12 of the Best Wineries in Temecula Valley — Southern California’s Answer to Napa
These Temecula wineries offer beautiful tasting rooms and rolling vineyard views.
Temecula Valley is a Southern California gem that hides in plain sight, set less than 25 miles from the coast, one hour from San Diego, and two hours from Los Angeles. Commercial grapes have been grown in the region since the 1960s, and today nearly 50 wineries benefit from the microclimate here, generating award-winning varietals that span from malbecs to rieslings.
Perhaps the only things as pretty as Temecula’s vineyard-covered rolling hills are the mountains that surround them — if you’re having a glass of syrah at an outdoor tasting room here, views of Mount San Jacinto and Mount San Georgiano are likely companions. Ready to sip and ramble in this wine region? Here are 12 great wineries in Temecula to get you started — you might even visit some via cable car, if you so choose.
A boutique producer, Ponte Winery makes only about 1,500 cases annually of its varietals, prioritizing quality over quantity. We’re here for the giant tasting room (open daily) in a barn. There’s a restaurant and 90-room inn on site as well, perhaps the ultimate convenience when wine tasting.
Family-owned Akash Winery wins with its sweeping, sun-kissed patio with vineyard views. The realized dream of the Patel family, Akash opened for tastings in 2019 and also hosts all kinds of fun events, from movie nights and comedy shows to vineyard dinners. The tasting room is open daily.
Reservations are highly recommended at this winery, which offers multiple bookable experiences for guests 21 and over. Try “Italian-inspired, locally made” wines in the barrel room or on the deck that overlooks the 45-acre estate. There’s also a guided charcuterie tasting with wine pairings and a wine blending lab experience (attendees bring their custom creation home with them). A family-friendly pool, cafe, and splash pad are open during the warmer months – and yep, you can sip wine (and cocktails) from your poolside chaise lounge. The tasting room is open Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m.
Briar Rose Winery
If you lean nostalgic, it might be hard to resist this winery in a Snow White-inspired cottage. The original owner was a Disney Imagineer back in the day, and he skillfully created a real-life storybook setting here; stone picnic tables under giant shade trees make for a fairy-tale tasting “room." The winery is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and reservations are required.
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa
“Think Napa, only warmer and sunnier,” is a slogan on this estate’s website. Founded in 2001, South Coast is one of the region’s oldest wineries, and it offers 45 labels that range from cabernet sauvignon and grenache to sauvignon blanc and riesling. There are also bookable villas and suites with country-chic decor and a spa for hotel guests or day pass holders. The tasting room is open daily, though hours vary.
Carter Estate Winery and Resort
This winery is across the street from South Coast Winery, and the two share the same owners, operators, and winemakers, too. Though Carter Estate Winery makes all kinds of varietals, it is best known for its crisp sparkling wines. Come sip their blanc de blanc or brut sparkling while the sun sets beyond the vineyard. You can also spend the night in one of the resort’s bungalows or suites; there’s even a package that includes a hot air balloon ride. The tasting room is open daily.
This winery resort aims to transport you to Europe, specifically Spain, France, or Italy. Bolero is a Spanish winery where guests can taste wine over tapas, sample olive oils, and listen to live flamenco guitar. For a French experience, head to C’est la Vie and wine taste while surrounded by roses. The trifecta will be complete later this year when Italian winery Vienza debuts. Tasting rooms at both C’est la Vie and Bolero are open daily.
Longshadow Ranch Winery
Longshadow Ranch Winery is home to Bonfire Saturday Nights — book a table and enjoy a glass of house cinsault or syrah alongside live music, a roaring fire, and snacks from a food truck. The ranch also has horses, llamas, and more, many of them rescue animals. You can give them a pet during a daytime tasting; the tasting room is open daily.
Owner Bizhan “BJ” Fazeli wanted to pay tribute to his Persian heritage with this sprawling Temecula Valley winery. That means you can sample more than 20 varietals of wine here, then follow your tasting with a Middle Eastern-Mediterranean meal at on-site restaurant Baba Joon’s Kitchen. The tasting room is open seven days a week.
Tasting here on the tiered, shaded patio is a delight. Come try the winery’s viognier, syrah, cab franc, or merlot as you enjoy the valley’s landscape. If you really want to learn more about the wine-making process, consider booking the Vineyard Tour and Taste offering, which sheds light on the winery’s farming practices, barrel aging, and more — and a cheese and wine tasting is included. The tasting room is open seven days a week.
We love the modern Spanish vibe of this winery, with its angular tasting room and black chandeliers. It’s a collaborative business, with eight Temecula families working toward the shared goal of highlighting both their Spanish roots and the valley they work in. Stop by for a tasting (available daily), then grab tapas at the on-site Gaspar’s Restaurant.
Thanks to an on-site bistro, Miramonte Winery might be best experienced by ordering a tomato and fromage board to go with your wine flight. Or, visit on a Friday night, when live music gets guests up on their feet and onto the dance floor. The tasting room is open seven days a week.
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