Being a Southern California native and being the wine lover that I am, one would naturally assume that I make it out to Temecula a lot to visit the wineries. The sad reality is that up until yesterday I have never been. I have traveled to Napa and back more times than I can count and have had the pleasure of visiting wine regions in the United States and Europe. Why had I never paid a visit to Temecula you might ask? In all honesty, I have no good answer to that question.
Temecula is not a far drive from Orange County whatsoever so I finally decided to pay the town a visit and see what it had to offer. I took my parents with me. My father loves scenic drives so it was perfect for him and my mother is a fellow wine lover who has been to Temecula in the past.
Temecula is an easy 1-1.5 hour drive from Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. The town boasts beautiful scenery and is home to approximately 34 wineries. We had planned on visiting a few wineries but due to some time constraints and other circumstances, we only visited two, however we spent a lot of time at each talking to people and exploring the grounds.
The first stop was at Miramonte Winery. Miramonte Winery is an artisan winery that specializes in Rhone-based varietal wines. As soon as you walk into their tasting room, you feel relaxed and right at home. Their entire tasting room staff is extremely knowledgeable about all their wines and happily answered all my questions. Christina was especially helpful and took very good care of us. It was definitely an enjoyable, relaxed tasting experience. Some highlights of the tasting were the 2008 Riesling, 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Grenache Rosé, 2006 Syrah, and 2006 Four Torch. They also have a wonderful 2000 Tawny Port which blew me away. I purchased that as well. It was a fun time at Miramonte Winery with great wines and great people. I even managed to sign up for their wine club! Do pay them a visit on your next trip to Temecula Wine country. You won’t be dissapointed!
We had stopped and had lunch at one of the wineries and had planned to to a tasting there however after horrible service at the restaurant, we decided against any further time there so we went to Europa Village. Europa Village is one of the wineries I was especially excited to visit. They literally just opened their brand new tasting rooms less than a month ago called “A Prelude to Europa Village.” There are other things in the works for the terroir thus the appropriate title for the facility that houses the two tasting rooms; The Cave and the French Bistro. Three boutique wineries encompass Europa Village and make up their vast selection of wines: C ‘est La Vie, Bolero Cellars, and Vienza.
The grounds at Europa Village are absolutely stunning. You literally feel like you are transported in time to another era. There is a beautiful European garden right outside the French Bistro where you can take your wine and just sit and take in the surrounding beauty. Lively French music is played throughout the grounds. The service is gracious and the staff is absolutely phenomenal. From the moment you walk up to the front door, you are greeted with a smile. You will find knowledgeable and hospitable staff inside the tasting rooms to help you find the perfect wine. Denis (owner) himself took the time to come and talk with us and even brought wine outside and poured for us. He shared with us the story behind Europa Village and his passion and enthusiasm was evident. We felt completely at home there.
Some of the wine highlights were the ’06 Syrah, ‘o7 En Vie, ’07 Libido, ’07 Tempranillo, and ’09 Sangiovese. I am also a member of Europa’s wine club, Société Europa. A visit to Europa Village is HIGHLY recommended on your trip to Temecula Wine country. You will be glad you took the time to visit. I am excited for my next visit in the very near future!