Every so often it behooves a group of girlfriends to get lost in Temecula, California’s wine country for a day or two. The Napa Valley may have their glory, but we Southern Californians have Temecula, and we are not ashamed to take advantage of it now and then.
The last time the girlfriends and I traipsed through the vineyards, the Leonesse Cellars Winery was our favorite by a mile. Maybe because some of the other wineries had too much of a party-bus vibe, maybe because by then I’d tasted one too many (I confess, I did nap on the Leonesse patio), or maybe because it just feels like a winery should feel: quiet, peaceful, lovely in architecture and absolutely sprawling with vineyards.
As far as their award-winning wines, they can be sampled with a detailed tour (reservations made ahead) or more simply as a walk-in. And, though the winery can be difficult to find (it’s a bit off the beaten Temecula winery path) it’s worth the extra effort, especially for couples wanting to find a romantic spot and avoid the traffic of the main winery row.
The Leonesse Cellars Winery does have a recently added restaurant called Block 5, which is closed in the winter months, but it’s fine enough on its own. Visitors can take their favorite bottle out on the back patio, as we did, and sit comfortably in the late afternoon, enjoying the breeze and the view.