Fine Wines and Luxurious Digs at Vena Cava in the Heart of the Valle

Sparkling Wine at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Sparkling Wine at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Winemaker Phil Gregory explores new methods to produce his line of high quality wines. Grapes are cultivated organically without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers. Phil and his wife Eileen also operate a boutique Mediterranean style bed and breakfast onsite. The luxurious six room villa is complete with a pool, lush gardens and expansive views of the valley. Phil and Eileen go the extra mile to make sure that guests enjoy an incredible experience at their special boutique getaway in the Valle.

The winery itself is a crazy assemblage of reclaimed materials. Architects Alejandro D’Acosta and Claudia Turrent used recycled boats to construct the sleek, modern Vena Cava tasting room that blends into the environment because it replicates the shapes and colors of the landscape.

Learn more about Vena Cava wines in the following interview with Phil.

JP: What are your top three wines and why?
PG: I don’t think I have a favorite one. I enjoy drinking my own or my friend’s wines of course, but every time I try a new one there are more and more options available here around the Valley. I like so many that I can’t name a favorite. I’m just open and happy to try different projects and wines all the time.

JP: What blends is Vena Cava known for?
PG: I have an unusual blend that I’ve been making since I graduated from ” La Escuelita.” It is my Big Blend which started as an experiment combining very different grapes. It became a signature wine and I keep making it every year with around the same proportions of the original blend. It’s a combination of 5 different grapes: 25 % Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petite Syrah, 17% Zinfandel and 14% Grenache.

My Sparkling wine, the Extra Brut Rosé, is a unique blend of Barbera, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Viognier.

JP: Please describe the personality of your winery.
PG: It’s a place where I like to let the wine make itself. I look after it carefully but I believe that wine has a story to tell and I try to let it do that. I try to obtain the bright fruity flavors of the new world vineyards with the elegance of the old world wines. The name of my winery, Vena Cava is that of the main vein that pumps blood into the heart because I feel that wine is the life blood of Valle de Guadalupe.

JP: What makes your wines unique and special?
PG: My fermentations are in small batches, each one of which might produce a slightly different flavour. Some fermentations are natural; others involve specific wine-making yeasts. Some of the grapes I use are from my own vineyards, others from neighbouring vineyards and valleys: different clones of various ages in different soils with different water and climate; all producing slightly different flavours. I have eleven brands of barrels: 80% French, 20% US oak, also producing subtly different flavours. I am able to choose which barrels to blend together to produce the complex wine I’m looking for.

JP: What do you like most about living and working in the Valle?
PG: The people.

JP: Is there anything that you would like to add?
PG: I enjoy being able to experiment with natural wines, amber wines and pretty much any other kind I want to make. There are many grape varietals to choose from in this part of the world and I enjoy the freedom to use them as I wish.

Winemaker Phil Gregory of Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Winemaker Phil Gregory of Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe


Repurposed Boats at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Repurposed Boats at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe


Outdoor Seating Area at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Outdoor Seating Area at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe


Dog at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

Dog at Vena Cava Winery Valle de Guadalupe

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To Britain With Love at The London Bakery Ramona

British Chef/Owner Joanne Bennett of London Bakery Ramona Frosting a Cake

British Chef/Owner Joanne Bennett of London Bakery Ramona Frosting a Cake

British Chef/Owner Joanne Bennett has poured her heart and soul into her charming bakery in Ramona, CA. Her food is all about taste versus fancy plating. The scones are to die for and the full tea experience is a must. Chef Jo also caters events as well.

Strawberry Scones at London Bakery Ramona

Strawberry Scones at London Bakery Ramona


Full British Tea Experience at London Bakery Ramona

Full British Tea Experience at London Bakery Ramona


Seating at London Bakery Ramona

Seating at London Bakery Ramona


Fresh Flowers on the Table at London Bakery Ramona

Fresh Flowers on the Table at London Bakery Ramona

The London Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Best New York Style Pizza in San Diego at Bongiorno’s Solana Beach

Spinach Ricotta Pizza at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Spinach Ricotta Pizza at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

It’s all about top quality ingredients at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria and that’s why this casual self-serve spot in Solana Beach has developed a prolific loyal following. Starting with the perfect thin crust, the variety of scrumptious pies to choose from include the Verde with spinach and ricotta; BCR with bacon, chicken, caramelized onion and ranch or Miramar with spinach, pepperoni, bacon and gorgonzola. Pizza can be ordered by the pie or slice. The oozing Mozzarella Sticks and savory Garlic Knots are both tasty starters.

Chef Javier Acosta at Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Chef Javier Acosta at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Chef Javier Acosta Preparing Pizza at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Chef Javier Acosta Preparing Pizza at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Making Pizza at Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Making Pizza at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

The Eggplant Pizza at Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

The Eggplant Pizza at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Owner David Mittleman of Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Owner David Mittleman of Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Salad at Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Salad at Bongiorno’s New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Making Garlic Knots at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Making Garlic Knots at Bongiornos New York Pizzeria Solana Beach

Bongiorno's New York Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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The First Biannual SoCal Food & Wine Fest Was a Smashing Success

Chuaparosa Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Chuaparosa Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Chef Mario Medina of The MainCourse Restaurant was the driving force behind the SoCal Food & Wine Fest that benefited the Center for Community Solutions (CCS). CCS helps over 10,000 adults each year heal and prevent relationship and sexual violence in San Diego. Chef Mario brought together a tremendous group of chefs and winemakers who donated their time and product to the fundraiser. Attendees an elegant evening filled with gourmet fare, wine and music at the spacious Ramona Mainstage venue.

The Chefs at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

The Chefs at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Shrimp Ceviche at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Shrimp Ceviche at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Pork Belly at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Pork Belly at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Tacos at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Tacos at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Cava Maciel Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Cava Maciel Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Edwards Vineyard & Cellars Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Edwards Vineyard & Cellars Wines at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Cold Steak Dish at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Cold Steak Dish at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Potato Dish at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

Potato Dish at the SoCal Food & Wine Fest

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East Meets West at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

Lobster Mac n Cheese at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

Lobster Mac n Cheese at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

The Green Dragon Tavern & Museum in Carlsbad brings elevated East coast style cuisine to San Diego. The Maine lobster rolls three ways, New England clam chowder and Maryland crab cakes are standouts. The Fried Brussels with pork belly, candied pecans, dried cranberries and maple syrup are another super popular menu item.

Chardonnay and the Menu at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

Chardonnay and the Menu at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

Turkey BLT with Waffle Fries at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad

Turkey BLT with Waffle Fries at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Carlsbad


Green Dragon Tavern & Museum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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