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A Day Trip Itinerary for Wine Tasting in Temecula

WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO A TEMECULA WINE TASTING

It is so easy to understand why spending a day in Temecula at a winery is so popular. What a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s also a lovely opportunity to see the rolling hills and lush green beauty of Southern California’s wine country. Especially if you choose a winery as beautiful as Wilson Creek Winery. A day here with friends and family can be spent enjoying exquisite wine, touring the vineyards, and having a good meal.  Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or just looking to learn more about wine, this itinerary for a Temecula wine tasting has you covered.

Temecula wine tasting

My first visit to Wilson Creek was probably in 2002. I tasted Almond champagne (it’s now called sparkling wine) which was the go-to drink that people were bringing to parties.  I was excited to visit the winery.  Today, Wilson Creek is still family-owned and is situated on 1,000 acres in Temecula.  Not only do they have the Almond sparkling wine, but new flavors like Orange Mimosa, Rose, Limoncello, Peach Bellini, Coconut Nui, Sangria, and Watermelon. I highly recommend you try some of them.

The winery promotes a welcoming and friendly atmosphere. You will find families spending time together, friends enjoying a meal and wine tasting, and lots of corporate events, private meetings, and conferences. You will not feel crowded, as there are so many areas for people to sit, enjoy, stroll and relax. 

Dining at Creekside Grille

There are two options for dining at the winery. The Courtyard Bar and Grill is a casual area to buy wine and to-go food items. My recommendation would be to enjoy your meal at Creekside Grille restaurant. Sit outside and complement your meal with a glass of their award-winning Zinfandel or Chardonnay. While the seasonal menu changes every three months, one item that has consistently been on the menu for 19 years, is Gerry’s Reuben. I would also recommend the Baked Brie, and Creekside Burger if it’s on the menu.

Now would be a good time to order one of their signature red wine slushies.  It is a blend of sangria wine with frozen sparkling rose, and it’s such a wonderful drink for a warm day. We weren’t the only people fixated on this drink, as it looked like everybody had ordered a couple of them as well.

Temecula wine tasting

THE BEST TIME TO GO TO A TEMECULA WINE TASTING

One of the highlights of your Temecula wine tasting will be trying different wines in one of the tasting rooms. Tasting is open from Saturday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. No reservations are necessary. You have many different options for tasting. The Tasting Room is a very relaxed environment, versus the more intimate Library, and the Upper Room which is reserved for members of their wine club.

Some of the wines that you will want to try are:

  • White Cabernet Sauvignon: a semi-sweet wine that is one of their top-selling items.  A soft press keeps the color light making this a subtle wine.
  • Yes Dear Chardonnay: not only should you try this wine, but you should ask how it got its name.  This is a great wine to pair with cheese.
  • Syrah: This classic Syrah is made from the 6 acres of grapes grown at the winery.   At $64.99, it is one of the more expensive wines at Wilson Creek.

The staff are so friendly and well-educated about their wines, so ask them to provide recommendations and answer any questions you might have.

Behind the Scenes of Winemaking

I would highly recommend that you join one of the guided tours offered by the winery. These tours are a fantastic way to learn more about the winemaking process and the history of Wilson Creek Winery. Our tour guide was fun and full of information. If you don’t know why you find roses at wineries, or how to identify grape leaves by variety, it’s an hour well spent.

During the tour, you get to taste five of their wines.  There is nothing more decadent than being poured a glass of wine while you are strolling through the grape vines. 

TIPS FOR YOUR TEMECULA WINE TASTING

  • Aim to arrive mid-morning to take full advantage of your day. You will want to have enough time to soak in the natural beauty of Temecula Valley. The weekends can get busy, so consider making reservations for the restaurant to ensure you have a seamless experience.
  • Explore the area. Take some time to wander the beautiful grounds of the winery. Stroll through the vineyards, find the old creek and children’s playground, or find a cozy spot on the patio to enjoy a glass of wine and a meal.
  • Before you leave, stop by the wine shop to pick up a few bottles of your favorite wines to take home. The shop also offers wine-related gifts, from elegant glassware to gourmet treats.  If you are shopping online, you can use “sandiegofoodiefan” as a code to get a 20% discount from the entire store.
  • Dress comfortably, wear comfortable shoes for walking around the vineyards, and have layers of clothing to accommodate the changing temperatures throughout the day.  Check the weather before leaving to get an idea of the temperature.
  • Become a member of the wine club which gives you 20% off retail prices every other month.   You can learn more about their wine club here.
  • And always, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and choose a designated driver (or use a ride-sharing service).
  • If you plan to spend the night, you can book a hotel in Temecula
Temecula wine tasting

Visiting Temecula

Temecula’s wineries produce a diverse range of wines, from robust reds and crisp whites to unique sparkling varieties. There are nearly fifty wineries in the area to enjoy a Temecula wine tasting. All are very different and offer a mix of wine tastings with stunning views, dining options from restaurants to stores, and behind-the-scenes tours. Whether you visit a small family-owned winery or a larger vineyard, your day in Temecula’s wine country will be unforgettable.

There is a full list of wineries on the Visit Temecula website. You can search for the wineries by varietal, find ones that have wine tours, and even find off-the-beaten-path locations.

In addition to the Temecula wine tasting, some of the other top sights would be:

  • Visiting Old Town
  • Try your luck at Pechanga Resort & Spa
  • Discover historical sights at Temecula Valley Museum
  • Go on a hot air balloon ride
  • Play a round of golf
  • Interact with alpacas at the Alpaca Hacienda

Getting To Temecula

Temecula Valley is just an hour’s drive from San Diego, and about 90 minutes from Los Angeles The drive to Wilson Creek is visually gorgeous as you will pass through the lush vineyards and scenic landscape of Temecula.

Temecula wine tasting

If you are looking for an intimate hotel, Temecula Creek Inn is close by, and has fine dining and an award-winning golf course.

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