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Adventures In Temecula

Let’s play in Temecula! This unique destination is nestled in 3,000 acres of picturesque wine country, but that’s just the beginning. Temecula is gorgeous, and in my opinion, a too often overlooked part of California. I spent three days in this beautiful city, seeing various wineries, taking a hot air balloon ride, and enjoying great food and drinks along with a healthy dose of relaxation, of course! I can say without a doubt that Temecula should be at the top of anyone’s California list!

Where To Stay 

On our first day, we checked into the Domaine Chardonnay Winery Estate & Luxury Guests Suites, our home-away-from-home for the trip. I knew immediately that it was going to be a great trip. The gorgeous Domaine Chardonnay is nestled in the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country. The beautiful grounds provide sweeping views and a welcoming atmosphere even before you enter. It started as one of the valley’s first vineyards and the first to grow Chardonnay successfully. Domaine Chardonnay is located on Madera De Playa and has been an import supplier of exceptional Chardonnay wine grapes to local wineries since 1987.

Domaine Chardonnay is one of the most beautiful and top rated boutique hotels there. The owners Mike and Laura farm their vineyards organically and make some of the best wines in the valley, exclusive for Domaine guests and members of their Wine Club. All of that is impressive, but so are its accommodations. The attention to detail is beyond. We stayed in beautifully appointed luxury suites with all the comforts of home and a welcoming, relaxing, modern, cozy atmosphere. The rooms and the views they offered were absolutely perfect.

We took part in their Winemaker for a day experience. During the experience, we tasted several wines and learned in depth the wine making process, how to pair wines, and all of the elements that give them their signature flavors.

We ended the day with dinner at Goat & Vine in Old Town. This winery and restaurant offers a variety of vintages along with classic dishes such as burgers, pizza, appetizers, salads, and decadent desserts. After dinner, it was off to bed to get some much-needed sleep after our big day.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

The next morning, we departed the hotel bright and early for our 6:30 AM hot air balloon flight with A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure. I’d never been on a hot air balloon ride before, and it was quite an experience. A bucketlisters moment for sure. I’m not sure how exactly high we were in that basket, but we were way up there and it was spectacular. It was exhilarating, and it offered amazing views of the surrounding area that stretched on for miles and miles. If you’ve never been for a hot air balloon ride, do it! If you’re in the Temecula area, definitely give A Grape Escape a try.

After our balloon ride, we headed back to the hotel for a quick bite and proceeded to the Grapeseed Spa at South Coast Winery. We arrived at the spa and enjoyed a 50-minute massage with some of the most experienced hands to ever work on my back! The staff at the spa were extremely friendly and helpful, and they made the experience a fantastic one. I’ll plan a full spa experience the next time I visit.

After our massage, we headed to The Vineyard Rose for a bite, and I was immediately taken in by all its golden glow. Natural wood dominates the restaurant, offering a rustic vibe with modern features. The restaurant boasts delicious entrees like braised short ribs and salmon, delicious starters like salads or fried calamari, and their signature dessert, the Lover’s Smore.

Wineries To Visit – 

Miramonte Winery, founded by Cane Vanderhoof, Miramonte came onto the scene in 2001, and since then, it’s become one of the most respected boutique wineries in Southern California. Let me tell you, the quality of their food matches that of their wine. You’ll find charcuterie boards and finger foods along with tacos, wings, and much more.

Sidecar Tour 

After lunch, we headed to Akash Winery for a Sidecar tour of a few wineries in the area, along with tastings at each. If you are looking for something fun and unique this is definitely the tour for you. The sidecar was a fantastic way to take in the scenery of Temecula, and our winery tastings had some of the best wine I’ve ever enjoyed. The tour was an unforgettable experience and truly the most fun we’ve ever had wine tasting!  

After an afternoon of beautiful views and delicious wine, we finished the day with dinner at Mercato Di Vienza at Europa Village. This authentic Italian deli and market offers classic Italian dishes like wood-fired pizza, gelato, deli items, and more.

Old Town Ranch 

The following day, we made our way to Old Town Ranch. We were treated to a lovely horseback riding experience with a knowledgeable, friendly guide who made it so much fun! My horse was a particularly sweet one, and the ride was so smooth. There’s nothing like the beauty of nature from the back of a horse! I also learned about their wagon gleaming accommodation, which will now be added to my list for the next time I visit. How cool are these handcrafted classic wagons!

And then, just like that, our trip was over. We headed back to the winery, packed up, and said goodbye to beautiful Temecula. I can say without hesitation that Temecula should be on everyone’s radar if they’re planning a trip to California. It’s almost too beautiful to describe, and there are so many things to see and do in this beautiful part of wine country. I know I’ll be back!

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