Faulkner Winery - A Fun and Romantic Activity While Visiting Southern California

Wine tasting can be a great way to spend an afternoon with a loved one.
Wine tasting can be a great way to spend an afternoon with a loved one. | Source

Oh so many places to choose

When it comes to finding something to do in the state of California, you may actually find yourself more overwhelmed by how much there is to do, rather than moping because there is nothing to do. California tourism is big. Yet, even though there are tourists everywhere, when you live in the area, there might be a few gems easily overseen.

My husband and I were celebrating our 12th anniversary and we wanted to do something unique. We have been to Disneyland a thousand times and we have season passes to Seaworld. After living here, theme parks seem to become the ordinary and believe it or not, they can get redundant if you visit them regularly. So we began the search for something different, something unique, and something romantic. After all, we were celebrating 12 years of wedded bliss.

Floating over wine country

Wine tasting isn't the only thing to do in wine country. Visit Temecula and get a view from the sky!
Wine tasting isn't the only thing to do in wine country. Visit Temecula and get a view from the sky! | Source

We live pretty close to Temecula, which is a small but significant wine production center in southern California. This area is less known when compared to other higher production winery districts such as Napa Valley, which is located in northern California, but Temecula is a great option for wine tasting in southern California. For us, it is close to home. According to the California Winery Advisor, there are about 40 wineries throughout the Temecula area. Often times these places offer a venue for weddings or just overnight accomidations.

There are also several activities in wine country that don't revolve around drinking wine, such as festivals and hot air balloon rides. On our 10th anniversary, we actually took a Hot Air Balloon ride over the vineyards at sunrise. It was amazing. So, two years later, wine tasting seemed only appropriate.

A beautiful view

When we turned in the driveway, I was impressed by the view. But when I looked back down, it took my breath away.
When we turned in the driveway, I was impressed by the view. But when I looked back down, it took my breath away. | Source

A little bit of jazz...

Normally the jazz concert is played outside on the lawn. However, due to storms the day prior, we enjoyed the concert inside the Art Gallery. Not a problem because it kept us out of the heat as well!
Normally the jazz concert is played outside on the lawn. However, due to storms the day prior, we enjoyed the concert inside the Art Gallery. Not a problem because it kept us out of the heat as well! | Source

A grape escape...

When looking for a winery to visit, the list seemed to be endless, however, we finally found one that offered a great deal and some free entertainment. When comparing the different wineries, you have to find something that sets one apart from the other. This is why the Faulkner Winery stood out.

In the world of wine, Faulkner Winery is a baby, only opening in July of 2000. However, with a passion for wine, the winery has been going strong ever since. The Pinnacle Restaurant is available for a bite to eat and offers a great view of the valley below. The prices are reasonable for this type of restaurant and the food is delicious.

Inside the winery, you can enjoy wine tasting in the tasting room and during the summer months, they even offer a free Jazz concert on Sundays. This concert doesn't require any reservations, and the music is provided by a local favorite, Jason Weber, who has played throughout the San Diego and Orange County areas. Often times this concert is done outside in the lawn area next to the tasting room from noon until 3 p.m.

With some good wine and jazz playing in the background, you truly can't ask for a better atmosphere.

Wine tasting this way!

If you want to taste you got to follow the sign!
If you want to taste you got to follow the sign! | Source

How To Taste Wine

My husband and I have never done wine tasting before. We have drank plenty of wine in our lifetime, but the actual art of wine tasting has left me in the dark. So naturally, I had to ask lots of questions. After all, everybody wants to make sure they get their money's worth when they go out for a romantic afternoon.

As I was doing research I found each winery had what was called a tasting card. The average price for a tasting card varies, but not all tasting cards are equal. A cheaper tasting card may include less drinks while a more pricey tasting card may include additional benefits. From there, it is going to depend on what you are looking for and what your budget is. This is also a great time to see if the winery offers coupons.

When we choose the Faulkner Winery, part of it was because of the coupon. The "Buy One Get One" tasting card made this winery the best deal I found. The classic tasting was 6 tastes for $10. For $15, you got 7 tastes (the final taste was Sangria - a summer specail) and you also received a complimentary glass to take home and a coupon for $5 off a bottle of wine purchase. Since we had the 2 for 1 coupon, the higher of the prices was the better deal for us, not only because we got more tastes but because we got a souvenir as well.

Just a taste

Depending on the winery will depend on what wines are available. Don't worry, you have plenty to choose from.
Depending on the winery will depend on what wines are available. Don't worry, you have plenty to choose from. | Source

Sniff - Swirl - Sip

I am by no means a wine snob.... So when it comes to tasting wine, I have no comparison. I am just as fond of a $5 bottle of wine picked up at the local grocery store.

I don't know what it means when people talk clarity, and if they have a hint of peach in there, I probably couldn't tell you... unless of course it was written in the description. So naturally, I had to ask what this "Sniff, swirl, and taste" thing was when it came to wine tasting.

Between my husband and I, we had 14 tastes. This was ideal because it allowed us to try just about every single wine on the list. So, with our noses ready, our wrist prepped for swirling and our taste buds in tune, we were ready for our wine tasting experience to begin.

As many people already know, our sense of smell directly effects how we taste things. (To this day it still confuses me as to how people actually eat Sauerkraut!) If you have a head cold, it throws off your taste buds; when people quit smoking, they often talk about how much better things taste. Just test yourself. Close your eyes, smell one thing and then taste something completely different. What happens? Now notice how when you close your eyes how it intensifies the smell. This is the concept behind why you sniff wine before you taste - it helps you to take in all the flavors better.

So now we go on to swirling the wine in the glass. I always thought this was just to look sophisticated, (Which you can also do by extending your pinky up while you drink!) but I was wrong. According to Wine Etiquette, "swirling releases the esters, ethers, and aldehydes that combine with oxygen to yield the bouquet of the wine." Ok - for those of us who aren't professional wine tasters, this basically means that it aerates the wine, not only giving it a better smell, but a better taste as well.

Alright, now is the time we have all been waiting for - the taste. Now remember to sip your wine. This will allow you to really indulge in the taste. After all, this isn't like downing a glass of water where you just drink and swallow. To taste the wine is to really concentrate on how the taste buds react to what you put in your mouth. It is time to decipher whether or not you taste sweet, sour or bitter. Maybe once you have had enough you will be able to figure out what different flavors were used to make the wine. And naturally, after you have tasted your wine, it is time to sit back and savor it. this will help you get a good impression of the wine.

Most importantly, whether you are a pro at wine tasting or someone like my husband and I just out for a different experience, it doesn't matter how much you know. Try the wine and decide whether or not you enjoyed it. Every person is going to have different tastes. Some may prefer white wine, others may prefer a dry wine, and some may prefer the reds. Wine tasting is all about the experience, and what you like, someone else may not. So take a sip and enjoy yourself.

Want more Information....

If you are looking for more information on Faulkner Winery, feel free to click here for directions, hours and coupons. In addition, they also have information on their wine club. So, if you live in southern California or you are planning a vacation here, don't forget to add wine tasting to the list of activities. Faulkner Winery is sure to please.

Faulkner Winery

As a first time wine taster, Faulkner Winery was a great choice. The staff at Faulkner Winery were friendly and helped us through the entire experience. They even explained the purpose of the "Sniff, Swirl and Sip" and recommended we start with the white wines and move to the red ones as we progressed through our tastes.

We enjoyed our Sunday afternoon at the winery and plan on returning again in the future. We had a great time listening to the Jazz concert, but would like to return to take advantage of the tours through the vineyard, which weren't offered the day we went because of the jazz concert.

The atmosphere was great. Not only where the staff friendly, but the people who were there all seemed to be laid back and relaxed. (Who knows, maybe that is the effect of the wine!)

Yet there is one thing for sure - Neither my husband or I "wined" about having a relaxing afternoon together!

A romantic afternoon

We had a blast wine tasting for our anniversary.
We had a blast wine tasting for our anniversary. | Source

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Looking for more to read...

California is full of adventures. If your looking for fun, tourist stuff to do, check out 800 miles of fun!

While we are talking about it, Raisins, Grapes and wine - who really does have the worse fate?

Toto... I don't think we are in Packer Country Anymore... obviously, because we are closer to wine country.

So You Think You Can Save? With school time right around the corner, money spent may be at an all time high. But, by visiting Faulkner Winery with a coupon, you can be sure to get more bang for your buck!

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Comments 30 comments

melbel profile image

melbel 4 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

Man, this place sounds like a blast. I've never been to socal, but my friends are urging me to come visit them in December. When I'm out there, I'll definitely have to check out the Faulkner Winery!


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

Great write up, Stacy.

We usually do a napa valley escape here and the balloon ride is just out of the world!!

Wishing you a very happy anniversary with many more blissful years of happiness with your better half...cheers!


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Great hub about a favorite topic. Well done and Happy Anniversary.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

I'm all excited, Stacy, about this Sniff, Swirl and Sip thing and want to get started right away. But I don't have any wine handy. Do you think it will work with beer? I'll wait anxiously for your response. :)


Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

It looks like you had a lot of fun. Now that I am drinking wine, I would love to do this! It's only been in the last couple of months that I finally decided, "I like this stuff!" :) LOL Great job!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

You're right! So right. the only problem with any report is words cannot express the experience


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Looks like you guys had a great time! I am not a wine drinker myself - but you have certainly given me the wish to go to a wine tasting. Before it's over, I will probably turn into a lush and just blame it on you:) lol

Fun hub - loved the photos too!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@melbel - Socal can be a blast if you are visiting. There are so many fun things to do. Definately check out Faulkner Winery if you head out this way! I am sure you will have a fun time there. Who knows, they may have something special going on for that time of month too! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Ruchira - I would love to visit Napa Valley. Well, I would love to visit Northern California period. From what I have been told, it is a completely different type of world! And if there is wine... well, that seems to be my new thing lately! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@carol7777 - Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it. We had a great time and we are definately planning on doing this again real soon!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@drbj - Someone once told me that beer tasted differently depending on the glass you put it in... I couldn't really tell the difference but maybe that was because I am not much of a beer drinker. But I am sure hardier beer drinkers would say to do the same thing. But watch out for the swirl... I have seen some beers explode when shaken too much! Now go get that beer! LOL


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Julie DeNeen - I hear you on that one. I am not normally a wine drinker. A few years back one of my friends had a wine and cheese party. Everybody brought a bottle of wine to pass and some cheese to try. Let's just say, I wasn't feeling too good the next day. I have pretty much stayed away from it with the exception of an occasional glass with a fancier dinner. But lately, it has been all the rage and I guess I am getting a taste for it. Particularly Port. It is strong but I like the punch it gives. YOu will definately have to give wine tasting a try!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Mhatter99 - You are very correct on that. This experience was delightful and that just doesn't do it justice.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@RealHousewife - Oh we did have a blast! But then again don't we always. I will admit, I am not much of a wine drinker either... this is a new thing. So, if you turn into a lush, I will surely take the blame. But don't worry... they only give you a few sips. It is up to you if you go back for another tasting card! LOL


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Congratulations on your 12th wedding anniversary! It sounds as though you had a great day wine tasting at the Faulkner Winery. We love doing that type of thing! We have spent some time in California doing similar things except mostly north of San Francisco. Even stayed in Lillie Langtry's home (wrote a hub about that experience) which was owned by Guenoc Winery. Such fun!!! I once bought my husband a t-shirt which said "A day without wine is like a day without sunshine." Haha! Up votes and tweeted. Share button on HP not working for some reason. Will check back to share it there also.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Peggy W - We had such a blast that day. I have to admit, I was never much of a wine drinker but I love all the wine products they come up with. They had a sign that said - "This bottle of wine made the housework so much easier!" I had so much fun looking at all the gifts in the gift shop. I even want to go back because they had a holder for all those wine corks that looked like a hot air balloon. I thought that would be so neat! Glad you enjoyed this hub and thanks for all the shares! :)


ThoughtSandwiches profile image

ThoughtSandwiches 4 years ago from Reno, Nevada

Stacy,

This sounds like it was an awesome experience! I had no idea they did wine down south there (I've done the Napa thing a few times). Like you guys, I am not a wine snob and rather felt out of my element among the swirling, sniffing, and sipping masses that we ran into that last time.

Truth be told...half way through the excursion me and my (then) girlfriend abandoned the wine thing in favor of a micro-brewery tour of the area. Now...I gotta tell you...after a morning of sipping wine and an afternoon of guzzling (real small) types of beer...we got messed up. Yes, it was fun.

Wish I had this guide back then!

Thomas


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@ThoughtSandwiches - Truth be told, I was a little out of my realm as well. I felt like we were partying it up with grandma and grandpa. Just kidding - We actually had a lot of fun. But the beer tour would probably be just as inviting. I have to admit though - when it comes to beer - well, I am a beer snob. I like mine light and with hardly no taste. I have improved though - lately I have come to like the taste of Blue Moon! I know - weak!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Looks like you had a great time on your anniversary. I've only ever been to one winery and that was in Washington state. My step mother worked at a winery and lets just say the wine flowed back in those days :)

I love a good glass of wine every now and then but it tends to give me a big headache so I stick with beer mostly.

Enjoyed reading about your romantic day.


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Just Ask Susan - I have found the more wine I drink the more I get used to it so I don't get the headaches like I used to. I stand by the fact though I am more of a fan of hard liquor, but this was definitely a great time. Doing a beer tour might be more my husbands thing as he was gulping down the wine, whereas I was sipping. Glad you enjoyed this - I want to do it again real soon. I found one that does winery tours on a carriage ride. But I have to wait until it cools down before doing that one!


writeronline 4 years ago

What a pleasant trip into wine country. I personally find all this tasting ritual a tad pretentious. I understand it, can do it, and I can see how people enjoy the various olfactory and taste sensations, but I'm more a two-step kind of wine non-connoiseur; 'Open it. Drink it.' I always enjoyed that gagline for reds: 'Open the wine to let it breathe. If it doesn't appear to be breathing, give it mouth to mouth.'


mythicalstorm273 profile image

mythicalstorm273 4 years ago

This was awesome. I obviously do not like wine, but I always love the culture of wine, wine making, and wine tasting! It was fascinating hearing about your experience and learning about the subtle things that happen when you are going to a vineyard. I am glad you were able to find something new and interesting to do for your anniversary!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@writeronline - I am all about the drink. The even was fun but I didn't sniff it... I just drank it! LOL It was a good experience and I will admit the wine is much stronger than the stuff I get from Wal-Mart! :) I do like your thought though... if it doesn't seem to be breathing... give it mouth to mouth! :)


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@mythicalstorm273 - We definitely had a fun time and neither of us "wined" the whole time! ha ha - couldn't resist. Although I am starting to run out of fun ideas for our anniversary. Good thing we have another year to think about it! :)


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

What a beautiful, entertaining and well written article Stacy. I'm late to the party, many weeks behind in my reading, but Happy Anniversary to you. I love how you turned this fun time with your hubby into a great piece of writing!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Sharyn's Slant - We had such a blast. Sadly though one of our wine glasses already broke. Lesson learned - my husband isn't allowed to touch the wine glasses. Needless to say, now we have a good reason to go back! :) Glad you enjoyed this! :)


Askme profile image

Askme 4 years ago

Loved it. As a Temecula local and member in good standing at several wine clubs--this was an AWESOME hub! Good job!

I cannot wait for this year's Harvest Barrel Tasting on November 3 and 4th (no this is not a commercial). Last year was our first time, but a ticket gets you 3-4 tastings at 40 different wineries and food parings. Yummy!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Askme - Harvest Barrel Tasting... oh dear... do I mention that to my husband. We are losing the kids for the weekend and were wondering what we should do. Might have to check into that! :)


Askme profile image

Askme 4 years ago

you should but if you miss it this time, there is another one in March. I know it is expensive but you get 3-4 tastings at 35 wineries and each winery offers food parings. Worth the money if you consider most wineries charge $15 for 3 tastings. If you can stay reasonable sober, you will get your money's worth!!

Disclaimer: this is not an endorsement of drinking and driving. Taste responsibly!!!


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca Author

@Askme - Good to know... I know when we went I probably could have had a few more tastes but I also know that I would have found myself stumbling if I had to many more. It is amazing the effect that "good" wine has on a person. So much stronger.

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