Winter in the Desert - 2013 travel blog

rolling hills

so many choices

panorama

winery

no stems

prize winners


The rolling hills covered with well draining soil and long hot sunshine days make the Temecula area an ideal spot for making wine. Napa and Sonoma valleys are far better known as producers of California wine and are much bigger; the vineyard loop here is less than a twenty mile drive. Even so, we only made it to three of the forty wineries and one of them was a stop for lunch. We had forgotten that today was a holiday and were surprised to have so much company as we sniffed , swirled, and sipped. Many of our fellow tasters arrived on tours. They could sample without worrying that they couldn't negotiate that next curve in the road.

The vineyards here are small and do not export much to stores, especially outside the state. We were encouraged to join their wine clubs, which would obligate us to purchase two bottles of wine quarterly and entitle us to discounts and more tasting coupons. Two buck chuck is more our speed.

Wine tasting has gotten expensive. We used to taste for free. Luckily we found some two-for-one coupons on the internet, but even so we paid $15 at each vineyard. The coupons meant that we could not have souvenir glasses, but when you are living in an RV, glass is taboo anyway. We were surprised to see that glasses without stems are de rigueur. It used to be that it was gauche to hold the glass in your fingers since the warmth from your fingers would adversely affect the bouquet of the wine. After we taste a few, they start tasting more or less the same anyway. One vineyard served salsa as a palate cleanser, also something new for us. It did provide a clean break between each wine's flavor. The salsa was for sale, too. What a surprise....

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