Local Tourist: Temecula Valley
September is my most favoritest month of the year. Why, you ask? Because it's my birthday month! Woot woot! I'm not one of those who is okay with just chilling on my birthday (future hubby take note). To me, it's a celebration! My birthday tradition is to take a trip. I must getaway. Luckily my birthday is at the end of the month, so leading up to it, celebrating all month long is a must. I made a list of some things I wanted to purchase, new places I wanted to go, and things I wanted to see before the month is up. But truth be told, I need to be celebrating all year long, right?!.
So I scoured through the likes of Travelzoo and Living Social/Groupon to see what kind of deals were out there. I'm all about saving a coin while having some fun. I came across two deals for wineries in Temecula that caught my attention and that didn't require reservations. I've been wanting to visit Temecula for years, and for some reason I've never made the trip. It's only a measly 90 miles (1.5 hour drive) outside of Los Angeles, and I was well overdue for a trip like this. So my friend and I woke up early to beat the traffic and made a quick escape for the day.
With Starbucks flowing and SZA's 'Ctrl' through the speakers, we arrived at our first location, Oak Mountain Winery, around 11:30am, a perfect time for wine! (Insert it's '5'oclock somewhere' line.) But really it turned out to be the perfect time as it got considerably crowded as time went on. The winery had sweeping mountain and vineyard views that just puts you in such a good mood - I'm a sucka for a good view.
The Living Social deal was $20 for 6 tastings for 2. I unknowingly had a credit so I ended up getting the deal for free.99. The inside of Oak Mountain was a little dark, but they also had a large covered outdoor space with a bar for tasting, and a cave where they store their barrels have a cafe, and house events. After we finished our tastings inside, we headed to the outdoor area where there was a super jumbo Jenga game in full effect, and an even bigger Connect Four game - which I would lose in later. Is there anything better than drinking and games? No? I didn't think so either. Everyone was in such a good mood. And again, mountain and vineyard views was the icing.
There's also a San Francisco replicated cable car that shuttles people from winery to winery, which is on the list for next time! We even saw the company truck loading grapes into the truck to assumingly get ready for stomping and fermenting into a yummy bottle. Good wine, good service, good people, good views, and good fun. Oak Mountain, I'll be back!
After spending a few hours at Oak Mountain, we made the 2 minute drive down the road to the next location, Masia de la Vinya. Another winery that offered some amazing views of Temecula Valley, we walked inside and instantly felt like home. The decor and set up was super cute with dark grey wood floors, a long granite bar area, and the fireplace which made me feel like I walked into a new built model home. We checked in and received our stemless glass for the tasting, and as a part of our TravelZoo deal - $14, 6 tastings for 2 - was able to take home. Before we began the tasting we headed straight for the gift shop which had some super cute items for purchase. Perfect place to get items for a bride-to-be or just someone who appreciates cute dainty decor and clever sayings on tumblers, mugs, and wine glasses.
We headed back to the bar area and browsed the menu to get the tasting started. The pours at Oak Mountain were very generous so we were taking it a bit slow. Masia also had outside seating, an outside bar for tastings, and even live music. After tasting #3, we grabbed our glasses and headed outside with the intent on finishing 4-6 sitting down, enjoying the weather and the music. Unfortunately, we only made it #4. Lol. Hey sometimes you have to know your limit, plus our breakfast wore off. We were starving. My friend tried the dessert wine right before we left, and I attempted, but once she told me tasted (and smelled) like Henny, I was turned off. (Not for me! - gag)
Prior to arriving in Temecula, I did my due diligence and bookmarked a few restaurants on Yelp that caught my eye. The Goat and Vine was the winner, and I discovered it was for good reason. We left Masia and drove about 10 minutes into Old Town Temecula, again just beating the crowd that arrived shortly after we did. The decor was so cute, customer service was amazing, and the Thailand pizza was probably the best pizza I ever had. I'm already itching to get back.
We ate good, drank good, then made the drive back to Los Angeles. Til next time Temecula! The birthday month celebration continues...