So. Cal. Winery Review Takes a Look at Chateau 55

Jim Treglio of So. Cal. Winery Review wrote an article reviewing our facility and services. Take a look below to see what he wrote:

If you’ve read much of the material on this website, you are probably aware by now that I have two pet peeves – serving red wines at room temperature and storing wines improperly.  Now there are a number of reasons that you should really worry about wine storage, such as: 
·        The Shadow Mountain (distance) reason.  We visited a couple of wineries in Warner Springs and found some very nice wine, coming home with four bottles of Nebbiolo from Shadow Mountain (see last review) and two bottles of a very-peppery Zinfandel from Hawk Watch (soon to be reviewed).  The problem is that these two wineries are a good distance away, so when you do visit them you bring home more bottles of wine than you have room for them in your storage locker.  Hence, this 
·        The Espinosa (sell out) reason.  As mentioned above, I like a very-peppery Zinfandel, and Espinosa has a great one.  Unfortunately, I am not the only one who likes their Zinfandel — their last release sold out in just two weeks.  Two weeks!  Needless to say, it makes sense to buy lots of it when it is available, requiring extra storage.
·        The Palomar Mountain (party) reason.  Sometimes you want to buy a lot of wine in advance of a large gathering or party.  In my case, we’re holding a family reunion in San Diego this summer.  Now the family name is Trovato, and Palomar Mountain just happens to have a blend that they have named Trovato….
·        The Poppaea (aging) reason.  Most red wines get better with age.  Generally speaking, the higher the tannin level, the longer the wine needs to be aged.  I call this the Poppaea effect because Poppaea makes a red wine from the Sangrantino grape.  This grape has a very high tannin level, so it requires ten years or more of aging to get close to its prime.  In some sense, this is an out-of-sight, out-of-mind issue, namely you are not likely to open a bottle of wine that you really want to age if it is not sitting in your house.
So, what to do, what to do?  Well, you can spend a lot of money on a wine storage cabinet, some of which I show in the About section.  But there is an alternative, namely taking your wine to a commercial wine storage facility.  To this end, I have arranged a deal with Chateau 55 to give you a discount.  Chateau 55 is a state-of-art wine storage facility on Sorrento Valley Road just south of the Carmel Mountain intersection.


They offer both full lockers and community lockers to hold your wine.  The upstairs lockers are the smallest full lockers with 13 cubic feet of storage space, enough to hold around 8 cases of wine.  They run $19.50 per month.  The lower level lockers are larger (18 cubic feet, enough to hold 12 cases of wine) and run $36 per month.  If you rent a full locker you get a fob that allows you access to your wine on evenings and weekends.
For the community locker option, you pay between $4 and $5 per case per month, ideal if you are looking to store less than 4 to 5 cases of wine.  However, the community locker option does not come with a fob, so you can only access your wine during working hours.
What about wine shipments, you say?  I mean, wouldn’t it be nice if my wine clubs could just ship the wine directly to Chateau 55?  The answer is yes, they can.  In fact, if you leave them a key, they’ll just put your wine in your locker.”

For the rest of the review go to his website, So. Cal. Winery Review.


How Does Wine Storage Compare to Beer or Spirits Storage

When it comes to proper wine storage, some may jump to the conclusion that it’s similar to that of beer or spirits. However, due to wine’s lower alcohol percentage, it is a perishable item that can spoil quickly when not kept in ideal conditions. If you have a collection of fine wines that are made and bottled to become better with age, take the time to create a long-term wine storage system that effectively keeps your wine collection tasting great and aging well.

How Does Wine Storage Differ from Beer or Spirits?

When collectors or sommeliers are aging their wines, they are careful to store them differently than they would beer or spirits. Brown or clear spirits can be aged in a dark, cool area like a pantry indefinitely. However, wine is not shelf-stable, so it must be kept in specific conditions as outlined below.

Keep Wine Out of the Light

You may notice that many wine bottles are tinted to keep light out of the bottle. Although this practice does help to defer light from reaching the wine, it is not completely effective. Just like aging beers, it’s important that any wine you are aging is dark without any light fluctuations. Find a space in your home or cellar that can be kept consistently dark and away from any direct light, such as in a cool basement or dark cupboard.

Create a Space with Consistent Temperatures

Ideally, the space in which you choose to store your wine collection will be around 55 degrees to delay chemical reactions that can cause your wine to turn bad. To age wine with the best end taste and results, it’s important that temperatures are kept consistent to allow proper characteristics to develop over time.

If you are choosing to age your wine in a dark area of your home, make sure that the wine is away from any heating or cooling units like boilers, air conditioners, or heating vents.

How Should Wine Be Positioned While in Storage?

People often age beer and spirits upright, as it is the natural orientation of the bottles. However, these types of alcohol do not use a cork to age the product correctly as wine does. This is the reason wine bottles are most often aged horizontally, as this practice keeps the cork moist and prevents it from drying out.

Storage can differ between wineries, with some choosing to store horizontally, while others may store their bottles upside down to maintain moisture throughout the entire cork.

Maintain Humidity for Superior Results

As you probably found from the above tips, moisture matters when it comes to storing wine. The cork is key to aging wine correctly, so try to keep the area that you store your wine quite humid as compared to where you would typically store beer or spirits. A humidity level between 55 to 75% is ideal, but these levels are usually only safely achieved with a specialized system or at a professional wine storage site, as high humidity can cause damage to surrounding areas.

No matter if you’re collecting fine wine, beer, or liquor, make sure that they’re kept in the proper storage conditions to maximize their flavor and your end results.

How to Buy Wine at an Auction


Are you a serious wine collector who’s looking to level-up your wine purchasing practice? If so, buying wine at an auction may be the right next step for you. These lively events are not only fun, but educative, with plenty of impressive collectors and passionate sommeliers to chat wine with while you sip at delicious samples.


Why a Wine Auction is the Place to Find Top-Notch Wines


When it comes to sourcing and purchasing fine wine for your wine collection, there is no place quite like a live wine lot auction. There are quite often rare bottles and products that you won’t find at many merchants or even wineries. Although the live auction environment is stimulating and exciting, some collectors choose to bid online for their favorite rare vintages.


Enter the Auction with a Sense of What You Want


If you do plan to do some bidding at a live auction or online, it’s beneficial and cost-effective to have an idea of the style, items, and bottles that you plan to bid on. Take time to do your research beforehand to see what specific wines have previously sold for, and go in with a general budget of what you’d ideally like to spend.


At a wine auction, there is often an index that allows you to see what wines will be up for auction beforehand. Find the ones that interest you, and research estimations of worth online. However, live auctions are just that – live – and people are known to pay much more or much less than what a bottle may typically be worth outside of the wine lot.


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions


Whether you’re an experienced wine auction attendee or are planning to have your first experience on the wine lot, there are plenty of people in the fine wine community who are always happy to answer your questions. Make small talk, discuss collections, and ask any questions you may have about a certain type of wine or how the auction itself usually plays out.

Know that All Wine Auctions are Different


Experienced collectors and auction-goers know that no wine auction is the same as the next, as the type of fine wine and array of varieties up for auction are always changing. Some wine lots may be known to undervalue their wine, while others typically mark up their wine. Some wine lots offer mixed lots, a collection of a variety of wines of the same wine.


Be smart about how you go about your next wine auction experience. With the right strategy and proper research, you may be able to find some spectacular wines to increase the value of your collection or to simply enjoy during a celebration.

Wine Transportation 101

Whether you’re moving or simply want to store your wine collection at a professional temperature-controlled facility, it’s important that you know the best practices to safely and effectively complete your wine transportation.


You’ve invested both time and money collecting your wine, so why would you risk its integrity with a DIY move? If you’re looking for professional wine transportation or hiring a refrigerated moving van, use the following tips to move your wine safely from point A to point B.


Get the Worth of Your Collection Professionally Appraised


Do you have a large or high-value collection of fine wines? If so, it may be a worthy investment to have your collection professional appraised before you hire a wine transportation specialist. These professionals will be able to help you get an idea of the estimated worth of your wine so that you can let a wine moving business know. Additionally, having your collection appraised allows you to notify a wine storage company of your collection’s value so that you won’t have to take that step later.

Find a Professional Wine Moving Company


In Southern California, the temperatures can get extremely warm during the summer months, making wine transportation risky. Thankfully, there are climate-controlled vehicles available to transport your collection where you need it to go. Whether you’re moving into a new home or transporting your wine to a temperature-controlled facility, these professionals will use their expertise to get the job done right.


How Should You Pack Your Wine for Moving?

One of the most important steps in wine transportation 101 is ensuring that you’re packing your wine correctly for a safe move. Pack all bottles on their side, and be sure to keep the bottles closed for seven days after they’re settled in their new home to preserve flavor. If you decide that you’ll be able to manage a move by yourself, find professional-grade boxes used by retailers or wineries to transport their boxes. They may be available for purchase at wineries, merchants, or here at Chateau 55 so check your local area.


At Chateau 55, we’re proud to provide Southern California residents with best-in-class wine transportation services all over the region. From professional hand-packing services to the logistical planning of your wine transportation process, we’re here to support you every step of the way. If you’ve previously had your collection appraised, we provide cargo insurance for the entirety of your wine moving service and are dedicated to delivering and unloading your wine safely and successfully.


For more information on Chateau 55’s wine transportation service, call us at 858-373-9463 today. Our experienced professionals can help you keep your fine wine collection in its best condition throughout its transportation journey.

Health Benefits of Wine

By now, most of us have seen headlines stating that a glass of wine each day can provide some sort of health benefit. The best part? It’s true! When consumed responsibly, certain amounts of wine have been scientifically proven to provide people with a wide variety of health benefits. So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of something smooth and delicious knowing that you’ll be doing your body some good with the health benefits of wine.

Wine Can Increase Your Skin Health

Due to the high levels of antioxidants present in wine, it has been shown to be beneficial for skin health when consumed as a drink or applied topically to your skin. When applied directly to your skin, the antioxidants in the wine go to work to renew your skin and keep it glowing by increasing elasticity. However, I doubt any of our clients or readers would be willing to use wine like that. 

If you’d rather consume your wine in the traditional fashion, those who maintain a wine lifestyle can experience increased blood circulation to prevent aging and wrinkles. It’s important to note that the alcohol content in wine can cause dehydration when drank excessively, so make sure that you stick to one glass to reap the full skin health benefits wine can provide.

Wine Can Keep Your Heart Functioning Well

A healthy heart is key to maintaining a high quality of life and staying active. The World Health Organization found that around 17.7 million people die every year from cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), which accounts for an estimated 31% of all deaths on a global scale.

For those who include wine in their lifestyle, it may be beneficial to note that the polyphenols found in wine can help maintain good heart health, as polyphenols that may help to protect blood vessel lining. Optimally, an adult can drink 4 to 8 ounces of wine each day to lower their risk of CVDs.

Wine Can Assist You in Preventing Obesity

Often, wine and alcohol consumption is tied to weight gain. However, a team of researchers based out of Washington State University found that a regular intake of fruits rich in an antioxidant known as resveratrol could help prevent weight gain. Fruits like berries and grapes are high in this antioxidant, along with red wine.

Wine Can Help Strengthen Your Bones

When consumed in moderation, wine can help women strengthen their bones due to the increase of estrogen levels that occur soon after consumption. Estrogen is a hormone that has been shown to slow bone decay.

Wine can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle when collectors and consumers strive to drink in moderation and in ways that do not interfere with other healthy lifestyle practices or doctor’s orders. If you want to drink wine as a part of your active lifestyle, make sure that you do not exceed more than two small glasses each day. So find your favorite style and toast to good health!

Buying Wine Online

Whether you’ve already forayed into the world of online wine purchases or are hoping to expand your wine collection and want to learn the ins and outs of buying wine online, we’re here to help you feel more comfortable to shift your purchasing practice to the digital realm.


Although the process may seem intimidating at first, there are easy methods that wine collectors can use to streamline the online wine ordering process and add to their impeccable wine collections.


Check Your Location for Mailing Details and Shipment Hurdles


In America, the shipment and transport guidelines for wine vary between states. For the most part, shipments can be made from state to state easily and without obstacles. However, there are some states and regions where the rules dictate that wine shipments cannot be brought into the state from a retailer, while others don’t allow wine shipments at all. Before ordering any wine online, make sure that you take the time to research your state’s legislation on having wine delivered to you via mail.

Buy Directly from a Winery You Love


When it comes to wine, many collectors have their clear winery preferences. These are the wineries that are consistent with their product, service, and value, with many of them offering online discounts to registered members. If you’re an experienced wine collector who’s looking to add rare finds to a collection from a winery you’re familiar with, choosing to buy directly from them may be the most cost-effective route to buying wine online.

Go in With a Budget in Mind


Just like other online shopping practices, it’s easy to get carried away when finding enticing bottles to add to your “cart.” However, when you go online with a clear budget and a list of ideal bottles that you’d like to add to your collection, it’s that much easier to complete your shopping without regret or feeling like you’ve missed out on a good find.

Always Read Merchant Reviews


When you’re buying your wine, you want to trust the merchant that you’re purchasing from has a reputation for providing best-in-class services. Thankfully, online shopping allows you to easily find previous customer reviews can help you ensure that your online wine ordering experience will be a pleasant and satisfying one.

Stay Aware of the Outdoor Temperatures When Buying Wine Online


It may seem counterintuitive to only use an online ordering service during certain times of the year, but it’s important to remember that wine and heat do not mix. During warm seasons, bottles that are shipped will most probably spend some time in hot delivery trucks, so try to avoid ordering from wineries or merchants that are far away from where you are.


When you utilize the above best practice tips and tricks for online wine ordering, you can feel confident that you’ll be able to expand and enjoy your wine collection for years to come.

Quick Tips on Finding the Best Wine North County Has to Offer

The search for the perfect bottle of North County wine can be a daunting affair. How can you possibly decide when presented with such a wide variety to choose from? The simple fact is that there is a wine that fits right with your palate and budget; finding it is going to be tricky but not impossible.


Here are some tips to help you out:


Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions


Not everyone who walks into a wine store knows exactly what they want. Besides, asking questions helps you get better at selecting the perfect wine to serve at events. And above all, salespeople want to help – it’s their job!


Another benefit to asking questions is that you build a relationship with the staff, who in turn learn about what you like. Based on that information, they might even suggest something new in North County wine for you to try.


Go for Wine in Satellite Regions


Burgundy is a popular wine making region in France. Wines from this area will cost a lot of money given its name and the quality it can produce. But you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a good bottle of wine.


What you can do instead is go for wines made in regions surrounding the popular one. It’s not a step down when it comes to quality either as the grapes grown in such regions are the same. They just don’t have the well-known name working for them.


For example, Pinot Noir is a red wine grape popularly associated with Burgundy. But you can get the same quality from areas like Mâconnais in southern Burgundy.


Check the Label


Your taste preference has a lot to do with how you will enjoy wine. Wine can be dry, off-dry, medium dry or semi-sweet, medium sweet, or sweet. Without tasting, how can you know what you are getting? The answer is written on the label, and the particular listing you’re looking for is alcohol by volume (abv).


Although the abv. listing is sufficiently reliable, taste can still be fairly subjective. For example, what might be sweet to you may just be mild to another person. That said, a bottle with an 11% alcohol level or higher is fairly dry.


Then again, where the grape is grown will also impact the way the wine tastes. For example, Muscat can be considered dry but it gives off a sweet smell.


Avoid Heavily Marketed Wines


Marketing an item costs a lot of money, so you can expect that to reflect when you check the bottle’s price. To avoid the shock, go for brands that aren’t yet quite known. Nothing is stopping you from buying the expensive variety but if you’re still in the stage of trying to figure out the North County wine you like, it’s best to avoid wines that have been marketed extensively.


Not everyone immediately finds a wine they like and stay loyal to in years to come. Selecting the perfect wine is a process that will take a while, but the journey will be worth it. And of course, never forget about proper wine storage to ensure that your money isn’t wasted.


Chateau 55 is centrally located and proud to serve San Diego County, including but not limited to the cities of: Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Escondido

Wine Origins and How San Diego Got Its Start

Many of the best-known wines today are from wine regions in Western Europe and the United States. However, history indicates otherwise: wine making can trace its origins to the Middle East, Western Asia, and Eastern Europe. And those regions are slowly coming back into prominence. Plus, the wines they produce are really different from the ones we know today, with location and process playing a huge role in that. Below we’ll get into some history of wine in general, as well as a bit of the history of San Diego wine.


Historic Wine Making Regions


While figuring out exactly which area started the creation of wine, evidence of the domestication of grapes has been found in the Tigris River area in Turkey. The self-pollinating grapevines found in the area are the basis of the wine we drink today. It was through trade that it reached modern wine-producing regions such as France, Greece, and Italy.


Wine making played a huge role in the Middle East, Western Asia, and Eastern Europe. However, a number of factors specific to each region caused the practice to decline. For instance, an alcohol ban in the Ottoman Empire led to strict restrictions. Although wine production sort of went into hibernation, it didn’t stop. And some places, like Turkey, are seeing a resurgence in wine-growing regions.


Wines from historic regions are still not widely recognized because of the dominance of regions like Bordeaux, Champagne, or Napa. However, the willingness to try wines made with unique native grapes and equally unique techniques might change that.


A History of Wine in San Diego


California is America’s biggest wine producer. It is largely in part to a climate that grapes prefer. In San Diego, a Mediterranean-like climate encourages the growth of a wide variety of varietals. Rhone varietals from France, like Syrah and Roussanne, as well as Italian variants, like Montepulciano and Sangiovese, grow well in San Diego.


But ideal climate aside, how did San Diego wine making get its start? You may very well be aware that the Spanish settled in California centuries ago, with California Missions set up on or near the coast of Alta (Upper) California of which San Diego is a part of. In fact, the area is where the first California wine grapes were planted.


Records indicate that San Diego County has been producing wine since 1774. The arrival of winemakers from the East Coast introduced European grapes to the area.


The history of San Diego wine making is a series of ups and downs. Wine production in the area was greatly affected by drought, disease, Prohibition, wildfires, and wars. However, time and again, the area has risen up and flourished.


Today, there are two recognized American Viticultural Areas in San Diego: San Pasqual Valley and Ramona Valley. Wines produced in these areas continue to delight audiences the world over. And when in San Diego a lot of tourists take wine tours in areas where grapes are grown, be it mountain vineyards or the countryside.


We all know that wine storage is essential to ensuring great-tasting wine, but location and process are just as important.


Chateau 55 is centrally located and proud to serve San Diego County, including but not limited to the cities of: Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Escondido

Which Wines Are Best Served at a Party?

San Diego is known to have a variety of local wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms.


This means choosing the best wine to serve at a party can be challenging with all the choices available. While we do not sell wine from our San Diego wine cellar, Chateau 55, we know that many do. And while we’re mainly a wine storage facility, we have a bit of experience when it comes to knowing which wines go with which foods. So below we’ve compiled some tips you might like to follow if you’re having some trouble choosing wine for your next event.


What you choose, however, will depend on the foods that you will serve. Read on for tips from our San Diego wine cellar:


White Wines

These go well with so many foods but most especially seafood. Wine expert Joe Campanale recommends Muscadet, a dry and inexpensive white wine that goes best with oysters or when planning a raw bar because of its briney minerality and acidity.


Riesling, on the other hand, is recommended for its ultimate flexibility. It is the white wine for whatever you are eating.


Some examples of food and white wine pairing are:

  • Chardonnay with cheese, cream sauces, and shellfish dishes
  • Riesling or Geverztraminer with cocktail, light fare, or dessert
  • Sauvignon Blanc with fish, chicken, and light foods


Red Wines

With a huge variety of red wines, food pairing will require a bit of choreography.


Light reds, for example, go well with dark leafy green vegetable dishes, while bold reds go well with foods that have a chewy texture, like red meats.


When it comes to aged reds, there is no one formula for food pairing. A bit of experimentation is required. As for fortified wine, serve it with desserts but make sure to match the sweetness first.


A good example of red wine pairing is Zinfandel with red meat, pasta, or pizza. Another one is Merlot with pork, beef, or lamb.


Now that you know your food pairing, time to know which wines make the best options for your party.



  • Muscadet from France
  • Pinot Grigio from Italy
  • Saint-Véran or Mâcon from France
  • Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand



  • Portuguese Red
  • Beaujolais-Villages from France
  • Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
  • Pinot Noir from the U.S.
  • Petite Sirah from California


The Order to Serve Wine

In addition, you also need to know the order with which wines are served.


By variety

White wines should be served before reds, especially during formal tastings. But the rule may be ignored in a casual party.


When serving sparkling wines, this should be done at the very beginning to excite the guests’ palate.


By weight and age

Wine serving should be done from lightest to heaviest, which means a light-bodied white wine should be served before a full-bodied red.


In deciding which one is lightest or heaviest, you need to consider the age. Compared to a young Sauvignon Blanc, for example, an aged white Burgundy will have a more intense taste, so it has to be served last.


Based on sweetness

`The sweetest dessert wines should be served after the dry wines. If two wines have similar intensity and weight, the sweeter one should be served after the other. So, between a dry young Riesling, and a sweet young Chenin Blanc, you serve the former first.


Now you have a good idea which wine goes best with what food and how to serve them. Already have a wine collection? Contact San Diego wine cellar Chateau 55 today for more information on our wine storage units and new state-of-the-art facility.


Tips for Building Your Own Wine Collection

With plenty of local vineyards around and some of the best wineries and tasting rooms, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you wanted to start your own wine collection in San Diego as well. If you’re interested, we’ve listed some tips for research, sources for information, and wine storage units that are available locally in San Diego.


Want to get started on your own wine collection?


You don’t need a ton of money, but there are a few steps you should go through first in order to get off on the right foot.


How to Build Your Own Wine Collection



Your research can run from basic to advanced, with a bit of reconnaissance involved. With all of the local wineries and vineyards in San Diego, you can do your homework online.

  • Basic research involves point scores, credit ratings, vintage reports, tech sheets, tasting notes, retail price, and vineyard location.
  • Intermediate research involves creating a winemaker’s profile, looking into the history of a winery and the region’s wine, aging and importation, and a look into other wine producers and when the vines were planted.
  • Advanced research involves in-depth work such as branding, distribution, exportation, and wine-making ideology.


Develop a Palate

This will provide the answer as to what wines to collect. If you’re interested in a particular bottle or brand, try it out and drink it over a period of time. According to experts, this will teach you more about the wine you want to collect. If you intend to collect a huge variety, then develop your palate for each variety. Check out this article we wrote on wine tasting tips.


Find a Trustworthy Source

San Diego has no shortage of wineries and wine producers. Local shops happen to be one of the best sources for good wine. Now all you need to do is to find a source or two that can supply you with the amount of wine you need and with a consistent quality.


Have Proper Wine Storage

Your wine collection will go to waste without proper storage.


It is important that you have the right system in place when it comes to wine preservation. Chateau 55 strives to provide our clients the best wine storage units San Diego has to offer.


Climate-control, security, and lighting within our San Diego wine cellar are consistently monitored so that your wine collection can age as it should.


Understand the Cellaring Period

The lifecycle of wine will depend on the alcohol content’s volatile nature.


It is important that you know the prime drinking window of your wine collection so you can drink, sell, or trade them at the right time.

  • Chardonnay-based wines have a cellar rotation of about a decade or so years.
  • Nebbiolo wine has a life cycle of around two decades or more.
  • Vintage Madeira and Port require at least 100 years of cellaring.


Do a Periodic Reassessment

Your taste can change over time, so it is smart to periodically reassess your wine collection. Doing so not only helps you consider or reconsider your former choices but also confirm the current state of a wine’s quality.

Take advantage of the Coravin, a tool that lets you test a wine without opening a full bottle.


Start your own wine collection following the tips listed above. For more information on wine storage units San Diego, contact Chateau 55 today!