Temecula Wineries

Temecula wineries and stays

Temecula Wineries

We’ve been to Temecula twice now since it’s a convenient drive away from us here in Arizona. Road trippin’ over to sunny California is always so fun, especially if the trip is going to involve wine. And oh, it does in Temecula. We like to think of Temecula as a mini Napa Valley.

Did you know that Temecula, California is most known for its wine country? With over forty wineries in town, it is the most popular thing to do when visiting here. Today, we want to share what a fabulous wine tasting day in Temecula is like! There are obviously lots of other things you can do in Temecula so plan on spending a weekend there, but save one day for the wine- it is deserving of your time.

Temecula wineries

History of Temecula, California

Before we share the top Temecula wineries, let’s talk history. Temecula is a town in Riverside County, California which is near the coast. Its beautiful rolling hills are what drew the Temecula Indians to move here initially. The town’s first post office was built in 1859 and ever since then it has been growing. Many people from nearby San Diego and Los Angeles move here due to its affordability. The last census recorded 100,000 people living here! So the town itself is small in number, but large in wine quantity. What a perfect ratio!

Wineries began planting in Temecula in the 1960’s and since then more and more keep popping up within the region. It’s a region that is perfect for wineries amidst its rolling hills and ocean breezes. Many of the Temecula wineries have also added on restaurants and luxurious resorts so they are really stepping up their game for visitors. As of today there are over forty Temecula wineries. Unfortunately we haven’t been to them all. However, we’ve enjoyed time at a handful so today we want to share with you our favorites!

Temecula wineries

Transportation between Temecula Wineries

Before you decide on which wineries to visit, you’ll want to consider how you will get around for the day. To drink responsibly, will you have someone with you that can be the designated driver? Otherwise, you may want to use Uber to get around or get a rental car. Another option is booking a wine tasting tour which will transport you around by van from place to place for 4-6 hours. We recommend you do this so you can truly enjoy every sip of wine without endangering yourself or others. Here are a few fun tour options in Temecula:

road to hana drive
Temecula wineries

The Top Temecula Wineries

After making your belly happy, it’s time to start your wine hopping! Below we are going to share some of our favorite Temecula wineries.

Our #1 favorite Temecula winery was where we ate brunch as well: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Grab a table inside or outside at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and enjoy some of their amazing brunch dishes like their Rolling Hills Bananas Foster Pancakes, their Chilaquiles chile, or their corned beef and hash. They serve brunch from 8am-330pm on weekends so make reservations online to secure your brunch seat and start the day out right!

They have wine tastings indoors with free crackers during your tasting. Their staff are extremely knowledgeable on types of wine and the history of the winery. Just outside those doors are beautiful open lawn spaces, an outdoor event space where weddings are held, and finally the 63 acres of vineyards are out back. The ambiance here is romantic and elegant.

Tastings are daily from 10am-6pm for $15pp weekdays and $20pp weekends. They also have a behind the scenes tour of the winery for $45pp at 1pm or 3pm daily by reservation.

Temecula wineries
Temecula wineries
Temecula wineries

Our second favorite Temecula winery was Europa Village. It has a large 45 acre property with wine tastings inside a dark cave room! Here they had cute pergola covered tables to sit at with gorgeous views of the vineyards. They call themselves Europa because they envisioned recreating tastings from three countries: France, Italy, and Spain. 

Tastings are $20-33pp from 10am-5pm daily.

Temecula wineries
Temecula wineries
Temecula wineries

Our other favorite Temecula winery was Thornton Winery. Why? They have a bomb water fountain filled with rubber ducks! It’s so unique and fun. Plus, they are known for their champagne so it’s nice to mix it up from the wine a little bit. Checkout their cafe too if you’re hungry.

Tasting prices vary but run from 10am-close. They also offer tours on weekends from 11am-4pm.

Temecula wineries
Temecula wineries

Here’s a full list of wineries in Temecula:  

http://www.temeculawines.org/taste/winery-listing.php

Here’s a map of all the wineries in Temecula:

http://www.temeculawines.org/taste/winery-map.php

Wine Tasting Tips

When tasting on so many different kinds of wines, sometimes it’s nice to have some sort of light cracker to cleanse your palate with. So consider picking up some crackers before you start your day.

Also, hold your wine glass like a pro. You want to hold the wine glass at the base of the stem between your thumb and fingers. Use that grip to naturally swirl the wine, then sniff it, and then taste it. We learned this technique in Tuscany, Italy so it’s gotta be pretty legit.  Some places have tasting glasses without a stem, for those, you’re out of luck.

(See Related: The Best Tour of Tuscany)

Temecula wineries

Where to Stay in Temecula, California

If you want to site-see around Temecula or even spend more than one day wine tasting, then definitely find a great hotel in Temecula, California.

We found three for you and two are connected to wineries...how perfect!

  1. South Coast Winery Resort: 4 stars

  2. Ponte Vineyard Inn: 4 stars

  3. SpringHill Suites Temecula: 3 stars

Another option for staying in Temecula is to book an Airbnb. This is our favorite way to travel in style and on a budget. Here’s a few of the coolest looking Airbnb rentals in Temecula, California.

destination dorworth airbnb
Temecula wineries

We hope our tips on Temecula wineries and where to stay are helpful in booking your next romantic getaway, bachelor/ette weekend, or friend-filled road trip. Temecula is a fantastic place to visit for a couple days with lots to do, plenty to see, and even more wine to taste. Enjoy Temecula! We sure did with all the bubbly.

destination dorworth
destination dorworth
[instashow]

Temecula wineries

About the Author

Hello, we are Zach (@zachdorworth) and Steph (@stephdorworth). We are Mr & Mrs traveling the world one romantic city at a time while perfecting obsessively organized travel.

  • Had absolutely no idea there was a well-established wine region in southern California, I’ve only known of (and visited) Napa, Sonoma etc. Looks like Temecula is one for me to explore next time, thanks so much for sharing, especially where we could enjoy wine, a great meal AND spa activities!

  • Linda says:

    We definitely have Temecula on our plans for a wine trip. But I didn’t know there were over 40 different wineries. We liked taking a small bus winery tour when we went to Napa. That way we could both drink. Thanks for the great suggestions on where to start our wine tour in Temecula.

  • We love visiting wineries when we travel (surprisingly, they even have quite a few here in Wales!) When we visited California a few years ago we did Napa and worked our way down but after LA, we went straight to San Diego and didn’t venture inland. We are going back to San Diego next year but this time we hope to explore the Californian countryside and will definitely try some more wine regions.

  • Andi says:

    I had the opportunity to visit a few wineries in Temecula a few years ago when I spent 3 weeks at an RV park in Borrego Springs. We made a day trip out there and the wines were fantastic!

  • Rosemary says:

    Taking wine tours are so much fun and a great way to discover a region. I don’t know much about Temecula and it’s interesting to think about it as a mini Napa Valley. I love the sound of Thorton winery. Adding in champagne to the mix and with a cafe of site makes it a really convenient stop. Great recommendations and a new wine region to discover.

  • This is a well detailed post, thank you! Europa Village is my favorite on your list. I’ve seen other photos of this from friends, the lawn and the Italian wine cave are picture perfect! I am laughing at the first part of your post. My friends and I have talked about wine tasting several times before, and I can’t believe we never got to the part where we discuss how to go there! Of course we have to drink responsibly haha

  • Claire says:

    Wow, 40 wineries? I am sold! Californian wines are delicious so I would love to visit as many wineries as I could. I like the idea of taking a tour with transport, wine tasting is no fun if you have to drive!!

  • carrie says:

    Admittedly I know nothing about wine, but I didn’t realize there were so many great vineyards in SoCal. I’ve only ever visited the ones around Napa. Definitely see the appeal of taking a tour — I certainly wouldn’t want to be behind the wheel of a car after tasting so many great wines!

  • Jennifer Melroy says:

    Sign me for trying a few wineries. I love how many little wine regions exist in the United States. It is truly amazing. I want to do a tasting in the cave at Europa Village.

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