From Our Editors
People often dream of a retirement tucked away someplace remote, with no schedule and no responsibilities. In 1984, when Budd and Maurice Car'rie Van Roekel packed everything up, they were headed to the Temecula Valley to do just that: retire and enjoy a leisurely life. At least that was their plan until they stumbled upon a 46-acre vineyard, upon whose watercolor arcs of green, grapes have been growing since 1968. In those early days, Budd Roekel would man the tractor himself, while Maurice hosted tastings and headed the kitchen, concocting her own culinary creation, sourdough bread stuffed with baked brie. Today, visitors follow the tulip-bordered trail to the stucco-roofed entrance of Van Roekel Vineyard's European-style tasting room, peering in at high ceilings and cream-colored walls. Once inside, they sip on a selection of home-grown wines, such as the 2008 syrah, a maze of blackberries and clove, or the 2010 muscat canelli, which hints at the tropics like a ukulele flying south for the winter. Bearing plates from the deli or smooth hemispheres of gelato, a group wanders onto the sunny plaza in front of the tasting room, trailing fingers through the waters of the stone fountain before filtering back past the bouquets of bottles that fill wicker baskets in the gift shop.