Steve and Valerie didn’t start out as winemakers. Steve had (and still has) a towing and auto dismantling company. He’s also a skilled carpenter. Valerie was a painting contractor. They are perfectly suited for their roles of making and and running two wineries. Both make you feel very much at home when you come to visit.
The Andrews purchased property on De Portola Road in 1996. The 11 acres there is on steep, hilly and rocky terrain. Steve sent soil and rock samples to Napa and planted accordingly after getting the results. He also visited Paso Robles and spent time in a number of vineyards to get a feel for what he would be growing. His initial plantings consisted of Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier, Zinfandel, Grenache, Grenache Blanc and Sangiovese.
Temecula Hills Winery began gaining a reputation for making good wine and with that came a lot of visitors. After a few years, Steve and Valerie’s children began expressing an interest in getting into the business, so they went looking for another property a little closer to the heart of the Temecula Wine Country. Initially they looked at a few properties on Rancho California Road, but then settled on the current location of Oak Mountain on Via Verde off De Portola. In 2005, they opened the doors to Oak Mountain.
The future looks exciting for Oak Mountain. Plans include doing some grading behind the tasting room and building an elevated walkway for tours. They also will be opening a new tasting room and plan on having the first real caves at a Temecula winery. If all goes according to plan, those changes should come to pass in the next two to three years. I can hardly wait.