In 2019, I made it my mission to visit Temecula Wine Country and I instantly fell in love!
Temecula Wine Country has become one of those places that instantly transports me to my happy place and is absolutely worth the trip. If you’re driving distance, it’s a great weekend trip. If you’re like me and a flight away, definitely, take 4-5 days and enjoy!
I went from just wanting to “look around” to frantically researching all of the wineries that made bubbly so I could experience it all. And since I am almost done with the list, I thought I would share my experiences, my favorites, and the ones I don’t feel the need to visit again.
Bubbly Tasting Experience
To me, the quality of the bubbly is only part of the experience. For someone who has dreams of opening a bubbly bar one day, I am in for the total experience. So when you get a server who is average at best or feel not so welcome, it suddenly doesn’t matter how good the bubbly is.
While I know everyone is entitled to an “off” day, I can only share my opinions from my visit on the day I was there. With that said, let’s explore Temecula Wine Country.
Temecula Wine Country Wineries
To explore Temecula Wine Country, I used this map from Temecula Wines to map out my trips and keep track of where I had been and the agenda for the current trip.
Wow, Callaway is just huge, so much so that we sat in two different places outside and then “inside” on their upper level of the tasting room. Every place was comfortable with so much space to spread out.
We tasted all 3 of their sparkling wines:
- Bella Blanc is crisp with hints of green apple and pear
- NV Bella Allora is imported from Italy with hints of plum and spices
- Bella Rosé is not too sweet with hints of juicy peach
The grounds here are massive and we had the most amazing and we had the best server, Alicia. She absolutely knows her stuff and was just awesome! And these grounds just remind me of the wineries in Barcelona which, of course, makes me so happy.
Come here and pop open a bottle of Prosecco and enjoy, trust me you will not be disappointed. It’s imported from a small vineyard in Northern Italy. It’s well balanced, not dry with smaller bubbles and everyone at the table loved it and brought a bottle home.
We, of course, tried the other three:
- Cava which was surprisingly sweeter than I was expecting
- La Scappatella which is their semi-sweet and very fruity sparkling
- Moscato de Asti which basically tastes like liquid candy (Alicia nailed that description!).
On my very first day exploring Temecula, we visited Thornton because they have restaurant called Café Champagne. We didn’t end up eating there, but did order an appetizer while tasting.
I’m going to be honest (as I always am), the appetizer was delicious, the bubbly was good but I definitely felt like it was overpriced. There was nothing special so I haven’t been back since.
Bel Vino’s grounds are massive and they often have live music. Inside their tasting room is also huge with plenty of space for tasting.
I was told I had to come in and try their Sparkling Red and oh my gosh, it’s one of my favorite sparkling reds! It’s absolutely delicious with ripe fruit and pepper, it’s the most perfect bubbly red.
While we were there, we of course, tried the other 4:
- Peach Mango Sparkling. While it’s too sweet for me by itself, it makes the perfect base for a “cheater” mimosa and that’s just what we did. Check it out.
- Brut is one of those easy drinking, very enjoyable sparkling wines with hints of green apple.
- Moscato is way too sweet for me.
- Strawberry Sparkling is sweet, but is going to make an amazing summer bubbly sangria just you wait and see.
Oh the grounds of Pelzter are a whole lot of fun, that’s for sure! Definitely the most family friendly winery I have ever been to.
They have one Prosecco, imported from Italy, that is enjoyable with hints of green apple. We’ve also had their bubbly sangria which is a whole lot of deliciousness on a nice warm day!
You will find 5 very fruity sparkling wines here. The cuvee is the only want not fruit based and it was definitely sweet in the beginning. The others are: pineapple, pomegranate, raspberry and peach/mango. These would be great mimosa starters or a bubbly to use to make cheater mimosas.
Now if you come here, you MUST order their brie bread. It was absolutely delicious and the perfect bubbly drinking snack.
We tried a brut, a blanc de blanc and a blanc de noir sparkling wine. The brut was my favorite of the three. And what I enjoyed as much as their sparkling wine is learning how they make it.
Their staff is so nice and knowledgeable and this tasting room feels a bit more intimate. It has that boutique feel, almost like you’re enjoying your bubbly in someone’s home.
I have been told on several occasions to visit Akash, so I took the recommendation and went. Well, I was very sad because they won’t you taste their sparkling wine unless you’re a wine club member.
The map I have used on all of my trips doesn’t show Lorimar, so sadly I have never been there although I have been told it’s a must visit. It’s on the list for my next trip because they have 2 sparkling wines….so stay tuned!
We experienced this winery in the most unique way possible, pool side! And I would do it again in an instant.
We were able to taste their Spumante (we didn’t love it) but also their sister winery, Ponte’s sparkling Rosé. We loved the Ponte Rosé as it was sweet but not too sweet and you could definitely taste strawberry, cranberry and raspberry. It was the perfect poolside bubbly!
We also enjoyed some frosés because we were poolside after all! They have so many spaces to enjoy their wine from the tasting room to some fun outdoor places to the pool, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Monte de Oro only has one sparkling wine to taste and I did enjoy it because it it’s fruit forward and dry. And it’s kind of nutty, carmely, creamy and that reminds me of my favorite white wines.
They have an amazing patio here, but I will be honest, I have never once gone back because of the negative experience we had on our first visit. I definitely didn’t feel welcome, so I don’t bring anyone back here.
Wilson Creek was my first winery experience in Temecula and it was on my birthday. And boy do they make you feel super special on your birthday. It’s a winery I continue to visit every time because of the experience and their restaurant is amazing too.
Their grounds are amazing with so much room to explore, spread out and enjoy the perfect glass of bubbly.
Sadly, they have retired two of my favorite sparkling wines: Vanilla and Sparkling White Cabernet Sauvignon. But they still have 2 of my other go-tos
- Almond Sparkling which is what they’re most famous for and love it because it’s not that fake sweet like some sparkling almond wines are.
- Sparkling Rosé is one of my go to rosés, in fact, Wilson Creek Rosé has accompanied me on many a beach outing
Oh my gosh, from the second I was greeted here, this place quickly became one of my favorites! Now they only have two sparkling wines, but these truly are two of my all time favorites.
Magrana is a bottle I always have stocked especially for those warm, summer days when you want something different than a rosé. It’s a pomegranate sparkling wine with just the perfect amount of sweetness.
Brut is just a good solid sparkling that might be a big sweeter than others.
One of my favorite experiences here is creating new bubbly beverages with their still wines. We’ve created drinks using the Milenio, NV Antiquo and NV Verano. These are all so fun and different and if you’ve been around here, you know how much we love to create bubbly cocktails.
I am pretty sure some of the nicest and most knowledgeable people work here. We enjoyed a tour, of course, with a glass of NV Espumosa in hand. And this sparkling wine is delicious! It’s one that I stock because it makes for the perfect bottle to pop open and just enjoy as is.
After our tour, we tasted some still wines and created the most amazing sparkling rosé with their Rosé and Espumosa.
We stopped in here to taste, but they will only sell you the bottle not allow you to taste it, so we haven’t tried it yet.
Oak Mountain is a winery I was so excited to visit not only because of the selection, but every time we drove by, it just looks amazing. Unfortunately, the bubbly wasn’t great and neither was the service.
This winery had a unique and ambience from the other wineries in the area. All of the sparkling is imported directly from Italy.
Here’s the run down of the 3 we tried:
- Prosecco was really dry.
- Sparkling La Rosa tasted like strawberry jam with bubbles.
- Moscato de Asti was very sweet.
Overall we felt like all would be good as mixers or as a topper in a bubbly cocktail.
Top Temecula Wine Country Picks
If I was celebrating something like my birthday, I would for sure eat at Creekside Grill and then enjoy some bubbly at Wilson Creek, with my cork necklace, of course.
If I could only pick one to go to, it would be Masía de la Vinya.
If I want a different type of relaxing day, I would make a reservation for the pool at Bottaia Winery.
If I wanted to sit outside, enjoy some live music, I would go to Bel Vino Winery and order a bottle of Red Bubbly.
Favorite Places to Eat in Temecula Wine Country
Of course, since I have been back to visit several times, I’ve enjoyed some amazing food along with the good bubbly. And a few of these are places I go to each time.
- Nekter Juice Bar gives me my healthy fix as they have the very best smoothies. And what I love is that you can order ahead and it will be ready when you get there.
- Cork Fire Kitchen has an absolutely delicious breakfast. I order the most savory item on the menu, Coddled Eggs even though I have always wanted to try the Churro Waffle, the Coddled Eggs are just too good.
- Le Coffee Shop in Old Town is a great breakfast place also! The line will be long, but worth the wait. You will order your food at the register, grab a table number then find an open table outside. Their coffee and croissants are delicious.
- Toast has such a great mimosa flight and delicious breakfast foods.
- Crush and Brew in Old Town is a favorite for fun bubbly cocktails and delicious food.
- Goat and Vine is another one in Old Town where you will be waiting but it will be worth it. I’ve only ever had their pizza and it’s worth the wait.
- Creekside Grill is the restaurant at Wilson Creek Winery and if you really want to treat yourself, make a reservation for the bottomless bubbly brunch. But I will say I enjoyed my lunch here just as much as the brunch.
- La Cocina Bar and Grill is the place togo when you’re craving Mexican food and palomas.
Keep in mind, many of these wineries I have visited Pre-COVID, so things were a bit different. I also have been back since COVID and basically, just like everywhere, you need to call ahead to learn what the rules and precautions are.
None of these reviews are sponsored in any way. I have not been paid by any of these wineries and while I may get a complementary tasting, it is never in exchange for a review and I purchase my own sparkling wine to take home.