The last of the sunlight dances across the vines, tickling the leaves and casting its warm orange glow against the steep slopes beyond. It draws a gilded outline on the mountains in the far distance, and it bounces off the amber-hued Riesling in my glass. Perhaps my wine has even captured some of the sunshine; each sip sings with warm, summery flavors, from Meyer lemons to apricots soaked in honey.
There’s certainly something special about the Temecula Valley, a serene wine region tucked between Los Angeles and San Diego. Its charming Old Town, where rustic architecture blends with a dynamic, hyper-local dining and shopping scene, is surrounded by mountains and hillsides striped with vines. Visitors can taste the fruit of this valley at the 30-plus wineries, often while chatting to the owner or winemaker.
The valley’s best hotels make the most of their location, from onsite wine tasting to floating in a hot-air balloon at sunrise or simply watching them drift right by your room’s balcony or terrace. Plan a stay at one of these seven Temecula winery hotels and you’re bound to head home with a fresh batch of lifelong memories.