THE WINERY HISTORY
Originally opened in 1889 on what was part of a Spanish land grant, the Bernardo Winery has become, over the years, not only a fully productive San Diego winery, but a destination for wine lovers and tourism visitors alike.
Bernardo Winery produces wines from locally sourced grapes that suit the San Diego Terroir, such as Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Viognier, Chardonnay and Sangiovese. The century-old building that once was the tractor barn has been updated into a modern winemaking facility, located on the North side of the property. We incorporate the old ways of winemaking our ancestors used with modern technology and enological and viticulture practices.
While our working winemaking facility isn't open to the public, guests can stroll through our historic antique winemaking facility of yesteryear, located in the winery courtyard. There you can see the old ways, using large scale redwood barrels that were built over 130 years ago.
THE RIZZO FAMILY
Back in 1937, while on a hunting trip in the tall sagebrush of North county San Diego, Vincent Rizzo came across a large production winery for sale, during prohibition. He saw potention and opportunity and purchased the winery for his family to begin what would become an endearing journey and labor of love. During Prohibition, Vincent diversified, pressing olive oil from the Olive trees that also grew on the property, and selling that to the San Diego Tuna canning industry. He also sold sacramental wine to the Catholic church and grape juice that some say would ferment by the time you reached the end of the dusty road that joined the old 395 highway.
Now in their third generation, the Rizzo Family, still at the helm of the winery, work side by side with a great winemaking team, tasting room staff and maintenance and cellar crew to share wine, food and fellowship as they always have. The landscape has changed over the years, but the family's dedication to preserving history, producing good wine and welcoming guests has remained the same. Along with our wines, guests can enjoy our rustic Italian dining menu, that sprung from Grandmas tried and true Italian recipes as well as a village of locally owned shops and galleries.
Matriarch & Fair Manager