Tucked behind West Berkeley’s slew of design warehouses on Fifth Street, Donkey and Goat is a retail store, tasting room, and full-fledged natural winery all in one. Housed in an old ink factory, the winery puts a strong emphasis on viticulture that’s all-natural, i.e., little to no added sulfur, sugars, yeasts, tannins, or acids. It’s a successful formula, as D&G was named one of five “Winemakers to Watch in 2011” by the San Francisco Chronicle. The tasting room is open Friday to Sunday from 2-6 p.m.
Rock Wall Wines was started in 2008 by Kent Rosenblum (the founder of Rosenblum Cellars) and his daughter Shauna, shortly after the Rosenblum brand was sold to Diageo Beverage Company. The winery takes its name from the defensive barrier at the former Alameda Naval Base in which it is located. The tasting room hosts a number of East Bay wineries, including Blacksmith Cellars, Carica Wines, Ehrenberg Cellars, JRE Wines, R & B Cellars, and Virgo Cellars. Rock Wall sources its grapes from all over California: Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Zinfandel from Sonoma County, Petite Sirah from Contra Costa County, Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands, and Tannat from Solano County.
This long-running urban winery has gained an international reputation for its Zinfandel and Rhône varietal wines; a tasting room allows visitors to try a variety.
Stage Left Cellars, based in Oakland, specializes in Rhône varietals. The winery sources its grapes from vineyards all over the West Coast, bottling Paso Robles-grown Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah, in addition to Pinot Noir (and Grenache) grown in the Santa Maria Valley, and Syrah from the Santa Ynez Valley and the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.