While the rolling hills, gorgeous vistas, welcoming tasting rooms and, of course, phenomenal wines are great reasons to visit Temecula Valley, we particularly love the fact that there is a whole range of great restaurants pretty much among the vines in Wine Country. What’s better than settling in at a table overlooking lovingly tended vines while sipping local wines paired with exciting Wine Country cuisine?
From laid-back casual fare to grab-and-go-snacks to elevated dining experiences, Temecula Valley has something for everyone when it comes to winery restaurants and food options. You’ll never have to go hungry – extra important if you’re out sipping wine all day. We’ve asked a few of our favorite Wine Country restaurants about their signature dishes and what they love to pair with them. Bring your napkins because these selections are drool-worthy!
Baba Joon’s Kitchen at Fazeli Cellars
It’s tough to miss this majestic property as it rises up over De Portola Road, inviting visitors in with its impressive dual staircase that wraps around the front entrance. But Fazeli Cellars isn’t just home to delicious wines made from a range of classic and unusual grape varieties. It’s also where you’ll find Baba Joon’s Kitchen, a unique Mediterranean-Persion fusion menu in a welcoming bistro environment with casual seating on the patio.
Must-try dish: “Our walnut panar is absolutely savory!” says tasting room manager Stacey Leonard. Created by owner and proprietor BJ Fazeli, this recipe is a delicious spread of cream cheese, walnuts, pomegranate seeds, molasses, and a plethora of herbs and spices served with warm pita or crispy crostini.
Pair it with: Fazeli Cellars Norooz, an aromatic blend of Muscat and Viognier, which provides a nice partner to the complex flavors of the Panar.
Mama Rosa’s Trattoria at Robert Renzoni Vineyards
The sounds of Dean Martin’s smooth crooning wafts over the vineyards as you approach this winery that could very well double as an Italian villa, known for – you guessed it – Italian grapes produced in a California style, happening patio scene, on-site bocce ball court and, of course, Mama Rosa’s Trattoria. A truly authentic Italian trattoria, Mama Rosa’s serves Italian comfort food, including mouthwatering brick oven pizzas, amongst the mountains of the De Portola Wine Trail, using only the freshest local and imported ingredients.
Must-try dish: Truffleheads will not want to miss the legendary R & R Pizza, featuring homemade truffle cream sauce, mozzarella, artichoke parmigiano sausage, and portobello mushrooms, topped with asiago, fresh rosemary, and truffle salt.
Pair it with: Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2022 Barile Chardonnay. The buttery notes of the Chardonnay play well against the earthy truffle and mushroom flavors.
Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery
One of Temecula Valley’s longest-standing and most beloved mainstays, Baily is a family-owned winery known for their dedication to crafting quality wines. Named after owner/winemaker Phil Baily’s wife, Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery offers casual dining in the distinctive (and air-conditioned!) Bacchus Hall or on the charming covered patio alongside the estate Cabernet vines.
Must-try dish: Go for the Duet of Raviolis, a savory combination of Florentine and mushroom ravioli topped with a light tomato and Montage wine sauce and garnished with toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.
Pair it with: Baily Winery 2020 Montage, a zesty blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, reminiscent of the great white wines of Bordeaux.
The Restaurant at Avensole Winery
Avensole Winery is a chic, upscale boutique winery with hilltop views and pristine gardens. Relax and enjoy award-winning wines in both indoor and outdoor lounges as well as mouthwatering classic French-inspired cuisine with locally sourced produce in an al fresco garden restaurant, or plan the ultimate winery wedding.
Must-try dish: Dig into Avensole’s one of a kind A5 Japanese Wagyu New York Strip Steak, seasoned with salt and a five-peppercorn mixture and seared rare. Served table side by the Chef, who will dress the steak in a ginger and ponzu mignonette whose subtle hints of salt, acidity, and freshness complement the Wagyu perfectly.
Pair it with: Avensole 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine’s tannins are softened by the Wagyu’s rich, buttery texture, allowing the Cabernet’s fruit and oak flavors to shine through. The ginger and ponzu mignonette adds a bright, tangy note that complements the wine’s acidity and highlights the dark chocolate and espresso notes in this Cabernet.
The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars
If you’re not visiting Leoness Cellars for their robust lineup of top-scoring and award-winning wines, stop in for elegant, upscale Wine Country dining. Voted Best Winery Restaurant by USA Today, The Restaurant at Leoness offers a classical style kitchen using the highest quality ingredients from local farming partners. Take in fantastic views, unparalleled food, and world class hospitality. The Restaurant features a variety of appetizers, vibrant salads, and exceptional Chef’s Selections all prepared in an open kitchen.
Must-try dish: Indulge in the decadent 24-hr Braised Lumina Lamb Shank, seasoned with fine herbs and a smoky Vadouvan crust, served on a bed of roasted heirloom golden beets, candied cippolini onions, and summer squash puree.
Pair it with: Leoness Cellars 2019 Cellar Selection Cabernet Franc-Merlot blend is a worthy companion to this rich, flavorful dish, easily matching its earthy flavors with an equally complex palate and silky finish.
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