Wine Tasting in Temeculah, CA — Baily and Thornton Wineries

Before the wedding in Fallbrook, we left early in the day to do a bit o’ drinkin’ in nearby Temeculah. It’s a decent 2 hour or so drive from Los Angeles and the wedding started in the early afternoon so we didn’t have much time.

Finally arriving in wine country, we accidentally stumbled upon Baily Winery. Looking for any random winery I could remember by asking the trusty GPS, we passed our proposed location and u-turned at Baily’s. We decided to pull into the winery and check it out.

It turned out to be a delightful surprise… all the wines were fantastic. We did a “5” wine tasting, shared between the two of us. We wanted to pace ourselves for at least another winery and all the drinking ahead of us at the wedding.

The gentleman who served us was greatly informative and gave us great suggestions — if there were wines we wanted to try that he did not suggest, he still let us have a taste even if we passed our five wine limit. Loved it.

We were able to sample the following (that I remember):

  • Chardonnay
  • Montage
  • Semillon
  • Riesling
  • Dry Riesling
  • Meritage
  • Serenity – Late Harvest Savignon Blanc
  • Vintage Port

I think that’s all we had… The dry riesling was my favorite and apparently the only dry riesling available north of the Panama? We bought five plus a port that Holly loved so much.

Our next stop was the popular Callaway Winery (our original destination). We drove down the street a ways then walked into the wine-tasting room — it was madly crowded. It was also much more expensive and no one paid any attention to us at the wine-tasting bar. Needless to say, we left and opted for the one across the street — Thornton Winery.

Thornton was also a bit crowded but we stayed because they had sparkling wine. I love sparkling wine and champagne. We were seated on the patio (yep, seated like at a restaurant) — I’ve never been seated like that before for a wine-tasting. Then, we ordered off a menu — Champagne Flight ($13: NV Brut • NV Blanc de Noirs • NV Cuveé Rouge • NV Cuveé de Frontignan). We tried to order food but the kitchen was closed as the winery was setting up for a concert that night.

Meh. That about describes my feelings towards these wines. The flavors weren’t unique… that is, if there were any flavors at all. There was nothing special about these wines and they were definitely overpriced for my taste buds. Perhaps you’ve had the same wines and felt differently? I wasn’t very impressed. So, we didn’t buy any bottles there.

That ended the time we had for wine tasting in Temeculah. I would love to go back, but if I had a choice between back to Temeculah and back to the Napa area — northern California wins without question. There’s just more wine-tasting feel there!

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