While Temecula Valley’s warm, Mediterranean climate allows the region to produce rich and complex red wines from many different red grape varieties, the region is also known for plenty of fresh, crisp whites, juicy rosés, bright bubblies, and light, easy-drinking reds – all of which are perfect for long, steamy summer days (and nights!).
We caught up with a few of our favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country personalities to find out what they are sipping this summer. They shared their top picks for must-have warm-weather wines, all of which can be purchased at the winery, and most of which can be bought online.
Stacey Leonard, Fazeli Cellars:
“Summertime sips most definitely include Fazeli Cellars 2020 Boland Rooz this year! Boland Rooz meaning in Farsi is ‘longest day’ – a celebration of the summer solstice. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is bright, refreshing, and dry with hints of mandarin orange, cut grass, and crisp, green apple, and perfect for beating Temecula’s heat. Cheers!”
Tonya Wake, Cougar Vineyard & Winery:
“At Cougar Vineyard and Winery, we are enjoying our 2019 Estate Falanghina for a favorite summer wine. This wine has notes of pear on the bouquet and citrus on the palate. It’s a very crisp, refreshing wine for summer and is on sale for $120 per case, while supplies last!”
Vicky Curl, Leoness Cellars:
“As we start to experience the warmer temperatures in the Temecula Valley, we love to reach for wines that are perfect for backyard barbeques and poolside parties! Our White Merlot, Dry Rosé, and Mélange d’Été each have a variety of bright fruit aromas that remind us of strolling through a Saturday farmer’s market and, when sipped, have a crisp, clean refreshing finish that invites you to sit back, relax and enjoy the long summer days.”
Wendy Holder, Wilson Creek Winery:
“We love our Cinsault! It’s a fresh, soft, and bright red wine that goes well with a perfect summer sunset! We are also sipping on our Roussanne for summer because it’s refreshing as a white wine, but can still hold up to a hearty BBQ.”
Moriah Wilson, Peltzer Winery:
“We love sippin’ poolside and soaking up the summer BBQ energy. Our Syrah Rosé is the perfect fruit-forward accompaniment to grilled fish tacos with avocado-lime slaw. Enjoy our crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with a Mediterranean-style pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Don’t forget to lightly chill a bottle of our flagship red blend, Rustik Red to keep y’all company as you watch the sunset.”
Valerie Andrews, Oak Mountain Winery:
“Bentley’s Bubbles is a sparkling wine that was practically born for a sunny day. This pale pink Grenache rosé exudes fruitiness and elegance, with aromas of spring flowers and berries. A perfect harmony of aroma, taste, body, and finish. I also love that it was named after one of our grand doggies (he is on the label). Since I love smoking meat, I pair this with 8-hour smoked short ribs with my special BBQ dry rub.”
Sharon Cannon, Akash Winery:
“The whole Akash team is loving the new Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. This new addition to the collection is super refreshing and easy to drink. It pairs with just about anything, including all of those yummy summer salads, poolside parties, front porch sips, or watching your favorite reality show on the TV. What more could you ask for!”
Susan Chapin, Chapin Family Vineyards:
“Chapin Family Vineyards is introducing three new wines for summer. The first wine to be introduced is a fresh Vermentino that was produced and aged in beautiful clay amphoras. Our sparkling brut called ‘Frizzante’ was just released for those warm afternoons. And, finally, our Muscat which has many layers of sweet, fruit-forward flavors, is perfect for delicious desserts.”
Nick Palumbo, Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery:
“It should be no surprise that we are popping plenty of corks on our newest Viognier release. Our 2021 Viognier is perfect for a summer BBQ, charcuterie, and sunsets, or sipping by the pool. Delicate apricot, peach, and stone fruit fill the nose, followed by a rich and rounded mouthfeel, crisp acidity, and a hint of minerals in its mouthwatering finish.”
When we asked the folks at Wiens Family Cellars what they were sipping this summer, just about the entire team weighed in!
Sandy, Wiens’ Cellar Room Manager, says she will be enjoying the 2018 Reserve Red Blend this summer. “It’s perfect for sitting out on the patio after the sun goes down. This unique blend showcases four of our best vineyards! I can’t wait to sit in the night air and savor it.”
Autumn, a server at Wiens says: “I love our Blanc de Blancs because I can always use some bubbles for my troubles in this heat!”
Eddy from production says: “Anything white, cold, crisp and refreshing like our Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines, or Sauvignon Blanc!”
Server Tori says she is loving the Rosé of Malbec. “As a fan of dry whites, this is a surprising twist on the standard rosé. Sweet, refreshing, and delicious!”
Sam, also a server, agrees: “Rosé of Malbec! The perfect wine to sip by the pool on a hot day.”
Servers Daniel and Romana, as well as Tim, Wiens’ Tasting Room Manager, share the same favorite – the 2021 Reunion Blanc. Says Daniel: “It’s a refreshing by-the-pool wine.”
Wine server Devon tells us: “Brut Rosé all day! It’s the perfect substitute if you’re trying to get away from those sugar-filled margaritas. Bright and refreshing!”
Lastly, Blake from production captures it all: “I prefer a crisp, white wine for summertime by the pool or at the beach. My go-to wines would be Blanc de Blancs first, for its crisp acidity and citrusy tartness, then move onto our Reunion Blanc to enjoy with some fresh fruits, then finally our Rosé of Malbec to pair with grilled chicken tacos.”
Thanks to all our friends in Temecula Valley Wine Country for these delicious wine suggestions. We are absolutely parched. What are you sipping this summer?
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