Temecula was everything everyone said, and totally worth the trip but I doubted if I should ever come back. In the midst of what looked and felt like a desert, sprawling pristine estates loom, some of which even contain a restaurant and inn style rooms to rent. My uncle would say you gotta have clean socks and underwear to come to these places. Nighttime events like concerts, pick up parties, cook off competitions fill these places like a downtown club. Whether they instituted these events because there is no there there or a central downtown area was never developed because of their popularity is unclear. But it’s clear that local wine explorers within a 2 hour radius are migrating despite the gnarly frustrating experience of driving in Southern Cal.
Fortunately, I know a few of these locals who took me to a few of their favorite spots. So, I was impressed enough with the wines to buy some. Prices are not so impressive. You’d think the farther you go off the beaten path, the better your chances are of finding a deal or diamond in the rough. But prices are probably designed to pay for the aforementioned sprawling estates. I’d prefer tasting deliciously affordable wines on a picnic bench or someone’s front porch.