Our Story

Joe Ames Winemaker Dania Ames General Manager Dana Point Escondido San Diego BK Cellars

Joe Ames & Dania Ames

Tooth & Nail Winery, Paso Robles

July 2, 2016

Lee Ames Yvonne Ames Oceanside Escondido Joe Ames Dana Point

BK Cellars is an urban winery located in Escondido, California. 


First, why open a winery?  Second, why an urban winery?  And, third, why in Escondido?


First, it must be economical to make wine as opposed to buying it, right?  We're still exploring the answer to that.  You might have guessed "BK" is an acronym for a financial term possibly illustrating the end result of an investment when there's a lack of profit.  In the meantime, we'll affectionately call the winery a "liquidation program."


Second, who has time for vineyard management? We rely on our trusted neighbors and business partners to supply us with quality grapes from all over California for crush season.  Plus, we didn't know of another way to get started in the business.  We thought the idea of an urban winery was cool having been inspired by other San Diego Urban Wineries (now called Sip San Diego) like Carruth Cellars in Solana Beach.


Third, Joe's parents, Lee and Yvonne Ames, happen to own an industrial building in a very convenient location in Escondido near some well known breweries and wineries such as Stone Brewing Company and Orfila Vineyards & Winery.  Escondido is a hot spot for the brewery and winery scene!  We think people are willing to come to a fun, trendy urban winery rather than a traditional winery to try award winning wines.  In fact, BK Cellars was the first newly licensed winery within the City limits of Escondido in nearly 80 years.


Come experience BK Cellars and see for yourself the kinds of delicious wines we make from California grapes and served in our air conditioned crystal chandelier tasting lounge!



Joe Ames


Dania Ames

General Manager

Yvonne Ames, Joe Ames, and Lee Ames

(left to right)

October 3, 2014

Interview with SIP San Diego Winery Members including Joe Ames on Fox5 San Diego on May 25, 2021

Installation of the BK Cellars Sign

February 2014

2225 Barham Drive Winery Site After Renovations

February 2014

BK Cellars is proud to be a member of these organizations: