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The Winery is Closing

Our Story

Joe Ames & Dania Ames

Tooth & Nail Winery, Paso Robles

July 2, 2016

Posted July 14, 2022

Updated September 26, 2022


To our ardent fans:

It's been a great ride, but it's time to hang up our hats.  The family-owned building housing the winery was sold to an investor group in June 2022. The new landlord's new rental rates made keeping the winery open infeasible.

We had a fantastic "farewell weekend" of fun at the winery Friday, August 19th through Sunday, August 21st featuring our last comedy show on that Saturday, seemingly endless music, and special tastings of wine poured by Joe himself. After that, we were open for wine, furniture, and equipment sales through September 25, 2022.  If you missed us in our final few weeks, you can also purchase wine online for shipment. Go to to order online.

We have loved being part of the greater Escondido community and San Diego County winery scene for the past nine years.


Joe is especially grateful to his parents, Lee and Yvonne Ames, for helping to bring BK Cellars to fruition and supporting the venture all of these years.  Cheers Mom & Dad!

We also want to give a special shout-out of thanks to Javier for sticking with us since day one of this adventure and for serving as assistant winemaker.  We also want to thank Chris for helping to keep the place running for the past several months. And we are grateful to Stephanie for having rejoined us to help out during the final weeks.

With gratitude and appreciation,
Joe & Dania Ames


Joe Ames Winemaker Dania Ames General Manager BK Cellars

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!



Dania Ames & Joe Ames
(left to right)
Photo taken at Tooth & Nail Winery, Paso Robles
July 2, 2016

Family Photograph of Joe Ames Yvonne Ames Lee Ames

Joe Ames


Dania Ames

General Manager

Yvonne Ames, Joe Ames, and Lee Ames
(left to right)
October 3, 2014

Installation of BK Cellars Sign February 2014

Installation of the BK Cellars Sign
February 2014

Winery Site After Renovations February 2014

2225 Barham Drive Winery Site After Renovations
February 2014

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

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