The Wine Tasting Regions of Temecula Wine Country

Nearly fifty wineries are located within the Temecula Valley AVA and choosing which wineries to visit can be a challenge. As a result, many people end up visiting the same wineries repeatedly. While we strongly believe in supporting great establishments, we're also driven by the thrill of exploration, especially wine exploration! On your next Temecula wine tasting trip, consider picking one of Temecula's four wine tasting regions and exploring the wineries each has to offer.


CALLE CONTENTO TRAIL

Off the main drag of Rancho California Road, Calle Contento runs north and south and offers several unique, off-the-beaten-path wineries. Falkner Winery sits high on the hill offering fantastic views, while Briar Rose and Longshadow Ranch Wineries provide themed wine tastings. Briar Rose features a real life replica of Snow White’s Cottage, and Longshadow Ranch incorporates a real horse ranch into their winery.

At the northern end of the Calle Contento Trail, sits Vindemia Winery. Don't let the patio furniture and an outdoor bar fool you, Vindemia is making some fantastic wines and is one of the top wineries on the Calle Contento Trail.

    Vindemia Winery


DE PORTOLA WINE TRAIL

Running parallel to the more popular Rancho California Road, the De Portola Wine Trail offers a more rustic and rural experience for wine travelers. In case there was any doubt, the trail proves that "rural" doesn't equate to "lower quality." The wines at Leoness are some of the best being produced in Temecula. De Portola also features family-owned and operated wineries such as Cougar Vineyards and Frangapani Estate Winery. There is also a significant international influence along the De Portola Wine Trail. Robert Renzoni Winery's long family history in winemaking extends back to Italy, and Masia de Yabar has both Spanish and Peruvian roots. Danza del Sol Winery has a strong Italian influence, while the views at Oak Mountain Winery will leave you breathless. For a complete list of wineries located on the De Portola Wine Trail, please visit www.deportolawinetrail.com.

The first winery you encounter on De Portola Road is Keyways Vineyard and Winery. It’s a shame this gem is often missed by wine tasters who stick to Rancho California Road. In its quaint and cozy surroundings, Keyways offers delicious wines and a friendly, fun environment.

    Keyways Vineyard and Winery


RANCHO CALIFORNIA TRAIL WEST

The western part of Rancho California Road acts as the gateway to Temecula wine country, and wineries in this region tend to be very popular. Baily’s Winery hosts tastings in a medieval-themed tasting room and remains one of the best deals in Temecula with $5 tastings during the week (with coupon from the winery's website). Churon Winery, with its French architecture and Inn at Churon, is one of the few Temecula wineries to offer lodging. Miramonte Winery, which seems to attract a young and hip crowd, is one of the edgier wineries. Bel Vino Winery offers solid wines and great views, and Mount Palomar Winery, designed to look like an old Italian village, also has magnificent views. Europa Village Winery is the newest winery on Rancho California Trail West and is proving to be an impressive addition. Two of Temecula's powerhouse wineries, Callaway Vineyards and Winery and Thorton Winery, are also located in the Rancho California West region.

The first winery you encounter when entering Temecula wine country is Hart Winery, one of the oldest wineries in Temecula. Unlike other wineries whose constant expansions have created massive compounds, the Hart footprint remains almost exactly the same as when it opened in 1980. Hart offers good wines and an unpretentious, welcoming environment.

    Hart Winery


RANCHO CALIFORNIA TRAIL EAST

Those who can resist the temptation of the wineries located at the western end of Rancho California Road are rewarded upon their arrival on the eastern end. Maurice Car’rie and its sister winery Van Roekel offer a relaxed environment and a broad choice of white wines and flavored sparkling wines. South Coast Winery Resort and Spa and Wilson Creek Vineyard and Winery are large wineries perfect for weddings and private events. In contrast, Doffo Winery, Chapin Family Winery, and Footpath Winery are three owner-operated wineries; despite their distance from the main road, they are worth a visit. Ponte Family Estate Winery and Wiens Family Cellars are two family-owned wineries with larger tasting rooms to handle large crowds. In addition, Wiens is making some excellent wines using Italian and Spanish varieties such as Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

Monto de Oro has one of the largest tasting rooms in Temecula wine country and is a great place to enjoy the day either inside the large, posh tasting room or outside on the expansive patio that often hosts concerts. The winery's large selection of wines is served by their ample and efficient staff.

    Monte de Oro Winery

Temecula provides a little something for everyone, and its four wine regions make it easy and fun to explore the best of Temecula wine! For additional information on Temecula wineries, please see American Winery Guide's Temecula winery map and Temecula winery reviews.

Published: June 21, 2013

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