There is nothing like early spring in the Temecula Valley Wine Country. The weather is heavenly and the rolling landscape is serene and breathtaking with bud break right around the corner. And the wine fermenting in the barrels is ready for some luscious early tastes. If you live anywhere in or near Riverside County, San Diego County, or Orange County, Temecula is an easily accessible destination for a day or weekend trip. And the perfect time to come is during the World of Wine (WOW) Winter Barrel Tasting weekend on March 2nd and 3rd.
WOW is an opportunity for a self-guided tour at 35 wineries that will offer participants wine tastings along with delicious, perfectly paired food samplings. Ticket holders, who will be able to sample food and wine at each of the participating wineries, will receive a map of the Temecula Valley, a passport for entry to each participating winery, and a souvenir glass.
This very popular 3rd annual event, which is held rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, typically sells out—so now is the time to purchase tickets. Two-day tickets are $99 per person and will be available at will-call, for those who have purchased tickets, between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. only on the days of the event. Ticket purchasers will be notified via email about their pick-up location. Sunday Only and Designated Driver tickets are also available at discounted prices. Tickets can be purchased online at the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association website.
If you would like to tour the wine country without concerns about parking, or drinking and driving, you may want to consider purchasing a luxurious tour package from one of the following transportation services:
The WOW weekend is the perfect weekend getaway and several hotels are offering lodging packages, which include tickets to the event. These hotels include:
In addition, several wineries are offering WOW Passport PLUS activities during the weekend. For instance, Thornton Winery is offering a Saturday Night Winemaker Dinner where their acclaimed winemaker, David Vergari, and winery owner, Steve Thornton, will present a special four-course dinner paired with appropriate Thornton wines. Dinner will include an amuse bouche, individual tapa plates, slow braised beef short ribs, and strawberry shortcake. Reservations can be made on the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association website.
Cougar Winery is offering a behind the scenes “Ground to Glass” vineyard and production tour, including a continental breakfast (with festive Cougar bubbly) on Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m. Reservations can be made on the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association website.
Temecula Valley wines are garnering recognition and awards all over California and beyond and WOW is the time to taste some of these outstanding wines. It is not too early to start planning for this fabulous weekend. If you wait too long to plan, it may be too late. Make your reservations now and get ready for a wonderful wine tasting adventure. And you will say “WOW!