We left Pechanga Casino promptly at 11am, off for an excursion into Temecula’s wine country aboard Roussanne, one of three trolleys in the Brewen’s Empire Trolley fleet. It took almost no time at all to reach Fazeli Cellars in Old Town Temecula, the time passing even faster enjoying a welcome glass of bubbly aboard the trolley. Among our group were David and Blake, getting together for one of their frequent father and son outings. Driver Lisa escorted us inside and left us with Kelly who set us up with a tasting flight of five wines. Starting with the crisp Sauvignon Blanc, we moved on the four reds, three blends and a Shiraz. Owner BJ Fazeli is Persian and is meticulous about the flavor profiles he wants in his wines. Ground-breaking at his De Portola Road location is set to begin soon and I’m anxious to see his ambitious plans see the light of day.
We left Old Town and turned onto Rancho California Road and into wine country. Hart Winery was our first stop. Joe Hart planted his first vines in 1974 and opened the Hart tasting room in 1980. If you stop by most weekdays, chances are good you’ll see him. He’s still extremely hands-on and in fact just this year he gave his son Jim the title of winemaker. Jim and his wife Christine were there when we visited. Jim was happy to pour for us and answer questions about his excellent wines.
For lunch we stopped at South Coast Winery and their Vineyard Rose restaurant. On the first day of fall, the weather was lovely so we opted for a table outside. The menu developed exclusively for Brewen’s Trolley tours offered several tasty choices including a pistachio-crusted seared Ahi and a turkey prosciutto sandwich with pasta. Service was quick and exceptional.
We ventured off Rancho California Road and on to the De Portola wine trail to visit Masia de Yabar. The name roughly translated from Spanish means manor house of the Yabar family and the winery was started by Wilmer Yabar several years ago. Tina poured several wines for us including a Malbec from vineyards Yabar owns in Argentina. We also loved the Solera Sherry.
We wrapped up this wonderful day at Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Winery. Their new tasting room, just completed months ago, is one of the most stunning in the valley. As luck would have it, Robert was there and he stopped by to say hello and visit with us while taking a break from the demands of harvest. Server Andrew took great care of our group and concluded our tour with a visit to the member’s lounge. Renzoni has done an incredible job on his winery and deserves to be proud of it. The premium excursion aboard Brewen’s Empire Trolley is priced at $139 and includes tastings at four wineries and lunch. Chances are good you’ll get to meet a winemaker and visit with him. Call (951) 235-2938 to book your tour today.
At the end of the week I’ll board the trolley again to take their Best Of Both Worlds Tour. Just one of many packages offered, the tour does just what it says: you see the best of both worlds, wineries and breweries. Visit and taste at two Temecula wineries and two Temecula breweries and stop for lunch in Old Town or in Wine Country. The price is just $149 per person. Call (951) 235-2938 or visit online to book your tour today!