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Best Things to do in Temecula: One Perfect Day of Wine Tasting

Are you looking for the best things to do in Temecula and the best wineries to visit? We have that plus the best lunch spot and our favorite hotel in Temecula.

A half-hour north of San Diego and an hour south of Palm Springs is a little slice of Napa in Southern California. The Temecula Valley Wine Country is relatively small- about 22 wineries total- but this friendly wine region is welcoming to inexperienced tasters and veterans alike.

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Temecula Wine Region

Things to do in Temecula: Wine Tasting, Lunch & Where to Stay

I have a perfect day tasting some great California wines, a wonderful lunch and a great place for live music in the evening. But first, let’s start a perfect day in Temecula with an early morning adventure!

Sunrise Temecula Balloon Flight

hot air balloon

There isn’t a much better way to start the day than a soaring above Temecula wineries during a sunrise balloon flight. Take off from Vindemia Winery with an FAA-licensed pilot, and fly above citrus groves and vineyards. Afterward, touch down on the ground and enjoy a European breakfast in a private rose garden.

Temecula Valley Wine Tasting

Since the wineries tend to be smaller than some of the more commercialized ones elsewhere, you have a fairly good chance of ending up in a conversation with the winemaker or the owner of the winery while tasting.

If you prefer to take a Temecula wine tour there are many to choose from. I like and trust Viator. They offer several tours of Temecula wine country. Of course, you’ll still need to choose which of the below wineries you’d include in the tour!

Wilson Creek Winery

Your first stop should be Wilson Creek Winery at the far end of the valley. Wilson Creek has beautiful grounds, and are best known for their almond champagne. It is absolutely out of this world – no wonder they call it the “Oh My Gosh” champagne.

Address: 35960 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591

Falkner Winery

Falkner, another great winery, offers a nice selection of reds and whites, a fabulous view, a stellar photo opportunity from their front porch, and a great gift shop.

Address: 40620 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591

Callaway Vineyard and Winery

With a beautiful tasting room and a wide range of wines, Callaway Vineyard and Winery is a terrific stop – especially since you may be able to find some of their wines in stores outside of Temecula, which isn’t true of some of the smaller wineries.

This mountainside wine estate offers cellar tours & tasting sessions.

Address: 32720 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591

Lunch in Temecula

Carol’s Restaurant for Lunch

Your best bet for lunch is Carol’s Restaurant, located on the grounds of Baily’s Winery. The food is magnificent and the ambiance – whether you eat inside or out – is unforgettable. The interior of the restaurant boasts a fireplace and medieval-style décor. Carol’s outdoor patio is beautiful, and on a warm day fills up quickly, so be prepared for a wait if you arrive during the peak lunch hours.

Baily’s is also a great place to taste wines – maybe while you’re waiting for a table to open up at the restaurant.

Address: 33440 La Serena Way, Temecula, CA 92591

One More Temecula Wine Tasting

Miramonte Winery

The last stop of the day should be at Miramonte Winery. They specialize mostly in red wines, which are excellent, and also make some exceptional sparkling wines. They host wonderful low-key early evening events such as Flamenco Fridays and Saturday Blues Jams, where you can listen to music, drink wine, and enjoy a light meal.

This boutique wine estate offers tours & tastings and has stunning views that overlook the valley.

Address: 33410 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA 92591

Where to Stay in Temecula: The Inn at Europa Village

If you’re looking to spread your tastings over more than one day, you can’t go wrong with a night at The Inn at Europa Village, in the hills above Baily’s Winery. The rooms are beautiful, reasonably priced and include a delicious breakfast. After a day of tasting Temecula Valley wine, there is no better end than relaxing in The Inn at Europa Village hot tub at sunset, taking in the view of the valley while enjoying a glass of your favorite vino.

Check Reviews of the Inn at Europa on Tripadvisor or find the best deals at Hotels.com or Booking.com

Address: 33350 La Serena Way, Temecula, CA 92591

Now that’s the perfect final touch to this memorable trip.

Temecula Festivals

Like most of the wine-growing regions, Temecula hosts special events and festivals throughout the year such as the Winter Barrel Tasting every January, Summer Jazz Concert series, and the Harvest Wine Celebration that takes place in November, but any day is a good day to visit, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and taste some terrific wine.

Most tasting rooms offer a menu of tasting choices that include both red and white wines and, in some cases, sparkling or dessert wines, too. Five to Ten dollars usually buys about five tastes and a souvenir wine glass. If you don’t feel like designating a driver, consider using the Grapeline Shuttle, which transports tasters between the different wineries.

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