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A Wine and Imbibe Guide to Camarillo

Wine is more than a beverage in Camarillo—it’s a way of life. Our more than a dozen wineries, tasting rooms, bistros, and bottle shops are locally owned and operated, giving guests to our sunny destination a truly unique and intimate experience. 

This is especially true in September, where vacationing wine-lovers and locals alike celebrate California Wine Month with countless Camarillo wine-focused events, special offers and opportunities to meet the winemakers themselves! Whether you want to get out of town for a girls weekend getaway or are planning a relaxing road trip to our Central Coast wine region, book an overnight stay and raise a glass (or two) in Camarillo. Traveling with your furry companion or kids? Not to worry! Most spots are both pet and family-friendly, making the experience here super down to earth, casual and a barrel of fun! 

Wine Events 

Plan ahead for these Camarillo exclusive wine harvest events:

Casa Pacifica Wine, Brew & Food Festival: Starts at noon on Sun., Sept. 26, 2021 at CSU Channel Islands.

The 7th annual Camarillo Old Town Wine Walk: Starts at 1 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 10, in Old Town Camarillo.

A Taste of Camarillo Wine Auction Gala: Runs from 5:30 to 11 p.m. on Fri., Oct. 29, at the Camarillo Ranch Red Barn Event Center.

Where to Sip

Cantara Cellars

Cantara Cellars got its start in 2002, when husband and wife duo Mike and Chris Brown created their first batch of wine in their own home. The couple used hand-harvested Chardonnay grapes from Mike’s parents’ vineyards in Lodi, California, and the rest is history! 

These days, head to the couple’s family-friendly tasting and tap room at Camarillo Barrelworks, home to both Cantara Cellars and their other labor of love, Flat Fish Brewing Co. Can’t decide between beer or wine? You don’t have to! Sit out on the patio with a beer or wine flight, grab a bite and stay late for live music on most Saturdays. 

Winemaker tip: Pick-up a bottle of Cantara Cellars’ rich, full-bodied Zinfandel to pair with a juicy tri-tip!

Wine Month special: Tasting fee waived with purchase of two bottles

Pantess Cellars

Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot…pick your grape at this artisanal family-owned winery. Open weekends only in an open-concept setting, Pantess Cellars is dedicated to producing the highest-quality wines using both new and traditional techniques. New Jersey native, Hawaiian-shirt wearing, winemaker and founder Vince Pantess’ love of wine can be traced back to childhood from Italian great grandfathers who used to make wine in the cellar. After learning their Old World winemaking skills, Vince now pours his own cool climate wines under the Camarillo sunshine. Oh, and Coco, the winemaker’s beloved family dog will be waiting to greet you too!  

Back Patio Cellars

As its name suggests, Back Patio Cellars’ story began on owners Frank and Jennifer Hules’ back patio. “We didn’t have any special equipment that year and it took us nine hours to destem and crush the grapes by hand,” they recalled. “When we were done, we had grape-stained foot prints and puppy paw prints all over the back patio.” That first batch was aged and bottled as a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, a 100% Petite Sirah, and a 50/50 blend called “Stained Patio,” all of which won awards at multiple wine competitions. Today their vintages include Zinfandel, Syrah, Chardonnay, Cab Franc, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, and more. Back Patio Cellars offers tastings of their bold reds and crisp white wines, live music, and other events at their Camarillo location, which includes—you guess it—an intimate outdoor patio.

Other places to imbibe 

Camarillo Custom Crush is a custom crush facility that processes specialty wines for local winemakers and is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment only. Take a tour of the facility and then enjoy wine by the glass, flight, or bottle in the lounge. New, exciting flights are offered every two weeks, making this a unique wine experience! 

The Wine Closet is a cozy wine shop and tasting room that pours primarily handcrafted California wines from small production, family-owned vineyards. (They also stock a few standout imports!) “All our wines are hand selected and we only sell wines we would drink ourselves because life’s too short to drink mediocre wine!” owners Rob and Linda Hunter said. 

Wine Month special: Wine tasting specials every Thursday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. featuring a particular winery, region or theme.

RELM Wine & Beer Bistro is an upscale yet comfortable space where foodies and wine aficionados can enjoy a unique selection of wines from all over the world and locally crafted beers. The menu includes farm-fresh ingredients selected to complement the award-winning beverages served. “The bistro’s aim is simple: …an adage we live by!” owners Valeri and Patrick Mervyn said.

A family-owned and run establishment, Sheila’s Wine Bar & Café carries both domestic and international wines that will please everyone’s palate and cater to everyone’s budget. Executive chef Ivan, son of owners Bertha and Pablo Medina, has a gift for combining flavor with artistry, enthusiasm, and talent. 

Ready to taste everything Camarillo has to offer? Start planning your Wine Month trip!

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