Temecula in a Day, I suppose is somewhat of a misnomer. To date, I have been to Temecula three times now. The first, I was the designated driver. The second, a very willing drinker, and most recently, on a private tour. I am by no means an expert on Temecula Valley, and am excited to come back and go to more wineries, but as of now here are some of my recommendations for a first timer.
Hart Winery was the first winery we went to. They charge $12 for 6 tastings, which is very reasonable. I really liked that they had an outside tasting area and an indoor facility. Like many other places in Temecula, when you pay for your tastings you are given a card with 6 tear away sheets (1 per tasting). Once we would receive a pour we were able to walk around and look at all of the vineyards outside which was really nice. They offered large pours, and were very friendly. Check them out at www.hartfamilywinery.com.
Baily Winery was empty when we went Saturday morning, and we were not complaining. The people who worked there were awesome and allowed us to try tastes of a few other wines besides our standard pours. This tasting I believe was between $10-15 (I can’t remember) and included a free wine glass. There is also a restaurant right next door which looked lovely. The building was a simple stone building, but it was beautiful inside. Check them out at www.bailywinery.com.
We got to Europa Winery before it was really open, so we wandered around the gardens. It is absolutely beautiful, and looks as if it is set right in Italy. I have not been to Italy (though I’ll be sure to go one day), but from the pictures I’ve seen it’s spot on. They were slightly more expensive than the other places we tasted at $15 for 6 during the week and $20 for 6 on the weekends, but they were very attentive. Even when a large group came in on a tour, someone stayed back and talked to us. Check them out at www.europavillage.com.
I cannot speak to the regular tastings at Falkner since we did a private tour here, but it was absolutely splendid. The private tour included 6 tastings for $35 with a cheese platter (shown below). We were allowed additional taste samples to before just being poured what was “next on the list”. At the end we got to try the Hot Lips, which is a mulled wine. I didn’t even realize that existed, and they showed us the process of how the wine is made. Check them out at www.falknerwinery.com.
$35 is much more than many of the other wineries, but for a private tasting it was well worth it. I spent a little time in Napa when visiting my boyfriends family, and found the prices to be much higher. Starting in the $20-30 range for 3-4 tastings. I should be heading back to Napa in the next few weeks, so I’m sure I’ll do a review. I think that Temecula is a great place to visit. You will certainly be “feeling” how much you drank after 3-4 wineries so pace yourself and stop into the town or at a place to eat.
I only spent a few minutes in the town on the way out, but next time I’ll stay longer. They had adorable shops and restaurants all decked out for Christmas. It’s funny to see Christmas decorations when its 80 degrees in Sunny SoCal.
If you live in the SoCal area, or are visiting over the holidays. I highly recommend taking a day to check out Temecula. To be honest you could make an entire weekend of it, but if you don’t have that kind of time, a day is plenty!
Let me know the next place you’d like me to review. Have you been to Temecula? Any tips for next time?