Mount Palomar Winery, located in the Temecula Valley wine appellation, is a fine wine estate dedicated to making wines of distinctive taste and high quality. Located among rolling hills and mesa lands at 1400 feet elevation, Mount Palomar is a working wine estate with 55 acres of producing vineyards overlooked by the Palomar Mountain range.
John H. Poole started Mount Palomar's vineyards in 1969, pioneering the new wine region and growing the finest grapes possible. Formerly a radio electronics engineer and station owner, he wanted to establish a new agricultural business and enjoy the relaxed pace that accompanied it. Pioneering the new Temecula region was natural for him. He helped pioneer early military radar use during WWII, established California's only offshore radio station (KBIG-AM on Santa Catalina Island), established one of the nation's first UHF television stations (now Channel 22 in Los Angeles), and created Los Angeles' first commercially successful FM radio station.
John established the original Mount Palomar vineyards, and was our first winemaker in 1975. He created a place where people could immerse themselves in the world of fine wine in a pleasant and relaxed Wine Country atmosphere.
John Poole's son, Peter Poole, took over operation of the Winery in 1985, making it the first winery in the Temecula Valley under second-generation leadership. Peter introduced a number of "firsts" in the Temecula Valley, most significantly beginning the trend to Mediterranean grape varieties, which is so significant today. He and Winemaker Etienne Cowper combined creative forces to create top quality, Temecula Valley wines.
Mount Palomar makes a range of fine wines with special emphasis on classic, Bordeaux style blends and Italian varieties. Mount Palomar also has a thirty year history of producing excellent Port and Solera Cream Sherry. Mount Palomar Cream Sherry is produced in the oldest Sherry Solera in the United States, possibly the oldest North America, and is aged for a minimum of five years in the California sun. The winery uses two main brands: Mount Palomar and Castelletto. The Castelletto name ("little castle" in Italian), used by Mount Palomar for our Italian style wines, comes from the family of our founder's wife, Olivia de Reya Poole. The name "Castelletto" is a title awarded in Italy to Antonio and Sebastiano de Reya in 1735. The Castle and Star image on the label is found on the original Castelletto crest.
Recognitions our wines have earned include four Best of Show awards at major wine competitions and numerous Best of Class and Gold Medal distinctions. A Mount Palomar wine has been named "Best Wine of the Southern California Region" by the California State Fair five separate times, most recently in 2008. Mount Palomar has also been recognized for sustainable environmental practices in viticulture.
Today, Mount Palomar Winery is owned and operated by Louidar LLC, an Arizona Limited Liability Company. Current development plans include extensive new vineyard plantings; a larger wine production facility; a new guest facility including restaurants and a world-class, wine country resort and spa; and estate homes.