Just look at that vineyard!
I am and avid cork dork and have collecting wines for over 25 years. Lately I have been on a kick to try the best wines San Diego County has to offer. I am very interested to hear what other people have discoved. I have never been real impressed with Temecula wines (Not San Diego County anyway) and the stuff I did find acceptable, I could buy much better juice for less money elsewhere (BTW upwards of 80% of the wine sold from Temecula is from imported grapes and juice).
My focus on San Diego County wines all started 3 years ago at Javier Plascencia's Pop-Up Dinner at El Take It Easy. During the dinner a 2008 Vesper Pinot Noir was served that was so well balanced and French in character that I was blown away. I started inquiring about the wine; Low and behold I soon discovered that we were sitting right next the winemakers, Alicia And Chris Broomell. We started talking and they informed us that the grapes for the wine came from a vineyard in Rancho Sante Fe of all places. This really piqued my curiosity . . . finally a wine from San Diego that rivaled wines from almost anywhere.
I made an appointment for a tour with Chris, did some barrel tasting, and walked with him through their operations and many of their vineyards. I bought as much of that Pinot as he would sell me as it was very low production (I'm down to a single bottle now). Recently bought their first Sangiovese vintage (2011) that was good but will get substantially better with time.
Since that time I have been following them and have discovered some other very good wineries from San Diego County. Recently I had a 2011 Rhone blend from Edwards, Cotes du Romona, that was on point! Would have sworn it was from the Central Coast.
Lately Los Pilares has been getting a lot of press in San Francisco and from wine critic Alice Feiring. I am looking to buy some of their Moscato Sparkling wine that I have been hearing a buzz about. Above is an absolutely amazing picture of a beautiful vineyard of head trained vines and olive trees posted on the Los Pilares website.