Keyways Vineyard & Winery Review
Address: 37338 De Portola Rd. Temecula,California 92592.
Phone Number: 951-302-7888
Tasting Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:00-5:30, Fri-Sun 10:00-6:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Temecula Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Review Date: 9/12/2012
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Keyways Winery may be off the beaten path and not as flashy as other wineries, but it is not to be missed. The winerys quaint and cozy atmosphere is enhanced by terrific wines poured by friendly people.
The Place:  Outside the recently renovated tasting room, a trellis – surrounded by a manicured grass area – awaits a wedding, and vines edge against the unpaved parking lot, creating a rustic feel. The tasting room features a dark wood bar with onyx counter top and warm paint colors. A fireplace with an impressive stone mantle surrounded by leather chairs creates the perfect place to sip a glass of wine on a cool day. Behind the bar I caught glimpses of dark wood tables in an almost pumpkin colored room. Intrigued by the color, I was escorted back by the bartender who explained it was the wine club members room. She stated the weekends can get a bit busy, so the room provides a place for members to taste wine and not have to worry about the crowds. I admired the décor, and she laughed saying if I liked the wine room, I was going to love the bathroom. Very rarely do people say you have to check out the bathroom, so of course I made my way there prior to leaving. The bathroom did not disappoint as it was finely decorated in a traditional manner with no detail left to chance. Just like the rest of the tasting room.
The Experience:  As I stepped out of the car, I noticed the hills that surround Temecula Valley looked almost dark blue as the sun was beginning to set. The only sound was the breeze whispering and my shoes crunching on the dirt parking lot as I walked toward the arched wood doors. As we entered the tasting room my friends were immediately distracted by the jewelry for sale; I remained focused on the wine. I asked for recommendations, and after asking about my particular tastes, the server made some great recommendations. After several pieces of jewelry and bottles of wine were purchased, I found myself lingering. I realized the reason was .I really liked this winery. The service was friendly, the wine was terrific and the ambiance was inviting. As the fall weather approaches, I want to return on a colder day and enjoy a glass of wine by the fireplace, which will hopefully be crackling.
The Wines: Keyways offers a wide variety of wines, with six types of reds and whites and three desert/specialty wines. It was hard to find a wine that I didn’t like at Keyways. Normally, I favor red wines over white wines, but I couldn’t resist buying a bottle of the Albarino. Its crisp, refreshing taste made it perfect for a warm day. The Charbono had subtle flavors, yet it was complex. The Dolcetto was flavorful and smooth. With one taste left, I let the tasting room attendant pick. She chose the Merlot and said it is different from most Merlots. By different, I think she meant better. It was hands down one of the best Merlots I have tasted.
Insiders Tip:  Live music is featured every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Look for their weekday specials, differing each day Monday through Friday for discounts on wine. Keyways features a Happy Hour as well, from 6-7:30. A separate driveway exists for limos and party buses. Check their website for additional events, such as parties and plays. Keyways has a wine club with three different purchase offers.