Experience Temecula Valley Wine Country
An easy hour drive from San Diego, Temecula Valley enchants with its 40 unique wineries sprinkled throughout the rolling hills and pastoral landscape
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
While exploring this patchwork of vineyards (the largest viticultural area in Southern California), you’ll discover one-of-a-kind experiences and award-winning wines in more than 50 different varietals. Whether you want to soar over the vines in a hot air balloon, savor farm-to-fork cuisine, tie the knot at a country estate, enjoy live music and flights of fabulous wine, or explore historic Old Town, Temecula Valley offers something special for every whim and taste.
Wine Country Resorts
Enjoy a wine country adventure by checking into either of these two stunning retreats that reveal the luxurious hospitality of Temecula Valley.
The Scene: This sprawling property is home to 300 acres of grapes, a 60-room, Spanish Mission–style boutique inn, an exquisite barn-style tasting room and marketplace for gourmet gifts. Find alfresco dining in flowering gardens, decadent brunch in the Bouquet Room, and nights of classic cocktails and live music in The Cellar Lounge.
The Wine: The Ponte winemaking team produces a wide variety, from chardonnay and moscato to sangiovese and montepulciano. Take a Vineyard Estate Tour or have a sip in their lofted tasting room.
What’s New: Ponte is undergoing a major expansion, with plans for a new sparkling semi-Olympic pool, a hot tub with panoramic views, and an open-air pool bar for mojitos, margaritas, and gourmet fare; all anticipated for summer 2017, plus 30 additional rooms in early 2018.
The Scene: Owner Jim Carter has created a piece of paradise in the heart of Temecula Valley with 38 acres of lush vineyards, a striking Spanish-style hotel, a heated pool with underwater music, and a sprawling spa.
The Wine: Talented vintners Jon McPherson and Javier Flores produce award-winning, premium blends and varietal selections, from light rosés to high-end cabernets, that are 100-percent grown and produced on-site at their state-of-the-art wine facility.
What’s New: Chef Loren Lawe has taken the reins at the respected Vineyard Rose restaurant and brings an impressive pedigree, with stints at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa, Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, and The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel and Spa. Chef Lawe serves up contemporary California cuisine sourced from the season’s freshest, locally-grown ingredients.
A Wonderland of Wineries
Take a walking tour of this lush estate, the vision of golf magnate Ely Callaway, whose legacy lives on through prestigious wines. While vintner Craig Larson makes everything from muscat canelli and viognier to rosé and syrah, their Reserve Calliope red blend is a knockout and one of the winemaker’s favorites. Callaway’s on-site restaurant, Meritage, is home to Executive Chef Josh Diamond, who makes magic serving up locavore cuisine with produce and herbs from his own garden and greenhouse. Diners can relax over pan-seared diver scallops and green-pea coulis, perfectly paired with Callaway’s Reserve Roussanne, while drinking in panoramic views of the vineyards and rolling hills. Live music adds to the ambience on Fridays.
Callaway’s Gaslamp Tasting Room
Can’t make it to the countryside? Callaway’s stylish tasting room sits in the heart of the Gaslamp. Guests can enjoy tasting flights featuring five current releases or library vintage wines, including Callaway’s flagship red blend and the outstanding Owner’s Private Reserve. Cheese and charcuterie, too.
Daily 12–8 p.m. except holidays. 517 Fourth Avenue, Suite 101, Gaslamp.
Nestled along the scenic Rancho California ridgeline, Avensole Winery’s sprawling vineyard estate has been producing some of Temecula’s finest grapes for more than four decades. Opt for a private tasting with sommelier Jennifer Capps or the Artisanal Tour & Tasting for pairings with local gourmet Mangia Cheese. Avensole produces a steady flow of award-winning wines— don’t miss the 2013 Aventura (95 percent zinfandel, 5 percent syrah), which recently took Gold at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. Their Marketplace Restaurant wows with its seamless indoor-outdoor dining, dramatic views, and chef Robert Haney’s seasonal cuisine. Avensole also hosts a quarterly “Chef’s Table,” a seven-course feast with pairings and clever themes like “French Connection” or “Madison Avenue,” a nod to Mad Men. Daily happy hour means craft cocktails, rotating craft beers, and gourmet apps, while live music energizes the scene both outside the tasting room and at the restaurant on weekends.
This pretty winery draws a crowd for its appealing ambience created by its Tuscan-inspired architecture, lush vineyards, sprawling 10,000-square-foot patio, epic views of seasonal snowcapped mountains, and glass floor that reveals the barrel cellar below. Monte De Oro is known for its elegant, well-structured reds aged in French oak. Try the full-bodied 2013 Cabernet Franc for notes of fresh blackberry, plum, cherry, and fig. Splurge on the Double Gold tour, which means a walk through the vineyard and an in-depth look at Monte De Oro’s winemaking process, followed by cheeses paired with barrel samples in the underground cellar. The winery bistro serves charcuterie, flatbreads, panini, and more. Entertainment includes local bands at The Sounds of Sunday, dancing at Havana Nights, and a concert series with big-name acts.
This charming destination transports visitors to Europe with its picturesque architecture and Old World ambience. After sipping the elegant, well-balanced wines in the C’est La Vie chateau, stroll the fertile gardens or, better yet, check into The Inn at Europa Village, inspired by the wine country retreats in France, Spain, and Italy. Ten pretty rooms boast French doors and balconies overlooking the vines. Notable winemaker George Bursick and owner/executive chef Dean Thomas marry their talents during winemaker dinners in the property’s cave. A major expansion is in the works.
This rustic winery sits high on a hill, offering panoramic views of the valley. Enjoy a picnic on the grassy, tree-lined lawn, sample their award-winning wines, or relax over a leisurely lunch on the patio at The Pinnacle, where chef Jason Barradas’s Mediterranean-American menu features divine dishes like seared, blackened ahi with roasted fennel or pesto salmon with sautéed artichokes. Funday Sunday means gathering for barbecue fare like grilled shrimp skewers and Angus burgers, and free tournament games with prizes, like Jenga, cornhole, and wine pong (yes, just like beer pong).
This 90-acre family owned winery is not only famous for the gold medal award-winning almond sparkling wine, but it’s known in the community for its warm hospitality. Stroll through the manicured grounds filled with roses and ponds, have a picnic in the lower garden (which is open to the public) or pair your wine with a plate of California cheeses or rabbit bolognese at The Creekside Grille. Visit the newly expanded two-story tasting room, which has plenty of deck seating overlooking the vineyards.
Six Spots to Say ”I Do“!
A wine country wedding is a romantic affair indeed. Temecula Valley has a treasure trove of settings to begin your Happily Ever After.
Ponte Winery: Tie the knot at this gorgeous 300-acre property with endless backdrops. Settings include a vineyard garden with a cobblestone walkway, a pergola by a natural pond, a stylish barrel room, and more.
The Stone House at Temecula Creek Inn: The historic 1800s cottage is surrounded by centenarian oak trees, manicured green lawns, and rustic bridges, making it a romantic spot for unforgettable nuptials.
Wilson Creek Winery: Open-air gazebos, a Tuscan-inspired ballroom, spacious barrel rooms, vineyard settings, and sweeping views make this a dream wedding spot, whether it’s for an intimate gathering or for 350 guests.
Callaway Vineyard & Winery: After exchanging vows on the lawn that overlooks the vineyards, make a toast at the reception in the candlelit barrel room, on the bi-level view deck, or have your guests dine among the vines at the new courtyard.
South Coast Winery: A perfect spot for a fairy-tale destination wedding, thanks to its bell tower courtyard, vineyards, rose arbor and garden settings, Grand Banquet Hall, and upscale resort for wedding guests to enjoy.
Falkner Winery: One look at its elevated, sweeping views, wraparound deck, and rustic country vibe is enough to see why this boutique winery setting charms couples in love.
Plan Your Perfect Weekend
Eat: Dine on organic produce, perfectly grilled steaks, wild-caught seafood and handmade pizzas under a covered patio surrounded by lush gardens at The Restaurant at Ponte.
Sleep: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is an enchanting property with private villas and suites, on-site wine tasting, excellent eateries, and a stunning spa.
Play: Lounge by the resort’s glistening pool and then head to the spa for a grapeseed scrub or yoga class. Later, stroll Old Town for antiques, olive oil, lavender products, jewelry, and unique gifts.
Eat: 1909 Temecula is the spot for burgers and craft cocktails in Old Town, or head to Bluewater Grill for fresh seafood and wines on tap.
Sleep: Nearby Pechanga Resort & Casino offers golf, gambling, live shows, a steakhouse, and a sushi bar.
Play: Start the day mountain biking in the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, then head to Doffo Winery to experience the vintage motorcycle museum and their pairing of zinfandel and house-made chimichurri. Next, it’s Robert Renzoni Vineyards for bocce ball, big reds, live music, and brick-oven pizzas at Mama Rosa’s Trattoria.
Eat: Made-from-scratch dishes prepared with traditional French techniques, highly regarded wines, and a lovely alfresco setting make The Restaurant at Leoness great for dining à deux.
Sleep: The gorgeous Mission-style Ponte Vineyard Inn captures the heart with its 300 lush acres, rose gardens, and stylish rooms. Or book The Inn at Europa Village’s Cabernet Sauvignon suite to luxuriate in its heart-shaped tub, brick fireplace, and French doors leading to striking views of the valley and vineyards.
Play: Soar over the vineyards at sunrise on an hour-long scenic hot air balloon flight followed by sparkling wine, mimosas, and a picnic-style continental breakfast at a winery with A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure.
Wine Country Events
September 30, 7:30–10:30 p.m.
Mingle with winemakers, chefs, vineyard owners, and fellow wine lovers at CRUSH, honoring California Wine Month. Set at Monte Do Oro, this enchanted evening under the stars will feature music, gourmet eats, and more than 100 wines from over 35 Temecula Valley wineries.
People’s Choice Awards
Now in its second year, this blind tasting bash invites consumers to rate the local wines without bias and crown the region’s top wine as the “People’s Choice.” Ticket tiers include everything from basic blind tasting fun to VIP seminars, winemaker receptions, an award ceremony, and an elegant five-course wine dinner with winner pairings.
Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend
January 27–28, 2018, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
On this self-guided tasting tour, guests enjoy barrel and tank samples, newly released wines, and food pairings at each winery stop.