I asked him about the layout of the winery.

“We have a lot more seating than we do in Solana Beach,” Carruth said. “I’m happy about the bistro-style outdoor seating that was allowed, plus the lounge for communal seating.”

Carruth’s reds go for a premium and that’s fine with him.  His 2012 Cabernet from Napa Valley is $50 ($40 for club members).

Here’s the nice thing about urban wineries — they’re like wineries, but they’re so convenient to the cities where they operate — without the big expense of a vineyard.

You can try a glass to assess its flavor before you commit to a bottle.  There are now 20 urban wineries in San Diego County.

A special Annual Reserve Sale is planned for Carruth Cellars for one day only Nov. 12.  Check on the details at, or call (760) 207-5324.


Newport Beach crushes it at its Wine & Food Festival

It’s hard to imagine that the Newport Beach Wine and Food Festival’s only in its third year.  The level of sophistication is something to behold.  Every one of the over 200 boutique, cult and world-renowned wines are some of the most sought-after brands in the world.

Tyler Painter of Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma offers an elegant Merlot 2013 at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Photo by Frank Mangio
Tyler Painter of Matanzas Creek Winery in Sonoma offers an elegant Merlot 2013 at the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. Photo by Frank Mangio

The set up alone is dazzling, something out of grand resort setting.  Antique and contemporary lounges and couches dot the green belt areas in relaxing settings between the grand tasting pavilions where 20 restaurants prepare and serve cuisine from the executive chefs that are always on-scene chatting and demonstrating their menu secrets for the foodies that eagerly try new flavors.

Some of Orange County’s finest were there.

I singled out Mastro’s Steakhouse, Andrea’s Restaurant at Pelican Hill Resort and Filomena’s Italian Kitchen as worthy of an evening of fine dining.  Silver Oak, Duckhorn, Matanzas Creek and Chappellet were the wines to taste.  The stage had chef luminaries such as Rick Bayless and Hubert Keller doing cooking demos. Some 3,000 guests came during the two-day daytime Grand Festival events. You can go to for update information or call (888) 511-FEST for the next date.


Wine Bytes

West Steak and Seafood in Carlsbad is planning a Chateau Montelena Wine Dinner Nov. 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.  The iconic Napa Valley wines are considered among the best.  Cost is $150 each and includes a six-course dinner with pairings. RSVP by calling (760) 930-9100.

Vittorio’s Trattoria in Carmel Valley presents a Bubbles dinner Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.  From Prosecco to Brut Champagne, you’ll taste all the bubbly with a four-course dinner and dessert. Cost is $49.50 per person.  Call (858) 538-5884 for a place at the event.

Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas invites you to a Hiatus Cellars Napa Valley wine event Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Cost is $40. Call (760) 479-2500 for details.


Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web. View his columns at and reach him at [email protected].  Follow him on Facebook.