Blue Door Winery: A Sip of California Sunshine


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Blue Door Winery: A Sip of California Sunshine

April 9, 2024
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Blue Door Winery: A Sip of California Sunshine

Blue Door Winery: A Sip of California Sunshine

The sun-drenched landscapes of San Diego make for wonderful wine, and Blue Door Winery stands as a testament to the passion and perseverance of its founders, Mark Hashagen and family. What began as a hobby between friends has blossomed into a thriving family business. It has deep roots in the community and dedicated to crafting exceptional French and Italian red wines.

The Heart of Blue Door Winery: A Family’s Journey

“My best friend and I started the company. Now my wife and I run it,” Mark shares, highlighting the winery’s evolution from a shared dream into a family-owned labor of love. Theirs is a journey from humble beginnings fueled by a desire for a fulfilling hobby to a full-fledged winery. And the story really captures the spirit of Blue Door Winery.

How was Blue Door Winery Named?

Referring the a painting over the bar, Mark shares, “Our label and name is my mum’s painting. We had it hanging at home, and she’d call me, she lives in South Texas, and she’d say, Mark, honey, the wine you’re making out there in California, can you send me a couple bottles with that Blue Door painting as the label? And we were like, bingo, done. So Blue Door Winery, it’s my mum’s painting, it’s of a door in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in New Mexico is where I met my wife.” 

Crafting Passion: Winemaking and Tradition at Blue Door Winery

At Blue Door Winery, the focus is on quality over quantity. They specialize in red wines that Mark and his team love to drink themselves. “We focus on French and Italian reds. No white wine, no rosés,” Mark states. Mark emphasizes their choice to produce wines that reflect their personal tastes and traditions of winemaking they are drawn to.

The Artisan’s Touch: Winemaking Journey of Mark Hashagen

Mark Hashagen’s journey into winemaking began in 2006 with a simple goal: to find a fulfilling hobby. This quest led him to discover the joys of winemaking. Joys that begin with early mornings in vineyards and lead to the chemistry and craft of turning grapes into wine.

“Everything that is coming out of these barrels is what I fermented, punched down, added nutrients to, pressed, crushed, and often picked the grapes myself,” Mark proudly explains. He underlines the hands-on approach that defines winemaking philosophy at Blue Door Winery.

A Tale of Two Locations: San Diego and Julian

Blue Door Winery offers two distinct experiences. One is the urban winery in San Diego and the other a charming satellite tasting room in Julian. Each location provides a unique backdrop for exploring Blue Door Winery’s wines. Perhaps you might prefer the industrial chic feel of their San Diego location. And why not try the rustic warmth of the Julian tasting room?

Mark shared with us, “What you’re gonna see when you’re here (San Diego) is the barrels that are aging, and you’re going to see it’s only French and Italian Reds, no Spanish. We do make Sangria, that’s our tip of the hat to the Spanish, but you’re welcome when you’re here in the winery, you can grab your glass of wine, walk around, and see what we’re doing. You can literally see my chemistry markings on the barrels as you’re sipping and drinking wine.” 

“People come to Julian for the day to see the snow, get some pie, stay in a cabin, go out to the lake, all that sort of stuff. We have a satellite tasting room up in Julian where there’s no production, so you won’t see the barrels, you won’t see any of the stainless steel tanks, but you can certainly try our wines and drink Sangria.” Mark says, inviting visitors to explore the experience of both of Blue Door Winery locations.

Planning Your Visit: Immersion in Winemaking

Visiting Blue Door Winery is not just about tasting wine; it’s about experiencing the passion and dedication behind every bottle. Mark encourages visitors to engage with the winemaking process, from touring the barrel room to participating in barrel-tasting events. “For us, because we are small, I’m always available and always there. You can ask me anything, and I think customers love that,” Mark emphasizes. This highlights the personal connection visitors can make with the winemaking process.

Blue Door Winery is more than just a winery. It’s a story of passion, family, and the pursuit of crafting exceptional wines. Mark Hashagen and his family invite you to discover the warmth, tradition, and dedication that makes Blue Door Winery a cherished part of California’s wine landscape. From the urban heart of San Diego to the mountain charm of Julian, a visit to Blue Door Winery is an adventure. It takes you into the essence of winemaking and the community it fosters. “Every wine you taste, every bottle you buy, will be made by Blue Door Winery,” Mark assures. Mark invites you to share in the fruits of their labor and passion.

This article was written by Meg van der Kruik. Photo credit James Collier for California Grown.

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