Temecula Tasted

California boasts flourishing farmlands rich in many crops such as avocados, pistachios, artichokes, olives, apples, citrus, you name it, but it is certainly acclaimed for its grape growing regions. I am fortunate enough to be just an hour drive away from Southern California’s own Temecula wine country. A long stretch of wineries and vineyards dot the rolling-hilled landscape over a dozen miles inland. With over 30 wineries to choose from, both big & small, there is sure to be a varietal for every taste. I have been to many of these great tasting rooms and there are a few I make a point to visit. However, there is one winery in particular that is my primary tasting destination – Ponte Family Estate Winery. I first visited Ponte back in college and was immediately taken by there beautiful property and large tasting room.

It really feels like more of a large wooden country home, with vaulted airy ceilings, beautiful displays of boutique gifts and gourmet items, and a staff that warmly welcomes you to share a tasting! Two large counters oppose the wide reception room, and it is always hopping with visitors. They are also conveniently open 7 days a week, but the weekends are the busiest. I used to be a wine club member many years ago, and for one reason or another stopped for several years. My recent trip back made me realize I was long overdue to be a part of the Ponte family! I eagerly signed up again, and now am happy to receive club tasting benefits and a selection of awesome wines every other month. Not only does Ponte offer amazing reds and whites, they have a fantastic, award-winning restaurant on site. Situated on their outside patio, the restaurant serves fresh, farm-to-table wine country cuisine, and don’t worry if it’s a hot day, because they have a covered space & outside misters to keep you cool. The newest addition to the Ponte Estate is a beautiful boutique wine country Inn, with food service and even a popular downstairs, night time bar. Now you can take your time tasting, and make Temecula into a weekend excursion!

Their beautifully landscaped estate is a destination for many weddings, events, live music, and for those looking to spend a beautfiful afternoon, strolling through gardens and sipping CA wine. I managed to grab some photos, which help capture a little of their gorgeous estate, but first let’s talk about some good wine, shall we? 

There is a varietal at Ponte for every palate. They craft wines ranging from a delicately sweet & floral white like their 2011 Graciela, to a smooth Chardonnay with a buttery finish, all the way to a fuller red blend, like the rich cab-based 2010 Super T. I personally am in love with their 2009 Sangiovese and Tempranillo. So much so, I left with a few bottles of my own. There are many wonderful winery associates I have had the pleasure of tasting with on my past visits. If you get a chance to talk with longtime Ponte associate Sandi, you’ll be happy you did! She can customize your tasting with a couple of questions, and will give you some fun winery facts while you’re at it. I also had the pleasure of speaking and tasting with Lindsey when recently there. She kindly helped me select wines dry enough to suit my current palate, and made sure I picked the best wine club options for my liking. So, I opted for their reds-only club this time. Their number one seller is Beverino, which as Sandi pointed out means ‘easy to drink’ in Italian. I do have to say it was wonderful, a lightly chilled red, and though a little sweeter than my current preference, I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth & only slightly sweet this finishes. Beverino is aptly named, and I plan to share a bottle over the holidays. It’s just hard to pick one favorite…

If you will be visiting Temecula any time soon, make it a point to visit Ponte, taste, relax and have a nice lunch or dinner. Oh, did I forget to mention to try their cheese platter with fresh honeycomb? Shame on me, definitely don’t forget that! I know you won’t regret it, and will be leaving with a bottle for home. If you aren’t in the area, check them out online and you can order directly. I have to say with Fall approaching, I can’t think of a better addition for my table with friends!

I’m looking forward to picking-up my next wine shipment, and getting to spend a little time tasting at Ponte while there… 

Pin It
no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

cook. love. share