I had a gift I wanted to give to my son and since he lives down by Temecula I decided I would kill two birds with one stone and pay a visit to the Temecula wine country. After securing a room, Tanya, Buddy and I headed out to the Inland Empire. After arriving at my son’s home we tried to find a winery, with a restaurant that stays open past 5:00 PM. I had only attempted to go wine tasting in Temecula once before and noticed that 5:00 seemed to be last call at most of the places I tried to stop at. My daughter-in-law reminded us of our prior visit to South Coast Winery Resort and Spa a couple years ago. We went online and discovered that they had a Happy Hour that started at 4:00 and dinner started at 5:30. We dropped Buddy off at the hotel and headed over to South Coast. We skipped the wine tasting and went for the Happy Hour and dinner instead. All I can say is that if I lived an hour closer I would be a regular there. Their Happy Hour is great and the dinner was fantastic.
The next day we made plans to meet up with my son and his family at the Ponte Family Estate. Since we got there early, I decided to go for the wine tasting. Not only does Ponte have some very nice wines, but they have extremely generous pours. By the time I finished the tasting and lunch (which was delicious) I was really glad I had my own personal designated driver.
Both South Coast and Ponte wineries had very good food and nice wines. The wine country itself is not as photogenic as say Napa, the Rhine or Catalonia but so far I have really enjoyed the wines and foods served there. We will be back to check out the others.