Longshadow Ranch Vineyard & Winery Review
Address: 39847 Calle Contento Temecula,California 92591.
Phone Number: 951-587-6221
Tasting Hours: Mon-Fri 12:00-5:00, Sat-Sun 10:00-5:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Temecula Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Review Date: 7/27/2012
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Steeped in tradition with six generations of wine making, Longshadow Ranch provides an old west experience and a wide variety of wines to sample.
The Place:  Once you drive across the wooden bridge you are transported back to a time when the west was still the frontier. The first thing you will probably notice is the Belgian Draft horses corralled next to the tasting room, or in my case, the woman, who probably had too much wine, hugging the large horse. The tasting room is hard to miss as it is the largest building and made entirely of timber. Inside, a fantastic tumbleweed chandelier hung from the center of the high ceiling. Barrel bar tops and stone details give the tasting room a lodge feeling, yet remains tasteful. There is also plenty of room to sit outside and enjoy a nice day. The Barrel Room wasnt open yet, but will offer additional tasting space in the future. The clean spacious bathrooms are housed in a separate building.
The Experience:  The authentic western feel is apparent, from the horses to the western architecture. After taking it all in, I was ready to hitch up my britches and go taste some down-home country wine. I pulled open the wood double doors like I was entering a saloon – half expecting to find a piano player in the corner playing Clementine. However, when I sauntered in the tasting room I was greeted by NSyncs Bye bye bye blaring on the impressive sound system. The contradiction of the music and décor made me laugh out loud. I put aside visions of gunslinging and riding off into the sunset, and saddled up to the bar. Two young servers were manning the bar, and they set us up for our tasting. I mentally added Longshadow Winery onto my next limo bus itinerary, since its large open tasting room and fun music would make it a great fit for a group of people. The servers kept the energy up, and our wine glasses full. While they were young and hip, they still knew their wines. They offered good suggestions, and explained the wines well.
The Wines: Longshadow Ranch offers a broad selection of red wines and only two white wines. Most of the wines have classic names, while others are a bit more fun such as the Outlaw Red or the Gunslingers Reserve. Seeing this, I had to know what outlaw wine tastes like, and it turns out that I like outlaw wine! The white wines were clean and crisp. I favored the White Feather Chardonnay to the Muscat. The Tempranillo was smooth and complex. I left my last taste choice up to the server, who selected one of her favorites, the 2009 Unfiltered Merlot. It was a good choice, as the wine was flavorful and balanced.
Insiders Tip:  For an extra treat try the Boot Shooters, where the Ponderosa Port is poured into a chocolate cowboy boot. A variety of music acts perform regularly at the ranch. Also, horse-drawn carriage tours of the vineyard are offered, providing visitors insight into Longshadow’s old-time wine making processes. Fans of this winery can also join their wine club for free wine tasting and discounts on wine purchases.