Temecula is at the heart of a growing wine region. As much as San Diego embodies Southern California surfer vibes, Temecula offers a completely different western wine country atmosphere and they are only an hour and a half apart. With almost 50 wineries to visit, a thriving culinary scene, unique boutique shopping, beautiful golf courses and a casino, it is a diverse destination for a weekend getaway or mid week explorations. We enjoyed Temecula during a visit to California at the peak of the pandemic restrictions. Because of the restrictions, we only scratched the surface of all it has to offer. It is place we will definitely return to explore in greater depth.
We stayed at the Temecula Creek Inn. It is a lovely hotel with a rustic, lodge-like feel. It is surrounded by the Temecula Creek Golf Club. This beautiful golf course has 27 holes laid out as 3 nine hole courses. Play, sip and stay packages are available. They also have a great restaurant, Cork, Fire, Kitchen. We were able to have a delicious dinner on the large covered porch that is anchored with a giant fireplace.
We explored two wineries during our brief visit. Our first stop was Robert Renzoni. With deep roots in wine making and distribution, the Renzoni's opened their winery in 2004. Father and son work side by side to create rich reds and interesting whites in the old world style of their Italian ancestors. There is also an on-site restaurant, Mama Rosa's with a wood fired pizza oven. Because of Covid restrictions, we were not able to enjoy the restaurant nor do an official tasting. We did purchase a bottle of their Old Vine Zin. Later in our trip, we paired it with a to-go pizza. The earthy depth of this red wine complimented the fatty, salty flavors in our pizza.
Our next stop was Avensole Winery. These hilltop vineyards were purchased by the Lytton Family in 2014 and the winery was born combining the Italian words for adventure and one of a kind into its name, Avensole. The 20 acres were originally planted with Petite Syrah and Chenin Blanc vines in 1969. In 1986 Muscat Canelli, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel vines were planted.
The Lytton's added a beautiful tasting room and restaurant. During our visit there were no official wine tastings. The restaurant was offering to go service. We grabbed a charcuterie plate and some tomato basil soup along with a bottle of their Super Tuscan, Italian-style red blend and headed to their outdoor patio to enjoy them. I had packed our glass red wine glasses to make our wine drinking experience more enjoyable.
As you can see from the photographs, we visited Temecula in January when the vines are dormant. I would recommend visiting in Spring or Fall when the valley is lush green and the temperatures are enjoyable. The summers can be very warm. Temecula can be very busy on the weekends. If you are able to visit mid-week you will find it much less crowded. We were not able to visit any of the downtown shops. Peaking into the shop windows, it looks like a place where you can score some treasures.
Are you ready to book your trip? You can see all your hotel options on booking.com. Have you been wine tasting in Temecula? Please leave any recommendations in the comments section below, so we can all learn from your experiences.