San Diego, California, US
Countryside, Vineyards & Wine Tasting
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A 40-minute panoramic drive takes you through San Diego's hinterland to the Valley of the Sun. Ramona's agricultural heritage, dating back to the California Mission era, is the subject of your guide's informative narration. (S)he will point out family-owned vineyards and farms as you travel, and you will learn that winemaking came to California in the 1700s, when the Kumeyaay Native Americans planted grapes here. This act, seemingly insignificant at the time, signaled the birth of the behemoth that is today's California wine industry.
Your first stop is at the Cordiano vineyard and winery -- a lifelong dream realized. The love and passion that proprietors Gerardo and Rosa Cordiano have for the viticulture industry is reflected in their hospitality. As a youth in southern Italy, Gerardo spent time with his father working the vineyards and promised himself that, one day, he would return to that tranquility and make his own wine to enjoy with family and friends. Enjoy a wine tasting among lush patios and gardens, with vineyard views over the San Pasqual Valley. Devour a slice of delicious wood-fired pizza made especially for you with a topping of fresh local cheeses, hand-picked herbs and flavorsome vegetables, served on a terrace offering sweeping vistas.
The Italian-style Salerno winery welcomes you next. Walk through the beautiful sculpture garden, featuring the works of local artists, as you enjoy a glass of Salerno's award-winning wines. Once an opera singer, Herman Salerno has been making wine for more than 23 years, using traditional methods to bring the essential flavors of the vineyard to each and every bottle. Driven by the pursuit of excellence, Salerno Winery claims international fame and recognition, as it is now ranked among America's top small wineries. The fact that they sell out of wine every year speaks for itself. A visit to the barrel room offers you a chance to interact with the winemaker -- feel free to ask any questions. Take time to simply relish the cool, classic feel of the cellar and the unmistakable scent of quality wine in the process of becoming a benchmark vintage.
Re-board your motor coach and enjoy the relaxing trip back to the ship.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes. Corkage policy: Wine purchased on this tour is exempt from the on-board corkage fee (offer limited to one bottle of wine per person).