AWG Correspondent

Cordiano Winery Photos

Cordiano Winery Review

Regions: South Coast and S. California, California

Reviewed: November 3, 2013 by
Published: November 17, 2013

There is a reason that Money Magazine mentions Cordiano Winery in a 2012 article on Best Places to Travel and Where to go. This fabulous winery sits atop the rolling hills above the San Pasqual Valley in Escondido, California and unlike some of the other Southern California wineries I have visited, this place maintains a “wow” factor by providing you the experience of being in a magical place surrounded by the friendliest wine staff I have ever encountered. If you are looking for a gift shop that sells exotic oils and hand blown glass, this is not your place. If you are looking for gorgeous views, old world style, and fabulous wines and pizza served by people who make you feel right at home, then Cordiano is your place!

Owners Gerardo and Rosa Cordiano planted their first vineyard in 1998 and produced their first wine in 2002. Gerardo called this first wine Primo Amore which means “first love” in Italian, and he dedicated this first wine to his wife Rosa. With the experience of owning and operating a very successful Leonardo’s in Rancho Bernardo, the addition of food was a natural. While the fires of 2007 caused damage to the vineyards, the Cordiano family’s life-long passion for wine making triumphed.

The Experience:  We chose to attend our tasting on a busy Saturday afternoon. Despite overcast skies, the winery was beautiful, and on a clear day one could probably see all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The staff immediately made our group of six feel welcome and right at home. This place, by the way, is the most kid and pet friendly winery I have ever visited - as the photos clearly attest.

For $10.00 you can sample seven wines of your choosing, whether red, white or a mix of the reds and white. It’s up to you. Since our group had a wide range of taste preferences this was a nice way to accommodate everyone’s likes. There's even beer for those who don't like, or have already had enough, wine. Getting set up to taste was a breeze. You pay your tasting and food fee at the covered bar on the southwest end of the patio. You then select a table and enjoy your wine while admiring the outdoor views to the west and the bubbling fountain located in the center of the patio. The tasting bar is located on the east end of the patio and eliminates the need to return to the "check-in bar" to obtain tastes. It made the experience much more pleasing, and I wish more wineries back home would use this approach.

The Wines:  I sampled seven reds, as did most of our group. Two from our group sampled a white and yes we had one beer-only fan who was really happy to be able to come and enjoy this experience with us! While we did not sample the pizza, the delicious smells made us wish we had waited to eat here, and I am sure our local family will be returning to try it. Those sitting around us assured us that it is as good as the wine.

The 2010 Tempranillo is made from grapes grown in Ramona, California which is not far from the winery. This wine has a medium body and tannins. The aroma is plum and the finish is peppery. This is one of the best Tempranillos we have tried.

My favorite red from Cordiano is their signature red. The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon has a soft floral nose with hints of cedar. This full-bodied wine is fabulous.

The white that was sampled among our family group was the 2010 Moscato Di Canelli. This light crisp sparkling white has an intensely refreshing fruit flavor and a lingering finish.

I can’t stress enough, Cordiano winery is the real deal. The Cordiano family who live on the winery grounds have provided a real Tuscan experience right in the heart of Southern California. This winery will be on my list every visit we make to San Diego.

Address & Contact Information: 15732 Highland Valley Rd. Escondido, California 92025. Telephone: 760-469-9463, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Wed-Sun 11:00-Sunset.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

More information about Cordiano Winery

Explore California wineries

Explore South Coast and S. California wineries