Visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country

ROSÉ OVER ROSES, am I right? If you’re like me, it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to go wine tasting! Luckily for me, I happen to live near Southern California wine country! If you have been thinking of the perfect weekend getaway or even girls day trip, you may want to consider visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country! Read on for two of my FAVORITE wineries that you have to check out when you visit.

Planning Your Visit

If you are thinking of visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country, you’ll want to decide how long you’ll have to stay. While you can certainly do a day trip, especially if you are a SoCal local, a weekend is a great amount of time to spend visiting, wine tasting, and relaxing!

If you are going to need to stay overnight, I would recommend one of two types of accommodations: Pechanga or a Vineyard stay. Pechanga is a four diamond resort and Casino located in town, about 10 minutes by car from the entrance to wine country. If you want to be able to come back from tasting and keep the party going, visit a spa, or gamble, this is the choice for you.  There are also more and more boutique winery and vineyard properties opening right in the heart of wine country. You can stay among the vines, and they are perfect for a romantic getaway.  If you’re looking for a list of available wine country properties, you can find that here.

Now lets get on to my favorite wineries!

temecula valley wine country

Thornton Winery

As a champagne lover, Thornton is near and dear to my heart. They are a ‘methode champenoise’ house, which means they make sparkling wines in the same method as Champagne. As some of you may know, the only place in the world that can produce ‘Champagne’ is the champagne region of France. However, the method that was developed and is still used to make their famed wines is the same method applied at Thornton.

From sweet to natural brut, sparkling wine lovers (like me!) won’t be disappointed. They are also very well known for their concert series each year, which features headliners from around the country, playing right at the winery.

I also highly suggest their dining, which is both exceptional on its own, and a stand out among other wine country dining options nearby. The charcuterie plate (can easily feed four) is my favorite, along with the Brussel sprouts.

Charcuterie Plate at Thronton
Charcuterie plate and wine flights from Thornton's Cafe Champagne

Wilson Creek Winery

One of the most well-known wineries in the Temecula Valley, Wilson Creek has been making a name for itself since it opened in 2000. Without a doubt it’s most famous product, and one that arguably put Temecula on the map is their Almond Champagne.

Another house known for a WIDE assortment of sparkling wines (among their fantastic reds and whites), Wilson is decidedly more American in their approach than Thornton. Dare I say, more Californian.

With flavored sparkling options that range from coconut to peach, Yuzu lemon to watermelon, Wilson Creek has been putting the FUN back into wine tasting for the better part of two decades. Their willingness to forego traditionally ‘acclaimed’ options in favor of crowd favorites makes them a MUST VISIT.

Another reason to stop by? Their concert series is unparalleled. Drawing hands down the biggest names to their stage of all the wineries, they make the perfect place to end the evening after a day of wine tasting, where you can sip and listen. Make sure to get tickets ahead of time, as headliner acts sell out fast and far in advance.

Additionally, the grounds of the property are simply stunning. They have become destinations for everybody from brides to bloggers. Make sure to take some time to stop and smell the flowers, and then take some photos!

Section of Wilson Creek Winery where visitors can walk among the vines
visiting temecula valley wine country wilson creek
Wilson Creek Photo Op Among the Vines

Planning Your Wine Tastings

There are quite literally DOZENS of other wineries, big and small, that deserve a look if you are planning on visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country.

While larger houses like Thornton and Wilson Creek aren’t usually listed, my number one suggestion for making the most of your time and discovering some smaller wineries? Groupon.

Yep, you heard me. Groupon. Groupon in the Temecula Valley has one overwhelming theme when you browse the offers available: WINE.

If you’ve read my post on how to find affordable things to do while traveling, you know I am a big fan of using Groupon to do just that. In the case of wine tastings, are you ever in luck.

At any given time you can find DOZENS of options from varying local wineries and tasting rooms offering incredible deals on both individual and multi-person wine tastings. For a fraction of the cost, you can experience of the best hidden local gems out there. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself right here.

I hope you’ll consider visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country on your next weekend getaway or girls trip! It’s one of my favorites, and its my hometown (so maybe I’m a little biased!).

I also hope that if you do considering visiting, this post was helpful! Feel free to comment below with your tips or favorite wineries!

You can also save this idea for later by pinning it to your travel or wine board!

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Callie Richards

I'm Callie, a Southern California based body-positive fashion and travel blogger who helps women discover style and travel that FITS their bodies and their lifestyles so they can live their best, most authentic lives! I test and then share the products and experiences that respect diversity and inclusiveness so that you can shop and travel with confidence without all the research!

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