Rancho California Trail West
Upon entering the Temecula Valley via Rancho California Road, these wineries will be the first that you encounter. Included are an array of small, medium and large wineries to enjoy.
Stops: Hart Winery, Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Thornton Winery, Europa Village, Baily Vineyard & Winery, Miramonte Winery, Bel Vino Winery , Mount Palomar Winery
41300 Avenida Biona, Temecula, CA 92593; (951) 676-6300; open daily 9am-5pm; hartfamilywinery.com
With a focus on quality in both vineyard and bottle, this small-scale, family-operated winery showcases a well-deserved collection of gold medals and a stellar array of both red and white wines.
On the tasting menu: Arneis, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Meritage; $12 for 6 tastes.
Callaway Vineyard & Winery
32720 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (951) 676-4001; open daily from 10am - 5pm. (6/1-8/30, open from 10a-6p on Fridays and Saturdays) Meritage Restaurant hours: open daily for lunch 11am-4pm; dinner only on Fri & Sat 5pm-9pm; callawaywinery.com
This famous winery is a popular choice with locals and visitors alike offering an approachable wine list and newly remodeled Estate winery. For a perfect meal, take a patio seat at Meritage Restaurant.
On the tasting menu: Pinot Gris, Rose of Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Calliope Red; (6) 1oz tastes for $15.
32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (951) 699-0099 open daily 10am-5pm; Café Champagne Restaurant hours: lunch 11am-3:30pm, dinner 5pm-9pm; thorntonwine.com
Since 1988, this French chateau-like estate winery has been welcoming guests to enjoy it's award-winning wines and restaurant, Cafe Champagne. Check out their Champagne Jazz concert series for a real treat.
On the tasting menu: Sparkling Wine, Chardonnay, Cabernet-Merlot, Old Vine Zinfandel; tastes range from $11-$17; tasting room offers sit-down service & appetizers
33475 La Serena Way, Temecula, CA 92591; (951) 506-1818; open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Relish a taste of the Old World. Three distinctly different wineries under one roof, guests may choose French wines from C'est La Vie, Spanish wine from Bolero Cellars or Italian wine from Vienza.
On the tasting menu: Syrah, Tempranillo, Sangiovese; $15 for 6 tastes
Baily Vineyard & Winery
33440 La Serena Way Temecula, CA 92591; open daily 11 am-5pm, Sat 10am to 5pm; (951) 676-WINE ; Carol's Restaurant hours: open for lunch Thurs-Sun, 11:30am to 2:30pm; Sat and Sun, 11:30am-3pm; open for dinner Friday & Saturday 5pm to 8:30pm; bailywinery.com
Since 1986, Baily Winery has produced small lots of excellent quality wines from their Estate vineyards. Pair them with fresh California cuisine at Carol’s Restaurant, which features a delightful outdoor patio.
On the tasting room menu: Chardonnay, Semillon, Rose of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Meritage; Weekdays $10 for 6 tastes (does not include glass); Saturday & Sundays $15 for 6 tastes (includes logo glass)
33410 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (951) 506-5500; open Sun-Thurs 11am-6pm, Fri & Sat 11am-10pm; miramontewinery.com
A casual, contemporary-chic tasting room and a jam-packed music and events calendar, Miramonte provides a hip vibe to your wine tasting. Combine that with a serious passion for wine and you'll be hooked.
On the tasting menu: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Sangiovese, $15 for 6 tastes with logo glass Mon-Thurs; $17 for 6 tastes with logo glass Fri-Sun.
Bel Vino Winery
33515 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (888) 260-0870; open Sun.-Fri. - 10am-5pm; Sat. 10am-6pm; belvinowinery.com
A truly fun and memorable experience, Bel Vino Winery features a full line of varietals and vintages, including their exclusive premium label, Stuart Cellars. With year-round special events, a first-class wedding venue and a spectacular view of wine country, you will want to visit often to enjoy it all.
On the tasting menu: Tatria/red Meritage, Calista/white Meritage, Long Valley Red, Viognier; $12.95 per person for tasting on the weekdays and $15.95 per person on the weekends.
Mount Palomar Winery
33820 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591; (951) 676-5047/(800) 854-5177; open daily 10:00a-6:00p mountpalomar.com
This early California style winery is as known for its breathtaking views of the valley as it is for its varied wine selection. Stop by for a taste of Temecula history.
On the tasting menu: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cream Sherry, Charbono; $12 per tasting Mon-Thurs; $16 per tasting Fri-Sun