When it comes to wine, California is king. And within California, the Temecula Valley is a particularly well-known region for its world-class vineyards. If you’re looking for an afternoon (or weekend) of wine tasting, you can’t go wrong with any of these wineries.
Temecula is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States. Temecula Valley has helped the city become a tourist attraction for wine enthusiasts. It is home to creative winemakers who push the envelope with spectacular California vintages. As a result of this, Wine Enthusiast magazine chose Temecula as one of
Temecula Valley wineries have earned a reputation in the last decade for producing excellent Bordeaux and Rhône varietals, as well as those from Spain, Italy, and Portugal. With more than 40 vineyards spread throughout the region, you’ll be able to discover something to compliment any wine tasting preference, ranging from luxurious, over
Temecula is a beautiful city with lots to see and do in the wine country’s culture and lifestyle. Any time of year is great for a visit. The Balloon and Wine Festival at the end of May is particularly lovely, especially given the proximity to Rancho Bernardo.
Join a tour on the restored 1914 San Francisco cable car to fully appreciate Temecula’s magnificent vistas of endless vineyards.
However, wine tasting or winemaking and vineyard tours are two essential activities to experience Temecula’s wine. Some vines offer sunset and bonfire excursions, horseback riding lessons, and goat yoga, among other things. So there’s even more incentive to visit Temecula’s wineries! Let’s have a look at the finest
Best Wineries in Temecula
Marcelo Doffo, an Argentine-born winemaker who was inspired by his Italian heritage, decided to start his own wine label. So, in 1997, the Doffo Wines Winery was established. The winery is family-owned and run, and it produces small-batch handcrafted wines in a boutique winemaking facility
Marcelo and his family currently grow cabernet sauvignon, syrah, zinfandel, and malbec dessert wines, as well as grappa and a cuvée-style sparkling wine enhanced with just a touch of muscat.
Winery’s Note: Food is welcome and encouraged to enjoy on the patio while sampling some of our greatest wines.
Carter Estate Winery
The winery is nestled in a stunning 1,000-acre estate complete with 109 acres of magnificent vines, making it a luxurious and high-end resort and winery. Vintner Jim Carter and his family created it in 2015.
Carter Estate Winery & Resort is a winery located in the Catawba Valley, South Carolina that specializes in sparkling wine. To make excellent sparkling wines, they employ the French méthode champenoise technique. Carter wines are entirely produced on the estate and certified sustainable. Their other whites and reds, however, are just as good
Winery’s Note: After a day of wine tasting, the Mediterranean-inspired Bungalow Suites at Saint Clair are a lovely spot to relax. All rooms come with private terraces and resort services such as poolside cabanas, in-room spa treatments, and breakfast for free.
Mike Rennie and Gary Winder, partners with strong roots in Temecula Valley’s farming, launched Leoness Cellars in 2002.
On a hilltop overlooking the estate vineyard, Leoness Cellars is located. The winery creates great whites and reds, with excellent depth and flavor, out of 500 acres of vines. Cabernet Sauvignon is the winery’s most famous wine, which has received excellent scores from Wine Enthusiasts and others.
Winery’s Note: The winery is open for tastings and tours, including seasonal vineyard excursions, educational tastings, and a marriage proposal package.
Palumbo Family Vineyards
The Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery is a certified sustainable vineyard and winery. As a result, the winery places a high priority on using environmentally responsible techniques to create fantastic wines from the vineyard. They produce full-bodied reds through their 13 acres of vines.
They specialize in small-batch, handcrafted wines, such as estate-grown cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. They also produce viognier and syrah using fruit from adjacent vineyards.
Winery’s Note: The winery is happy to allow visitors without a booking. However, if you plan to arrive by limousine or with a large group, it’s better to call ahead and reserve space. If arriving by helicopter is more your style, the winery does have a helipad for use, but please do not come unannounced.
Europa Village Winery and Resort
Dan Stephenson fell in love with Europe’s rural areas, cuisine, and wine, as well as the culture and way of life. To do so, he built Europa Village, a resort that transports you to Spain, France, and Italy’s ancient villages.
The resort has two wineries: Bolero, a vibrant new Spanish adventure, and C’est La Vie, an amorous and classic French experience. You may enjoy lush vintages, delectable cuisine, unique accommodations, and one-of-a-kind experiences here.
Winery’s Note: It’s more than a winery at Europa Village. With an overnight stay in one of Bolero’s private casitas, you may lose yourself in Spanish ambience. From the moment you enter through its magnificent wrought-iron grille, the earthen decor and secluded corners will whisk you away to an evening of magical surprises. Furthermore, if you seek for a unique romantic location to marry your spouse, Europa Village has several personalized services to help you prepare for your big day at their lovely resort.
After falling in love with the region, Bizhan “BJ” Fazeli acquired the home in 2001. He started making and creating wines in 2006, and his firm currently produces a number of reds and whites, including sauvignon blanc, petit sirah, viognier, chardonnay, and mourvèdre.
The Fazeli family is passionate about their wine and they are devoted to making each vintage better than the last. The winery has a number of awards, such as Double Gold for its 2016 Petit Sirah Reserve and Gold for its 2017 Mourvèdre.
The best way to experience all that Fazeli Cellars has to offer is by joining one of their Wine Clubs. As a member, you will enjoy exclusive benefits, such as access to limited production wines, invitations to special events, and complimentary tastings. You will also be able to take advantage of preferred pricing on all wine purchases. Whether you are a casual wine drinker or a serious collector, there is a club
Winery’s Note: There’s also live music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, along with a variety of seasonal special events such as salsa night.
Cane Vanderhoof established the Miramonte Winery in 2000 after obtaining his MBA at UC Davis. It charms with its friendly atmosphere and stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and valley, sitting on a hilltop at an elevation of 1,400 feet.
The grapes come from 44 acres of local vineyards, focusing on Spain’s, Portugal’s, and southern France’s traditional grape types. Head to Flower Hill Bistro for a more immersive wine and winemaking experience.
Winery’s Note: It’s one of the few wineries that offer live music. Every Friday and Saturday night, you can listen to everything from 90s rock covers to reggae vibes.
Callaway Vineyards and Winery
Callaway Vineyard is the very first winery in Temecula and was created in 1974 by Ely Reeves Callaway, Jr. The region’s cool, misty mountain range above naturally produces some of the world’s best grapes and wines, thanks to the area’s chilly, damp climate.
Callaway wines are all 100% estate-grown and include cabernet sauvignon, petite Sirah, and syrah, as well as several dessert and sparkling wines, which are fermented using wild yeasts.
Winery’s Note: Take a helicopter ride from San Diego to Callaway Winery in Temecula Wine Country for a fantastic aerial view of the region!
Temecula’s family-owned and managed boutique winery distinguishes itself for its outside tasting room in a rose garden and amusingly named wines such as More Cowbell and Baby Doll Head Red.
Vindemia only wants to use environmentally responsible techniques in its handcrafted wines, which they do with success. Today it produces award-winning robust reds and crisp whites, including their cult favorite “More Cowbell” zinfandel, as well as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and viognier.
Winery’s Note: If you want to do something different to visit the winery, consider booking a sunrise hot air balloon ride with California Dreamin’ Balloon Adventures.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards
Robert Renzoni began making wine in 1886 when his grandfather Frederico worked in the vineyards of Northern Italy’s Adriatic Coast. Robert Renzoni is continuing his family’s tradition at his property in Temecula Valley today, a fourth-generation winemaker.
The vineyard is made up of Bordeaux and Italian grape varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, and Sangiovese.
Winery’s Note: The Renzoni Estate produces wine, as well as a marinara sauce that is based on a family recipe, homemade vinegar, and even spicy chile pepper sauces. All of these items may be purchased from the winery.
Another family-owned and managed winery is Bien Canto. It was founded in 1980, making it the oldest continuously working winery in Temecula.
The winery is still in its early stages, with around 5,000 cases every year. They make a somewhat surprising number of wines, including viognier and sauvignon blanc to grenache and cabernet franc.
Bien Canto means “well sung” in Spanish, and the owners of the winery are passionate about music. You can often find live music being played on the patio.
Winery’s Note: While the winery doesn’t have food available for purchase, you’re welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on-site.
Doce Robles Winery
The Doce Robles Winery was founded in 2004 by Phil and Chris Martorana. It gets its name from the 12 oak trees that surround it, which were planted in 1845 by Father Jose Maria de Zalvidea.
The vineyards at Doce Robles are planted with Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah grapes. The wines are aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels.
Winery’s Note: This is one of the few wineries in Temecula that offers wine tastings for groups of up to 20 people. They also have a private room that can accommodate up to 40 people for events.
Pinnacle Vineyard is one of the newest wineries in Temecula Valley, having opened its doors in 2013. The vineyards were planted with Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah grapes.
The wines are produced using traditional methods and are aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels.
Winery’s Note: Pinnacle Vineyard is open for tastings by appointment only. They also offer a number of private events, including weddings and corporate functions.
Cougar Vineyard and Winery
Cougar Vineyard and Winery was founded in 2007 by brothers Mike and Ben Davis. The vineyards are planted with Tempranillo, Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah grapes.
The wines are produced using traditional methods and are aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels.
Winery’s Note: Cougar Vineyard and Winery is open for tastings by appointment only. They also offer a number of private events, including weddings and corporate functions.
Baily Vineyards and Winery
On Mother’s Day in 1982, Carol and Phil Baily planted their first acre of grapes. They increased the size of their farm from 5 acres to 25 acres over time by learning more about ecology and viticulture.
Winemaking at Baily Winery is a little more conventional and lengthy barrel aging gives rise to more complex wines, which are representative of the region’s unique terroir.
Winery’s Note: Reservations are not necessary for Baily Visitor Center tasting experiences.
Best Wineries For Tours
All the wineries offer tours, but let’s take a look at those with the greatest wine, winemaking, and vineyard tour experiences.
When planning your wine country getaway, keep these Temecula wineries in mind for the best experience. Each one offers something unique whether it’s the wine, the views, or the history.
Doffo Wines: After being greeted with a glass of Paulina sparkling wine, you may take the Malbec Express, an ecologically friendly bus, for a one-of-a-kind tour of the vineyard! You’ll learn about the winery’s unique farming methods and different varietals produced. Then you may go to the MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection before seeing their winemaking facilities.
Palumbo Family Winery: From “Dirt to Bottle,” a member of the Palumbo Family will walk you through the process from beginning to end, covering all aspects of production, including our sustainable farming techniques and hands-on small-lot winemaking.
Europa Village Winery and Resort: A tour at Bolero will take you deeper into the winery’s history. It’s the greatest method to sample the vineyards’ fragrant smells, view the rolling hillsides, feel the grapes’ quality, and taste their products. On this trip, you’ll encounter European culture, way of life, and nature as well as a behind-the-scenes journey through the winery. You’ll consume up to eight of their limited production and handcrafted wines during this excursion, as well as discover delectable cuisine and learn how soil, climate, and vineyard management combine to produce Temecula Valley’s wines some of the best in the nation.
Also Read: 11 Best Solvang Wineries
Best Wineries For Tasting Wine
Visiting a winery naturally entails tasting various types of wines, but let’s look at the top wineries for tasting rooms and tours.
Carter Estate Winery: Monday through Friday, you may come in any day of the week for a taste; on the other hand, if you want to go above and beyond, the Wine & Food Pairing is a good option. For an intimate seated tasting with just eight guests, you’ll get five Carter Estate wines, including sparkling wine, paired with culinary bites.
Vindemia Winery: The winery is distinguished for producing handcrafted wines from some of the finest varietals cultivated in the Temecula Valley. This is therefore the ideal location for wine tasting in Temecula. Tastings of their excellent wines may be found at the lovely outdoor tasting room, where you can also try some of Vindemia’s award-winning Temecula wines.
Baily Vineyards and Winery: At Baily, you may sample and purchase wines from two distinct locations. You can taste Baily’s complete wine list and current releases at the main tasting room, which is located at the Baily Visitor Center. Each of your six tastes will be from one of Baily’s wines from our wine menu in the main tasting room. The Estate Tasting Room at the Production Facility has a separate tasting space where you may participate in our Reserve Vertical Tasting. You may try and buy our older-aged library red wines, Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, all of which are produced right inside our wine factory.
Hart Family Winery: This is the ideal location to learn about winemaking and wine tasting, as it is the oldest continually owned and family-owned winery in Temecula. You may sample their excellent wines at the winery’s tasting room.
Related Read: The Best Wineries in Lodi
Best Wineries For Lunch
The greatest approach to sampling a good wine is with delicious and delectable cuisine. Many wineries have a restaurant on the premises where you can try the winery’s finest wines while dining.
Leoness Cellars: The Restaurant at Leoness, a renowned restaurant that specializes in fresh, handcrafted cuisine served in an idyllic alfresco setting, is housed within the winery. It provides seasonal selections ranging from vibrant salads to hearty dinners packed with a variety of complementary tastes, including seafood, pasta, and distinct flatbreads.
Fazeli Cellars: Continuing BJ Fazeli’s aim of combining ancient Persia with modern California, Baba Joon’s Kitchen offers a one-of-a-kind Mediterranean Persian fusion cuisine in a charming bistro setting, complete with pleasant patio seating and designed to compliment the winery’s excellent wines.
Miramonte Winery: Miramonte, an excellent restaurant in Arcadia, California, is situated about 15 miles from the winery. You may try their handcrafted and fresh cuisine at the lovely bistro. The Fromage, Charcuterie, and Pesto Mac are some of their popular dishes. Everything is served with Miramonte’s best wines.
Callaway Vineyards and Winery: The Hideaway at Meritage is one of the most peaceful, tranquil, and genuinely distinctive Temecula winery eateries. Guests can dine on a seasonal variety of fresh, farm-to-table dishes prepared from scratch here. When possible, the restaurant obtains its ingredients from the winery’s greenhouse and garden. Otherwise, it uses local farmers’ seasonal and sustainable food.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards: Mama Rosa’s Trattoria is the only restaurant in Temecula Wine Country with a brick oven. Here you may dine on classic Italian cuisine.
Temecula Valley is a top pick for wine enthusiasts due to its exceptional flavored wines and stunning views. Temecula, in Spanish, means “where the sun breaks through the fog.” That’s why Temecula is such a productive and fast-growing high-quality wine region because of that one simple reason.
Temecula’s wineries also provide outdoor activities and entertainment, a small-town feel, an emerging, and evolving culinary scene, and a beautiful community and family of creative winemakers. So, Temecula is the best location for you if you enjoy wine and wish to live a laid-back and unique winemaking lifestyle!