Best Temecula Wineries
What Makes a Winery the Best?
The Temecula Valley Agricultural Viticultural Area (AVA) is located in California near Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and the Inland Empire. When people find out that I've been to nearly all the wineries in Temecula, CA they ask me about the best ones. That's a tough question to answer since nearly every winery has something about it that makes it unique and worth visiting.
Therefore, I'm going to break down my answer for the best Temecula wineries into categories. But mine is only one opinion so I'd love to know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom.
Start it Off by Voting
Vote for your favorite style of wine.
Best Fruit Forward Reds
Fruit forward reds are usually my favorite style of wine since you can sip them anytime-and I mean anytime. These two wineries produce my favorite "fruit-bombs" in the Temecula Valley. Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon are my favorite Temecula varietals in this category.
Best Big Reds
A big red Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel grabs both your nose and your tongue and reminds you that this is wine. Most people enjoy big reds best when paired with food. Wine newbies won't like most big reds since their palette is unable to imagine the pairing of these big red wines with the proper food.
Best Ports and Late Harvest Reds
Best Sparkling Wines
Best Sweet Whites
Best Old World Style Wines
Old world style wines are more subtle and tend to be softer and more refined than typical California wines. In addition, many have a strong sense of terroir. Frankly it's not my style but these are the favorites of friends who prefer this style. Grenache, Syrah, and Petite Sirah are the main varietals here.
Best Places to Kick Off Wine Tasting
Best Wineries for Value Priced Wines
Best Wineries for Complimentary Live Music
Best Wineries to Hang Out with Hip People Under 35
These places are popular with people who are too young to remember the Apollo program. Expect limos with young couples and new 3-series BMWs. These places can become crowded but who cares-you're with the beautiful people. Or if high school wasn't a highlight, these may be the places you want to avoid.
Best Wineries for a Sit Down Lunch
Best Wineries to Grab a Snack or Sandwich
Best Wineries for Bridal Showers
Best Family Wineries Where You'll Probably Meet the Winemaker
Best Places for Complimentary Public Winery Tours
Best Places to Hobnob with Wine Experts
Mingle with people who have been to wineries in Napa, Bordeaux, and Tuscany and know quite a bit about wine. They're selective and don't think a worthy bottle of wine costs less than $30. They lay down wines for years and have at least 250 bottles cellared. Most of them avoid Temecula on Saturdays because of the crowds.
Since these wineries are in the U.S., we have to score a winner.
Great wine is the key ingredient so scoring is as follows:
For red wine categories - 9 pts for 1st, 6 for 2nd, and 3 for 3rd. For white wine categories - 6 pts for 1st, 4 for 2nd, and 2 for 3rd. For other categories - 3 pts for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd.
Ties are broken by the scores in the wine category. And a pox on all the wineries whose Web sites don't identify their current wines.
BEST TEMECULA WINERY and Top Wineries!
This list is according to my evaluation in August 2008. The great thing about wine is that things can easily change every six months to a year depending on new releases. Look for my evaluation to change over time.
Guidebook to Get the Most From Your Time in Wine Country
What do you think of my choices?
Vote For Your Favorites
Make your voice heard and vote on all these categories and more.
Best Links About Temecula Wines
Top 10 Temecula Wines: Web Wine Know Awards - Discover the exceptional wines that are the most talked about of the Temecula Valley Wine Country.
Best Web Map of Temecula Wine Country - Temecula wineries, wine tasting rooms, and sellers of Temecula wines. It contains a few more locations than the printable map below.
Best Printable Map of Temecula Wine Country - This is my favorite printable map of the wineries in Temecula. It's got nearly all the wineries.
Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association - This web site is a great place to start if you're looking for a hotel, restaurant, or limo tour.
Baron's - The Marketplace - Baron's is a specialty grocery story. The one in Temecula has a great selection of Temecula wines at good prices.