Fun with fermentation


Several tipsters let us know about some changes at Vinavanti Urban Winery's tasting room, which opened in Hillcrest last fall. Earlier this month, the locally-owned winery sold its newly-constructed University Avenue winery and tasting space to their friends at The California Fruit Wine Co., and will be taking a short hiatus before announcing Vinavanti's reopening in a new location.

Twin brothers Brian and Alan Haghighi founded The California Fruit Wine Co. in 2009, running a small operation at fairs and farmers' markets before opening their first tasting room and production facility in Vista in 2011. By 2014, the company had taken off, thanks in part to a significant commitment from Whole Foods Market, and the wines are now produced at a large facility in Carlsbad.

At the new Hillcrest tasting room, the company will be featuring tasting flights, glasses, and growler fills of its wine, made from fermented fruit juice without artificial flavors or added colors. Its lineup includes pomegranate, pineapple, sangria blends and seasonal releases including pumpkin spice, and they are able to change up the fermentation process to create a variety of styles, from dry to sparkling and sweet, in each flavor.

The on-site winemaking system will be used to create a monthly rotating roster of wines using local fruit and a new keg program will enable the winery to ramp up its distribution of sparkling wine to bars and restaurants.

Now open Wednesday through Sunday, The California Fruit Wine Co. is serving a light menu of tapas and small plates.

The California Fruit Wine Co.