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Temecula Wineries Help Needed

Chowhounds, I need help for Saturday. A few friends and me are renting a van and driving to Temecula for the day. I wanted to visit cool boutique wineries and try to stay away from the big ones.

Any suggestions?

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  1. You will have to check out this gem of a winery ;-)


    1. The only "big" one might be Callaway, but the rest are pretty small. We like Thornton for champagne and lunch.

      Look at Frangipani Estate, Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Hart.

      1. Check out this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/752263. Pay heed to the stay away from Wilson Creek replies.
        Hart Family Winery is one of the oldest small wineries in the valley. Good juice.

        1. My significant other has a wine club membership with Ponte - its a lovely vineyard and the wine is pretty good.

          1. Try Hart and Mount Palomar. The grounds at Mount Palomar are nice too (in a homey way, not as polished as some of the bigger ones).

            1. My only advice is, when you see a bridal shower bus, and you will, turn around and go someplace else

              1. I like Maurice Carrie for their sweeter whites - especially their riesling! and of course Thorton for their champange tasting and bread w. goat cheese

                1. Tesoro is hands down the best experience I have had in Temecula re: wine. Monte de oro the worst.

                  Caveats: Tesoro is NOT in wine country (at least the tasting room is not, but it has a nice feel to the in-town location, and unmatched wines for the area imo). Monte De Oro is beautiful and seems it would be excellent but it has such a wal-mart, forced mainstream feel to it, and some of the worst wines in the region. If you do go to the Monte de oro try their Viognier, it's actually very good.

                  Been to Temecula 20+ times, and these are the standouts on both ends of the spectrum. I have been an enophile for some time now, and know a little bit about wine, but I haven't been as impressed with temecula as I guess most people think I should be. I feel like the wines on a whole are very mainstream and very reproduced. It is the subtle nuances at a place like Tesoro that really stands out to me in Temecula. There are so many good wines available in the world...it's hard not to randomly fall into a bunch of really good ones while there.

                  A few basic tasting notes from my last Tesoro trip:

                  Elio doro 2007: extremely acidic, but likable, tart notes a lot like an unripened cherry.

                  Sangiovese 2006: typically spicy mouth feel, with a sincerely mellow profile throughout, very even drinking, pronounced vanilla, but not quite the perfuming I had expected.

                  2009 Il terrazza rosso, kimberly vineyards chilled: incredible wine, just sweet enough, fresh clean bright and sweet for a red. Incredible nose. Sooo good, especially for someone who doesn't drink sweet wines, a welcome addition to my cellar.

                  Trinita 2006: meaty, bold, but bright.

                  Chardonnay 2008: popcorn notes in the nose. A bit sharp on the finish, very drinkable but not my favorite in the mix today.

                  Riesling 2007: sweet but not particularly memorable...if the price is right, you could fool me into buying a lot of this for fringe wine drinkers at dinner parties.

                  Nice sincere staff, who take the time to get to know you.

                  Sounds a lot like they are working on a winery tasting room on the property in the Wine Country.

                  1. Thanks guys. Its crazy but we only had time for two winieries. We planned to visit a lot more but two we went to were fantastic and we stayed longer.

                    Frangipani Estate and Robert Renzoni Vineyard. Renzoni had a great Barbera (spelling?). Frangipani had the best wine I have tasted in Temecula and maybe outside of Napa Valley.

                    Great experience. Can't wait to go again.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dbwave

                      I am glad that you went out to De Portola Rd. It is a lot less hectic out there than on Rancho California Rd, Renzoni was a pleasant suprise for us the last time we were up there.