I bet when you think of California wines the first thing that comes to mind is Napa and Sonoma and maybe the Russian River area. That northern California area is a mecca of fine wine. However, southern California also has a great wine growing area and many beautiful wineries to visit.
There are some very beautiful wineries both large and small in this area and many opportunities for wine tasting, dining and enjoying the views. One of the larger wineries is the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa pictured to the left. The grounds and buildings at this winery are beautiful making it a lovely place for a weekend getaway.
The area looks a lot like it's northern counterpart with rolling hills and rows of grape vines in every direction and you don't have to drive far to hop from one winery to another so you can savor all the lovely wines along the way. (With a designated driver, of course.)
At Miramonte Winery you will be introduced to Mira, this very mellow black giant; a beautiful Newfoundland. She greeted us warmly with a wag of the tail but decided not to get up. She must be quite used to the steady stream of visitors on their way into the spacious tasting room.
The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association has a great web site listing all the wineries in the area and providing trip planning information and self-guided tour maps. Check it out here.