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  • Marla

Exploring Temecula Valley Wine Country

Updated: Dec 17, 2019


Temecula Valley wine country

Northern California is renowned for its wines, and rightly so. But up and coming Temecula Valley, in between Los Angeles and San Diego, is a great destination for fine wines in Southern California. Itโ€™s definitely worth at least a day trip.


A lot of the wine tours to Temecula Valley wine country seemed to cater to larger groups, so we opted to use Vineyard Limousine, where we could get a smaller car with a driver and customize which wineries to visit.


Temecula Valley Wine Country Background


Temecula Valley wine country is a relatively new wine region in California. The first modern commercial vineyard was planted there in 1968. For comparison, Napa Valleyโ€™s first vineyard was planted in the 1830s. Temecula Valley received formal recognition as an American Vinicultural Area in 1984.

Temecula Valley wine country

There are currently 40 wineries in Temecula Valley wine country. We were told that 50 more are poised to open soon, and that the area will eventually be home to 200 wineries. Since the region is less than 25 miles from the Pacific Ocean,

its climate is classified as Mediterranean. The wine growers originally focused on the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes,

as in Northern California. Ultimately, many winemakers

found that grapes from Spain, Italy and the South of France fared better in the more southern climate.


The wines we tried were very consistent, most earning at

least a ๐Ÿ˜Š+ rating. At each winery, the reds were more expensive than the whites.


1. Hart Family Winery


Hart Family Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Temecula Valley wine country. Itโ€™s also one of the smallest, consisting of only 10 acres. The winery focuses on wines produced from Bordeaux and Mediterranean grape varieties.

Temecula Valley wine country

We tasted:


2018 Arneis, a grape native to Italyโ€™s Piedmont region ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2016 Vermentino, a grape found throughout Italy and in Corsica ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2017 Sangiovese, from Tuscany ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2018 Rosรฉ of Sangiovese ๐Ÿ˜Š

2017 Grenache, found in both France and Spain ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2017 Temprarillo, the primary red grape of Spainโ€™s Rioja region ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2017 Syrah, one of the first vines Hart planted in 1974 ๐Ÿ˜Š

2017 Zinfandel ๐Ÿ˜Š++

2017 Cabernet Franc, also first planted in 1974 ๐Ÿ˜Š++

Temecula Valley wine country

2. Lorimar Vineyards & Winery


Lorimar Vineyards & Winery is a larger family-owned winery, 22 acres in size. It calls itself a Tuscan-style winery, fusing wine, art, music, and food. It features fanciful descriptions of its wines and includes recommendations for tongue-in-cheek activities that go perfectly with each wine, such as a magical gondola ride, a weekend in Bali, or a French soccer match.

Temecula Valley wine country

We tasted:


2018 Vineyard blend, like a Pino Grigio ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2018 Viognier, fruity but not sweet ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2017 Chardonnay, buttery ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š++

2015 Sangiovese ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2016 Barbera ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2016 Montepulciano ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2016 Meritage ๐Ÿ˜Š

2016 Zinfandel ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š++

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š++

2015 Petite Sirah, a bit tart ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š


3. Monte De Oro Winery


Monte De Oro was the largest winery we visited, with 80 acres. Itโ€™s only 10 years old. Its tasting room boasts high vaulted ceilings and a glass floor looking down on its barrel cellar.

Temecula Valley wine country

We tasted:


2018 Pinot Gris ยฝ ๐Ÿ˜Š

2018 Viognier ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2018 Chardonnay, lightly oaked ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2015 Simplexity, a Bordeaux blend ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2015 Zinfandel ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ๐Ÿ˜Š+

2015 Congruity, 80% Syrah and 20% Zinfandel ๐Ÿ˜Š++

2015 Syrah ๐Ÿ˜Š+



We hope you find these tips about Temecula Valley Wine Country useful. Please feel free to send us photos of your experiences in Californiaโ€™s wine country!


Have any feedback? Please send us a message at info@winewithourfamily.com.

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7 Wine Tasting Dos and Donโ€™ts

3 Wineries in Sonoma for Lunch and Wine Pairings

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