Located just a short drive from LA, Orange County, and San Diego, Temecula is a wine-lover’s haven. There are over 50 wineries in Temecula Valley, and during my recent media trip, I had the chance to explore the best of the best. Below you’ll find my recommendations for the best wineries in Temecula; be sure to save this post for your next visit!
Fast Facts About Temecula Wine
Primary Grapes: Temecula grows pretty much everything, but is best-known for being well-suited to growing Italian, Spanish, and French grapes such as Sangiovese, Syrah, Montepulciano, Viognier, and Zinfandel and Tempranillo.
Climate: Mediterranean, Semi-Arid
Things to Look for: Uncommon wine varieties and winemakers crafting unique blends
Unique Fact: Temecula is the only city in California to retain its aboriginal name.
The city of Temecula was founded in 1859, taking its name from the Luiseño word “Temecunga”, which means place of sun.
Temecula AVAs: Temecula has no sub-AVAs, but is part of the larger South Coast AVA
How many wineries are in Temecula: There are nearly 50 wineries in Temecula and it’s quickly continuing to grow!
Temecula Wine Country
Located in the heart of Southern California, Temecula is warm and welcoming year-round. In the summer, temperatures can get quite hot, but nights cool off allowing grapes to evenly ripen. The climate here is likened to the Mediterranean, with warm, dry summers, cool winters, and relatively little rainfall.
Temecula is capable of growing a wide range of grape varieties. While in the past they leaned on common Napa and French varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, today they are leaning into more unique varieties, such as Sangiovese, Syrah, and even more esoteric grapes such as Cinsault.
Temecula Wineries have come a long way in recent years to crafting high-quality and well-balanced wines, as well as curating unique experiences that are sure to delight guests.
What I found the most refreshing about Temecula is that there’s truly something for everyone here – making it a great vacation spot for groups! If you want fun, rowdy wine tasting, you can get that in Temecula. If you want seated, classy, high-end wine experiences, you can get that in Temecula. Not a fan of wine? Temecula also offers breweries, spas, hot air ballooning, meditation south baths… and more! Temecula has it all.
Best Wineries in Temecula
Leoness Cellars offers stunning views of their vineyard and the surrounding mountains. They offer unique wine-tasting experiences, tours, and even have a winery restaurant on-site, providing a culinary experience that both complements and enhances their wine experience.
Wiens Family Cellars
I loved how welcoming and friendly the Wiens Family Cellars team was during our visit. They also make a LOT of different wines, meaning there’s always something new to try when you go in! They’re most known for their big reds and crisp white wines. Their tasting room is lively, but it’s still possible to have a relaxing, seated visit. Wiens is consistently recommended as one of the best wineries in Temecula Valley!
Baily Vineyard & Winery
During our visit to Baily, we did a vertical tasting – the same Cabernet Franc with select vintages from 2007 to 2017. It was fascinating! The wines all had progressed in different ways, but the same thread and flavor profile ran through them all.
In addition to vertical tastings, Bailey winery offers current releases in their main tasting room.
Housed in a stunning Italian-style castle, Robert Renzoni is a picturesque stop and one of the best wineries in Temecula Valley. The family’s winemaking history dates back over a hundred years ago to Italy’s northern coast. Speaking to that heritage, today they craft Italian-inspired wines from their estate vineyards.
Fazeli Cellars Winery
Inspired by a Persian market, Fazeli Cellars speaks to the family’s own heritage. Nestled in the picturesque rolling hills of the De Portola Wine Trail – the famed ‘Wine Row” of Southern California’s spectacular Temecula Valley wine country – Fazeli Cellars offers stunning architecture and breathtaking scenic beauty. Their wines are easy-drinking and very approachable.
Wine and motorbikes. At first glance, this combination could come off as kitschy, or trying-to-hard. But it’s actually an authentic experience – a tribute to the family’s passions. Both Doffo Wines and MotoDoffo are deliciously well-crafted and enjoyable. This is a fun visit for wine lovers and bike-enthusiasts alike!
Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery
For Nicholas Palumbo, a grape grower and winemaker who is both an artist and a cultivator, it is all about the wine. Their wines are all small, handcrafted lots grown on small, sustainably farmed vineyards. The quality and the care show in every glass.
South Coast Winery
South Coast Winery is also home to a hotel and spa. The spa was incredible – I thoroughly enjoyed my massage and the opportunity to sit by their stunning pool.
You can also stop by to taste their wines – including reds, whites, and sparkling wine.
Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Carter Estate crafts incredible sparkling wine. Another winery and resort combination, Carter Estate offers something for everyone.
Akash Winery is a family owned and operated winery located in the heart of Temecula’s Wine Country. Taste here on their gorgeous open-air patio while sipping wine and taking in the beautiful views.
Monte de Oro
Monte de Oro is a large winery in the heart of Temecula wine country – it’s beautiful. Its tasting room includes a large outdoor patio and wonderful views of the surrounding vineyards. Their Syrah was wonderful; a lovely mix of very nice whites, luscious reds, and decadent dessert wines.
Masia de la Vinya Winery
Masia de la Vinya is a boutique winery with casual, relaxed wine tastings. Enjoy a scenic view of their vineyards, surrounded by the mountains and valley. This is one of the more quaint wineries in Temecula, which is why I love it! It’s off the beaten track and off in the hills a bit. Well worth a visit – there are lots of elements that make Masia de la Vinya one of the best wineries in Temecula.
Danza del Sol Winery
Danza del Sol offers a great lineup of dry wines, but also a few sweet wines for those who prefer that style. Their wine club members rave about the fun events they put on here — be sure to check the calendar for those! The patio views are beautiful, surrounded by vineyards.
Bottaia had the MOST beautiful view of all the places we visited during our Temecula wine trip. Their patio opens up to gorgeous rolling vineyards with mountains off in the distance. Here they offer a wide array of tasting opportunities, including the standard seated option, as well as charcuterie pairings (including a room dedicated entirely to charcuterie) and a wine-blending workshop. So fun! They even have a pool during summer months.
Cave at Oak Mountain Winery
Sitting 104 feet below ground Oak Mountain Winery boasts the first and only subterranean mined wine cave in Southern California, creating a one-of-a-kind experience. During our trip, we had dinner down in the cave and it was incredible! Cave tours are available, as wel as an array of other tasting opportunities.
Cougar Winery in Temecula specializes in Italian varieties. This small, boutique winery is family-owned and has a long winemaking history that spans Texas and Washington before finally finding its home in California! Delicious wines with an inviting atmosphere.
Wilson Creek Winery
Wilson Creek Winery is the best winery in Temecula to grab a wine slushie! It’s a large winery with a lot going on – including a restaurant and hotel. Here you can enjoy a wide array of wine, food pairings, and live music.
Thornton Winery is first and foremost a sparkling wine house – and the best winery in Temecula for bubbly! Crafted using the traditional method and high-quality grapes, their wines were outstanding. They also make still red and white wine, and chocolate wine. Yum!