Lord Byron once said “Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toll.”
How fortunate we are in San Diego that we have a spectacular wine region located just an hour from the heart of our city—and equidistant to Orange County locations as well. Temecula Wine Country is one of Southern California’s most notable wine destinations and a fun place to go wine tasting. Check out the best Temecula wine tours here. Temecula wines are earning more and more recognition in the world of wine connoisseurs and I can personally attest to how delicious they are.
Not only are the 40-plus boutique to full-service wineries in Temecula producing a variety of tantalizing award-winning wines, but the rolling hills and vineyard views surrounding these wineries are amazingly picturesque. Add in some fun and unique things to do in Temecula, amazing restaurants, and you got yourself a perfect vacation destination. Some wineries even offer accommodation and I highly recommend staying at one of these Temecula winery hotels to make your stay extra special.
Back to the wines… There’s an age-old debate among wine lovers on whether an expensive wine is actually worth the price tag. Your taste buds will ultimately always be the judge. So, if you’re looking for a wine for a special occasion, or one to pair with the perfect dinner, or savor at an outdoor picnic, we can assure that you’ll find it among this selection of Temecula wines.
7 Best Temecula Wines
Here are 7 of those exciting Temecula wines and the wineries, tasting rooms, and charming gift shops in Temecula where you’ll find them. The prices reflect the regular list price. Each of these wineries however offer discounts for its wine club members.
Best Red Wines from Temecula
2017 Vintage Estate Montepulciano, BOTTAIA Winery ($65)
Location: 35601 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591
One of the newest kids on the Temecula Winery block, BOTTAIA is a chic, modern winery and tasting room, inspired by the refinement and luxury of Northern Italy.
BOTTAIA features a myriad of delectable white and red wines. But one of our favorites is definitely their estate Montepulciano— produced from a top central Italy grape varietal.
New oak barrels were purchased specifically to age this wine. Medium-bodied with scents of blackberry, toasted coconut and nutmeg, the wine exudes flavors of cedar, black cherry, and white pepper. This red pairs well with rich hearty Italian dishes such as meat-stuffed shells with red sauce.
2016 Riserva Syrah Robert Renzoni Vineyards ($95)
Location: 37350 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592
Robert Renzoni carries on a family tradition that began with his great-grandfather who worked in the vineyards of Fano, Italy in the 1880s. The magnificent Tuscan-inspired winery and tasting room features impressive Italian varietals of Temecula Valley wines.
Wine Enthusiast writer Matt Kettmann described the Renzoni treasure as “This long-aging style of this Syrah begins with toasty aromas of oak, boysenberry, black plum, and vanilla on the nose. The palate is very rounded with cassis and black-cherry flavors, wrapped in gingerbread and star anise spice: powerful and pleasant all-around.” This Syrah also received a Wine Enthusiast rating of 91.
Not only does the Renzoni estate feature an impressive selection of wines, their gift shop also carries a family recipe-marinara sauce and other homemade products.
2015 CS Cabernet Sauvignon Leoness Cellars ($65)
Location: 38311 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. And Temecula’s Leoness Cellars produces some spectacular reds including its magnificent 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Aged for 21 months in French and American oak barrels, this luscious red vino is bursting with blackberry and black currant fruit flavors, layered with subtle notes of vanilla, black licorice, and sweet oak. Elegant and well-balanced with a lovely lingering finish, this Cabernet is the perfect accompaniment for a nice thick juicy steak.
Cabernet Franc 2017 Ponte Vineyard ($56)
Location: 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92521
One of Ponte Vineyard’s mottos reads “If you like it, it’s good wine.” And Ponte definitely delivers with some impressive wines in a variety of whites and reds.
Cabernet Franc fans will love Ponte’s 2017 production. It’s full-bodied with a complex structure and notes of blueberry and chipotle pepper and a smooth finish. This wine would make even the French proud as the varietal is primarily grown there, hence the name. It’s a perfect pair with grillables like ribeye, portobello mushroom, or lamb dishes.
Adjacent to the tasting room is the Ponte Vineyard Inn, a 90-room upscale boutique property with elegant accommodations. Imagine stepping out on your private patio or balcony in the morning and seeing hot air balloons gliding over the verdant mist-covered vineyards of Temecula.
2015 WHP Petite Syrah South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ($41)
Location: 34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92541
Situated on 63 lush acres of rolling vineyards, South Coast offers not only a full-service resort and spa but an award-winning winery that includes an impressive selection of red, white, and sparkling wines.
South Coast’s Petite Syrah is a luscious red with the classic characteristic color of dark ink. It’s blueberry jam and leafy tobacco taste accompanied by rich smoky oak and pepper notes pairs well with ribs, roasted pork, and venison.
Best White Wines from Temecula
Blanc de Blanc Carter Estate Winery ($40)
Location: 34450 Rancho California Road, Temecula, California 92591
Mastering the artistry of French Méthode Champenoise, Carter Estate features some of the best sparkling wines we’ve tasted in the Temecula Valley. Our favorite is the Blanc de Blanc characterized by clean and crisp flavors and a nose of green apple with a touch of pear. It literally dances on the palate— a perfect refreshing sparkling beverage for a celebration or special occasion.
Carter Estate wines are 100% estate-grown, bottled and certified sustainable. Award-winning ribbons in their tasting room showcase the excellence of this estate’s wines.
2018 Chardonnay-Temecula Valley, Falkner Winery ($40)
Location: 40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591
Situated on a picturesque Temecula hill surrounded by rolling vineyards, this winery produces some incredible reds and whites.
One of our very favorite Chardonnays is produced here using about 40%- barrel fermentation. This makes for a well-balanced Chardonnay, less oaky than some sporting green apple, cinnamon, and Meyer Lemon flavors. The finish is clean and tart making this a very easy drinking wine that pairs well with most seafood and chicken dishes.
Falkner is noted for the quality of their whites as their 2015 Chardonnay and 2018 Sauvignon Blanc were both 90-point Wine Enthusiast winners.
When all is said and done, remember that each person has their favorite wineries and varietals. And each person’s palate is different. Even professional wine judges don’t always agree 100%. It’s more important to drink what you love, and make your own decision if a higher-priced wine is worth the splurge.
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Last Updated on June 17, 2022 by sandiegoexplorer