Southern California’s Wine Country
I am the occasional wine drinker, preferring things that are light and fruity. I know shockingly little about wine and the process of making it though (confession: most of it tastes really similar to me). Our San Diego friends had the idea of going away for a wine weekend and we decided on the adorable town of Temecula as our spot. Temecula is the largest wine country in Southern California!
I had a lot of trouble figuring out what exactly to do in Temecula. There are just SO many wineries and not enough travel guides to help me decide, so here are all of our favourite things to hopefully help your search!
Europa Village Winery
This winery had really good wine and lots of options for the testing. You get to pick whatever wines you want to try off of their wine list! They also have very interesting wine glasses. You put your finger in the hole in the bottom to keep our body heat from warming up the wine.
Miramonte Winery was the first winery we went to! We opted out of wine tasting and decided to sit on the patio and enjoy their sangria instead. Their white sangria has apples, oranges and champagne! I highly recommend this yummy drink if you are in the area!
Maurice Car’rie Winery
Allie and I first saw Maurice Car’rie Winery when driving through our first drive through wine country. The small farmer’s market outside caught our eye and I am a little sad we didn’t get to experience it since this was our last winery of the day.
Pro Tip: for those visiting, wineries close early. When we were there they closed at 5 pm so check ahead to avoid disappointment!
We did manage to squeeze in Maurice Car’rie right at the end of our winery expeditions. It had been highly recommended to us for its brie cheese bread bowl and we got there just in time to grab one! The other girls are had some and can vouch that it was delicious, but I decided to opt out because I am currently cutting out dairy.
Since we were late we got a bottle of wine to go that we haven’t had yet, but are excited to try. The mango peach champagne.
Briar Rose Winery
I saved the best for last in this winery list, because Briar Rose Winery is my ultimate must see. I am in love with Disney and have been my entire life (you can read about our recent trip to Disneyland here) and this winery is loosely based off of Snow White and designed by a Disney Imagineer. There are little Disney tidbits hidden all over the winery. The building is based off of Snow Whites cottage!
We had a Groupon for a white wine tasting, which let us each taste 4 of their white wines, so check and see if there are any deals when you are visiting!
The wines and sights were equally amazing at Briar Rose, so this quaint little winery will not disappoint. Do note that visits are by reservation only so call ahead! If Brandon the server is there make sure to say hi. He really made our experience special.
Where to eat
E.A.T Marketplace (Extraordinary Artisan Table) also came highly recommended by our friends Megan and Whitney. This cafe and restaurant is located in Old Town Temecula and the perfect place to stop for coffee, baked goods, or breakfast.
We ended up eating at E.A.T. twice. The first time was just for coffee and a donut when we arrived in town waiting to meet up with our friends. The coffee was delicious and the donut made the perfect photo prop (and was super yummy).
The second time was for breakfast with our friends Katie and Angela. Allie and I shared the vegan scramble with a side of breakfast potatoes. YUM. The coffee was also super yummy and uniquely they do not have soy or almond milk. I had never tried macadamia nut milk before but it was really yummy!
1909 is an American Style Gastro Pub that offers unique food, handcrafted cocktails, and craft beer right in the heart of Old Town Temecula. I have heard great things from locals and that it is a must see in Temecula. I wish we could have gone here to eat but we couldn’t manage to squeeze it in.
What to see
I LOVED Old Town so much. Exploring this town was like being transported back in time to the wild west. They blast music through speakers on the lamp posts that really helps add to the old-time feel. The wooden sidewalks are a little hard to walk on so just be sure not to bang your toe! There are lots of shops and restaurants to explore in this area!
We stumbled across Temecula’s town hall completely by accident. We were wondering the streets of Old Temecula and could see a tall building in the distance that we knew we had to check out. This turned out to be a great photo spot!
Where to Stay
When searching for a place to stay we quickly came across an Airbnb that we fell in love with. I am so glad we stayed here! Four of us shared a little casita with a bed and a pullout couch. It was a little tight for 4 people but we didn’t spend much time in the room since we were out exploring.
The selling point of this Airbnb was the pool and view. The host turned the pool on for us and it was so amazingly warm, it felt like bath water. The four of us decided to open a bottle of wine from one of the wineries we visited that day and unwind in the pool watching the sunset in the mountains. Check out exactly where we stayed here.
Allie and I have a discount code for anyone wanting to stay in an Airbnb for the first time. Use this link for $40 off your first Airbnb stay over $75.
Are you going to Temecula in the near future? What is your number one thing to see in the area?