TEMECULA VALLEY Southern California Wine Country – “Fresh, brilliant, vibrant, fun! The uniquely scenic, SpringFest destinations of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country come to life with wine adventures, music and song, classic autos, western festivities, and more!” Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO makes it clear, “It’s a gloriously full-bodied showcase. Natural beauty and premium excitement are set amidst three amazing backdrops: dynamic, Downtown Old Town Temecula with surrounding, untouched hillsides blooming with lilac; exciting, Pechanga Resort & Casino where faces of the mountains’ granite boulders glisten after spring rains; and fascinating, Temecula Valley Wine Country where vineyards’ plump, green buds thrive in air, refreshing and still.” Celebrating SpringFest daily March 1 through May 31, the casual, picturesque valley is located an hour southeast of Orange County and southwest of Palm Desert; and 1½ hours southeast of Los Angeles.
Temecula Valley Wine Country heralds SpringFest with World of Wine Weekend, March 5 and 6 (10am-4:30pm both days). Guests will enjoy a self-guided wine country tour to 30+ wineries. At each: exclusive barrel, tank, and/or bottle, wine samplings of worldwide grape varietals made in unique, Temecula style. Plus: perfect food pairings. Event is a sure, sell-out; order tickets early.
Old Town Temecula sports the Temecula Rod Run, March 11 and 12 with hundreds of the West Coast’s finest, classic, pre-1974 vehicles. For ‘Friday Night Cruise’ (5pm0in), autos roam, rev, honk, and show their stuff. Then it’s ‘Saturday Show and Shine’ (8am0in); get a look under the hoods of freshly detailed and polished beauties.
Not-to-be-missed! Chocolate Decadence (March 18, 7pm0in) and the Pechanga Wine Festival (March 19, 1pm0in) at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Friday’s event pairs acclaimed red, sparkling, late harvest, and dessert wines with the decadent chocolate treats of Pechanga’s world-renowned chocolatier, Jean-Marie Verhoeven. Saturday, premium wines of Temecula Valley, Napa, Sonoma, New Zealand, Italy, Chile, and Argentina are companion to live culinary demonstrations by Pechanga’s premier restaurants’ talented chefs.
Dovetailing the weekend: the jubilant Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival, March 19 (11am0in) and 20 (11am0in). Among 12 bluegrass bands highlighting the West Coast’s finest such event: Byron Berline, the Grascals, Bluegrass Etc. Old Town street scene, daytime concerts are FREE; every-seat-is-a-great-seat Old Town Temecula Community Theater, evening concerts, paid ticketed events. Both days: jam sessions; plenty of robust picking/grinning.
The Temecula Wine & Music Festival brings a rich mix of pop, jazz, rhythm-n-blues, and unique wine tasting experience to Vail Lake Resort, April 30 (12noon-7pm). The relaxed, oak-studded setting is an enthusiastic escape for enjoying two dozen musical acts, and masterful creations from a dozen local wineries. This annual celebration is one of California’s largest wine and music events.
Old Town Temecula features popular Western Days, May 21 and 22 (11am-5 pm both days): Temecula Gunfighters; visiting gun-fighting clubs; Old West characters; western music, exhibits; trick ropers; humorous skits; high-noon robbery of The Bank. Sunday also has: International Chili Society cook-off/people’s choice event. Cooking begins 9am; people’s choice chili, available for tasting, 1pm.
OLD TOWN TEMECULA:
Fully emerged for SpringFest is Old Town Temecula’s newest, fashionable landmark: Mission Revival-style Civic Center, Town Square, courtyard, and remarkable fountain inspired by Luiseño basket artistry. Charming Old Town invites strolling; admire pleasing, rustic Western, Chateauesque, Classic Revival, historic Bungalow and Cottage architecture.
The dozen-block district is a favored shopping/dining/entertainment destination. Sixty+ unique, specialty stores feature a lush mix of merchandise: fashions, food, wine, art, furnishings, home/garden décor, antiques/collectibles, craft/hobby items, and more. Nineteen, excellent restaurants and cafés serve stylish and authentic cuisine: California, Continental, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, steaks, burgers, barbecue, and American fare. Adjacent to Old Town Temecula Community Theater is The MERC with live entertainment: jazz, popular bands, country, classical. Pennypickle’s Workshop Children’s Museum features fun, learning sessions; experience Old Town’s reverence for the past at Temecula Valley History Museum; Saturday mornings’ Farmers Markets are the best in the valley!
PECHANGA RESORT & CASINO:
With majestic mountains to the west, the casually elegant, Pechanga Resort & Casino’s stylish structures are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright and infused with Native American art and culture. The gaming excitement is 24/7, and 130+ table games complement 3,700 Vegas-style slot machines.
Pechanga is recognized for superlative entertainment: Pechanga Showroom Theater, great, touring headliners; Comedy Club, great laughs; Silk, Southern California’s largest mega-nightclub; Cabaret Lounge, entertainment nightly; plus Eagle’s Nest atop it all. Pechanga is renowned for extraordinary dining: exceptional restaurants; acclaimed wine list; bountiful buffet; Caffé Cocoa’s outstanding desserts.
Pechanga’s widely touted, world-class Journey golf course meanders the Pechanga River and over impressive, rustic wooden bridges, taking full advantage of awe-inspiring terrain. Morning play is sublime. Also magnificent: Spa Pechanga’s hot stone massages, serenity baths.
TEMECULA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY:
With 5,000 protected acres of rolling hills and a big, beautiful sky overhead, Temecula Valley Wine Country is welcoming, relaxed, gracious. Local winemaking families ensure wine experiences are accessible and enjoyable for the novice; enriching and pleasing for the aficionado.
Taste and savor award-winning, premium wines at 30+ wineries. Experience specialty tastings and inquire about behind-the-scenes vineyard/winery tours. Dine: nine, terrific restaurants and bistros; or picnic with casual fare. Also: cooking and wine appreciation classes; happy hours at sunset; craft fairs; live music.
To learn more, please go to www.VisitTemecula.org or call 888/363-2852.
***PLEASE NOTE: Information is believed to be accurate but is subject to change. Please call ahead for the latest details.
Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau:
VisitTemecula.org is the official website of the Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that is the region’s official resource for visitors, and that stimulates tourism and economic development by promoting Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.