Monday, April 13, 2015

Temecula- Valentine's Day

Hello blog family,

I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of spring. The weather here has been amazing, although it is pretty much amazing year round. I know it is a little late, but I've finally been able to write my blog on my Valentine's Day trip this year. 

We live in the heart of wine county here in Southern California, so we decided to make a trip down to Temecula to celebrate our V-Day. Temecula is less than a 2 hour drive south from our house and very close to San Diego. There are over 40 wineries in the area to choose from, so of course I did my research ahead of time to decide which ones to check out. I was ambitious and ended up choosing 4 wineries to visit: Callaway Winery, South Coast Winery, Wilsons Creek Winery, and Ponte Winery. 

Our first stop was to Callaway Vineyard & Winery. I figured Temecula would be either really packed or completely dead on Valentine's Day. Of course it ended up being super packed throughout the day. When we first got to Callaway it wasn't too crowded yet, so this ended up being our favorite winery that we visited. We bought the wine tasting which allowed us to try 6 different wines for $15 each. I drink mostly whites and my boyfriend drinks mostly reds. We were both really impressed with all the wines we tasted. After our tasting we signed up for a winery tour which takes you behind the scenes, and shows you how they make their wines. It was $5 per person and lasted around 30 minutes. 
Callaway entrance
Wine bar, need this!
Views from behind the bar
With boo
View of the vines
Where they crush the grapes
On the tour
The barrel room
A huge room filled with wine
On to lunch
After our tour, we then headed to the on-site restaurant Meritage for lunch. The view from the restaurant overlooking the entire vineyard was beautiful. We ordered the ceviche for an appetizer along with some mimosas. I ordered the eggplant sandwich which was good but really difficult to eat since the bread was hard. My boyfriend got the steamed clams and also the pork belly tacos. He really enjoyed the tapas he ordered. Our entire meal was about $100 with tip. After lunch we realized that we were really exhausted. Wine makes me sleepy. We were planning on doing a tasting at all 4 wineries, but when I realized how tired we were, I knew we wouldn't make it through the entire day.
Entrance to restaurant 
Menu and drinks
Boo's food
My eggplant sandwich 
We continued on with our plan by going to South Coast Winery next. By the time we arrived around 1:00PM it was packed with a line out the door to buy the tastings. Out of all the wineries we visited, it was most busy here. Instead of buying the tasting again, we went to the restaurant bar and each bought one glass of wine. After we got our wine, we walked around the winery grounds exploring. Although it was February and the grapes had not yet bloomed, it was nice to walk around in the field of vines while drinking our wine. The grounds here were very beautiful overall, but with the large crowd, we drank our glass of wine and left. 
Fountain at South Coast Winery
More vines
Enjoying our wine
Taking a stroll
Next we made a quick stop at Wilsons Creek Winery. We were so tired that we didn't even drink any wine here. We just walked around the vineyard grounds. The most noticeable part of the winery is the large wine bottle that you can take a photo with. I realized that we didn't have to drink any wine to be able to enjoy each winery. We only spent about 20 minutes here, and then went to our last winery for the day. 
That's a large bottle
Even more vines
Our last stop was Ponte Winery. We had dinner reservations here at 6:00PM, but by the time we arrived and walked around, we knew that we wouldn't make it all the way through our romantic dinner. Instead of our fancy Valentine's Day dinner, we left Temecula early and stopped at In-N-Out burger for a quick bite to eat. We were home and asleep on the couch by 7:00PM. Perfect Valentine's Day!
I love you
Happy Valentine's Day
Best dinner ever! I love the grilled cheese. 
Even though Temecula was super busy because of the holiday, we still had a great time. Callaway was our favorite winery that we stopped at, and we both enjoyed their wine the most. We are planning on going back again soon to experience Temecula while the grapes are blooming for a different experience. 

I have more trips to update on, so check back soon.