Why We Do It
“…something people love sharing with friends…that they bring to celebrations…..and use to console themselves. That’s my great reward.”
One step into the tasting room and you’re instantly awash in the unmistakable aroma of fine wine aging in French oak barrels. It doesn’t take long after that for you to sense our genuine enthusiasm and passion for wine making. It can’t be disguised or hidden. Where does the passion come from?
The passion comes from the unwavering belief that we are producing wines of exceptional quality that can’t be found anywhere else. The passion comes from being able to get up every morning to do something that we love. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
What we produce brings smiles to faces. It stimulates conversation. It inspires. It encourages slowing things down a bit for you to relax, have some laughs, savor a great dinner and enjoy your friends and family.
“To craft something people love sharing with friends…that they bring to celebrations and special dinners…..and use to console themselves. That’s my great reward.”
How We Do It
“…source great fruit, maintain a strict sanitation protocol, meticulous barrel management……….and a little Pixie Dust.”
Great wine can only come from great fruit. Fortunately, we source great fruit. The grapes we use come from some of the top vineyards in Washington state and the Sierra Foothills in California near Placerville. Long term contracts enable us to work with grapes from the same rows in the same vineyards year after year.
This is important because it takes away the guess work of dealing with new vineyard managers and their crews each year. It is also important because we know what to expect regarding fruit quality each year.
“Over the years I’ve been able to develop close relationships with my growers. We have a very open line of communication. I always know where the numbers are throughout the growing season; temperatures, Brix, pH, acid, whatever. This allows me to authorize vineyard management decisions while living miles away in San Diego,” explains winemaker Keith Rolle. “Basically, they grow to my specifications.
The farmers do the heavy lifting until harvest time. Once the pick order is made, the grapes are gently hand-harvested, sorted, destemmed and brought to San Diego for vinification.
While the grapes and the growers are the heart of the wine, the winemaker and his distinctive style impart the soul into the wine. “I just really try to remain vigilant to good, proven, fundamental wine making techniques. Amazing things can happen when you source great fruit, maintain a strict sanitation protocol, meticulous barrel management……and use little Pixie Dust.”
What We Do
“Keeping our production small comes with benefits. For one, it allows us to monitor how each individual barrel evolves during aging.“
Our model has been referred to as an urban winery or a boutique winery. In our particular case, it’s a beach winery. We produce very small lots of super-premium wine and every aspect of the wine making process takes place on-site.
We have our own laboratory to conduct sample analyses. Our barrel room is loaded with full casks of wine that’s patiently aging. The production area provides space for fermenting, pressing and blending. When it’s time for bottling we call in a mobile unit so bottling takes place on-site, too. The impressive tasting room ties together the entire “beach winery” experience.
“Keeping our production small comes with benefits. For one, it allows us to monitor how each individual barrel evolves during aging. I feel this is a distinct advantage we have over the larger, high production commercial wineries. I believe that the quality of the wine we produce reflects this advantage.” Keith Rolle/ Winemaker.
Gianni Buonomo Vintners produces around 2000 cases per year. The wines sell-out each vintage.
Where We Do It
“The winery is right by the beach and has a cool Pacific breeze drifting through it all day. There’s no better place to enjoy great wine with great friends.”
It’s probably fair to say that Ocean Beach has never been considered a hotbed for fine wine production. Known more as a laid-back, surfer, beer and burrito town, OB (as the locals call it) is the home to San Diego’s first “beach winery;” Gianni Buonomo Vintners.
In November 2015, a tired, old antique store only 2.5 blocks from the beach was converted into a brand-new, fully functioning 3000 sq. ft. winery. It is complete with a production area, a laboratory, a barrel room and a well-appointed tasting room.
So why open a winery in a beer community? Wine maker Keith Rolle explains, “I have been an OB resident for 20 years. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become less enamored with raucous beer halls and more inclined to split a bottle of wine with friends somewhere where we can actually converse. OB now has that place. Its Gianni Buonomo Vintners. Plus, having a winery so close to the ocean ensures a cool, moderate climate and great air flow with just the right amount of humidity.”
Just 15 minutes from the convention center and 10 minutes from the San Diego International Airport, Gianni Buonomo Vintners in OB is the perfect low-key get-away for those wanting to escape the frenetic pace of Downtown and the Gaslamp District.