Temecula Wine Country Tasting at Briar Rose Winery

12:49:00 PM

                                                             Briar Rose Winery

Briar Rose Winery Entrance

I’ve never been wine tasting before so I figured since it was my short summer break this last weekend I would try and check that activity off my list. My two good friends Laura and Lydia agreed to go with me on Sunday morning to a cute little place called Briar Rose Winery in Temecula. I made the reservations for 11 A.M. and we needed a couple hours to get there. The drive was a bit long but Temecula is really the only place in Southern California to go when you can’t spend the dough to head up to Napa Valley. When we pulled up the hill you could see the small patches of grape vines all nestles together like a Kincaid painting, ripening for the reaping. The winery itself was right on top of the hill and looked like something out of a storybook. Our car was the first one, the only one there and we parked in front of a stack of wine barrels sitting on top of one another. As we were getting out of the car a woman came rushing up the walkway through an overhang of lush green ivy welcoming us. She informed us that the winery was built by the Disney Imagineer who basically built Fantasyland, which is something my friend Jillian would have been over the moon for. Everything reminded us of Snow White’s cottage complete with gnomes and creatures littering the grounds, hiding out in the midst of the trees taking catnaps. We were lead to the front room where a display of the wine selection lay out in front of a cash register and behind that there was a door opening to a patio area underneath misters and more charming ivy.

Me and Lydia, Old Town
Lydia and Laura and Wine, of course
 After we paid for our selected wine tasting menu, which included a lovely selection of reds and whites in equal measure, we headed out to the main tasting room where we could sit at the small four-person bar for tasting. There was a small performance stage equipped with guitars and a nice upright piano and tiny round tables around that for customers. The woman that lead us in for tasting was actually the owner of the winery and seemed to be the most cheerful person we had every met in our lives. She was so enthusiastic about the history of the Briar Rose and who had visited, the highlighted clientele were animators of Disney films and characters who had been there to perform once upon a time. The wine was pouring during the conversation and as we got to talking to the owner and her assistant Stacy, since we were the only customers, she had us try wines that were not on the menu and continued to give us advice and ideas on where to go next after we had left. We must have tried ten different wines, which were all delicious, and before we knew it we were flying high and talking about anything and everything. My friends and I decided to buy a couple of bottles, both whites, and save them for one of our movie nights. Lydia bought a bottle of a wine called Talking Frog and I bought a bottle of a French white called Estate Viognier. The Talking Frog was a sparkling wine in between champagne and a white Lambrusco made with beer yeast, which apparently is not the norm and took them nearly a year to get it approved. The Estate Viognier is a white wine with peach and vanilla accents that is to die for. They had a plethora of delicious wines but we couldn’t take them all, next time we’ll go for the reds. We had a fantastic time there at the Briar Rose and the staff was amazing. They really treat you like family or old friends within the first few minutes of meeting you. The owner even thought it fitting to hug us before sending us home. We will definitely head back to this place and try the others when we have more time.
MMmmm... the sweets

                   Old Town Temecula 

      We headed down to Old Town to have some lunch at a place called the Public House for their famous Kobe Burger to share between the three of us; it was huge so we had to. The food was great and the place was air conditioned so I was sold within the first five minutes in that ninety-degree weather. Then it was off to the Sweet Shop to try their signature chocolate covered bacon to see what all the fuss was about.

Laura Goin' Crazy Over Sweets
The town itself was small and back lot worthy, it reminded me of the town of Sisters in Oregon where my good friend Jillian is from. The shop was decked out with candy bins and cellophane candies hanging from the ceiling. It was the cutest thing with such a wonderful atmosphere of old time candies like salt water taffies, candied cigarettes, a fudge station, ice cream counter and tons more. We al bought truffles, one piece of chocolate covered bacon and headed outside. The bacon was too chewy but the concept was good and the truffles could have been better. I would say go for the look of the place and get some ice cream; they have a great espresso chip. It was a nice way to end the day. If we had more time and weren’t so full we would have loved to try the Olive Oil tasting shop, the various lounges and wine bars which were littering the strip. They had everything down there so it made for a lovely day.

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