High atop a hill in the Temecula valley, surrounded by clear blue skies and lush rows of Rhone grapes, sits Miramonte Winery, where the winemakers soulfully craft their red wines, off dry ros?s, and inspired whites. A big, open veranda wraps around the building to provide an airy venue for wine tastings, and Mojo, the winery dog, curiously greets visitors before going off to lay in the sun.
The deep flavors and aromas in Miramonte's wines come not only from the way the Rhone grapes grow in the valley, but also from the expertise of winemaker Reinhard Schlassa and passion of owner Cane Vanderhoof. A UC Davis alum, Schlassa has made wines with icons of the industry on three continents, and he continues to perfect his craft at Miramonte Winery.
Loosely translated as Manor House, Masia de Yabar Vineyard and Winery mimics the style of a Spanish villa?a gently gabled, terracotta roof caps low stucco walls with arched outlooks. The villa hints at the Yabar family's Spanish ancestry, as well as their passion for winemaking. Today, the Yabar family oversees the production of a handful of wines and leads tastings in an earth-toned room. During tours of the vineyard and winery, they demystify the process of making wines by showing visitors their purple toes. In the shade of palms, they host art classes and live music, welcoming guests to relax on the patio with a spicy-sweet malbec or a full-bodied temtranillo.
Specializing in Italian varietals, Cougar Vineyards and Winery sprawls across 17 acres of land on the De Portola Wine Trail, cultivating an ever-growing selection of specialties such as vermentino, aglianico, pinot grigio, and brachetto. Patrons can sample a consistently rotating arsenal of flavors inside a tasting room that’s open every day of the week, or take their wine education a step further by taking a tour of the production facility or helming a tell-all interview with one of the grapevines. Cougar Vineyards also plays host to a variety of events every month, including live musical acts on Saturdays.
A spacious wood-hewn tasting room and panoramic views of Temecula Valley lend Longshadow Ranch Vineyard and Winery a rustic, romantic aesthetic. Visitors can ride through the vineyards on carriages drawn by belgian draft horses before sipping wines that range from the sweet, floral Muscat of Alexandria to the Ponderosa Port, which is aged inside 50-year-old whiskey barrels. Live entertainment is another draw?singer-songwriters croon during acoustic sets, and classic rock bands perform during Saturday bonfires.
Dating back to 1969, Mount Palomar Winery ranks among Temecula's oldest wineries. Today, its historic winery and sprawling vineyard stretch across more than 315 acres nestled right in the heart of Temecula wine country. Guests can climb atop the grand staircase, which offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding vineyards and mountains at 1400-foot elevation. The beautiful scenery gives way to numerous venues for weddings, social outings, and corporate events.
Lifelong gardener Jim Carter, owner of South Coast Winery, bottles fine wines on 38 picturesque acres in Southern California’s Temecula Valley. South Coast’s grounds house a luxurious spa and seven Mediterranean-esque resort villas, reminiscent of a remote Tuscan village. Jim’s specialty varietals have been recognized time and again in local and national wine competitions. Visiting oenophiles can spend time here unwinding with an open air massage, vacationing in a temporary home equipped with a marble Jacuzzi and sweet plump grapes at arms length, or learning about the winemaking process on a vineyard tour.