The South Coast
Trekking in Temecula
Temecula means “Where the sun breaks through the mist,” in the language of the Luiseño, a Native American tribe from the area.
Little could they foresee how much the rural earth and sunny clime would dazzle the urban dwellers of San Diego and Los Angeles, an hour and an hour and half away respectively, who venture regularly to the Temecula Valley in search of fun.
Fun they shall have. The Pechanga Resort and Casino (run by the Pechanga band of Luiseño), is packed not only with games to play but a jam-packed schedule of music and comedy concerts, boxing championships and high-end shops.
And then there’s golf, a Temecula specialty. Journey at Pechanga, a challenging 18-hole course by Arthur Hills, unfurls around native oak trees and sacred rock outcroppings. The Temecula Golf Resort at Temecula Creek Inn has 27 holes on 300 acres of spectacular scenery. At Legends Golf Club each hole is named for a famous player.
The region’s calm, warm climate ideally is suited to soaring in a hot-air balloon—a memorable way to see the scope of the vineyards and defining landscape. California Dreamin’ takes folks up in both balloons and biplanes.
Others come to Temecula simply to relax. The Grapeseed Spa at South Coast Winery and Resort gives grapeseed renewal scrubs and Moor mud and seaweed body wraps.—Virginie Boone
Drink Local: Hendricks Grape Fizz
Recipe courtesy Sorrel Bistro, Temecula, CA
Before moving to the back of the house, Sorrel Sous Chef Doug Sims bartended for the better part of a decade. He’s still mixing up specialty drinks like this refreshing number designed to combat wine country’s summer heat.
In a shaker, muddle together 3 slices of English cucumber, 5 red seedless grapes and 3 ice cubes.
Add 1½ ounces Hendricks Gin, 1 ounce sweet-and-sour mix and a dash of raspberry vinegar. Shake and strain into a Collins glass. Top with soda water and serve.
And Don't Miss
California Restaurant Month, month of January
World of Wine Winter Barrel Tasting, first weekend of March
Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival, third weekend of March
Taste of Temecula Valley, late April
Temecula Wine & Music Festival, early May
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, first weekend of June
California Wine Month—SIP Passport, month of September
Temecula Valley CRUSH— A Wine & Culinary Showcase, mid-September
Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting Weekend, first weekend of November
Great Temecula Grape Drop, New Year’s Eve