Grapes have been grown in the Temecula Valley wine region since 1966. Temecula Valley wine region’s first contemporary commercial vineyard was founded in 1968 by Vincenzo and Audry Cilurzo.The Guasti-based Brookside Winery was planted at the same time and also helped revive the winemaking scene in Temecula. The Peter Poole family, owners of the radio station K-BIG, planted their own vineyard and started the Mount Palomar Winery in the following year, 1969.
On October 23,1984, Temecula Valley was declared an AVA by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Several years later, on June 18, 2004, the same viticultural area was renamed to the Temecula Valley AVA.
Located in the Riverside and San Diego counties, the Temecula wine Valley has a superior solar intensity. The comparatively low rainfall in the Temecula Valley leads to an early growing period that typically lasts from around March to September.The cold air flowing inland from the Pacific Ocean, located only 22 miles away, helps moderate the temperature during the day, and generate a diurnal temperature pattern of warm days and cold evenings.This cold Pacific air affects the flavor development of the grapes and is ideal for growing high quality wine grapes.
Temecula Valley vineyards are located at altitudes in the range of 1,200 feet to 1,600 feet above sea level and is surrounded by mountains that average between elevations of 2,000 feet and 11,000 feet.
Soil is another significant influence on the Temecula Valley wine country grapes. The soil in the Temecula Valley AVA are made from disintegrating granitic resources, which are outstanding for producing extraordinary wine grapes The vines in this region require well-drained soils, which makes granitic soils the perfect fit, since water can drain through it effortlessly. The Temecula Valley soils contribute to the untainted varietal characteristics, without adding any abnormal flavors that wetter soils can sometimes produce.
The Temecula Valley wine growers have had great success in producing Chardonnay, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. More recently the wineries in Temecula Valley have been producing Mediterranean varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris. The warm climate of the area makes it well-suited for Rhône varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, and not well suited for cool climate varieties like Pinot Noir.
The wine region is a huge tourist destination on weekends with over 40 wineries that offer public Temecula Valley wine tastings. Several of the Temecula Valley wineries occupy massive spaces, and have opened up modern tasting rooms meant to host large groups or multiple groups of individuals at one time.The region is also a popular wedding destination, hosts live music performances, and offers lodging services, vineyard tours, barbecues, and hot air balloon rides. The biggest annual events are the Temecula Valley Wine Festival, and the Harvest Wine Celebration.
The Temecula Valley Wine Association is a nonprofit regional organization 501(C)(6) committed to supporting the production of quality wine from only the best wine grapes in the Temecula Appellation.