In case you didn’t know there is a great little wine tasting region right here in Southern California, called Temecula Valley! Most people automatically assume Napa is the only destination for a weekend getaway in the vineyard, but if you’re visiting SoCal Temecula is a lot closer and equally as beautiful. About an hour north from San Diego, it’s a great day or weekend trip for a group.
With over 30 wineries in Temecula there is plenty to explore including more well-known vineyards that have labels you’ve probably seen at your local grocery store. As a local you would think my favorite winery would be some nondescript, “hip” cellar that’s off the beaten path, but I truly enjoy the popular, well-known wineries!
I highly recommend reserving a wine bus or trolley if you have a group larger than 8 people, that way no one has to worry about requesting Ubers or driving. It’s reasonably priced for a large group, but summer is the busiest time so make sure to request in advance.
Below is a short list of my three favorite wineries in Temecula with photos. I will definitely be adding to this list as I go back, but if you are planning a trip in the near future make sure to stop at these three!
My personal favorite and I have several friends that are members here as well. It’s one of the newest wineries in Temecula and it’s almost always packed. The estate is beautiful, with fountains and a large patio area. The tasting room is stunning with cathedral ceilings, multiple tasting bars, and a glass floor to view the barrel room below. I don’t necessarily have a favorite bottle here, but everything I’ve tried has been great so far.
The Wilson Creek estate may not be as grand as Monte de Oro, however it’s amazing in it’s own right. Wilson Creek makes my favorite champagne (or “sparkling wine” if you’re a wine snob) out of any of the wineries in Temecula. They are known for their Almond Champagne and I regularly gift this bottle to friends! They also have more unique sparkling wine options like Coconut Nui and Tahitian Vanilla, which I tried for the first time this weekend and the coconut might be my new favorite.
South Coast is one of the most well-known and awarded wineries in Temecula. They have a resort, spa, and restaurant on the grounds so you can stay in the heart of wine country stress-free. All of their labels are amazing and highly recommended so you can’t go wrong!