Photo credit: Shelley Stepanek

Fruitcraft—Raise a Glass to Good  

Fruitcraft, formerly California Fruit Wines, started when twin brothers decided they were going to open a winery.  Putting their heads together they started in Vista, California.  Their idea was to only use fresh seasonal fruit, and not grapes.  The fermented fruits change quarterly, from pineapples, lemons, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates and very seasonal wines such as pumpkin.  They became so big and their tasting room was overflowing with customers, so they packed up their warehouse and moved to the heart of Hillcrest in San Diego. There they opened Fruitcraft, where people have way more room to enjoy this great place.  Alan Haghighi now runs the place full time.  The distillery is in the back, there are two rooms to drink and dine, and a great dog-friendly patio out front.  This is really a terrific place to come, fun and friendly and a great place to book for a wedding or school reunion holding up to 320 people. Fruitcraft also serves freshly brewed Kombacha, by the glass or by the container. 

Delicious cocktail flights distilled from the fermented fruits is a great way to sample a few. The crowd-pleasing menu consists of tasty food, no matter what you try, including flatbreads and fresh salads. You can also pick from their bar other wines, and of course anything you like you can buy a bottle or case to take home. When I was there I bought a case of Pomegranate and Pomegranate Cherry. There are also plenty of craft beers to pick from. Alan lets all of his employees put in their thoughts about service and experiences.

Of all the drinks, the refreshing Strawberry Mojito cocktail with fresh muddled strawberries was absolutely the best, perfect for the summer or really anytime.  I don’t see it on the menu now, but hopefully it will return.  I believe this was my 6th trip there. I totally suggest this place any time you are in San Diego.

Fruitcraft 

Closed on Mon. & Tue., open 4-9 Wed.-Thu., 4-10 Fri., noon-10 Sat. and noon-6 Sun.

In Hillcrest, east of the 163 heading toward North Park. 

1477 University Ave, San Diego

877-484-6282  
https://fruitcraft.com/tasting-room