Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 22, 2008 03:09 PM

Local Wineries (bottle refill)


Other than La Nebbia in half moon bay does anyone know of any local (including napa, sonoma, st.cruz, east bay, south bay) wineries that allow you to refill your empty wine bottles?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You might check with Preston winery in Dry Creek Valley (Sonoma). They sell a jug wine that they might be able to pour into your empty wine bottles.

    1. Thomas Coyne in Livermore had a bottle your own event last weekend. You might check with them to see how often they have these type of events.

      1 Reply
      1. re: baseballfan

        Thanks baseballfan for your suggestion. It looks like I just missed that one too! =)

      2. I'd rather doubt that anybody is allowing you to fill your own bottles. I work in the wine industry, and the thought of allowing a bottle to be filled without a really good sterilization seems remote at best. Thank America and the possibility, however dim, of getting sued for that.

        1. just out of curiosity, what is the point of refilling your empty bottles?
          unless you have some kind of custom label and bottle etc.

          it's not like there is a deposit and i cant believe driving to the winary makes
          this an especially green practice, unless you are under some kind of green delusion.

          anyway, just wondeirng..

          8 Replies
          1. re: psb

            A great many years ago, there was a place called Mills Winery where you traded in your empty gallon jugs for full ones. Early 70's.

            1. re: psb

              Nope PSB, not delusional as far as I know. I had wanted to fill our empty bottles with local wine that we could drink on a daily basis, as opposed to hesistating on opening an expensive bottle more often than I wanted to. I tried a bottle of a La Nebbia red that my friend re-filled during one of their cork and bottle events and thought it was good enough to unwind with.

              1. re: gtrine

                For that purpose, I recommend boxed wine; it's useful for daily drinking (as you can have just one glass at a time without having to finish the bottle, etc) and significantly cheaper to manufacture and distribute. There are plenty of local daily drinkers--Black Box Wines, for example.

                1. re: gtrine

                  How long do expect those recorked bottles to remain drinkable or are you starting a vinegar farm?

                  1. re: wolfe

                    wolfe, if someone takes their own clean sterilized bottle and a good cork, and fills their own bottle, they are doing exactly the same thing professional bottling lines do. It's not like wine is canned or vacuum packed. Part-empty recorked bottles turn into vinegar faster because there's more air in the bottle.

                    1. re: wearybashful

                      That's not absolutely true. Any professional bottling line will disparge air from the bottle, then replace it with nitrogen. The corker has a vacuum and sucks the nitrogen out before the cork goes in, so there is no pressure in the bottle to push out the cork.

                      1. re: kenrmorris

                        Thanks, kenrmorris, for correcting my misinformation.

              2. Just out of curiosity, what did they charge you to refill the bottle?

                1 Reply
                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                  Shane I believe it was less than $10/bottle at LaNebbia for one of their reds.