If you are looking for a place to buy natural wines in San Francisco, these are the shops to check out. Most stores have some natural wines, however, these venues have a noticeable presence of organic and biodynamic wines made with minimal intervention.
Arlequin Wine Merchant
384 Hayes Street, SF 94102
Hours: Monday: 11 am – 7 pm, Tuesday – Saturday: 11 am – 8 pm, Sunday: 12 am – 7 pm
Size: Very large
Features: Tasting bar, Thursday night consumer tastings, inside and outside tables, wine club.
Getting there: Street parking, MUNI: J, K/T, L, M, N to Van Ness stop. Bus – 21 Hayes to Gough, 47, 49 to Hayes Street. BART: Civic Center stop.
Arlequin Wine Merchant casts a wide net, featuring wines from numerous countries and regions, at a variety of price points. They have a good selection of classic and better known natural wine producers and some older vintages. A bunch of folks who cut their teeth here have gone on to work on the natural side of the wine industry so while the store caters to a variety of tastes, there is a clear predilection towards wines made without synthetics.
Biodivino Wine Boutique
1415 Green St, SF 94109
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm, Sunday: 12 – 7 pm
Selection: Mostly Italian with some other European wines.
Features: Weekly tastings, Monday night classes, wine club.
Getting there: Street parking. Bus: Van Ness (47, 49) and Polk Street (19) bus lines to Green Street stops.
Biondivino offers a range of Italian wines, focusing on indigenous varietals and small producers. At least 95% of the wines are organic or biodynamic, and made with indigenous yeasts. It is a pleasant place to shop, not least because of owner Ceri Smith, who has an infectious love for Italian wines.
550 Divisadero Street, SF 94117
3639 18th Street, SF 94110
Open every day, 9 am – 9 pm
Features: Season wine blitzes with 20% discount. Weekend wine tastings in the Divisadero location.
Getting there: Street Parking, MUNI: J-Church (18th Street), K-T, L,M,N Church Street stops. Bus – 33 to Guerrero, 22 Fillmore to 16th and Guerrero.
This family run market is a gourmand’s paradise. The quality of just about everything in the store – produce, cheese, meat, fish – is superb. The wine department is also very well chosen, with an array of styles, grapes, and regions. Many of the wines are organic and biodynamic and some are made without added sulfur. Even though it is a grocery store, there is always a dedicated wine sales person close by who can help out. Former employees have gone on to become natural winemakers and importers, inspired by the program wine buyer Trac Le has put together over the years. This reveals something about the nature of the wines on the shelves.
1005 Minnesota Street, SF 94107
Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 7 pm
Selection: French, Italian
Features: Friday and Saturday tastings.
Getting there: Street Parking, small parking lot. MUNI: K/T to 20th or 23rd Street. Bus – 22 outbound to 20th and 3rd (last stop.
Dig has blue chip wines from classic regions in France and Italy, especially Burgundy and Barolo. Some are natural, some are not. A lot fall into a gray area, that, depending on your standards might or might not be natty enough. You won’t find as many off the beaten path wines as some other stores with natural wines, but from a quality standpoint the selection is more than solid. Wayne Garcia, the owner, is always on hand to give suggestions.
1419 18th Street, SF 94107
Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 9 pm, Sunday 12 – 8 pm
Features: Daily tastings, winemaker and importer tastings on Friday evenings, wine clubs.
Getting there: Street parking. MUNI: 22 bus to Connecticut and 18th.
If you are looking for the avant-garde of natural wines in San Francisco, make Ruby your first stop. There are also plenty of organic and biodynamic wines that already have a following and you might find some natural wines from Down Under, which is rare in the Bay Area. The store recently underwent a renovation and there is now more room for tasting and lounging so it’s a good place to go day drinking.
Terroir Natural Wine Bar Merchant
1116 Folsom Street, SF 94103
Monday – Thursday: 3 pm – 12 am, Friday & Saturday: 12 pm – 12 am, Sunday: 4 – 9 pm
Features: Winemaker events and tastings.
Getting there: Street parking. MUNI: J, K/T, L, M, N to Civic Center Muni stop. BART: Civic Center MUNI stop.
Terroir is primarily a wine bar, but they also sell wines to go. As the first natural wine bar in the country, it has become a Mecca for up and coming natural winemakers and you will often find wines here before anywhere else in San Francisco. There is not a retail section or bottle list so you are going to have to rely on the suggestions of whoever is behind the bar – quite possibly one of the owners, Luc Ertoran or Dagan Ministero – but have no fear, they always get it right.
2696 Geary Blvd., SF 94118
Tuesday – Thursday: 12 – 10 pm, Friday & Saturday: 12 pm – 12 am, Sunday: 12 – 7 pm
Size: Very large
Features: Wine bar, winemaker events.
Getting there: Street parking. MUNI: Bus – 38 Geary or 38 Geary R to Geary and Masonic, 43 Masonic to Geary stop.
Tofino does not bill itself as a natural wine shop but slightly leans in this direction. While it may not be as out there as some other spots, the selection is so wide ranging that you should be able to find something natty enough for your taste and since it is also a wine bar, there are always wines you can try before buying a bottle.
Size: Size Xtra Small (Under 50 selections) Small (51-100 selections), Medium (101 – 250 selections), Large (250 – 500 selections), Xtra large (over 500 selections)