I had the opportunity to attend a Temecula Immersion Press Trip recently. I just have to say WOW! My eyes were totally opened and I left with a whole new impression on this stunning region!! Not only can the wine stand up to the other wine producing areas in California, there are luxurious resorts, fine dining, unbeatable hospitality and a beautiful sense of community. I stayed 2 nights at South Coast Winery Resort and Spa. A dreamy villa with a comfortable bed, cozy fireplace, jetted bathtub and a patio overlooking the vineyard! Nothing like waking up to a cup of coffee in the middle of the vines!
We started the night off at The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars with an 8 course meal prepared by Chef Daragh Matheson. The food was exceptional and unique! I never would think to combine Wagyu beef with watermelon, but it was heavenly! We ate everything from Caviar with Oysters, to perfectly cooked halibut to duck fat French fries. Each course was perfectly paired with a Leoness Cellars wine, and each more lovely then the next! What an outstanding experience!
this scallop paired perfectly with the Leoness Cellars White Merlot!
Wagyu beef and watermelon with a lime salt ribbon! Such a unique and delicious combination!
The next morning, after my coffee in the vines, I enjoyed a lovely breakfast at the restaurant at South Coast Winery Resort and Spa.
Next, we took an adventurous ride up a windy mountain to 2000 ft above sea level to the most stunning view I’ve ever seen! Wild Horse Peak Vineyards are positioned in the perfect growing conditions with sunlight and the ocean breeze. We tasted these exceptional wines on top of the mountain with the temecula legends- the winemakers themselves.
After coming back down the mountain, we headed to Falkner Winery for a lovely tasting and were treated to a multi-course lunch in the barrel room.
With very full bellies, we headed to Wiens Family Cellars for a blending class! We got to take a stab at some blind tasting and blend and cork our own bottle of wine!
The day didn’t end there! Next, we headed to Robert Renzoni Vineyards! Here we had a barrel tasting of the Montepulciano, tasted the stunning wines made by the only head female wine maker in the Valley, Olivia Bue, went through the secret passageway and stayed for dinner! For dinner we had the famous Robert Renzoni pizza. A bunch of the other winery owners and winemakers joined and brought their wines to share! To me, this is what makes this valley so beautiful, to see the wineries all come together to support the bigger cause of making Temecula great. Such a beautiful community!
The next morning we started with a tasting of 10 wines, each presented by the winemaker, owner, or winery representative. Wow! All of these wines were just stunning!! Did you know they are successfully growing over 30 varieties here!? Something for everyone!
1. Carter Estate 2015 Brut (classic method) 2. Masia de la Vinya 2018 Verdelho 3. South Coast Winery 2018 Tempranillo rosé 4. Doffo 2016 Syrah 5. Baily 2015 estate bottles Meritage 6. Wiens Family Cellars 2016 Fourfold 7. Oak Mountain 2015 Pinotage 8. Danza Del Sol 2014 Syrah 9. Leoness Cellars 2016 Eloquent 10. Hart Winery 2017 Old Vine Zin (1882)
At the end of the presentation, Phil Baily, owner of Baily Vineyards, who has been in the valley since 1981, became emotional as he expressed his gratitude and pride for all of the winemakers in the room. What a special moment to witness and proof of how special and tight knit the Temecula Valley wine community is.
I walked away from this experience with all my expectations blown out of the water! No wonder why Temecula Valley was just rated by Wine Enthusiasts as top 10 wine regions to visit in 2019! I will be back very soon!!
HUGE thank you to Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association @temeculawines , Visit Temecula Valley @visittemecula and Devin Parr @thesocalwinegal for this incredible experience!
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