Archive for the ‘Temecula’ Category

According to the Temecula Valley Wine Growers Association, the name Temecula comes from the Native American name for the region which was Temeku. Temeku, they say, means “the place where the sun shines through the mist.” These days, that sunshine is more likely than not, falling on vineyards. Of the Temecula Valley’s 33,000 acres, 1300 are currently operating commercial vineyards and another 5000 are designated as a protected Citrus/ Vineyard Zone in which rural agriculture is strongly encouraged.

The climate is nearly perfect for a wide range of wine varieties, including varieties favoring cold, medium, and warm temperatures. 30 different wineries operate in Temecula Valley producing literally hundreds of varieties of wine. Many of these wineries produce relatively small quantities of artisan quality wines. Wine tasting tours through Temecula Valley are a constant draw for both tourists and Californians driving over to the valley from nearby Los Angeles or San Diego.

The valley is just 22 miles from the ocean. Pacific breezes flow through Temecula Valley, keeping it relatively mild in temperature and contributing to the successful growing of a broad range of grapes, from the cold-loving Riesling to the Syrah which thrives in warmer climates. Not only do both cold and warm climate grapes survive in the Temecula Valley, but the wine across this full spectrum routinely win critics acclaim as well as serious competitions against wines from other regions. Californian wines are winning renown throughout the world for their fine quality and Temecula Valley vintages are frequent standouts and gold medal winners in statewide competitions against the best the state has to offer.

For those wishing to make a vacation get-away of wine-tasting, Temecula offers a selection of bed and breakfast inns in which to stay while making day trips to wineries throughout the valley. Not only is Temecula call Wine Country, but Temecula is also horse country. Those spending a few days in the valley should make sure they take advantage of the opportunity to take one of the leisurely guided trail rides offered by several Temecula area horse ranches.

If you get tired of sipping wine in the beautiful gardens of the local wineries (as if that might happen…), Temecula also has 8 local golf courses, a full scale casino, a full range of water sports on its lakes, and is well-known for its aerial sports as well. The valley offers excellent hang-gliding opportunities with the valley’s rising thermals to keep gliders aloft. Temecula also hosts an annual hot air balloon festival in which balloonist from all over the country come to participate. Many of Temecula’s many visitors time their tour of the valley to coincide with the balloon festival for the opportunity to see dozens of the giant lighter than air craft rise into the sky together.

While there are plenty of things to do in Temecula without every setting foot on a winery or vineyard, Temecula is Wine Country and it would be almost criminal not to take a tasting tour while there.

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