Q. This looks like a well-established winery; how long have you been here?
A. The vineyards were planted in 1969, and we began making our own wines in 1975. We were the second winery in the region.
Q. How many acres of vines do you grow?
A. We currently grow 55 acres of estate grapes and will be adding approximately 20 acres a year for the next several years.
Q. How many grape varieties do you grow?
A. We grow an amazing sixteen varieties of winegrapes. This makes for some very interesting wines, particularly in our ability to blend flavors.
Q. Where can we buy your wines?
A. The best way is to purchase directly from the winery. A number of our wines are available only at the winery, and we do not have broad distribution through the wholesale market. You can order here on our website, or call the winery at 1-800-854-5177. Wine orders are sent by common carrier on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.
Q. Can you ship to me in my home state?
A. We can definitely ship to any state listed on the website, but if you do not see your state listed here, please call the winery. Regulations are changing rapidly, and we may be able to arrange an alternate way to get your wine to you.
Q. Didn’t the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision open up direct shipping of wine to all states?
A. While we welcome the positive decision by the Supreme Court, it will take time for changes to occur. The Supreme Court decision ruled directly on the existing laws of Michigan and New York alone, but the implications of their decision is causing other states to change their laws as well. It’s good news, but unfortunately, it didn’t solve everything.
Q. I love wine from Northern California, but I was really surprised by the quality of your wines. How do you do it?
A. We do it the same way great wine is made all over the world, by growing the best grapes and then treating them with care. The Temecula Valley is a great place to grow wine grapes, but we have gone through growing pains just like any new wine region. That is why the measure of quality we use in producing our wine is a comparison with the best wines of California, France, Italy, etc.
Q. Isn’t it too hot to make good wine in Southern California?
A. Haven’t you tasted the wines? There’s the proof. The fact is that most California wine regions, including Napa Valley, are quite warm. Every wine region in the world has its strengths and challenges to producing quality, but excess heat is usually not a problem in Temecula. Our challenge comes more from responding to changing weather conditions. We sometimes say, “We are your typical hot, cool, dry, foggy region!” (Maybe we’ll take this question off the website soon. We don’t hear it asked so much anymore.)
Q. What are the strengths of the Temecula Valley Wine Region?
A. The climate, though very changeable, is moderate by most measures. That is good for many winegrape varieties. The loose, granitic soils are not highly fertile and are low in water holding capacity. Those characteristics are highly sought after in the wine world, since they naturally limit the vine to low crop yields, balanced fruit and leaf ratios on the vine, and achieve ripeness easily in most years.
Q. What are your best wines?
A. That’s a tough question, since we make so many wines. Experience has shown us that most whites do very well on our light, granitic soils. Mediterranean varieties like Cortese and Viognier are especially good, but so are cooler climate varieties like Riesling, if they are picked early. In the reds, the Italians say that the Tuscan variety Sangiovese, which we introduced to Temecula, “likes dry feet”, and the same can be said for Syrah, another Mediterranean variety. Both do very well in Temecula under the proper viticultural care. We also like the traditional Bordeaux varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc, but we like them best in a classic blend to even out the effects of our changeable climate.
Q. Making wine, growing the grapes and all seems like such an exciting thing to do. Do you really enjoy it that much?
A. Yes we do!
Q. Why should we join your Family Wine Club instead of just buying wine as we need it?
A. There’s nothing wrong with just buying wine, but most people will go through their Wine Club shipments with no problem. Some of our staff might mention the discounts on wine and other purchases from the winery, but that’s just a bonus. The real reason is to feel connected and special. If you like our wines, you already know you can serve them to friends and guests with confidence, but you will become more expert on the wines, have “inside information” you can share with friends, and receive several wines each year that we produce only for our Family Wine Club Members.