I know I don’t have to tell you that one of my favorite things in the world is wine.
I’ll tell you again.
I love wine.
So, when I received the amazingly cute invitation for my best mate Haley’s Bachelorette Day in Temecula Wine Country, you know I was excited. Haley’s Maid of Honor did an abfab job of planning a day for all of the women: a limo tour of wine country, complete with tastings at four vineyards, a delicious lunch at The Pinnacle at Falkner Winery, and just when we thought it couldn’t get better, dinner at Public House on Main Street in Old Town Temecula.
Our first stop on the tour was Briar Rose Winery, a vineyard with a very interesting story: in the 1970′s, a Disney employee responsible for the construction of Disneyland’s Fantasyland and Toon Town, Beldon Fields purchased land in Temecula and built replicas of Snow White’s cottage for his wife. Flash forward to the 1990′s. Les and Dorian Linkogle purchase the estate from the Fields, promising not to change the Snow White Cottages. Today, the family grows Viognier, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling grapes and make wine. Dorian, who is an absolute delight, greeted us personally at our limo door, ushered us inside and gave Haley a beautiful story about marriage, what will make it work and how a simple rose will help her get through the tough times. It was a wonderfully memorable experience.
Our next stop was Falkner Winery, which sits atop a 1500 foot hill that offers unparalleled views of the grapevine filled valley below. I really enjoyed their Viognier, one of my favorite grapes, which was done in a style a bit more similar to the dryer versions I am used to here in El Dorado County . We also ate lunch at Falkner in their on site restaurant, The Pinnacle (menu here). The reviews on Yelp are a bit all over the place, but I can say with confidence that I enjoyed my meal. I would recommend the Apple and Walnut Baked Brie and the Seafood Portofino.
Our next stop was my favorite from the day: Leoness Cellars. The wine was stunning and the service was spectacular. They ushered us into a private tasting room where Dawn explained everything from how certain wines are made, how long they age, what the names of ridiculously large bottles are, how we should eat port and chocolates, to the history of the vineyard and it’s grapes. We loved it and of all the wineries I visited this day, Leoness is the one I recommend the most. My favorites included the Viognier, the Melange de Reves, the Meritage, the Syrah, and finally, to be consumed with truffles, the Cinsaut Desert Wine.
Our last stop on the winery tour was Wilson Creek Winery which won extra bonus points for having the owner’s dog wandering around. Their list of wines is as extensive as their property and choosing just four to taste was difficult.
Last but certainly not least of the day was our dinner at Public House, whose menu was so extensive and amazing sounding that we all ordered WAY too much food. Their mac’n’cheese changes EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. They have MF’ing grilled romaine. And they made me a real margarita. Also, they have a kobe beef burger on the menu and it explicitly says that the chef will not cook it well done, so don’t ask. Legit.
Want your own Temecula Wine Tasting Day?
- There are plenty of limo and tour countries in Temecula. For $105 a person, tastings included, 8 of us cruised around in style for 10 full hours thanks to Sunset Limo Wine Tours. Our day included a complimentary bottle of champagne to get our morning started right and souvenir wine glasses.
- Holy gastro-pub Batman, I would travel to Temecula to eat at Public House. Not kidding. Their outdoor patio was perfectly comfortable and inviting, the beer and wine list inventive and local and their menu overwhelming in its awesomeness.
- Falkner Winery’s Pinnacle Restaurant is a wise choice if you are spending all day tasting. I enjoyed both the meal and the view and while it’s no Public House, it’s an enjoyable place to eat.
- Our day included tastings at Briar Rose Winery, Falkner, Leoness Cellars and Wilson Creek Vineyards, but you can incorporate any of the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association Vineyards and Wineries into your choices for the day. It’s almost like you get to choose your own adventure. No, wait, it’s exactly like you get to choose your own adventure.