Located in southern California, a quick hour drive from the San Diego International Airport, is wine lovers gem — Temecula Valley. While this other California wine region has been growing grapes for more than 50 years, its continually tasty juice is putting it more prominently on the wine drinker’s map. With more than two dozen types of grapes and with a variety of creations, this area is perfect for novice sippers and wine connoisseurs alike. Plus, Temecula Valley has delicious restaurants and unique experiences that will just add to the overall experience.
Whether you’re staying for the day or a week, Temecula Valley has an abundance of activities, wineries, restaurants, and gorgeous views for you to see.
Sip, Sip, Hooray!
Out of the forty-seven wineries and tasting rooms, you’ll be hard-pressed to find two that look and feel the same. Each has its own unique vibe and look, although all are attentive and accommodating. Unsure where to start when making your “must-go” list? We did the hard work for you. Here are a few wineries you should definitely put on your list:
Bottaia Winery is a modern winery has stunning views overlooking their vineyard; a lab where you create your own bottle of wine (don’t worry they keep your blend on file); and a refreshing pool where you can spend the day sipping on a white wine. )We recommend their 2019 Verdicchio for its crisp, light taste.) A nice perk of starting your day off at Bottaia? They have private areas where you can leave your belongings, shower, and head off to another winery just in time for lunch.
Looking for a really unique winery experience? There is nothing like Temecula Valley’s Doffo Winery. The Doffo family has a longstanding passion with winemaking and all things moto. So, what else would one do except create a winery that blends the two? Rough around the edges (the tasting room is filled with motorcycles and racing memorabilia), Doffo is still beautifully elegant, just like its 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Altísima Winery is one of the newest wineries in the region. The stunning tasting room has an open concept with modern ties that make you feel like you’ve entered a ballroom — don’t worry, your breath will come back in time for a wine tasting! The best part? This winery has an outdoor concept, too, but with all the amenities you’ll need to stay as cool as the 2019 Chardonnay.
Food Lovers Haven
Food is one of the most important parts of any trip, and the bites in Temecula Valley are top notch. The best part? You don’t even have to leave wine country to have really delicious meals.
First up, Robert Renzoni Vineyards. The Renzoni family has been making wine for more than 100 years, initially in Italy. Then, when Robert Renzoni found Temecula Valley’s temperature and soil most mirrored the Mediterranean climate he would need to create wine he liked, it was a match made in Paradiso. The 2017 Sangiovese will transport you from Temecula to Tuscany, especially paired with Mama Rosa’s Trattoria’s spectacular menu. Their R&R pizza with truffle cream sauce, mozzarella, sausage and portobello mushrooms topped with asiago, rosemary, and truffle salt is a must.
Bolero at Europa Village channels delicacies and taste of Spain. Executive Chef Hany Ali has a distinctive art for creating an experience unlike any other that includes local vegetables and herbs. Menu items that elevate your cuisine experience include the modern olives appetizer, butternut squash and ricotta ravioli, and Tempranillo braised bone-in beef short ribs.
Make sure to stop at Fazeli Cellars. This gorgeous winery merges ancient Persia with contemporary California and the food nothing short of delectable. Served family style, Baba Joon’s Kitchen menu was created by owner BJ Fazeli Must tries include the fava bean hummus and flatbreads and the saffron shrimp flatbread. Baba Joon’s Kitchen recommends wine to pair with each meal option. (But we had an affinity for the 2015 Khayyam)
Stay + Play
There are two more important items to cover for your trip to Temecula Valley: Where to stay and what activities to do. The South Coast Winery Resort and Spa is a beautiful hotel located in the heart of the wine region. Room options include suites or villas beautifully located among the vineyard or with a beautiful view of one. The resort is also connected to its own winery, so you get the best of both worlds. Then, when traveling has you stressed or if you’re just looking for a weekend getaway, make sure to stop by GrapeSeed Spa for your massage, facial, and time in the heated saltwater pool.
If you’re visiting Temecula Valley, you’ll get to see everything from the ground. But what if you could see everything from above? California Dreamin’ is a hot air balloon ride company that will bring you to the sky and back in the most serene ride of your life. For one hour, soar into the sky for the sunrise, seeing the breathtaking views of the vineyards, mountains, and even the Pacific Ocean if the day is clear enough. A perfect way to end your stay.