PRESS: Wine Enthusiast

We are so honored to be mentioned in Wine Enthusiast magazine's article "How San Diego Became a Natural Wine Haven"! Here's a snippet, to read the full article CLICK HERE.

The Natural Wine Scene in San Diego
Beer is what led to natural wine in Little Italy, an urban neighborhood north of downtown San Diego, and home to many of the city’s top restaurants and bars. This is where Brian Jensen started Bottlecraft Beer in 2011. One of the first in the craft brew scene to combine a bottle shop with a taproom, the small chain now features seven locations across Southern California, with more said to be on the way.
Jensen, born in Southern California and a veteran of New York City restaurants, moved the original Bottlecraft up a block in 2014, partly because he thought the building was slated to be torn down. But the new landlord simply remodeled, so Jensen teamed with wine sales veteran Patrick Ballow to open Vino Carta.
The shop combines the Bottlecraft idea with traditional and natural wines. There are more than 500 wines for sale in the back of the shop, while the front is a popular wine bar with rotating by-the-glass selections from Slovenia to Sicily, weekly educational tastings and frequent DJs that spin until late.
“Down here, we struggle with selling Chardonnay,” says Ballow. “People want more Grüner Veltliner.” He appreciates that beer lovers are open to less traditional wines. “They see the parallels with the esthers that natural fermentation pushes. Beer being the dominant force in San Diego has helped wine find its way.”