Tasting & Touring with Tori in Temecula Valley

by | Apr 18, 2023

Nestled between the bustling metropolitan cities of San Diego and Los Angeles lies a quaint 33,000-acre AVA at the southern gates of the Inland Empire. The Temecula Valley is home to more than 40 wineries, all within a few minutes drive from one another. Tucked between those tasting rooms? Rolling hills of vineyards, fine dining, live music and sensational places to stay.

The Southern California climate and soil make it perfect for varieties such as Viognier, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Syrah and much more, to thrive. And yes, while there is no shortage of fantastic wine immediately around us in the Pacific Northwest, terroir is a real thing — similar varietals from just down the road taste different in other regions. What better way to expand our palates and learn about the vastness of our favorite wines than by taking a trip to other locations? Try for yourself the wines that are best grown and enjoyed in the SoCal sunshine. You’re bound to find something new to love.

Where to Taste

Robert Renzoni Vineyards: Home to one of Temecula’s only female winemakers. Renzoni focuses on producing Italian-style wines that include a show stopping riserva line of varieties and their very own prosecco imported from Italy. The estate is reminiscent of a picturesque Tuscan villa and, to add to the motif, has the only restaurant in the valley where you’ll find authentic Italian brick-oven pizza. 

Carter Estate Winery: As the valley’s premier sparkling wine house, you can enjoy traditional method wines made from 100% Temecula valley fruit. If tasting isn’t enough, the estate also doubles as a (pet friendly) resort, offering poolside views of the estate vineyards and even hot air balloon ride experiences.

Somerset Vineyard and Winery: This passion project created by two brothers and their lifelong friends pays homage to Rhône and Spanish varietals using ancient winemaking techniques as one of the few facilities in the country to use ceramic vessels, known as amphorae, to ferment and age wine, making it a visit for the history books. 

Fazeli Cellars: Uniquely self-proclaimed as “inspired by the ancient traditions of Persia, rooted in the modern expressions of California,” this winery serves over 20 varietals, all of which celebrate the owners’ cultural history. From sensual red wines named after Persian noble poets like Rumi, to crisp whites named after the Persian equinox, go for the wine and stay for the panoramic views of the valley from the architecturally stunning estate.

Where to Eat

Avensole Restaurant: Treat yourself to elevated American fare while lounging on a patio centered around a gorgeous flowing brick fountain, with additional views of the estate and a generous selection of Avensole wine to pair.

The Vineyard Rose Restaurant: From Sunday brunch buffets to romantic dinner experiences, the Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery is just the place for any occasion. Looking to go beyond wine? Try any of their delicious specialty cocktails or something from their diverse beer selection.

Where to Stay

Europa Village: Voted best bed and breakfast, winery, and wedding venue in the Inland Empire by The Press Enterprise, the Europa Village is certainly the place to be. Bolero, the Spanish inspired section of the village, includes a tasting room to try their Spanish-style wines, private and lavish casitas to stay in, and an incredible restaurant to indulge in authentic and delicious tapas. Let the staff sweep you away with their welcoming energy and let the charming villa transport you. And if a dreamy Spanish getaway just doesn’t cut it, Europa Village has plans to add both a French and Italian section to their repertoire. The expansion includes additional themed restaurants, spas, tasting rooms and even a wine cave. But one thing remains: Whichever experience you choose, you’ll never feel anything less than luxurious. 


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