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Inspiring Conversations with Dana La Fleur of La Fleur’s Winery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana La Fleur.

Hi Dana, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
More than a dozen or so years ago, Dave and I happened upon a small urban winery in Oceanside. We’ve always enjoyed wine and finding new places to go. We quickly became friends of the winemaker and started volunteering; helping to crush, de-stem, bottling and much more. After some years our friend suggested that we make some of our own wine so under his guidance we did and we fell in love with it. Over the next few years we continued to make our wine under a custom crush arrangement. In 2017 we opened our own winery and tasting room in San Marcos.

We focus on red wines in particular red blends and our famous sangrias. Dave is our winemaker and I manage the operations. Each of our wines have a wonderful story and the artwork for our labels are watercolors that I’ve done.

Our tasting room is very much a casual place to come and enjoy wine, friends and community. We often host artists, musicians, and other activities.

It’s a lot of work and COVID certainly did not help but we are thriving.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
As with most new small businesses, we’ve certainly run into our share of obstacles. There are so many details to consider, permits required, rules & laws that must be followed -particularly in the wine/alcohol business. It has however been a great learning experience but a fair amount of stress. I’d say the two most stressful challenges were waiting (praying) for our ABC License permit – without it we would not be able to open our business. The second major challenge was working through COVID. We really had to get creative to keep afloat – wine tastings to go, more focus on our online shop and shipping. Once outdoor service was allowed we quickly obtained permits required purchased tables, chairs, and canopies. We are thankful that we are on the other side of COVID now and hope recovery comes swiftly.

As you know, we’re big fans of La Fleur’s Winery. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Dave and I own and operate La Fleur’s winery which is located in an industrial space in San Marcos. Our estate vineyard is located in Escondido where we grow award-winning Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We’ve spent years learning the wine craft, and in 2017 we opened our Tasting Room.

We source grapes from local area vineyards and from our estate vineyard and truck them into to winery where we make all of our wines. We specialize in bold reds and our signature red blends.

Our tasting room is a casual inviting place to enjoy with friends and to make new friends. We hosts artists, musicians, and activities where the community can engage with the arts while sharing great wine. Our tasting and barrel room are also available for private events.

We offer 4 different wine clubs to choose from. Our local’s wine club is geared for those wine lovers that live in the area and the other 3 are more traditional and designed to ship quarterly. Two bottles four times a year, 4 bottles four times a year or 6 bottles 4 times a year.

If you’ve been searching for a Cheers-like place for the wine enthusiast, you’ve found it.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
There are a few things that we’d strongly recommend. In our experience, we found that our local San Marcos Chamber of Commerce were hugely helpful. We were able to connect to other local businesses, share information and ask for advice. The other thing that also helped us greatly was joining a local trade association that supports “urban wineries”. Again, developing strong relationships with others in the same business. We share lots of information, ideas and help each other out.

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