The Temecula wine country has been growing in size and winemaking skills. If you are dreaming of a wine vacation, but you don't have a lot of time, this is the place to come.
It started coming into its own in the 1980s. The wine "main drag" is Rancho California Road. It runs from the town of Temecual towards the east. Though the area has few wineries, by Napa Valley standards, it continues to grow in numbers, and in reputation.
Many people think of this area as desert country, but grapes from many different varieties can grow here, including many that are considered more suitable to cool climates. Of course, Temecula is only about 25 miles from the ocean, and at about 1,500 feet above sea level,it is relatively high in altitude. These characteristics produce a climate of warm days and cool nights.
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Many think of Temecula as a red wine country, but in fact there are wineries that produce Riesling, sauvignon blanc, and even sparkling wine and cream sherry. So, as you see, this area offers tremendous variety in its wine output.
One of the largest wineries in the Temecula wine country is Callaway Vineyards and Winery. Established by Ely Callaway, of golf equipment fame, it produces various types of wine. Its wine tasting room offers beautiful views of the vineyards surrounding it.
Thornton Winery delights with its sparkling wine, though it also offers still wines. And if you come in the summer, you can enjoy weekend Jazz concerts.
Mount Palomar Winery produces Sangiovese, Riesling, and a yummy cream sherry among other notable wines.
Things to do
If you are looking for a break from wine, make sure you visit
located nearby. It is a celebrated center of astronomical research owned by the California Institute of Technology. Research is conducted by Caltech's faculty and students. It is in the Cleveland National Forest. Mount Palomar is at 5,500 feet above sea level. It is open every day except for December 24 and 25, though it may be closed at other times if weather and travel conditions are not good.
If you are into gaming, the Pechanga Resort and Casino is another nearby attraction. It is owned and operated by the Pechanga band of Luiseño Indians.
In addition, the band hold an annual PowWow that is free and open to the public. It is usually held in early July. some of the activities are dancing and drum contests.