Have you visited Temecula before? If not then tag along and find out why Temecula is such a great destination that must be included on your travel list. OC County residents and San Diego County residents are almost the same distance away from Temecula Valley, although truth to be told San Diegans must travel a bit more to reach Temecula. The one hour trip to get there will be totally worth it if you are a wine lover. Temecula is the premiere destination of wine lovers nationwide and for good reason. The local wine making has taken a huge liftoff over the past decades and today some of the wines coming from the local wineries are on par with award winning blends from other famous locations like Napa Valley. Vine making in Temecula dates back to 1820, but the biggest growth of wineries started in the 1960's and today there are over 35 wineries in Temecula, from small family owned and operated wineries to the larger commercial vineyards.
Wine lover choose their destination based on their taste in wine, but you don't have to worry about that as many wineries will have a wide selection to cover everyone's tastes.
My first stop would be Danza Del Sol Winery. Their tasting room has opened in 2010 where you can taste great white, red and sparkling wines. Their Savignon Blanc would surely appeal to those looking for fruity and citrus aromas. From their selection of reds my recommendation would go for the Zinfandel with fragrances of blueberry.
Leonesse Cellars has also a great selection of both light and dark wines. Many people favor their Rosé made from White Merlot. Leonesse is also a great destination if you plan to eat as their restaurant is quite lovely, the food is delicious and often you can get discounts on wine purchases as well.
For a beautiful view of the Temecula hillside include Oak Mountain Vinery in your destination. The view is spectacular but what is more important their selection of wines covers every taste and you can also buy a bottle from the great variety of avocado oil they produce. My recommendation here is their Petit Sirah.
I enjoyed my experience at these wineries and they receive my recommendation in this "micro guide". There are a lot of great wineries in Temecula and my personal recommendation is to visit them all if you have the time, but always be considerate about drinking and under no circumstances combine it with driving. I was tremendously worried about this aspect of my trip, but eventually found the best solution and joined a guided wine tasting tour from San Diego and took advantage of their knowledge of the local wineries, their good prices and their flexibility. There are probably several tour operators that organizes wine tasting transportation in Temecula, but eventually my choice landed on Aall In Limo's wine tasting tours and I couldn't be happier with my choice and the good time they offered. I'm sure that without Mike's guidance my Temecula wine tour would have been duller.
I shared you my recommendation based on my experience and if you have something to add to it don't be shy to drop a comment. The final line is that Temecula is an amazing place to visit for not just only wine lovers, but certainly for them is a must.