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Carter Estate Winery

Temecula Valley

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An elevated winery experience nestled in the Temecula Valley of California’s South Coast AVA, Carter Estate Winery offers a luxurious setting with premium, small-lot wines.


One of the gems of Southern California’s Temecula Valley, Carter Estate Winery was established by Jim Carter in 2015 with the intention of offering the complete wine country experience. From high-end, limited-production wines to a richly appointed tasting room, private villas, and a full-service spa and resort on site, Carter Estate Winery is the place for visitors to enjoy the best that Temecula Valley has to offer.

Jim Carter, who many know as the man behind the sprawling South Coast Winery Resort and Spa (located adjacent to the Carter Estate site) is one of the early pioneers of the Temecula Valley (South Coast) winegrowing region. Growing up in Ohio, Jim Carter was involved with building projects from an early age, and eventually became a very successful developer with experience constructing everything from homes and apartment complexes to huge shopping centers. Jim was also interested in growing plants and trees and purchased a 260-acre tree farm at one point. He also purchased a 400-acre parcel of land in Temecula Valley - a property that would one day prove to be very fruitful for his future.

After watching the movie, ‘A Walk in the Clouds,’ Jim Carter experienced a life-changing epiphany and realized that the movie’s story line of a thriving vineyard in a beautiful mountain valley closely resembled that 400-acre parcel of land in Temecula Valley, which was nestled in a valley in the shadow of Santa Rosa Plateau’s Palomar Mountain. Jim was inspired and immediately began reading books and checking the soil, water and sunlight at the property. He learned that the conditions were ideal for growing some outstanding varietals and went to work purchasing and planting the finest fruit. Such was the beginning of Jim Carter’s life as a world-class vintner.

The vineyard was named Wild Horse Peak Vineyards, and because of the location (2,200 ft elevation) and quality of the vines, several local wineries began purchasing the fruit. Jim acquired two additional vineyard properties and set to work building his first winery, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. The winery is the largest in the Temecula Valley, offering an extensive range of wines which have been met with thousands of rave reviews and honors. South Coast has also been named the California State Winery of the Year four times.

In 2015, Jim Carter launched his next wine country destination - a passion project known as Carter Estate Winery. Situated on 109 acres of prime sustainably farmed vineyards, Carter Estate has a completely different concept than South Coast, focusing on limited-production wines from the best vineyard blocks and barrels. He also crafts traditional “Méthode Champenoise” sparkling wines under the Carter Estate label, the only vintner in the Valley to use this authentic method. It is clear that Carter Estate Winery is all about class and taking a premium approach to crafting the best wines possible from this Southern California winegrowing region, in addition to offering a luxury lifestyle resort for its visitors.

It is with great pride that we introduce our Gold Medal Wine Club members to Carter Estate Winery. Cheers!


Map of the area



Jon McPherson, Winemaker

Picture of Jon McPherson, Winemaker

The acclaimed winemaker behind Carter Estate’s wines is Jon McPherson, a veteran of the Temecula Valley and South Coast AVA’s with 44 harvests under his belt. Raised in Lubbock, Texas, Jon comes from an extensive winemaking background. His father, Clinton “Doc” McPherson, was a pioneer and instrumental in the growth of the modern Texas wine industry. Jon has always been surrounded by wine and remembers working at his father’s winery where he dug post-holes for stakes and planted vines, among other forms of manual labor. After graduating from Texas Tech University with a B.S. in Food and Technology in 1985, Jon headed for Southern California where he became the winemaker at Culbertson Winery in 1986. In 2003, he joined the Carter family group of wineries and currently crafts wines for Carter Estate Winery, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, and Carter Creek Winery in Texas’ Hill Country.