Nicknamed “the new Napa Valley”, Temecula is home to 40
expanding wineries that are set to topple the leading tipsy-tourist
escapes. Unlike their Napa and Sonoma siblings, many of the
Temecula vineyards boast seasonal farm-to-fork
restaurants seamlessly paired with homegrown vintages making for a
unique offering which is hard to find in other parts of California.
Rustic wooden farmhouses host intimate wine
tastings, vintage tractors take you on rambles through the rolling
airstreams are converted into microbreweries that bubble into
impromptu backyard throw downs. Where Napa errs on the side of
stuffy sommelier territory, Temecula is about getting pissed with Cali
When to go?
is the start of the grape harvest, so roll up your Levi’s and get
stomping. Tune in to the live music that takes place in pop-up
concerts all month; bands hop on the back of trailers, tractors and
hay bales to fill the air with tinkling acoustic charm. Thanks to
Temecula’s unique microclimate there’s sunshine 300 days of the
year and a balmy ocean breeze that settles come nightfall – ideal
weather for a weekend getaway.
Who to take with you?
Probably not a snooty oenophile as Temecula still isn’t
Bordeaux, but it does bode well for novices. Bundle together your
go-to girl gang, make sure you shotgun not to be designated driver
then sniff out your favourite grapes.
Most likely to bump into?
A few farmers, resident farm dogs and tipsy Temecula residents
who are the regions biggest fans – most of the wine produced is
drunk here too.
Other than the robust wines and artisan eats, take to the skies
with a ride in a hot air balloon. The valleys spans over 33,000
acres and with its quaint old town and panoramic views, peppered
with wooden-beam farmhouses – you’ll feel like you’ve been
transported to Tuscany.
Take the trip at sunrise for obvious reasons.
Essentials to bring with you
Paracetamol for that impending hangover.