Southern California Gold
“Wine is sunlight, held together by water. “ – Galileo
Southern California evokes memories of Hollywood, miles of beautiful beaches, sunlight and coastal highways of which driving legends are made. Add acres of vineyards in beautiful Temecula Valley to that picture and you have a burgeoning young wine region. Temecula Valley was established as an American Viticulture Area in 1984 making it one of the youngest in the United States.
The warmer climate in Temecula balanced by the cooling winds off the Pacific Ocean give this area an arid Mediterranean type of climate. Warmer climates in the U.S. have a shorter growing season of March through September. The first grapes were planted in Temecula in 1966 with Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc as the primary varietals. As the region has matured and with the advantages of a Mediterranean type climate, vineyards have introduced Syrah, Viognier, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
I have had the privilege of being able to spend a considerable amount of time in Southern California for the past 3 years and decided that my most recent trip in early May of 2017 would include time in Temecula. With over 30 wineries, this is a destination location. I would recommend making a weekend of it so that you can enjoy multiple locations and the beautiful scenery. Temecula features rolling hills and mountains enveloping the surrounding cities. Just 50 miles north of San Diego it is an easy drive or a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.
PositiveVines Helpful Hint: American Viticultural Area (AVA) are federally recognized growing areas in the United States. This is a similar type of classification as the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) in France.
Thornton Winery caught both my eye and my palate (www.thorntonwine.com). Thornton opened in 1988 and features a French-style chateau overlooking the vineyards. I enjoyed a flight of wine featuring Thornton’s Non-Vintage Brut sparkling wine, 2015 Chardonnay, 2013 Coat Red and A Kiss of Chocolate.
Thornton’s Non-Vintage (NV) Brut sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc with a hint of Pinot Noir. This is a crisp wine with hints of apple and pear. Thornton’s NV Brut features a floral nose with a slight toasty long finish. At $33 per bottle this is a balanced sparkling wine that would be great for an evening by the pool with light cheese and hors d’oeuvres with someone special.
A fun wine to enjoy with dessert is Thornton’s A Kiss of Chocolate. This wine is a deep ruby red blend featuring deep chocolate flavors. It’s light enough to enjoy with chocolate and macaroons yet chocolatey enough to pour over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. This chocolate wine is a real treat and at $21 per bottle very cost effective.
Thornton wines can be ordered directly from the winery or through major distributors such as wine.com depending on your state’s wine shipping regulations. I really encourage you to consider taking a long weekend trip to Temecula Valley and experiencing all that Thornton winery offers in person. You won’t be disappointed!
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
@thorntonwinery @Temecula_Valley #wbc2017