Phil’s love affair with wine began early. He and Carol have been into wine their entire adult lives. In 1968 on their first wedding anniversary they spent a week visiting wineries in Northern California and back then he says, that was about enough time to see all of them. They began making wine at home and taking extension courses at U.C. Davis. Husband and wife both became involved in all aspects of the business of making wine. After opening the winery in 1986, Carol started turning her focus toward Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery. Their son Patrick works in the kitchen.
“We’ve always been able to make wine here” he says. Phil feels there’s a certain amount of inconsistency due to the fact that it takes young winemakers a little time to hone their craft. “Hopefully you don’t make the same mistakes more than once.” He believes it takes 10 to 15 years to really figure it out. He’s been making his wines the same way for more than 10 years now, using the same fruit and the same type of barrels. Phil likes making a wine that he will enjoying drinking, and thinks that winemakers who cater to their clientele do them a disservice. A good gauge of how well he is making wine is that he drinks a lot more of his own wine now than he used to.
I have enjoyed Baily Wines on several occasions and it’s clear to me that Phil is producing excellent wines in the Temecula Valley. I’m not crazy about his choice of synthetic enclosures, but I understand his reasoning. He doesn’t want any of his wines to suffer cork taint. I’m just a diehard natural cork fan. “The overall perception of Temecula is so much higher now than it was back then” he says. “We still have a long way to go.”
Baily Vineyard & Winery and Carol’s Restaurant – 33440 La Serena Way Temecula – 951-676-9463