Address: 33853 Palomares Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94552
Phone: +1 (510) 582-9900

Of all things known to mortals wine is the most powerful and effectual for exciting and inflaming the passions of mankind, being common fuel to them all.” – Francis Bacon
One lazy San Francisco summer afternoon, Malvika and I struck gold when we used the really helpful Google search feature ‘Near me’!

Living in Northern California, home to some of the worlds finest wines, we have over the period of time developed a taste for Wines. We will be covering some of our favorite Napa and Sonoma wineries in later posts but today we want to talk about the hidden treasure of the Castro Valley – Chouinard Vineyard and Winery.
Chouinard is conveniently located between the hills of Castro Valley & Livermore which is around 40 minutes drive from San Francisco and from the Bay Area Peninsula so if you are not in a mood to drive all the way to Napa/Sonoma you can enjoy pretty good wine right here.

Chouinard is a family run winery that started in 1983 and is situated on a historical cook ranch. It’s open for public tasting over the weekends and most holidays from noon till 5:00 pm Pacific.

Things we love about the Winery
  • It is not a big commercial winery thus you can enjoy your wine in peace amidst the tranquil hills.
  • Small and intimate tasting room where you can sample 6 of the wines for an unbeatable 5 USD (isn’t that unheard of in the expensive Bay Area ? )
  • It has a beautiful picnic area next to the vineyards where you can bring your own food and invite friends to have a wonderful time. During the rains you have small water streams running next to the picnic area.Tip: Reach early to reserve your spot, First come first served!
  • Absolutely no cell phone signal. This is in fact the best part,  perfect way to spend time with your loved ones, friends and family. Tip: Since you won’t be able to call Uber/Lyft to commute back in case you get drunk, make sure you have a designated driver ?
Wines and Our Favorites:
 They have a good selection of Red, White, Dessert, Sparkling and Port-style wines. You can find the list of their wines here:
Excellent small winery to spend time with your friends and family.
Excellent small winery to spend time with your friends and family.

Our favorites are:

  • California Champagne (Sparkling), costs just USD 20 and has an excellent aroma of fresh pears with well-balanced acidity. We have tried multiple champagnes and have realized that anything that is below USD 50 is either too dry or gives a bad hangover but this is amazing!
  • Orange Muscat 2013 (Best of region, Best of show, Gold Medal, Silver Medal), costs just USD 25 and is an absolute showstopper. Serve chilled after a heavy lunch/dinner and your guests wouldn’t want to stop at one glass. It’s a Monterey modified Ice wine that has unique flavors of orange blossoms with aromatic honey blend making this a great dessert wine! Definitely a must try.
The vineyard is also a perfect place to have small parties or ceremonies. It can easily accommodate around 125 people and once decorated can be a great place to tie the knot. Definitely check out their website for more information:
Since now you know one of our secret getaway spots, do visit the winery on a sunny day to enjoy their perfect champagne or during the rains when you can observe small waterfalls running next to the picnic area.


M & K

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Jack Petersen Reply

    Came across this blog; seems to have good recommendations for places. I will definitely give it a try. Thanks!

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