Southern California Wine Country

I’m finally back from my trip to California and already have day one of summer classes under my belt! So that means there is no time to waste in getting back to my normal routine! But, I loved vacation and want to recreate every moment again and again… thus, I am going to share with you our trip to “wine country.”

Now, I know when you think of wine country in California, places like Napa and Sonoma come to mind first. Well, that was too far to travel to, so Marshall and I headed to the next best thing: Temecula, CA. Temecula is located between San Diego and Palm Springs:

Since we’re talking about wines from southern california, the wines in this region are typically lighter and more fruitier than you might find in the north. But well, I like lighter wines so this was a win for me! It was a very nice and scenic 1.5 hour drive from our hotel near Palm Springs. Before we went, we checked out the wineries online to try to plan which one’s we would go to.

If you are planning on going to this area, check out this website! It has very good descriptions of thewineries all in one place and they even have a self guided winery tour section. Very helpful! From that website, Marshall and I chose to go to four wineries on our trip.

We started the day with Thornton Winery.









The scenery was gorgeous, and they are known for their champagne, so I got the Champagne flight and Marshall got a flight composed of two white and two red wines to get a sense of their range.

Champagne Flight

Wine Flight

I liked the whites, and Marshall liked the reds, so it worked out perfectly! And since it was noon, we were hungry. We split a vegetarian flatbread pizza that was divine! I highly recommend it.

Next stop, Falkner Winery. Because not all types of grapes can grown in southern California, many wineries in the Temecula area buy grapes from other regions. But not this place. All of their wines are strictly from Temecula, so you could really get the local wine experience.

Great wine with a great view!

The experience was completed with a workout lizard! It would stand in the same spot doing pushups. It was there long enough to snap a photo. This winery was a little different than the first. They gave you a list of all the wines they had, and you could taste four  of them. I got whites, and Marshall got reds.

Wine menu at Falkner

Third stop for the day: Danza del Sol Winery 

This winery had a very nice European-Spanish feel. And the tasting format was similar to Falkner. Huge list of wine, and here you could pick five different wines to sample. They had a very nice Viognier that I particularly liked!

Our final stop of the day was to Keyways Winery.

I think this place was my least favorite of the day. The wines were just ok, and the inside was very dark and a little uninviting. I couldn’t even take a good picture of the inside due to the lack of light in the space. When you walked in, you tasted wine at this rustic, dark wooden bar that looked more like it should belong in an Irish pub than a winery in California. Overall, it wasn’t bad, but just not my favorite place of the day.

But the best part about all of the wine tastings were the 2 for 1 tastings coupons we found. Seriously, if you are ever going to go wine tasting, look for coupons before you go. We had coupons to all four of these places, and it saved us about $40 – $50. TOTALLY worth it. And you get to see some really nice scenery on the drive. So next time you are in California, take a trip to Temecula!

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