I spent a few days last week sipping and shopping my way through Temecula.
Temecula Valley is a growing community — in terms of population, now up to 105,000, and vineyards, which now number more than 30.
Wine tasting is the hot ticket in Temecula, and the wineries are easy to find. Fifteen of them are along Rancho California Road. More are located on De Portola Road. A few are on roads leading off of the two main stems, including Briar Rose, the first appointment-only winery in the valley.
The 1,100-foot elevation and well-drained decomposed granite soil of Temecula, as well as the expertise of the vintners, is credited for the award-winning wines.
I stuck with tasting champagne, one of my favorite tipples, even trying out a raspberry champagne — UGH. I also tried a pineapple champagne — not so ugh, and one I might mix with pineapple juice as a different take on mimosas and Bellinis.