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Diary Of A Travel Guide Junkie: Vol. II September 8, 2007

Posted by smooregasbord in Food, Travel, TV/Movies.

So back to the vacation details.
Wednesday we traveled to Temecula. I didn’t realize that there was a wine region in southern California until I saw it on an episode of Tori and Dean: Inn Love (yet another trashy reality show that I can’t get enough of). I dig on some Tori Spelling. I’m thinking that she and I could totally be BFF…our blond brains think on the same level at times! Oh, and some day, when I eventually have a wee one, I’m totally going to steal her nanny, Patsy. That woman ROCKS!

Oh yeah, wineries. So we made the trek to Temecula which is about 60 miles north of San Diego. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve been to Napa several times and love it. I didn’t think anything could compare…I was wrong. Temecula was AWESOME. Obviously, we went during the middle of the week, so there were no crowds. You walked in to the tasting room and right up to the bar where you pretty much had the undivided attention of the “pouring person”. We visited about five wineries.

Callaway Winery was first on the list. That’s right, the company that is known for golf also makes some great wine. The Nebbiolo Bello and Zinfandel were my two favorites. Second, we visited Thornton Winery which is best known for their champagne. I’m not really a champagne person, and neither Casey nor I were really over-impressed with the wine that we tried. They do have beautiful grounds and a spectacular herb garden. Third on the list was Baily Vineyard & Winery. I’m a serious fan of Riesling and Muscat and just recently got more into red varietals. However, their whites didn’t really appeal to my palate. They did have some very tasty reds with the Meritage at the top of my list. Baily’s “pouring person” recommended a great lunch spot for us up at Falkner Winery called The Pinnacle. First off, the view was unbelievable, but the best part was the Lobster Mac & Cheese. OMG. Seriously, it doesn’t get any better than this dish. Noodles, cheese, lobster, prosciutto…I’m pretty sure they serve this dish in food heaven! I didn’t partake of any of the wines at Falkner’s tasting room, but I’m pretty sure that this guy works there. Next on our list was South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. This place is unbelievable. It’s a hotel, spa, restaurant, and winery that is impeccably landscaped. It’s the sort of place that makes you wish you could do your wedding all over again, invite only 30-40 people, and have it in Temecula. They must have had at least 30 different wines on their tasting list and most that we tried were very delicious. Our favorite was the Merlot Rose. Last on our list was Mount Palomar Winery. The description in our visitor’s guide made it sound so wonderful, but once we got there I wasn’t so sure that we made a good pick for our last winery. We tried a few different wines, but my taste buds weren’t exactly thrilled. Then I saw that they had a Muscat called Muscato Di Amore which wasn’t on their tasting list…bummer. We asked about it and the lady said that she would ask if she could open a bottle so that we could try it. The manager obliged us. I’ve mentioned that I really like a good Muscat. However, I’ve never had one that could beat Mondavi’s until this day. Beat is a strong word, but it definitely tied for first. We bought two bottles.

Oh, there was one other place that we visited in Temecula….the Temecula Olive Oil Company. Their store is located in Old Town Temecula which is very charming. They have a neat store front where they bake fresh bread daily and an olive oil tasting room in back. We settled on the Just Dip It which is a blended olive oil dip and the Vanilla & Fig Balsamic Vinegar.

We headed back to San Diego after a day of fun in the Temecula Valley. If you’re ever in San Diego, I highly recommend taking a day to visit this amazing region. Cheers!



1. belindalouwho - September 8, 2007

Tori & you BFF? Go for it! 🙂
Loved your Temecula trip, just might visit for the olive oil! Cheers to you!

2. Carly - September 24, 2007

Loved your trip suggestion so much we went there yesterday. i have to admit that we didnt go to wine country. We spent most of our day in Old Town and realy just at the Temecula Olive Oil Company. I did like the Just Dip It but ended up buying a roasted Garlic and a blood orange Olive oil and some sea salt smoked in Chardonnay barrels. They baked a baquette and we sat on their porch and enjoyed it with some oil. We also bought some Biscotti and soap both made with their oil. I cant wait until Xmas, all my family will be getting this stuff. Thanks for the great recommendation! its my new secret find.

3. trustavenger - August 28, 2008

I live near Temecula and agree that the area is beautiful and worth visiting. I recently posted a web page with my picks on the Best Temecula Wineries that may help future travelers.

P.S. Falkner is #1 on my list. You were so close to the best wine in Temecula. Oh well, next time.

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