A trip to Southern California is a dream getaway. The amazing weather, beautiful scenery, and delectable cuisine make the area a feast for the senses. This area is also filled with some seriously incredible wineries and vineyards.
These fantastic properties, scattered about the area, churn out some of the world’s very best wine. From crisp Charddonays to big and bold Barberas, expert California winemakers create vintages and blends that please any palate. For this reason, a visit here is simply a must-do for any wine lover.
There are a seemingly endless number of wine-related activities to be found in the area. It can be overwhelming to decide what to plan and where to start. Here are eight of the best to get you started on your wine adventure.
The Temecula Valley is Known For Wine
The Temecula Valley is one of California’s best-kept secrets. This region is full of stunning sights and amazing wineries. It’s located an hour from both San Diego and Los Angeles, making it a convenient location for wine exploration.
Take a Cable Car Wine Tour
One of the coolest things to do in Temecula is to take a Cable Car wine tour. The area is full of great vineyards. This option allows you to check out multiple spots safely and conveniently.
You’ll board your all-inclusive tour and meet your friendly and professional tour guide. These guides are experts on the area as well as the ins and outs of the vineyards themselves. Once you get comfortable, the cable car will whisk you off on your five-hour tour.
The open-air style of the cable car allows you to enjoy the breeze as you travel through the valley. But you don’t have to worry about the rare cool or rainy weather popping up on the day of your tour. The company also operates a limo bus and trolley as backups.
Your tour will take you to three carefully selected Temecula Valley wineries. At each, you’ll enjoy a tasting and learn about the winemaking process. Your tour even includes a fresh and delicious lunch of your choice so you can refuel between tastings.
This tour is an awesome way to kick back and relax while you travel between wineries. The adorable cable car makes for some pretty memorable photos. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy some incredibly delicious wines along the way.
The Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival
Time your visit right and you’ll be able to enjoy one of the world’s best wine events. Purchase tickets and enjoy all of the amazing activities that The Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival has to offer. Wine lovers will be in heaven here, as will anyone else that tags along.
Grab some tasting tickets and check out the offerings from many of the area’s most awarded wineries. There’s also variety here for the beer and mead lover in your life. Local breweries and meaderies are on hand with samples of their own. There’s even a spirit bar selling mini cocktails created from locally-sourced produce.
Want to check out a sporting event that’s truly perfect for the wine enthusiast? The festival has Wine Barrel racing! Registrants decorate a wooden barrel and craft it into a racecar. Then, they push or pull it on the racetrack, competing against other participants. This event is exciting to watch as you check out the unique designs and root for your new favorite racer!
You can even start your festival day early with a morning hot air balloon ride. This unforgettable experience is an amazing way to check out the vineyards below. Enjoy brunch on a balloon with a mimosa toast. You’ll create unparalleled memories that only the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival can offer.
Los Angeles Has a Great Wine Scene
LA has an absolute ton of things to see and do. From fantastic shopping to world-famous eateries, it’s a city full of great attractions. It also offers some pretty awesome spots to check out some delicious wine as well.
San Antonio Winery
San Antonio Winery is unique as it’s right in the center of LA. This historic property is the oldest winery in the entire city. It’s also the largest with a gorgeous, sprawling estate.
Schedule a tasting here to sample the winery’s delicious offerings. Starting at only $15, you can select your choice of either all sweet or all dry wines. You’ll receive four carefully curated tastings that are sure to impress your taste buds.
You can also splurge for the Artisan Tasting selections that include a tour of the winery. With the Artisan Select package, you’ll enjoy limited production wines while nibbling on fresh antipasto selections. The Artisan Premiere upgrades that to include of hors d’oeuvres for those with more of an appetite. Either, way you’ll receive a souvenir wine glass to remember your visit.
For a truly remarkable experience, The Vitner’s Selection Tour is worth the price. You’ll enjoy your tasting, along with antipasto and hors d’oeuvres, in the winery’s private cellar. This two-hour event will give you access to the inner workings of the winery and its incredible history.
Whatever package you choose, a visit to San Antonio Winery is an unforgettable experience. You’ll see just why they were named Amerian Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Their top-notch wine and beautiful estate will leave you with awesome memories and a new appreciation for American wine.
How many times have you sat down at a wine bar and stared blankly at the endless menu of choices? Well, Covell has eliminated that conundrum. They have an incredible selection of vino. From orange wines and clean whites to sustainably farmed reds, they offer it all. But you won’t find a menu here. Instead, they depend on good old intuition.
Owner Dustin Lancaster simply knows his wine through and through. And over the years, he has gotten to know people too. With this deep knowledge, he matches his patrons with the perfect glass of wine. Just tell Dustin what you’re into. He can then select a choice from the endless bottles behind the bar. You’ll be shocked how it fits your palate like a glove.
The atmosphere here is second to none. With wine influenced decor, Covell is perfectly lit and cozy for a relaxing time. Though it’s one of the best wine bars on the West Coast, it’s not stuffy. The quirky decor gives it a light and playful vibe.
What’s terrific wine without great food? The cheese plate is perfect for pairing with any vino. Check out the veggie flatbread, topped with fresh seasonal ingredients. The croissant bread pudding is the perfect ending to any meal. Whatever you order, you’ll be sure that your visit to Covell will be memorable. And you’ll be leaving with a carefully curated new favorite wine.
The Malibu Newton Canyon Area – Beaches and Wine
It’s no secret that Malibu is one of the most popular spots on the West Coast. With world-famous beaches and plenty to do, vacationers flock to “the bu” for a great time. The area also has some unique and incredible wine activities.
Malibu Wine Safaris
Wine and wildlife, what’s not to love? At Malibu Wine Safaris, you get the best of both worlds! Their tours will have you trucking along checking out zebras, bison, and more!
You’ll board an open-air safari truck and be ready to explore the Saddlerock Ranch. With 1,000 acres, there’s plenty of terrain to cover. The best part? Along the way, you’ll stop for some pretty awesome tastings from local wineries.
You’ll enjoy a wine tasting full of crisp and refreshing white wines like Sauvignon Blancs. The tour also includes an all-red tasting for big and bold flavors. These carefully selected wines give you an amazing appreciation of the wine that the Malibu area has to offer.
There are also food options you can add to your tour. A charcuterie board is an awesome pairing for any of the amazing wines they have to offer. Or, opt for pizza to refuel after your safari. Whatever you decide on, you’ll have an amazing day at Malibu Wine Safaris. Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Stanley the Giraffe along the way!
Malibu Wine Hikes
Hiking is a favorite pastime in SoCal thanks to the great weather. Why not pair your hike with a little vino? With Malibu Wine Hikes, you can do just that.
A guided hike is an awesome way to explore the Saddleback Ranch property. Your group will visit the lush organic gardens and check out the impressive Native American cave paintings. You’ll enjoy two hours taking in the scenery of the surrounding mountains and sprawling vineyards.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see where some of the best wine in California is made. You’ll make amazing memories and enjoy the company of your group and endless nature. Plus, you’ll get a bottle of Saddleback’s amazing wine to go.
Looking for a more relaxing experience? Check out the 4×4 vineyard tours. For two hours, you’ll jet safely around the property, checking out the sights. Enjoy snacks and drinks to keep your energy up along the way. Don’t forget to grab your bottle of wine as you leave to sip later and look back on your incredible visit.
San Diego Has Some Great Wine Activities
Perched on the Pacific Coast is the stunning city of San Diego. Full of beaches, harbors, and palm trees, it’s a dream destination. It’s also the perfect place to visit if you adore wine.
San Diego Bay Cruises
What’s better than a fun wine tasting? A wine tasting on the water, of course! With San Diego Bay Cruises, you can book an incredible wine experience at sea.
Board a private yacht for a truly unforgettable excursion. Your experienced and knowledgeable wine consultant will greet you and begin your tasting as you set sail. Along the way, you’ll learn all about the wines, their optimal pairings, and the origins of the grapes.
Create a custom package that best fits your group and the boat crew will make sure everything coordinates perfectly. Maybe you want a lavish dinner and a selection of premium wines. Or a laid-back four wine tasting with a cheese pairing is more your thing. Either way, your tasting on the water will be an experience that you won’t soon forget.
Carruth Cellars Wine Garden
Forget beer gardens, wine gardens are the place to be! San Diego just happens to have the ideal climate to enjoy wine al fresco. And Carruth Cellars has an amazing wine garden where you can do just that.
Carruth Cellars is a great little urban winery that’s doing big things. They source grapes from all over the California and Oregon countryside. Then, they transport them to their amazing facility on the beach where they complete the winemaking process. Their winery is only about 25 minutes from San Diego and worth the drive.
However, if you choose to stay in the city, the wine garden gives you the perfect chance to enjoy all that these winemakers have to offer. Located in Little Italy, this outdoor venue is a great place to hang both day and night. The walled garden feels like an exotic escape with lush plants and native foilage filling the space.
Enjoy a flight to try out samplings of the winery’s very best. The Keep it Light flight is full of balanced and crisp white. Or you can opt for the Smooth and Silky choice for a taste of their rich, dark red wines. Already know what you’re into? You can also simply order a glass from the impressive list of Carruth Wines. Then sit back and enjoy the ambiance under the San Diego sky.
Exploring Wine-Rich Southern California
Italy and Paris, step aside. Southern California is the new go-to getaway for wine enthusiasts. With incredible weather and even better hospitality, it’s the place to be to enjoy some of the best wine in the world.
If you are looking for something fun, exciting, and wine-related, SoCal has plenty to offer. Book your flight, pack your bags, and head to the Golden State. You’ll be sipping your favorite wine under the coastal sun in no time.