That with all of the wine classes I’ve taken, I would have done some wine tasting at some actual vineyards. Not so. Well, do you count vineyards in MN? It’s not quite the same…
This past weekend I was in the San Diego area. I have a friend that is living there for a couple of months and it was her birthday. What does that mean? Girls weekend of fun in California! On Saturday, we did wine tasting in Temecula.
As far as wine regions go, Temecula is fairly young. It’s also pretty hot. So the grapes that grow best are the hot-weather ones. The wines that I liked the best were Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrahs, and some blends. There were actually a few roses (not the flower, the wine – don’t know how to type an accent mark) that I liked. Also, many of the wines that we tasted are only available at the wineries.
We started at Wiens Family Cellars. There, we did a sit-down tasting that included cheese and olives. Their wine is only available directly through them. I liked the 2007 & 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the best. I actually liked the olives. I’ve been trying to train myself to like them for a few years now…
Next was Monte de Oro. Their tasting included 8 wines that you could pick. In general I liked most everything I tasted. I was very nicely surprised with their 2010 Synergy Rose. The woman who was helping us was really nice and that made the experience more enjoyable.
We had lunch at Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards. Instead of going to their tasting room, we ordered a variety of their champagnes with lunch. I took the card that tells who distributes this stuff in my area. Almond Champagne, Peach Bellini and Orange Mimosa sparkling wine were all fantastic.
Masia de Yabar has a more Spanish feel to it. Be careful if you click the link – there’s music. They get some of their grapes from Argentina. By this time we were sharing our tastings. To me, these wines needed some food or some more time in the bottle.
Danza del Sol was an unplanned stop on our itinerary. The wines were fine, but the service at the counter could have been better.
Oak Mountain Winery was one where I liked most of what I tasted. I started off with a Raspberry Champagne. They also had a white Merlot, which was a rose that was nice.
Lastly, we stopped at Robert Renzoni Vineyards. I liked these wines but my notes are a bit hazy. You can guess why…
All total, we visited seven wineries. If you’re going to do the power-winery-day thing, you need to think a few things through…
1. Have a driver.
2. Bring snacks and make sure you’re having food.
3. Share your tastings.
4. Dump it! Do not drink everything that is poured!
5. Know your limits and don’t go over the edge.
6. Consider trying a chaser.
Doing 3 – 4 vineyards in a day is probably more do-able for most people. If I lived in an area like this, I’d probably go to one or two in a day and take advantage of their entertainment options. Many of the vineyards have live music in the evenings.
All of these vineyards wanted you to join their wine club. All states have different laws regarding alcohol. Some states have more variety than others and some you can’t get wine shipped to you. So it’s up to you if you want to join.
In regard to pricing of wines… The guy who teaches my wine classes has a pretty good thought on pricing. If it’s over $40 for a bottle, you’re most likely paying for someone’s mortgage or their ego. You can get great wine that doesn’t cost $90 a bottle. So think before you buy.
The countryside is beautiful, but you’ll have to wait until I get home before I add a few photos to this post.