7 Insights to Plan a Warm, Sunny Winter in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country


Temecula, CA (PRWEB) September 27, 2012

1-What-To-Do

There is a great variety of things to do throughout winter in the Great Temecula Valley Outdoors, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, Downtown Old Town Temecula, and at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Savor the Great Temecula Valley Outdoors with golfing, bicycling, horseback riding, hiking, hot air balloon flights over wine country, and on Class 1 walking trails. Southern California rains are naturally welcome but the general pattern is a day or two of showers followed by bright, sunny days.

Celebrate the game of golf on Temecula Valleys impressive, highly regarded courses. All have great course design; many are embraced by nature with age-old oaks and sycamore trees, naturally occurring streams and creeks; and most feature elevation changes and expansive views. All are popular with golfers of all skill levels for perfectly challenging, year-round play. With awe-inspiring terrain, the Arthur Hills-designed Journey at Pechanga is one of Californias top courses. The Dick Rossen/Ted Robinson, Sr.-designed Temecula Creek Inn features 27 holes of championship golf surrounded by 350-acres/142-hectares of rustic, natural beauty. The highly rated, Ron Fream-designed RedHawk Golf Club has one of the only island greens in Southern California. The Ted Robinson-designed/P. Dye updated Legends Golf Club has rolling topography, five lakes and numerous doglegs. The Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed Golf Club at Rancho California features hilly terrain, wide fairways, and large landing areas. Pala Mesa Golf Course has a traditional, parkland front-nine; the back-nine climbs into the foothills.

Rent a hybrid bicycle at The Bike Shop Temecula for recreational touring of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country and other Temecula bike trails. Ask and receive route suggestions for beginner to advanced cyclists. For intermediate and the more advanced, rent a road bike or mountain bike, and ask about rides and events. Also see Bike Trails on VisitTemecula.org. Side note: Sarah Hammer, double silver-medal winning cyclist at the London Olympics, is a Temecula hometown hero; you may see her cycling.

Make reservations to experience a Western-style horseback trail ride into the hills adjoining Green Acres Ranch for commanding views of Valle de Los Caballos and the De Portola Wine Trail. Also consider taking riding lessons; English, Western, and Dressage instruction is available by advance arrangement.

One of Temecula Valleys natural treasures is the nearly 9,000-acre Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve (open sunrise to sunset, daily). Hiking trails (most easy to moderate) total 40 miles/64 kilometers. Before heading to the plateau, get sandwiches and picnic fixings to-go at Campinis Italian Deli, E.A.T. Marketplace, or Temecula Cheese Company. At the Plateau, stop first at the Visitors Center (open Tuesday through Sunday) to learn of current, seasonal happenings. Inquire also about the Plateaus history and how the Vail cattle-ranching familys wise stewardship of the property helped to preserve what is considered by many to be the finest remaining example of California bunchgrass prairie. Then hike to the adobe structures dating to 1846, and picnic in the shade of a glorious 400-year-old tree. On the trails, listen and look for small songbirds wintering over in the oak woodlands. Given sufficient rainfall, the miraculous vernal pools are to be learned about and witnessed.

Floating serenely in a hot air balloon with spectacular views of rolling hills, vineyards, ranchlands, and citrus groves, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that makes a winter visit to Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country especially memorable. An aerial point of view provides an exceptional opportunity to discover some of Southern Californias remaining open, rural countryside. In winter, local hot air balloon companies A Grape Escape, California Dreamin, D&D Ballooning, and Magical Adventures launch at dawn and soar silently above row-upon-row of dormant vines, often with snow-capped mountains in the distance, circling the valley.

Additional great outdoor opportunities include trails and bikeways throughout, in, and around Temecula. Among Class 1 Walking Trails are paths along Downtowns Old Town Front Street and along Jefferson Avenue in Uptown Temecula. After time in the Great Temecula Valley Outdoors, set aside some relaxing, spa time. A trio of spas welcomes appointments: GrapeSeed Spa renowned for its vine-based treatments, massage, and body rituals; Spa Pechanga for tranquil rejuvenation from hot stone massages to nourishing, body wraps; and pampering Murrieta Day Spa, offering massages, facials, and impeccable manicures/pedicures.

One of the most intriguing and enjoyable winter activities is to visit, tour, and wine-taste at Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Countrys approximately 40 wineries. This significant and diverse appellation garners more than 5,000 awards for its vintages, and continues to gain well-deserved recognition for its quality, premium varietals, and proprietary blends. Most wineries are family-owned and welcome visitors daily.

Winter especially weekdays is particularly appealing in Temecula Valley So Cal Wine Country. Lighter visitor-traffic often means the potential for conversations with friendly and gracious, winery family-members and talented winemakers. Popular and appealing, reserve-in-advance* tour-and-tasting experiences include Touch the Vine and Taste the Wine at Leoness Cellars*. At Monte de Oro Winery*, the tour and traditional wine-tasting also includes the opportunity to wine-taste from oak barrels in the subterranean barrel room. Tour the vineyard estate and winery cellar at sustainably farmed and artisanal Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery*. Experience the behind-the-scenes wine tour (from vineyards to crush pad) with wine-cheese-and-fruit pairings at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa*.

Among Downtown, Old Town Temeculas many charms are the Old Town Temecula Tasting Trail; palate-pleasing establishments abound. Taste and learn at the (complimentary daily) olive oil and balsamic-vinegar tasting bar at Temecula Olive Oil Company. Browse the shelves for herbs, spices, blends, and teas at Old Town Spice Merchants. Visit and admire Old Town Root Beer Companys 300+ varieties of sodas, root beers, and ginger ales. Then taste the fresh-made fudge at Old Town Sweet Shop a haven for chocolate lovers and nostalgic-candy fans.

Historic, pedestrian-friendly Old Town Temecula is ideal for exploring. From the circa 1890 Burnham Store that is The MERC (entertainment venue and art gallery) and the 1914 First National Bank of Temecula (now The Bank Restaurant of Mexican Food) to the They Passed This Way Monument (a testament to Temeculas Western glory days, legendary scout Kit Carson, mountain-man Jedediah Smith, and others) and the Temecula Valley Museum. See also the Mission Revival-style Temecula Civic Center; native Luise

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