There's no majestic estate. No grapevines out back. And, instead of pests, these winery dogs chase street traffic and sidewalk skateboards.

Urban vinting may seem like a new or unusual concept, but it is as central to the history and success of the California wine industry as the Mission grape or the buttery chardonnay, from the pre-Prohibition commercial cellars in San Francisco to the first zinfandel Kent Rosenblum made on the docks of Alameda.

The majority of Bay Bridge wineries have sprouted in the last decade. Today, there are 50 in San Francisco, the East Bay and perched midway across the bridge. Most are small and family-owned, and some are making wines so good, the only reason you don't know about them is because their entire allocation has been snapped up by Gary Danko.

These vintners make wine here because they live here; because they can't afford to buy land in Napa, and, quite frankly, don't want to be limited by doing so. By chasing the best fruit and making wine for, in, and sometimes with the community, these winemakers are stalwarts of sustainability and locavore-living. They are challenging long-held beliefs that fine wines must be made next to vines or that credible winemakers focus on one varietal.

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