’House Wine

The scene is familiar. You see samples pouring, people laughing, music playing, surrounded by the tranquility of… rows of drab warehouses with corrugated garage doors on a slab of concrete.

“I wish we had rolling hills, but this is what we are,” says Dawn Alva.

“We” in this case refers to a monthly tasting/party/community gathering among the warehouses and storage units along Marina’s Paul Davis Drive, dubbed Urban Wine Row. The reason for this tag is obvious. Lepe Cellars resides here, as does Flywheel Wines, Sinecure and other labels, defying the sylvan vineyards and European-style villas wine tourists anticipate.

“We get a lot of local people,” explains Scott Shapley, Flywheel’s owner and winemaker. “We love all our neighbors coming in. It’s a fun event.”

On the first Saturday of each month, the wineries of Urban Wine Row roll up their industrial garage doors. Crowds numbering in the hundreds, most toting their own glasses, gather around pouring stations and picnic tables. Some rest on barrels, basking in the sea of purposeful fencing.

Last month the Bubba Pickens Band provided the entertainment. And a portion of sales went to the Marina Youth Arts program. Urban Wine Row tries to support a local organization each outing.

The setting feels lively and inviting. Watching people greet each other at the November gathering, Alva smiles.

“I enjoy this – the hugs,” she says.

URBAN WINE ROW is at 3344 Paul Davis Drive, Marina. Tastings happen the first Saturday of each month from 1-4pm. $15; bring your own glass. 650-740-0717, urbanwinerow.com

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