Falkner Winery Review
Address: 40620 Calle Contento Temecula,California 92591.
Phone Number: 951-676-8231
Tasting Hours: 10:00-5:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Temecula Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Review Date: 7/27/2012
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Slightly off the main road, Falkner Winery sits high on the hill along with its restaurant, Pinnacle. This efficiently run winery offers fun touches and has a great atmosphere, which can make up for its small tasting room and drinkable wines.
The Place:  Once you drive up the steep drive way, it opens to a large parking lot which is shared by the tasting room and the restaurant. The restaurant, Pinnacle, offers far superior architecture when compared with the tasting room. The restaurant is built in a semi-circular shape and offers panoramic view of the wine country. This nice structure is the standard venue for any weddings or private events. However, the tasting room pales in comparison. The entrance includes a cave-like front porch enclosed by foliage. As you walk through the front doors you are greeted by a cashier who will accept your payment for the wine tasting. To your right is a gift shop, and to the left is the small tasting area. Two bars lined each side of the tasting area, but only one was open on the day I was there. However, the tasting room lacked any consistent style and ambiance.
The Experience:  Falkner was the most efficiently run tasting room that we visited that day. Having a dedicated cashier, who you pay for your choice of four or seven tastes upon your entrance, frees up the servers to focus on just serving wine. Once you pay, the cashier then hands you poker chips which are exchanged for your wine tastes. Once at the bar, I couldnt help myself and slammed my chip on the bar like I was doubling down in a hand of blackjack. Perhaps, that is why I didnt have wait long for a taste. The bar was on the smaller side, but the people serving did a good job ensuring you did not wait long if your glass was empty without getting distracted with too much small talk. The energy of the patrons was high, and the guy next to me clinked glasses with me and said lets get drunk. Free crackers were available to the tasters, which I happily indulged it.
The Wines: While the service was good and the atmosphere was fun, the wines did not impress. For several of the wines, the servers offered different years to try, such as the 2010 and 2011 Sauvignon Blancs. However, I found the white wines’ aftertaste to be unappealing. I enjoyed the red wines only slightly more, with my favorite being the Falkner Amante, Super Tuscan Style. Falkner does offer two red table wines, in addition to their standard Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah.
Insiders Tip:  Three different options exist for the Falkner Wine Club. Additionally, they offer an award point program for its wine club members; points can be earned by purchasing wine or food from Pinnacle restaurant. The points can be redeemed for food and wine awards. Free jazz concerts are also currently offered on Sundays at the winery.