HOME > Chowhound > California >


Temecula vineyard recommendations [California]

We'll be in SD next week and would like to go up to Temecula and try some wine. It's impossible to pick one or two from the dozens of websites and I couldn't find any south coast wines in my area to try in order to form an uninformed opinion of what might be representative of the specialties of the area.

Does anyone have any recommendations/opinions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: ibstatguy

      check out Orfila in Escondido on your way up or back

      1. re: ibstatguy

        +1 on Orfila. IMO better than anything in Temecula. But I have not visited them in 4-5 years.

        1. re: 4wino

          We're not wedded to Temecula, I just found a lot of vineyards in that area. We're staying near Kearny Mesa, so I think Escondido is convenient too. Thank you.
          Keep 'em coming!!!!

          8310 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111

          1. re: AprilTwoCats

            You used to be able to get a discount on wine tasting at Orfila when you visited the Wild Animal park - might be worth looking into.

    2. I visited Leonesse Cellars recently and enjoyed myself. Beautiful grounds, great staff, tasty wines. Have fun!

      1. Hart and Mt Palomar are both good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mayache

          I should add that whatever you do stay away from Wilson Creek. That wine should come with a tiny pink umbrella in it.

          1. re: mayache

            A big second on Hart and the recommendation to stay away from Wilson Creek.

            1. re: araknd

              I am always shocked how many people drink that horrible almond soda pop at Wilson Creek.

              1. re: gbreit

                I think that their customers are the same that love $5 a bottle "champagne". They also get a lot of buses and "limousine" tour groups.

            1. we moved to the general vicinity a couple of years ago. have been tasting in temecula for a few years. our favorite - primarily for the reds, but they also have some nice champagne and whites, is Wiens Family Cellars. the only wine club we've joined so far. (we're pretty picky)

              Wiens Family Cellars
              35055 Via Del Ponte, Temecula, CA 92591

              1. We like Thorton Winery. We were there just last month. They have an excellent selection of wine flights and a nice menu. We were staying at Southcoast Winery but preferred this for tasting and light lunch.

                1. Callaway has a wonderful chef. I had dinner there Saturday night and really enjoyed the entire experience. I like their Reds.
                  I also stayed at a B & B called Loma Vista B & B. This was a wonderful experince. The food was great and Connie and Carl did everything possible to make me feel at home.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Linda O

                    IMO, Callaway wines are unremarkable, probably some of the meh wines in Temecula. I'd opt to drive to Orfila in Escondido, wines with lots of medal winners.

                    1. re: cstr

                      I, like some of the others posters, will recommend Orfilia in Escondido. If you really want to go up into Temecula Valley, I would put Hart at the top of the list. Callaway is very commericial and not a lot of the juice is from Temecula. Their Limited release stuff is much better than their regular release. Thorton's sparkling wines are not bad, but they were, the last time I tasted there, kinda snotty about the tasting experience.

                  2. I forgot about Baily. Great juice. They also offer lunch and dinner in Carol's.

                    1. Not in Temecula, but in Ramona, I've liked the red wines from Edwards Vineyards and Cellars:

                      Their Petite Syrah and Syrah are two of the best wines I've ever had from either Temecula or San Diego.

                      It's a small family operation, so they don't have a tasting room, but I wouldn't be surprised if you called them, they'd do something to accomodate you.

                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          If Betty in Costa Mesa gives it a big thumbs up, it must be good.

                          1. re: ibstatguy

                            I've never heard of this winery. But then again I've never heard of asking $75.00 for a bottle of zinfandel! I'll stick with Hart.

                          2. We have found the wineries in Temecula to be sub-par and too pricey. If you do go, I would recommend going to ones that have a 2-1 coupon tasting special on the weekdays.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: uponthoughts

                              For a lot of reasons, we ended up going to Orfila in Escondido. The pourer told us that a lot of people stop by after seeing their sign on the way to the San Diego Animal Safari. We were there in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day, so we had the pourer practically to ourselves.There's a lovely patio outside the tasting room, but in December the vineyard isn't that much to look at. They have a selection of cheeses and snacks if you wish to sit outside.

                              My husband and I each took the $6/10 wines tasting. He concentrated on the whites and I did the reds, and we both drank a lot of the estate wines that are made without blends with outside grapes/juice.

                              I enjoyed the Sangiovese (nicely tannic but still some fruit) and the Ambassador reserve merlot (Orfila was an ambassador from Argentina). We liked enough to buy the white riesling (went great with spicy take-out Mexican food) and the sparkling Muscato (nicely dry but still fruit-forward) for an end-of-trip toast.

                              Thank you all for the suggestions.