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Temecula Valley, California
(Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area)

I lived in Temecula many years ago, before it developed into the wine and vacation destination that it is today. It was always a unique and beautiful area but through the years has become a picturesque blending of fine wine, food, and relaxation.

A good friend of mine who also happens to live in the area – took us on a memorable tour of some of her favorite spots as well as one brand new winery. For this particular tour we focused our tasting on red wines.

Tasting room 1.
Wiens Family Cellars – Our first stop is home to some bold, delicious reds. One of winemaker and viticulturist Doug Wiens’ goals is to produce a world class Bordeaux blend. From what we tried he is definitely on the right path.
The Wiens tasting room also includes a gift shop and new barrel room with plenty of space for your touring party. Between the 3 of us we tried the 2013 Tempranillo, the 2014 Pinot Noir, the 2013 Barbera, the 2012 Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014 Merrytage as well as off the Reserve List: the 2013 Reserve Zinfandel, the 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2012 Chateau Grand Rouge. Our server also poured me a taste of their delectable Cabernet Franc (one of my favorite varietals!).

Tasting room 2.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards – Our second stop has a brand new beautiful “Tuscan villa” style tasting room and restaurant situated on top of a hill, within the vineyard landscape. Although we found the reds that we tried lacking some depth and complexity, they were still enjoyable and certainly good quaffing wines. Some of the reds available here: 2013 Tempranillo, 2012 Sangiovese, 2012 Brunello di Sangiovese. The Cellar Master is Jason Fairris and Olivia Bue is the Assistant Winemaker.

Tasting room 3.
Our third stop was Miramonte Winery. Also situated within the vineyard landscape, on a hill, the spacious tasting room and connected dining area offer plenty of room to gather for an enjoyable tasting experience. They offer many tasty reds here. Our favorite by far was the bold, complex 2012 Estate Syrah. Jammy and fruit forward with a dry finish we were tempted to buy a case of this delectable red! Our server also happened to be a sommelier which made our tasting experience that much more noteworthy. Other reds available here: 2012 Opulente, 2013 Bin #380, 2013 Pinot Noir, 2012 Tempranillo, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Reinhard Schlassa is the winemaker here.

Tasting room 4.
Our fourth and final stop was South Coast Winery which is also home to a world class resort and spa, as well as The Vineyard Rose restaurant. The tasting room here is adorned with natural landscape murals giving a sense of the wild and semi-arid Temecula Valley Appellation. We found their reds to be true to the “exuberant” fruit description. Some of the reds available here: 2012 Zinfandel Wild Horse Peak, 2012 Meritage Wild Horse Peak, 2010 Petite Sirah Wild Horse Peak.
Master Winemaker Jon McPherson and Winemaker Javier Flores work together to produce consistently quality wines. South Coast Winery was judged Best Winery in the State of California.