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INCOMING: Solterra Winery & Kitchen

Leaucadia, meet your urban winery.

By Nate Martins

The term “urban winery” sounds a little oxymoronic. But as I sit here eating jumbo shrimp writing a detailed summary in my tight slacks, I’m realizing it doesn’t really matter.

Solterra Winery & Kitchen is the brainchild of Chris Van Alyea, a Carlsbad dude who has been making wine for 15 years with Christopher Cameron Vineyards. Solterra is located in Leucadia right on the sidewalk of the 101 North, in a space built in 1957. Van Alyea is trying to retain the building’s old feel with exposed beams, custom airplane hanger windows and a 12-foot door made of glass and steel by Paul Basile. Architect Brian Church handled the exterior, Mark Bausback the interior and Basile Studios (responsible for Craft and Commerce, Polite Provisions, and Under Belly to name a few) all the doors and windows.

Mike Almos (who actually grew up in Leucadia and delivered newspapers to the original building) will be executive chef, crafting mostly Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired small plates. The kitchen should be up and running three to six weeks after Solterra opens their doors. A unique thing about Solterra is they will also be pouring beer- something, Van Alyea says, to which the kitchen opened doors. Do we even have to tell you it will be all San Diego craft beers?

Van Alyea also planted several vines out back, more so as a demonstration than for actual production. He wants to illustrate the process of winemaking by exposing the machinery and methods from start to finish.

Solterra’s tasting room should be open by the end of March. Check their Facebook and Twitter for updates.

INCOMING: Solterra Winery & Kitchen

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