A former naval base is now the venue for music festivals, flea markets, and local wineries. Many of these small wineries and tasting rooms are open to the public, and some even offer free wine and barrel tastings. Cheap, quality wine and a day out of the city? Sounds like a good deal to us.
Treasure Island Wines
995 Ninth St., Bldg. 201, 394-9463
Tastings: Sat-Sun 1-5 p.m.; $10
Founded in 2007, Treasure Island Wines was the first winery on the island. It produces 50-plus wines on-site, with six to eight featured at tastings. The selection is always rotating, so go more than once if you're feeling up to it.
Fat Grape Winery
1080 Ave. M, 613-8925
Tastings: Tue-Sun 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; free
Fat Grape specializes in sulfate-free red wines, with some of them dating to 2008. Its complimentary tastings may bring you in, but the free barrel tastings that come with any purchase may make you stay.
200 California Ave., Bldg. 180 North, 735-8423
Tastings: Fri-Sun noon-5 p.m.; Mon-Thu by appointment; $10 $20
The San Francisco Chronicle has made the claim that this popular winery produces the best Cabernet Sauvignon under $25 in the country. Judge for yourself: Its Treasure Island location doubles as a venue for weddings and parties, and if you come at the right time you can see the winemakers in action from the tasting room or balcony.
400 California Ave., Bldg. 141, 756-2254
Tastings: Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m.; $15
With a vineyard in the Red Hills Appellation north of Napa Valley, Sol Rouge produces wines similar to those from France's southern Rhone and Bordeaux regions. The winery is already growing eight kinds of grapes at its vineyard, including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, and plans to add Cinsault to the mix. It's also a sister company of The Winery.
400 California Ave., Bldg. 448, 756-1791
Tastings: Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m., Mon-Fri by appointment; $15
Another of Winery owner Bryan Kane's creations, Vie also focuses on Rhone-like wines as well as Zinfandel-based wines. As the product of a project started by Kane and some of his friends, Vie prides itself on the fact that it uses a lengthy "Old World" technique to make its wines. The winery also has a bocce ball court.
995 Ninth St., (650) 207-8314
Tastings: Sat-Sun, 1-5 p.m.; free
Run by a father/son duo, this petite winery focuses on Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Each batch produces 48 to 488 cases and the winery only sells directly to members of the mailing list and a few stores and restaurants.