ale, wine trails reveal oakland's unique local flavor
Imagine tasting wines in unusual spaces like renovated warehouses, art galleries and on a waterfront on an estuary. When you follow the Oakland Urban Wine Trail, that’s exactly what you’ll discover, with nine wineries set in the city proper, including popular destinations like Jack London Square and the historic Swan’s Market.
As a collaboration between the Visit Oakland tourism organization and winemakers of Oakland, the entire trail can be toured over a relaxing two or three days, including time to eat at area restaurants, visit art galleries, and shop at local boutiques in between tastings.
“We wanted to showcase a wine experience that is truly unique to Oakland,” said Visit Oakland Marketing & Business Development Vice President Natalie Alvanez. “And it’s really a draw. Since launching the trail, our wine tasting room traffic is up 15 to 20 percent.”
Since Oakland’s city core obviously has no vineyards, the grapes are sourced from all over California, Alvanez noted. Still, beyond just tasting rooms, several of the trail locations are working wineries, meaning people can see the actual winemaking process at places like Dashe Cellars (55 4th St.), which also welcomes with a new outdoor wine garden.
Following the success of the Wine Trail, Visit Oakland launched the Oakland Ale Trail this past February. There are currently 13 breweries in Oakland, with 10 having tasting rooms open to the public, and an additional four more tasting rooms are scheduled to open later this year.
“This again is a unique experience, allowing craft beer lovers to explore our thriving beer scene and even get a free gift,” Alvanez said. “The Oakland Ale Trail features a passport program, where if you visit all of the breweries, you get a custom Oakland Ale Trail Growler.”
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