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Sunshine Mountain Vineyard
Sunshine Mountain Vineyard in San Marcos, California is a family-owned and operated winery helmed by Ed and Claire Kruger. In fact, their family is their secret ingredient to success at this boutique winery. Their kids help with events, harvest and cellar work. The grandkids “help” with being cute and providing a smile.
2011 was a monumental year for the Kruger’s and Sunshine Mountain Vineyard. It was the first year of their tasting room and experienced their best grape harvest to date. From their aerie atop a mountain in east in San Marcos, the view to the west goes on forever, almost to the ocean. You would never know you’re just a few short minutes off Interstate 15. Strategically perched swings allow for maximum viewing of these rolling California hills, where patrons can relax with a glass of Cabernet Franc or Syrah. You can also lounge in the lower patio which offers an outdoor kitchen, fire pit and koi pond.
Ed Kreuger is an amiable and gregarious host that always has a heartwarming greeting for all of his guests. After a bear hug by both he and his wife, he took SanDiego.com on a tour around their property. First and foremost he showed off his vineyard followed by the wine cave. This wine cave is built into the earth and flanked with grape vines. A large room in the cave is a private room for groups, larger tastings or private events. The walls are painted with a fresco featuring life in the vineyard during summertime.
Ed found his passion of winemaking while traveling through regions notorious for wine in Italy, France and Australia. He parlayed this passion into his vineyard, planting his first grapes in 2002.
In 2010 Sunshine Mountain’s Cabernet Franc won a bronze award at the Riverside International. The following year they took home two silver medals at the San Diego International Wine Competition.
One of the preferred wines currently offered at Sunshine Mountain is a 2008 Estate Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah. This Bordeaux blend is lush with hints of plum and blackberry. The 2008 Syrah is spicy and fruity with dense berry and pepper flavors.
To sit and spend an afternoon with Ed Kruger is truly a delight. His bold laugh and friendly demeanor is warm and inviting to everyone. “I love sharing my wines with new wine friends,” he says.