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Temecula in Novemeber??

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Level Contributor
23 posts
24 reviews
Temecula in Novemeber??

We are in San Dieogo and looking at booking a helicopter tour in November to Thorton winery with a 3 hour drop off. Is there a way to get transportation between the other wineries, or a tour? Best thoughts of where to go or if it is worth it?

Temecula, CA
Destination Expert
for Temecula
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1,306 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Temecula in Novemeber??

Hi Nikyee - Welcome to the Temecula Forum - short answer to your question is - Yes. There are several wine tour companies in Temecula wine country that you can hire for a trip around the wineries.

To the right of this column is a Top Questions About Temecula - where the shuttle companies are listed.

Also, sometime today - Visit Temecula and its friends will probably drop in and plug their own interests and suggestions (its a local business co-op and their Board President (owner of Grapevine Tours) PR manager and her staff come in here under different names).

Just so you are aware, Temecula is about an hours drive north of San Diego - an easy car ride - or some of the wine tour companies will even pick you up in San Diego. Taking a tour or driving yourself will allow you to see other wineries in the area - the family owned ones (rather than corporate owned) are the best IMHO. The family owned wineries give you a more intimate wine tasting experience in my experience rather than the rushed-hoity-toity business-first attitude I've experienced at Thorton.

If the flight is '90 minutes' the helicopter ride is either flying you around San Diego/Temecula area for quite a bit and then landing at the winery for lunch. Thorton is a bit isolated from the rest of the wineries making getting out and seeing the others a bit of a chore - which is what Thorton and the helicopter company are betting on. They want to restrict you to Thorton - which is a ho-hum winery when considering all of the others in the area IMHO.

Edited: 10:43 am, October 16, 2012
Temecula, CA
Destination Expert
for Temecula
Level Contributor
1,306 posts
29 reviews
2. Re: Temecula in Novemeber??

Also, just be aware by the time November rolls around, the vines will be well on their way into dormancy - you will either have brown leaves or no leaves on the vines - not the rolling hills of green that is often portrayed in the tourist brochures.

Temecula, California
Level Contributor
26 posts
3. Re: Temecula in Novemeber??

Exciting to hear your plans of booking a helicopter tour in November! Since tour companies are typically on a set schedule and you have a 3 hour window, your best bet would be to use a limo or personal driver service that can take you specifically where you want to go when you want to. You can find a complete listing of transportation and tours at temeculacvb.com/things-to-do/….

If you have any additional questions you can call the Temecula Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-888-363-2852 and someone will be available to answer your questions. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information about Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country and local businesses.

Level Contributor
43 posts
15 reviews
4. Re: Temecula in Novemeber??


I've done a helicopter ride around the Temecula area - just a short 15 minute hop from our local French Valley Airport, and it was awesome. In addition to seeing the wineries from a different perspective - and many are truly beautiful - there is an impressively high waterfall in the nearby Palomar Mountains that can only be viewed by helicopter (or a mountain goat hike). I know that at least one of the Heli tours coming out of San Diego includes SD's downtown, its harbor, some of the more impressive spots along the coast, and of course wine country. Sounds pretty awesome to me... even from the ground all those attractions are worth seeing.

Thornton Winery is a popular stop for the Heli visitors. I love going to Thornton - I had appetizers (the "warm brie en croute" is crazy good) and wine at its Cafe Champagne just two nights ago with my parents, who love the place. It is particularly well-known for sparkling wines and uses the traditional "methode Champenoise" production style. This method is very interesting to see, and as a result their winery tour (free, weekends only, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, and 4pm) is one of the best in Temecula wine country. By the way, Cafe Champagne is one of the most highly decorated restaurants in the area, and many of the Helicopter visitors include a meal at the Cafe as part of their visit.

Thornton is close to many popular wineries that you could choose to visit during your stay-over. Hart, Callaway, Europa Village, Baily, Miramonte Winery, Bel Vino, and Churon are all within a mile. There are dozens more that are within a five-minute drive.

Finally, November is Harvest Season - for many, including me, it is the BEST time to visit wine country because of the sights, smells and activities associated with harvest and crush. The 23rd annual Harvest Festival is Nov 3 and 4 (see http://www.temeculawines.org/events/) for details.

Have fun in Temecula. I honestly think your only regret will be that 3 hours is not enough.

Edited: 4:06 pm, October 17, 2012
5. Re: Temecula in Novemeber??

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