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Fact sheet for Temecula Valley, Southern California Wine Country

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Location

Casual, picturesque, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is situated within southwest Riverside County and conveniently located about one hour from Orange County and Palm Desert, and one and a half hours from Los Angeles. Each visit to this genuine, inviting get-away promises a wide variety of things to experience, enhanced by the sunny, relaxed spirit synonymous with Southern California.

Destinations

Located within minutes of each other are three tourism destinations that contribute to a full, robust Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country experience. Downtown Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, and Pechanga Resort & Casino each have unique, premium varietal character that invites exploration, and all are connected to the local lifestyle of celebrating the richness of the valley with others.

Downtown Old Town Temecula

With a backdrop of untouched hillsides that bloom with lilac in spring, dynamic Downtown Old Town Temecula is Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country's lively entertainment-dining-shopping district. The vibrant, pedestrian-friendly, hip and historic, 12-block neighborhood melds genuine respect and appreciation of the Old Town Temecula legacy with casual, contemporary, Downtown Temecula style and enthusiasm.

Temecula’s Old Town offers 12 blocks of dining, shopping and entertainment.

Visitors enjoy Downtown Old Town Temecula for its festive special events; lively nightlife and entertainment; friendly restaurants, cafes, and coffee houses; welcoming wine tasting rooms and wine bars; and noteworthy collection of unique, specialty stores and boutiques.

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is a beautiful wine region of rolling hills with high mountains forming a dramatic backdrop. More than 30 wineries thrive in this significant and diverse appellation that is gaining well-deserved recognition for its quality, premium varietal and proprietary blended, award-winning wines.

Temecula’s wine country can be explored by a trail ride.

Visitors from throughout California and beyond are attracted to Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country by its natural gifts of climate and geography, and return again and again to experience the gracious and friendly wineries, excellent winery restaurants, special events and concerts, activities and adventures — because there is always something new to see, taste and do.

Pechanga Resort & Casino

Pechanga Resort & Casino is a AAA Four Diamond resort and the largest casino in the Western United States. The casino is also the Orange County Register’s People's Choice for Best Casino. The spectacular, Arthur Hills-designed Journey at Pechanga golf course garners highly desirable accolades from top golf publications and is recognized as one of the finest golf courses in California. Pechanga Resort & Casino is also recognized as one of Southern California's premier live venues for concerts and entertainment.

The largest casino in the western United States can be found at Pechanga in Temecula.

Visitors seeking the ultimate in entertainment and luxury head to the upscale and relaxed resort, as do visitors who appreciate casino gaming excitement 24/7, love the breathtaking romp of playing the Journey golf course, or savoring the cuisine of Pechanga's great restaurants, including four gourmet, fine-dining establishments.

The eighth hole at the Arthur Hills-designed Journey at Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Geography

Just over the Coastal Mountain Range to the west of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, a distance of just 22 miles, is the Pacific Ocean. At the valley's southwest corner are the hallmark Rainbow Gap and the Santa Margarita Gap, a dramatic canyon formed by the Santa Margarita River. The San Jacinto Mountains and Santa Rosa Mountains border the valley on the east. To the southeast is Palomar Mountain.

The region is distinguished by natural, rolling hills with a big, open sky overhead. In winter, the snow-capped peaks of Mount San Jacinto and Palomar Mountain, as well as Mount San Bernardino and Mount San Gorgonio to the north, semi-circle the valley's panoramic vistas.

Climate and average temperatures

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country enjoys welcoming weather year-round, often characterized as a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers, and cool winters with relatively low rainfall. As significant is the valley's general weather pattern of morning mist, warm midday sun, cooling afternoon ocean breezes and cooler nights. This tempo of nature lends a pleasing, natural rhythm to any schedule for the day.

The dynamics of onshore-flow bring cool, gentle winds from the coast to Temecula Valley almost daily. The same dynamics also pull cool, moist, ocean air into the valley, most often in summer. These conditions help keep summer daytime temperatures lower and air quality better than that of surrounding Southern California areas.

Average temperatures

Season Average Daytime High Average

Nighttime Low

· Spring 74o F / 23o C 49o F / 9o C

March, April, May

· Summer 88o F / 31o C 60o F / 16o C

June, July, August

· Autumn 82o F / 28o C 52o F / 11o C

September, October, November

· Winter 68o F / 20o C 41o F / 5o C

December, January, February

Annual rainfall in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country averages 14 inches/356 millimeters.

History

Temecula is a name derived from the area's largest, Native American ancestral village; it has come to mean “land where the sun shines through the mist.” The first travelers to Temecula were Spanish explorers and Franciscan missionaries (1700s and early 1800s), followed by travelers who arrived via the southern Emigrant Trail (beginning in the 1820s), then by Butterfield Stage (1858) followed by the railroads (1882). The first, paved, two-lane road (ancestor of Highway 395) was built through Temecula in 1915.

From the 1800s until the 1960s, cattle were the backbone of the Temecula Valley economy and Temecula's Old West lifestyle flourished. The mid-1960s saw the purchase of more than 87,500 acres of ranch land, and the launch of a semi-urban, pastoral, master-planned community to be known as Rancho California.

In 1968 and 1969, the first of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country pioneers had purchased acreage and planted their vineyards; and in 1974, the founding of Callaway Winery marked the beginning of winemaking in Temecula Valley. As reported in an article entitled “Discovering Wine Country Two Hours From L.A.” in Wine Spectator in 1989, “Clean air and vineyard views, new restaurants and a good bed and breakfast make the Temecula wine region a fine weekend destination.”

Viticulture

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is a beautiful wine region of rolling hills with high mountains forming a dramatic backdrop. The region's vineyard plantings grow at elevations ranging from 1,400 to 2,500 feet above sea level. Soils are granitic, a light sandy loam, that is excellent for growing high-quality grapes. Grapevines thrive in these well-drained soils that also contribute to clean, pure, varietal wine flavors. The valley's unique microclimate makes for a general pattern of morning mist, warm midday sun, cooling afternoon breezes, and cooler nights. These weather factors combined with the perfect balance of geography and well-drained soils create an ideal environment for growing high quality wine grapes.

More than 40 wineries comprise Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, a significant and diverse wine region that is gaining well-deserved recognition for its quality, premium varietal and proprietary blended, award-winning wines.

Visitor highlights and amenities

As diverse as Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country's destinations is the rich variety of activities encouraging visitors to stay and play. Each season brings new possibilities and each visit promises a rich new experience.

Major Events and Seasonal Fests

· SpringFest (March, April, May)

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association World of Wine Weekend

Old Town Temecula Spring Rod Run

Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival

Old Town Temecula Western Days & Chili Cookoff

· SummerFest (June, July, August)

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Old Town Temecula Street Painting & Festival of the Arts

Old Town Temecula 4th of July Parade

Hot Summer Nights in Downtown Old Town Temecula

· AutumnFest (September, October, November)

California Wine Month — Temecula Style (throughout September)

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association CRUSH Wine & Culinary Showcase

Old Town Temecula Outdoor Quilt Show

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting

· WinterFest Holidays (December)

Santa's Electric Light Parade in Downtown Old Town Temecula

Holiday Ice Skating Rink at Old Town Temecula Town Square

Holiday performances at Old Town Temecula Community Theater

Old Town Temecula New Year's Eve Celebration & Great Temecula Grape Drop

· *WinterFest January-February

California Restaurant Month — Temecula Style (throughout January)

Valentine Romance in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country (throughout February)

Plus: Old Town Temecula California Certified Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

*Please also see the Event Calendar at VisitTemecula.org.

Outdoor recreation and adventures

· Golfing on six impressive, extended-stay and vacation-worthy courses.

· Hot air balloon flights over Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

· Horseback riding through vineyards in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

· Strolling the Class 1 walking trails adjacent Old Town Front Street and Jefferson Avenue.

· Hiking at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve.

Natural Treasures

· The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve protects unique ecosystems like vernal pools — home to fairy shrimp, found nowhere else on earth. Small songbirds winter in the ancient Engelmann oak woodlands, the rare, bunchgrass prairie hosts native wildflowers.

· One of the last free-flowing rivers in Southern California, the Santa Margarita River, is widely recognized as an irreplaceable, scenic, ecological treasure. The Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve is located on the upper river. Sycamore, cottonwood and willow forests are part of a 30-mile, protected, riparian corridor.

· Locally unearthed mastodon and mammoth Ice Age fossils are the hallmarks of the Western Science Center's collection that also exhibits the fossils of a giant ground sloth, birds and lizards.

Lodging

For a full, robust experience, savvy visitors (first-timers and those who return again and again) realize it is much more fun and enjoyable to stay over for a night or two in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

Arriving at any of the 16 inviting hotels, motels and resorts conveniently just off Interstate 15 puts visitors minutes — even steps — from the most popular destinations. With guest rooms for every budget, visitors enjoy accommodations ranging from luxurious, AAA Four Diamond hospitality to clean, comfortable, friendly and economical. The variety truly provides lodging for each get-away and every occasion.

Dining

Throughout Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, talented chefs and restaurateurs abound. The array of dining opportunities ranges from contemporary and white tablecloth, to open-air and casual. In Downtown Old Town Temecula, 19 excellent, independent restaurants, bistros, and coffee houses serve fresh, creative cuisine; classic and authentic ethnic fare; and robust java. In Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, the pleasures of food and wine are enjoyed overlooking rolling hills and vineyards; nine friendly and gracious, winery restaurants expertly pair premium, award-winning wines with uniquely inspired menus featuring seasonal foods. Pechanga Resort & Casino hosts nine outstanding places to dine, including four gourmet restaurants.

Dining options at Temecula’s restaurants range from white tablecloth to casual and al fresco.

Shopping

Passionate and enthusiastic shoppers know that shopping in casual, picturesque, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is always fun and familiar, and surprising and new. From the distinctive, trendy stores and upscale specialty boutiques at Promenade Temecula to the lively and unique Downtown Old Town Temecula shopping experience; from the intriguing winery gift shops of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country and festive Saturday morning California Certified Farmers Market; to the merchandise of popular and widely recognized national retail stores.

Getting here and around

Highways

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is located just off Interstate 15.

· From Orange County, state Route 55 north to state Route 91 east to I-15 south, about 1 hour.

· From Palm Desert, state Route 111 north to state Route 74 to state Route 79, about 1 scenic hour.

· From San Diego, I-15 north, about 1 hour.

· From Los Angeles, Interstate 10 or state Route 60 east to I-15 south, about one and a half hours.

· From Pasadena, Interstate 210 east to state Route 210 to I-15 south, about one and a half hours.

Airports

Primary airports served by commercial, domestic and international carriers include:

· LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), about a 45-minute drive.

· John Wayne Airport (SNA), Orange County, about a one hour drive.

· Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), about a one hour drive.

· San Diego International Airport (SAN), about a one hour drive.

· Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), about a one and a half hour drive.

Shuttles, tours and transportation

A variety of transportation companies offer transport solutions for groups and individual travelers, to, from and in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. One of the most popular, carefree ways to experience Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is on a wine tasting tour via mini-coach, shuttle, limousine or trolley.

Visitor information

· Official website: VisitTemecula.org

Available online:

o Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country Visitor's Guide

o Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country Meeting & Event Planning Guide

o Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country Event Calendar

· Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor's Center

Open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Third Street and Mercedes Street

28690 Mercedes Street, Suite A, Temecula, CA 92590

Adjacent the Old Town Temecula Parking Garage (parking is free)

Telephone: 951-491-6085

Join us and follow us

· "Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country" on Facebook

· @Visit_Temecula on Twitter

Contact us

Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau

28690 Mercedes Street, Suite A, Temecula, CA 92590

Telephone: 888-363-2852; 951-491-6085

Please note: Information is believed to be accurate but may be subject to change.

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