Temecula is somewhat a new player in the wine world at large, only truly cementing themselves in the wine culture within the last decade. But their progress has been made staggering, to say the least.
This southern California City plays host to more than 40 different wineries and has made an effort to set itself apart from the rest. Wine Enthusiast named Temecula one of the 10 best wine travel destinations in the United States, and this comes from more than just having awesome wine.
The cultural heritage and stunning landscape is reason enough to pay a visit to Temecula, which blends true Californian style with classic Italian chic. Further than just the look, The abundance of wineries and even the hot air balloon rides make for an incredible destination for a day trip or even a full holiday.
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Why Temecula Wines Are Tops
Wineries in Temecula CA have had a difficult time finding their footing in the market, which has led to the pure time and effort to be put in to make some fantastic wines. Yet some wine lovers still have a negative view of wines from Temecula, even though most are unjustified.
To understand why the Temecula wine industry has received some unjustified hate, you need to look no further than the types of grapes they grow.
Temecula’s environment, climate and soil make for the ideal area to grow Italian, Spanish and French grapes. As the grapes favoured are those of western European descent, it makes sense that western European wines will be favoured in Temecula. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Riesling and Chardonnay are the most popular wines to come out of Temecula, as these are the grapes that best thrive.
Many wine fans will immediately dismiss Temecula wines as being a cheap copy of their European counterparts, however, this could not be further from the actual case. Temecula wineries have made the effort to produce some incredible wines, not only compete but in some cases, surpass European wines. Temecula wineries frequently receive 90+ scores and have earned more than 5000 awards on the domestic and international scale.
Top Wineries In Temecula
Within the Temecula wine industry, there is a bit of everything. Some places shine for the wine, some for activities, and some for breathtaking scenery.
Pointing towards the best wineries in Temecula would be near impossible, as every winery has its own traits and unique approach to wine. All 40+ wineries in Temecula bring fantastic wine and occasion to the table, all deserving to be on the list of the best wineries in Temecula.
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Vindemia Winery is the most popular of wineries in the Temecula CA area. The popularity garnered by Vindemia Winery is in no small part for their award-winning wines, but you would be hard-pressed to say that the fantastic hot air balloon rides don’t help.
That’s right, a winery that can offer a unique tour of the Vinland in the area from a viewpoint 4000 feet in the air. Award-winning wine, incredibly friendly and accommodating staff and a view like no other, Vindemia Winery offer an experience like no other.
- Location: 33133 Vista Del Monte Rd Temecula, CA 92591
- Contact: (951) 760 9334
- Operating hours: 11 am – 5 pm
While the wines and the views are breathtaking, be sure to be responsible in your enjoyment as there is no accommodation available on site. Fortunately, there are great ride services like Uber available in the area, making the trip back to your guesthouse or hotel a safe one.
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Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyard takes the cake as the most beautiful winery in Temecula, and perhaps one of the most beautiful wineries in the USA. Wilson Creek Winery is best known for their almond sparkling wine, but the venue itself goes a lot further. Here you can find an incredible restaurant, fantastic wine tastings and awesome wine tours.
Perhaps the most unique part about Wilson Creek Winery is the stunning architecture and impressive valley views. Spending a night or even a weekend in the Wilson Creek Manor will be an experience in itself and an experience that you will not soon forget.
- Location: 35960 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591.
- Contact: (951) 699-9463
- Operating hours: Monday to Thursday 10 am to 5 pm, Friday to Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm.
With the availability of on-site accommodation and restaurants, Wilson Creek Winery will be an astounding destination for a weekend getaway.
Altisima Winery is the newest winery addition to the Temecula wineries, but by no means is it behind other Temecula wineries. The architecture is the first hint to the Spanish inspiration which runs deep within their wine. A beautiful building, a stunning view, tastings and Gaspar’s restaurant which could compete with any other, Altisima Winery really has pulled all the stops regardless of it being the newest winery around. The tastings available will be well worth your time as even though they are the newest of the Temecula wineries, they provide an impressive selection of some fantastic wines.
- Location: 37440 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592.
- Contact: (951) 422-2525
- Operating hours: Monday to Thursday: 11 am to 5 pm, Friday to Sunday: 11 am to 6 pm.
When visiting Altisima Winery, be sure to book accommodation at a local winery or guest house, as there is no accommodation available at Altisima Winery.
Carter Estate Winery & Resort
Carter Estate Winery & Resort shift away from the classic Spanish and Italian feeling wineries, towards to luxury. There is a lot of French inspiration to the wine, restaurant and accommodation, but the luxury to be found here is not generally expected from a humble winery. Carter Estate is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway to have the best of all worlds.
Specialising in sparkling wine, Carter Estate sets itself apart by being the only winery in the area to make the closest possible approximation of Champagne. It is true that real Champagne can only be made in the Champagne region of France, at Carter Estate they follow the real champagne making methods with true to champagne grapes. The only difference is the location.
Location: 34450 Rancho California Road, Temecula, California 92591.
Contact: 888 364 5709
Operating hours for wine tasting: Monday – Friday 12 pm – 5 pm, Saturdays & Sundays 11 am – 5 pm
Carter Estate does offer excellent wine tastings but presents a lot more than just a winery. For the best experience, spend some time there to take it all in.
Take A Trip To The Best Temecula Wineries
The list above just scratches the surface of what is available at Temecula wineries. Fortunately, Temecula itself is not large, allowing you to take in a few different wineries in a single visit.