I absolutely love Temecula!! It’s the perfect wine destination to visit if you live or are traveling to Southern California. Trust me…while Napa and Sonoma are synonymous with wine country, SoCal has it’s own hidden gem that’s producing ah-maz-ing wines. Luckily for me it’s only an hour and a half drive from Los Angeles! #winning
Since my trips home are few and far between now that I live in Texas, I have to get my Temecula fix in whenever I’m in town. It’s become sort of a tradition with my old college roomie (aka my partner-in-wine). This year, we decided to make it an overnight trip to celebrate my birthday.
With only two days and 30 wineries to choose from, I wanted to make the most of our grape escapade. I selected several new wineries to check out and of course we had to hit up our favorites. This trip was definitely one for the books!! Good conversation, lots of shade throwing and plenty of kicks and giggles…the perfect recipe for a great wine experience.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Temecula yet, you will after this post!
Lorimar Vineyards and Winery
39990 Anza Road · Temecula, CA 92592
Our first stop on our winery tour was Lorimar Vineyards and Winery. Lorimar is a beautiful Tuscan style winery in the heart of Temecula. They have 22 acres of vineyard onsite and 40 acres around town. We learned not only about the property, but a lot about wine in general (which I really appreciated) from our gracious host Travis. (sidenote: I learned so much that I’m going to do a follow-up post)
Lorimar takes a lot of pride in its winemaking. Unlike mass wine manufacturers, Lorimar uses a cleaner process to produce its wine. Sustainable farming practices (use little pesticides) are used to harvest the grapes, while the wine is aged in oak barrels. The area’s Mediterranean climate (sunny days and cool nights) prevents rotting and helps the vines flourish to produce fruit.
In addition to its wine offerings, I thought it was really unique how Lorimar incorporates music and art into its wine culture. Every red wine bottle label features a music note and white wine bottles all have original art. How cool is that?!? On Fridays and Saturdays, Lorimar features live entertainment on the patio, plus there is an art gallery onsite for guests to visit. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that Lorimar is going to have a food truck that offers food to pair with its wine. Such an awesome idea! We were bummed that the food truck wasn’t open yet.
We had so much fun sipping Lorimar wines and walking around the property with Travis. I think our unfiltered laughter caused him to think we were tipsy, which we weren’t (serious face lol)…just having a really good time. Lorimar’s wine selection is on point. I’m seriously contemplating becoming a wine club member. I need their wines in my life all thee time! Here are some of my favorites:
White: 2014 Viognier – the best Viognier I’ve tasted to date!!
Favorite Red: 2012 Cabernet Franc – my new favorite red varietal
Honorable Mention: California Sparkling Wine
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
34843 Rancho California Road · Temecula, CA 92591
Next, we headed to South Coast, one of our favorite wineries. South Coast is surrounded by 38 acres of its own vines. Like Lorimar, South Coast grows the majority of its grapes itself to ensure top quality health and flavor of the produce grown. From my own research, I learned that South Coast selects its grapes from several Californian vineyards:
- Wild Horse Peak Mountain Vineyards
- Varietals planted: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Franc
- Curran Family Vineyards
- Varietals planted: Nebiolo, Chardonnay, Muscat
- Huis Vineyards
- Varietals planted: Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Semillon
- Lopez Ranch Vineyards
- Varietals planted: Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio
Upon our arrival, we headed straight for the tasting room. No tour needed! We’re pretty familiar with this place :) After our tasting, we did take some time to explore the beautiful grounds.
South Coast wines never disappoint. Here are some of my favorites:
White: GVR 2010 – a nice white blend of Grenache Blanc (41%), Viognier (40%), and Roussanne (19%)
Red: 2009 Tempranillo
Personal Fav: 2012 California Girl – a crisp white blend…with a name like California girl it needs no further explanation
Monte De Oro Winery & Vineyards
35820 Rancho California Road · Temecula, CA 92591
Temecula is filled with picturesque wineries, but I’d have to say that Monte De Oro is hands-down one of the most beautiful wineries I’ve ever seen. Not only is the property gorgeous, but the panoramic view from the outside patio is breathtaking!!
The main tasting room is very open with huge windows that bring in lots of light. In the middle of room you see what appears to be a glass floor, which I thought was for dancing, but when you look closer, you can see the barrel cellar downstairs. I thought that was a pretty cool feature. I couldn’t stop taking pictures.
Monte De Oro is fairly new. It’s been open for about five years now. The winery is surrounded by 12 acres of vineyards and owns 60 acres throughout the city. Our host Allan took us on a tour of the property, where we were able to see varietals such as Grenache and Merlot being grown. We also were able to go into the barrel cellar, which was pretty cool. Monte De Oro offers barrel tastings for $20. I’ll have to try that on my next visit.
Monte De Oro has 45 award winning wines. Although its known for its red wines, we really enjoyed their whites…probably a little too much. My friend didn’t want to leave, so we bought a bottle, relaxed on the patio and enjoyed the view. Here are some of my favorite Monte De Oro wines:
White: 2013 Nostimo – OMG!! Freakin’ delicious!
Favorite Red: 2011 Cabernet Franc – where have you been all of my life?
Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards
35960 Rancho California Road · Temecula, CA 92591
Wilson Creek is next door to Monte De Oro, so we didn’t have to drive far. Like South Coast, Wilson Creek is another one of our old favorites. What I like about Wilson Creek is that it’s a family-owned winery. #futuregoals
It definitely feels like home when you step onto the property. Plus, I really like that the grounds have plenty of outdoor space to enjoy your wine.
In 1996, the Wilson family acquired a 20-acre winery. With no winemaking experience, they have turned a small start-up winery into a flourishing business. #againfuturegoals
We did not take a tour, but spent plenty of time in the tasting room. With Friday being a holiday, the tasting room was pretty packed, but luckily we were able to get a spot at the counter. Wilson Creek is known for its Almond Sparkling Wine (formerly known as Almond Champagne), which honestly is one of the best sparkling wines I’ve ever tasted. I’m not a big fan of brut sparkling wines, so the almond flavor is a nice contrast. Wilson Creek is also known for its White Cabernet Sauvignon, which was a little on the sweet side for me. But nonetheless, Wilson Creek has other great wines, including these:
White: 2014 Golden Jubilee – Heaven in my mouth
Red: 2012 Winemakers Select Syrah – a nice smooth red
If you’re ever in SoCal, I definitely recommend checking out Temecula and the wineries I listed above. They all offer something unique and you won’t be disappointed by their wine selections. If you’ve been to Temecula before, please share your favorite wineries. I’d love to add some news ones to my list. Until next time…