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Temecula winerys and touring help please????

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New Jersey, USA
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Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Hi, I will be traveling to San Diego in Aug and my husband and I wanted to take a day to do some wine tasting in Temecula. WOW there is so much to choose from! We are not in the market to be spending crazy money for a bottle of wine so really expensive places would kinda be out of our leauge. However, anything advice on how to tour the area, we have been trying to look into maybe Grapeline???? But we are not staying at a hotel so it seems atleast online a bit difficult to get them from San Diego since there is also only two of us. But then again we may just drive ourselves??? Any locals or past travelers who can share some favorite must stop and taste wineries would be so helpful as it is hard to decide without having ever been there. I know it is beautiful there and that there are so many wonderful places but seeing as we only have a day and may only make it to a few any help would be really wonderful!

Temecula, CA
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1. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Hi - Welcome to the Temecula Forum!

The Temecula 'wine country' is fairly simple. It consists of 2 main thoroughfares - Rancho California Road and DePortola Road. These two roads link via a common road - Glen Oaks. You can drive the entire 'wine country' in less than 30 minutes. You can learn a lot about the area's wineries by going to www.temeculawines.org.

I do strongly suggest that if you intend on wine tasting that you go with one of the shuttle companies. There are several in the area - depending on what type of experience you are looking for. Up on the right of the Temecula Forum page, you'll see a section called 'Top Questions About Temecula'. Go to the 'Getting Around Temecula' link at the bottom. I've listed some of the shuttle companies that are in the area there as well as their contact information. However, there's the issue of getting back to San Diego - as you mention. That I cannot help you with other than suggesting that you spend one night here if you intend to sample a lot of wine. I've heard that some of the shuttle companies will go into San Diego, but only for the larger parties.

As to the cost of the wines - insider tip for you - many of the wines offered at the wineries can also be purchased at some of the local markets or drug stores. Baron's (on Rancho California Road) is one of those markets. My experience, however, is that most of the wine from Temecula is very reasonably priced and will not break the bank.

If you only make it to a few of the wineries, I have two suggestions: 1. Go during the week - weekends in August are horrible! 2. Try out the family owned wineries - see the link above 'Which wineries are locally owned and operated'. It's these small family owned wineries that 'make' the valley in my opinion. You can get the corporate impersonal experience at any 'wine country' that you visit, however, the local vintners have passion about their wines and stories that you will remember for some time. It's that smaller, intimate, experience that makes the valley what it is - IMHO.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask - and I hope you have a great visit!

New Jersey, USA
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2. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

That is wonderful thank you so much! We probably will just pick 3-4 and have lunch and snacks a long the way and drive ourselves since we will be renting a car and will probably have to drive back to San Diego anyway. I will check out your links!

Redlands, California
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3. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

I always like to recommend Hart for a down to earth experience, and definitely drive around to De Portola road. There are several smaller facilities there that seem more "personal" such as Cougar, Oak Mountain, and Robert Renzoni, although unfortunately there seems to be a general competition in big flashy facilities! Most of them have at least a small picnic area and unless they sell food (like Mount Palomar does) or have a restaurant, bringing your own is okay.

Prices are much less expensive than Napa/Sonoma but be prepared for an average maybe in the 20-30 range per bottle. Tastings have become a profit driver for many wineries, so plan on $5-12 per winery, although you can usually split a tasting.

New Jersey, USA
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4. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Thanks for the advice! I was checking around and it seems there are lots of coupons for tastings so hopefully there will be some available when we travel. We're going to try to go on a Friday to avoid the more busy weekends but I'm sure it may still be crowded. Is

De Portola road more smaller family owned places? I like hearing about peoples favorite places and why. Thanks again for all the info so far :-)

Temecula, CA
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5. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

DePortola has more of the smaller family owned places than the main drag - Rancho California Road. However, Hart Winery is located on RCR just as you enter into wine country from the freeway. The shuttles like to frequent: Callaway, Europa, South Coast, Ponte, Wiens, and Wilson Creek. The owners of these wineries are very involved in 'commercializing' the area, working closely with the county for the new 'wine country development plan.' The shuttles will visit the ones along De Portola as well, but the ones mentioned above are visited most frequently.

I've listed the smaller family owned wineries in the link above.

Yes, there are many coupons available. Many also offer military discounts to active/retired military. You have to ask for it though.

Just an FYI - Fridays tend to be busy, but not as busy as weekends.

Temecula, California
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6. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

There are many different types of transportation services here in Temecula. You can find a listing here – http://www.temeculacvb.com/WineTours . You’re always welcome to drive through wine country on your own just remember that after 2 tastings you’ll be reaching your alcohol limit for driving.

Van Roekel Winery and Maurice Carrie Winery have tastings for $18 total to both wineries. You pay $10 at the first stop and the difference at the next stop. Also Bel Vino Winery has $10 tastings. You can find a listing of all wineries at our website - temeculacvb.com/visitors/… .

You can also find 2 for 1 tastings at - http://www.temeculacvb.com/visitors/coupons/

We hope you enjoy your stay!

Temecula
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7. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

KRose, I own The Grapeline, and in answer to the question about San Diego pickups, we do offer that - but not in every situation like we do in Temecula. So call us at 888 894-6379 for complete details.

Some other companies also offer San Diego pick ups, notably Destination Temecula, which comes highly recommended.

Self-driving is a good option for those with a DD or if you're just visiting one or two wineries. If you do so, the Winegrower's Association has a great resource called "self guided tours" you can find here: http://www.temeculawines.org/winery-tours/

Have fun in Southern California Wine Country!

Temecula, CA
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8. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Just so everyone is fully aware of the relationship between JohnK and VisitTemecula - JohnK is on the Board of Directors for VisitTemecula - which is an organization comprised of Temecula businesses that are aggressively involved in promoting the increased tourism in Temecula and most specifically, the members of their organization.

JohnK and VisitTemecula - you are both required via TA ruies - to disclaim all business relationships so that those seeking advice understand your primary goal.

Edited: 4:43 pm, July 20, 2012
Temecula
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9. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Hello KroseW. I am the owner of Destination Temecula Wine Tours and Experiences.

Since 1999 we have been providing an intimate(15 ppl max) tour departing from most San Diego area hotels. We are not a shuttle service. Ours is a scenic, narrated tour through the valley. Arrangements can be make for pick up from a nearby lodging establishment for local residents.

Feel free to contact concierge at any of the major hotels in San Diego (Hyatt Manchester Grand, Marriott Marquis, Hotel Del Coronado) for unbiased feedback. They know our service well!

Enjoy your visit to our beautiful valley if you do drive on your own!

San Luis Obispo
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10. Re: Temecula winerys and touring help please????

Temecula has 20+ wineries to visit and many have restaurants and events taking place during the weekends. Try http://www.californiawineryadvisor.com fas a resource to find lots of info about local wineries, inc. tasting fees, tours and ambiances of each winery in the area. It's a pretty neat place for wine tasting.