Mount Palomar Winery Review
Address: 33820 Rancho California Rd. Temecula,California 92591.
Phone Number: 951-676-5047
Tasting Hours: 10:00-6:00
Region: South Coast and S. California, Temecula Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Review Date: 11/25/2012
Reviewer: Tara Torres
Tucked away from the crowds and sitting in the middle of the vineyard, the Mount Palomar tasting room offers Italian charm and a wide variety of wines stemming from a long history of winemaking in Temecula.
The Place: Mount Palomar clearly paid attention to every detail when creating the winery, which was established in 1969. A pleasant drive through the vineyards transports you back in time and provides the illusion that you are in the country hills of Tuscany. A grand entrance, complete with headless angel statues, greets you as you walk through the wrought iron gate. The winery, tucked away in the middle of the vineyards and citrus groves, includes an indoor tasting area, a restaurant, and an outdoor bar with ample seating and sail awnings to provide shade on those hot days. Inside, dark wood panels line the walls and wine bottles used as décor create a casual, warm environment. However, with the meticulously manicured, park-like outdoor setting, we opted to spend most of our time exploring and enjoying the sunshine and views. The best views are from the event area, where the Italian influences are abundant with ivy covered pillars, wrought iron gates, and Italian inspired statues placed throughout. Expansion plans are in the works for Mount Palomar and include a new resort and spa and ample event areas, such as chapels, banquet halls and amphitheaters.
The Experience: A quick drive through the vineyard to the tasting room starts your experience at Mount Palomar. Ample parking is available and funnels visitors to the entrance of the village-like area. Meandering our way to the tasting area, we stopped to admire the statues and read the signs that label the different types of foliage throughout the vineyard. We stuck our heads in the indoor bar area and while it was nice, it was too beautiful of a day to be inside. Fortunately, Mount Palomar has an expansive and lovely outdoor bar; we paid for our tasting and took our receipt to taste in the sunshine. The two friendly servers were busy, as a large group was taking up a lot of their attention, but they went out of their way to ensure that all of our questions were answered and did their best to keep everyone happy.
The Wines: Mount Palomar offers a wide variety of wines, ranging in price from $16 to $50, making it easy to find a wine for everyones preference. There are six white wines to choose from, with my favorite being the popular 2010 Viognier. Ten different red wines are offered, ranging from a Cinsaut to a Petite Sirah. I found several of the red wines to be enjoyable. My favorite was the Shortys Bistro Red, named in memoriam for the beloved Mount Palomar wine dog Shorty. The wine is a delicious blend of Sangiovese, Cinsaut and Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition to the red and white wines, Mount Palomar offers a variety of sweet and dessert wines, such as sparkling wine, port and sherry. Wine tasting cost $12 Monday through Thursday and $15 Friday through Sunday for six tastes, which also includes the souvenir glass.
Insider’s Tip:  Six different options exist for the wine club, allowing you customize your choices of just white, red or a mix of both. Mount Palomar offers a weekly Friday event, Wine and Unwind, at 5pm featuring live music, a changing dinner menu, and of course, wine. A separate members only tasting bar is available on the weekends for the wine club members. Wines are available for purchase online.