Last weekend I was invited to join a group of bloggers @Romy Raves, @La Jolla Mom and @ChrisVoss to spend the day touring the wineries of Temecula. For those of you not from sunny Southern California Temecula is located about 75 miles north of Mexico and west of San Diego. Weather similar to mid Mediterranean climate coupled with ocean breezes that roll through the Santa Rosa range make this the perfect home for wine making grapes.
For me this was an easy drive, no more than an hour but yet I felt a million miles from home, the way every destination should feel right?
We stayed at the Temecula Creek Inn, last fall they completed a million dollar renovation of their facilities and it shows. I love that crisp new feel of freshly upholstered furniture.
Upon check in we were met by our hostess Mana and escorted to our awaiting limo van from A Vineyard Tour of Temecula. We got a brief introduction from Rick, owner of AVTO about the area and the wineries. Rick knows everything there is to know about Temecula and all that it has to offer including of course the crown jewel, the wineries.
Rick provided us with a nice cheese platter and lots of carbs, exactly what we needed to keep the limo van rolling through the tastings.
We liked his hat.
Hart Wineries, we did a drive by took a couple photos, next time I want to taste, they have great views with benches perched above the fields.
First up Wiens Cellers (pronounced weens) Winery. This is the place I was tweeting about finding my new favorite Amour De L’Orange this sparkling wine has just the right touch of orange and I agree with the winemakers notes, the residual sugars are low enough that picky champagne lovers (myself included) don’t find this overly sweet. I would serve this at Sunday brunch or a shower, and if you are in my neck of the woods stop by I came home with a case of it I loved it that much.
We got a sneak peak at their private tasting room. Members only can you tell?
Wiens Tasting Hours: Open Daily, 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tasting Fees: 6 Tastes for $15
Tours: Saturdays and Sundays at 11am
Off to the next winery South Coast.
This is a destination winery, literally they have a resort along with beautiful outdoor spaces and a cute little shop. I spied a few bachelorette parties here.
We stopped at Wilson Creek I heard about their infamous Almond Champagne and I love both so I had to try. This winery is huge (sits on 20 acres), the grounds itself are beautiful and expansive. Picnic tables and lots of grass you could pull up and make a day of it here.
The Tasting Room is open daily from 10am to 5pm. You can taste wines (including the famous Almond Champagne) for $12 per guest on the weekdays and $15 on weekends and holidays.
We went into the cavernous tasting room and got lucky finding an open spot at Brian’s table. We found out later there are usually people, ahem ladies waiting for a coveted spot at his table. Not surpirsed he received a hospitality award, I second that. He has us sample the almond and the orange champagne, I’m going to say it not a big fan, I think I called it Fanta. I did how ever get blown away with a 2009 Malbec. My Lord people this was outstanding. Not your average tasting I would say worth the $5. It wasn’t a small pour either, thank you Brian.
Lajollamom agreed, good stuff.
I know what you are thinking, where do I sign up to do this on my off day right? Tough day for Katie and Romy.
Just like the website says you will always find a family member on site and we did, we found TWO, Cabby (Cabernet, the golden retriever) and Mrs. Wilson herself. She was so sweet and stuck a bottle of bubbly in each of our hands.
Next stop Leoness. My favorite views by far.
I know many of you recognize Katie from LaJollamom.com I met Katie last spring at Bloggy Boot Camp in San Diego, she loves wine as much as the next girl and has really refined taste, I knew I liked her.
Wine Tasting open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
- Cellar Selection Wine Tasting: $14 for 6 tastes of Cellar Selection wines
- Complimentary Wine Tasting for Wine Club Members.
- Wine-by-the-Glass or Bottle on Patio or Terrace.
I liked that you could buy a couple tasting cards and spit them between 3 people so we could taste as many or as few as we wanted. You want that option when you come upon your last and final winery of the day. I came home with a couple bottles of the Melange de Blanc the peach, honeysuckle and green apple screams SUMMERTIME!! to me.
Leoness was our final destination that day but our wine tasting wasn’t over we had just a little over and hour before the wine paring dinner was upon us. Come back tomorrow and I’ll share with you all the delicious food photos and spill some of Chef Sal’s secrets including the debate I had over what temperature is the right temperature for perfectly cooked chicken.
Can’t wait you can got check out my entire album on Flickr.
>> MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT PART 2
and the recipes from the trip: