Close your eyes. Think Southern California. Now free associate. Ready? Go!
Undoubtedly, things like beach, blond, tan, Baywatch, 90210, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Kardashians, movies, convertibles, Taco Tuesdays, surfboards and eternal sunshine come to mind.
How about wine?
That’s right. Southern California is actually home to a burgeoning wine scene that should be seen as reason #5,782 to visit, but is often overlooked in favor of the Golden State’s more northerly regions. Sitting pretty at an hour’s drive from San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs, and 90-minute drive from Los Angeles, few wine regions are more centrally located than Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. This hidden gem region is home to over 40 wineries that range from rustic and intimate, to family-friendly, to state-of-the-art destinations, many of which also offer overnight accommodations, live entertainment and premium dining on-site. Worth also noting are the 5,000+ awards that Temecula Valley wines have earned to-date, both on the national and international stage.
A mere 22 miles from the Pacific Ocean and bordered by inland valleys and mountains ranging from 2,000 to 11,000 feet in elevation, Temecula Valley boasts a Mediterranean-like climate similar to that of Napa Valley. With a growing season marked by warm days and cool nights that allow the grapes to fully ripen while still maintaining desirable acidity levels, the region has been able to cultivate a wide range of different varietals, in particular Italian and Rhône grapes like Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Syrah and Viognier.
This ideal climate and undeniable potential, not to mention the relaxed, Southern California spirit, has been a true draw for many of the local winemakers and regional pioneers who take pride in creating memorable wine experiences for every type of enthusiast, from the novice to the experimentalist to the connoisseur and everything in between. Whether it’s sweet & sparkling or brooding and barnyard-esque – or both – that you’re after, Temecula delights in its ability to both intrigue and ultimately satisfy the adventurous wine traveler. Both the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association and Visit Temecula Valley websites offer helpful tools on navigating the region and helping you plan your trip to wine country, including proposed itineraries and self-guided tours based on your preferences.
The region is also offering up a free wine country getaway for two, including resort accommodations and wine tasting. Take the quick and easy survey HERE to be entered to win!