For many wine sophisticates, "Southern California wine" is an oxymoron. The criticisms of the wines, usually produced in Temecula, are vast: They're too sweet, the aromas are funky, they lack the complexity and flavor found in wines from Napa or even Paso Robles. "When I tell Central Coast winemakers that I'm going south to explore Temecula wines, they say, 'Well that sucks. I'm so sorry,' " said Matt Kettmann, contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, who rates central and south coast wines for the publication. "But no one ever really tries the wine."
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa in Temecula offers a deal that's all about the grape. The resort's Wine Enthusiast Package takes 20% off stays and includes wine tastings at two vineyards. The deal: The resort sits on 63 acres amid grape vines at the Temecula site. As part of the package, guests also receive a bottle of wine. When: The offer is good through Dec. 30.
David Liu made his first fortune more than two decades ago, exporting American scrap metal to his rapidly industrializing home country of China. After the financial crisis, he scored big again buying thousands of distressed apartments in the United States and selling them later for a tidy profit. The millionaire developer is betting that the oft-dismissed wine region of Temecula is poised to break out as a far bigger destination for oenophiles and tourists given its proximity to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. "Napa Valley is bigger, but it's too far away," said Liu, 57, a former statistics professor turned real estate developer. "Here, we have 20 million people living at least a two-hour drive away.
A scalding torrent of copper-colored wine flowed among burned wine barrels and charred fermented tanks at a California winery after flames swept through the area Tuesday, part of the devastating wildfires wreaking havoc on wine country. The blaze engulfed Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, owned by Rene Byke, and burned barrels of wine and equipment. The owners of the winery confirmed the fire, saying they were "heartbroken" and "appreciate everyone's well wishes." Photos of the aftermath showed a bubbling underground river of wine flowing through the area where the winery once stood, with scorched wine bottles lying on top of each other and wine leaking from singed tanks. The winery posted on Facebook it would provide updates and vowed to stay "strong" and "rebuild" after the deadly wildfire.
Five winery owners from California's Dry Valley Creek will host a 2018 cruise to France that highlights their own wines as well as classic Rhone Valley varieties. Travelers who sign up early save 20%. The Passport to the Rhone cruise is discounted to $2,349 per person, based on double occupancy. Travelers must reserve by the end of May to get the deal. Regular fare is $3,099 per person.