Temecula Valley Wine Country
Traveling north on Interstate 15 from San Diego to Los Angeles takes you through Temecula Wine Country. After this freeway was built in the late 1950s, local real estate went through a boom period that really took off during the 1960s and 1970s. Rancho California was Temecula Valley’s first major housing development.
Vineyards were originally planted to attract potential homeowners to the area. At the time, Temecula Valley was not a historically significant winemaking region. Temecula is far too dry to grow grapes without irrigation. But once the drip systems were installed, it became apparent that the last piece of the puzzle was in place to produce fine wine.
There are about 20 Temecula wineries and 3,000 acres of vineyards in the region. Most wineries sell the majority of their vintages through tasting rooms. Miramonte Winery and Wilson Creek Winery are both excellent Temecula wineries that are a joy to visit and tour.
Temecula Wine Country has well drained, light colored soils that contain a lot of granite. Grape vines struggle to survive in this arid terrain, and farmers are able to carefully control yields through pruning and irrigation. Temecula Valley’s terrain is largely affected by granite debris and sand that has washed down to Buck Mesa, where most of the vineyards are planted.
Temecula Valley’s climate is quite warm during the day, but is cooled in the evening by breezes from the Pacific Ocean. This maritime influence enters Temecula’s wine country through the Rainbow Gap in the northwest.
Although the number of Temecula Wineries have been growing grapes for a few decades, the region itself has a complex and colorful history that involves the Native Americans, Spanish, Mexicans and Americans.
Popular Temecula Wine Tours
Temecula’s Premium Red Wine Tour