Beach House Winery
Contributing Writer & Photographer: Jordan Younis
California is home to the most venerable vineyards and winemakers in the nation. Bucket-list destinations like Napa and Sonoma draw millions of visitors to the Golden State each year, and with its wholesome, stay-a-while towns, stunning scenery, and premium vintners, the Central Coast is a favorite region for vacationers and locals alike.
San Diego, however, hasn’t been known for its wines. Tasting tours typically take place south of the border in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe, or in inland Temecula. But one small winery in Oceanside’s South Morro Hills is changing that.
Perched atop the ridgeline of the Sleeping Indian ridgeline, Beach House Winery was born out of George and Kim Murray’s passion project. The couple started experimenting with winemaking at their beachside home in the 90s – a hobby that evolved into a two-acre vineyard that now hosts the first winery in Oceanside’s agricultural community.
When arriving at the “Vigna al Mare” (Vineyard at the Sea), visitors will follow a long driveway past rows of growing grapes before reaching the main house, where Kim and George will be pouring a variety of reds and whites – each bottle adorned with a simply sketched label drawn by George himself. The family and community feel is palpable in the atmosphere – woven into the winery’s DNA.
“We want it to feel relaxed and intimate, like you’re visiting old friends at home,” George shared.
At the bar, visitors can select one of many varietals created from the Beach House’s own grapes, as well as grapes sourced from other California growers. With a glass in hand, the trip up the old-world spiral staircase promises breathtaking views from the upper deck. With 360-degree views of North County and the ocean, the picturesque patio is a place to let hours pass, and to take in the rich beauty of the agricultural South Morro Hills community.
When most people think of Oceanside, they think of a surfer’s paradise sprinkled with taco shops and local craft coffee, but the city’s agritourism initiative is expanding its reputation, and O’side Sips businesses like Beach House Winery are spearheading that transformation. This blend of agriculture and tourism is one of the fastest-growing niches of the travel industry. Now, visitors to the area can partake in more than just shopping and standard dining experiences – they can enjoy the city’s farms and wineries, and enjoy a mix of education, recreation and relaxation, all while boosting the local economy. And who doesn’t want to boost the local economy… with a glass of wine in hand.