With over 60 wineries to visit in Temecula Valley, California, it can be daunting to choose just a few to experience on your first wine tasting trip. Follow along as we share a few tips we learned that will help you with your research when planning your next visit to Temecula Valley, California.
If you are going to taste the wines, then I suggest you have a designated driver. That could be a member of your group or hire a driver for the day. This helps you to get from one winery to the next safely. We were in a group of 50 people. A bus picked us up from our hotel each day. This was very nice because I did not have to worry about parking, traffic, or driving in an unknown area.
Walking Through Vineyards Wine Tasting
At one of the vineyards, we started the tour at the top of the hill under a white gazebo. Our first glass of wine was poured and placed on top of wine barrel tables. Each person picked up a glass and the tour guide started to share the history of the land.
Then we walked through the vineyards with a stop to learn about the vines. The second glass of wine was poured as we stood in the middle of the field. The tour continued with a new wine at a new location on the property. It was an immerse experience.
Food Pairing Wine Tasting
Our group was seated in an outdoor setting under a canopy of grapevines. Creating an opportunity to be surrounded by grapes, above your head, and on the “walls.” The foods were presented on a long white plate. As the presenter walked around sharing the history of the winery and the background of the wines, other staff assisted with the pouring of each wine. The pace between each pairing was well-planned and flowed very well.
Walking Through The Warehouse Wine Tasting
At multiple locations, we had the opportunity to tour the warehouse. The head winemaker would join us for parts of the tour to explain temperatures, storage, and the wine-making process.
We learned about corks and the purpose of rose plants.
There were new wine barrels at one of the wineries and the guide suggested that we smell the inside. The scent of a new wine barrel was the favorite smell in the world for multiple winemakers.
Sometimes wine tanks were inside and sometimes outside of the warehouses. The equipment for pressing and bottling was impressive.
Lunch With Wine Tasting
One winery had tables set up in their barrel room. This means that the barrels were stacked high all around us. There was a long bar table where there were sandwiches and brownies. Once we gathered our food and sat down, we received a “drink ticket.” Then we would take turns going up to the bar counter to request a sample of wine. The staff would write down the name of what we tried and share a quick background of the wine.
This process allowed us to return to our table to eat food, taste wine, and share our thoughts about the wine with our fellow table mates.
Standup Bar Wine Tasting
There were two wine tastings locations where everyone was to stand at the long bar-style counter with staff on the opposite side. I did not care for this style as much as the others. It was crowded with everyone right next to each other. The staff seemed to be overwelled because they did not take the time to answer questions or share information about the wines. They would ask us to pick a wine from a list and then pour it. Not much learning at these two locations. I left the bar area at both of them before trying the full amount of tasting that was offered. Instead, I walked around the gardens and the vineyards until the group was ready to leave.
Charcuterie Board Wine Tasting
After a tour of the grounds with wine being poured in multiple locations throughout the property, we entered the cave. The cave is where the wine barrels are stored. They have tables set up for customers to have a meal between the barrels. Our group had a large banquet area and bottles of wine on display. The guides were very funny with jokes and sharing the history of the company.
We received a charcuterie board for each person. As a new wine was poured the wine guide would suggest having a chocolate from the plate. Or another wine, he suggested the mustard on the bread. It was nice to have different textures of foods with the wines. The ambiance at this location was incredible.
Vineyards and Gardens
The majority of grapes had been harvested when we visited the area. The green leaves of the vines were starting to turn colors for the fall. The roses at the end of each row were blossoming. When you visit Temecula Valley be sure to ask why roses are at the end of the grape rows. I loved walking through the gardens and vineyards. The quietness and the beautiful weather created a warm and comforting environment. One could hear themselves think. It was lovely.
Temecula Valley, CA Wine Adventure
What I appreciated the most about this wine-tasting adventure was that every vineyard was different. The tasting process was different. The grounds and venue were different. Each location was a unique event.
A suggestion when planning your trip is to have your lodgings close to the wineries. All 6 locations we attended were within 5-20 mins from our hotel. This allowed for more time at each venue.
Have you attended a wine week event? Check out a wine week event in the Blog Wine Week In San Tan Valley, Arizona.