A Grid Full of Grapes: Sacramento Wine Bar Guide
By Ed Murrieta
The Sacramento region is home to more than 200 wineries and tasting rooms, with everything from boutique wineries in rural locales to a tasting room atop a classic Sacramento skyscraper. Whether you’re visiting or a local looking for a great way to pass the time, the urban wineries and wine bars in Downtown Sacramento are great places to pass the time.
Here’s a guide to urban wineries, tasting rooms and wine bars in the downtown Sacramento area — most within walking distance or a just short taxi cab ride from all the major hotels in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.
Downtown & Vine
1200 K St. #8
A tasting room and retail shop for wineries in nearby Amador County as well as wineries from Napa and Sonoma, Downtown & Vine pours 36 wines by the glass, plus flights. Wine-friendly food includes grilled cheese sandwiches; cured-meat sandwiches; and cheese and charcuterie plates. Sip and nibble inside or on the tree-canopied patio. Not only does Downtown & Vine offer wines from nearby Amador County, it also serves baked goods from that region’s best bakery. Try a slice of Andrae Bakery’s cream-filled, walnut-topped Basque pound cake, perhaps with a glass of Vino Noceto “Frivilo” Moscato from nearby Plymouth.
The Underground Tasting Room
900 2nd St.
Located in a sunken courtyard on Old Sacramento’s original street level, The Underground Tasting Room hosts two local wineries — Fenton Herriott Vineyards of Placerville and Twisted Twig, an ultra-premium winery in the Sierra Foothills. Wines by the glass, flights or bottles.
Rail Bridge Cellars Penthouse Lounge at Elks Tower
921 11th St.
Located on the 13th and 14th floors of an historic Italian Renaissance-style building, Sacramento’s first urban winery, now 9 years old, offers sweeping views of downtown Sacramento and beyond — along with Northern California and Central California Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that Rail Bridge makes just a few blocks north of downtown. Open only on Saturdays, from 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Other days and times by appointment. Tasting fee is $10. Nibbles include nuts, cheese, crackers and flatbreads. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, Rail Bridge hosts intimate music performances.
1600 L St.
About the size of a well-heeled person’s wine closet, The Grand is a tiny bar that offers a world of wines. The intimate interior space is cut from the corner of a parking garage on a busy intersection near the state Capitol. The small patio is perfect for people-watching. Open Mondays-Saturdays 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
58 Degrees & Holding
1217 18th St.
58 Degrees is a wine bar, wine restaurant, wine shop and wine storage venue, all in a warm, intimate atmosphere. California, French, Italian and Spanish wines in 3- or 6-ounce pours. Locally-focused bistro menu served in small-plates and entrée-sized portions.
920 20th St. #150
Ficklin Wilcox is a brand-new tasting room and kitchen store from America’s oldest port maker, family-owned Ficklin Vineyards of Madera. Ficklin has its own on-vineyard tasting room 150 miles to the south of Sacramento but it has made America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital its port of call for tourists and local foodies alike. In the heart of Sacramento’s vibrant Midtown neighborhood, Ficklin Wilcox pours and sells its estate-grown Portuguese varietal ports and its red and white Iberian wines. The store also sells imported cookware, linen and kitchen gadgets. Watch for wine-pairing classes, wine-making classes and cooking demos.
2831 S St.
A fruity Chenin blanc, a balanced Syrah and a food-friendly zinfandel are among the local varietals that winemaker Craig Haarmeyer produces at his 7-year-old urban winery, tasting bar and bistro. Whether you order an impressive cheese plate, a sensational salad or a regularly changing seasonal entree, Revolution pairs only its wines with its lunches and dinners. Enjoy an up-close-but-don’t-touch view of the winemaking. An award-winning port on the patio’s irresistible.
Culinary journalist Ed Murrieta writes about local farms and food for the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Sacramento Regional Wine Guide
Looking for local wineries and tasting rooms beyond downtown, Midtown and Old Sacramento? The Sacramento Regional Wine Guide helps you discover Delta, Gold Country and Sierra Foothills wine destinations.