Bluxome Street Winery
Set in the heart of San Francisco’s SoMa (South of Market) district, Bluxome Street Winery is reinventing the city’s wine history and inviting groups to get a taste.
In the late 1800s, about 120 wineries and commercial cellars existed in SoMa, where the California winemaking scene supposedly began until the 1906 earthquake and Prohibition halted production. Several urban wineries join Bluxome in recreating this history in downtown San Francisco, but Bluxome is the only one that creates a trifecta of part working winery, part event space and part tasting room.
“There are wineries in the city, there are tasting rooms in the city and there are event spaces in the city, but not something that’s quite all three,” says Emily Virgil, Bluxome’s events manager.
The working winery crushes and ferments grapes as well as bottles its own wine onsite. Winemaker Web Marquez primarily focuses on pinot noir and chardonnay varietals, sourcing grapes from Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Weir Vineyard—all of which are located about 70 miles north of the city in Napa and Sonoma counties.
The 1,315-sf winery floor serves as an event space that immerses attendees in the wine-making process. Surrounded by oak wine barrels and stainless steel wine-making equipment, groups of up to 130 can gather for a seated dinner in the inviting warehouse space. It is also available for cocktail receptions of up to 300 people.
Virgil says that the winery is able to customize the group experience based on what the planner requests. In the past, the winemaker has given educational seminars on the urban winemaking process, or attendees have participated in sample wine-blending exercises.
Planners with smaller groups can simply bring attendees to experience the tasting room, open to the public from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday thru Sunday. Wine in the tasting room is served by the glass or by the flight, and guests can opt to watch workers craft the wine via the tasting room windows, which overlook the winery floor.
The winery is also known for its food focus. On the last Saturday of every month, it hosts a farmers market. Virgil says between two and three dozen local vendors gather to sell everything from eggs to produce to soaps. It also hosts a Friday night food truck series, in which a food truck parks in front of the space and serves food paired with Bluxome wines.