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Disclosure: The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival hooked us up with the VIP treatment including a stay at Temecula Creek Inn & the tastings at each of the premiere Temecula Valley Wineries.
Imagine the most beautiful vineyards, the best views, the best food and the best people all wrapped into one event. That event is the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival.
I was blessed with the opportunity to check out all that the festival has to offer and all I can say is "WOW"! We stopped by four of the wineries that are participating in the festival: Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards, Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery, Weins Family Cellars and Europa Village. The common thread? Passion for what they do!
Our first stop was Wilson Creek Winery where we were able to sit down and have lunch with Greg Pennyroyal, Enology & Viticulture Coordinator for Wilson Creek. Not only did he show us the proper way to open champagne (twist it off, don't pop it off), but he also paired a wine for each persons' meal. I got the Roasted Shelton Chicken and Greg paired my meal with a fabulous white wine called Viognier. My girlfriend Ashley ordered Gerry's Reuben Sandwich and Greg paired it with a red wine called the Mourvedre Reserve...SO GOOD! Something that Greg made sure we tried was Wilson Creek's famous Almond Champagne. Perfect for a mimosa or a sweet, refreshing drink of it's own!
The second stop was a new winery to Temecula, Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery. We were able to see the facility before it was finished and it's clear that Temecula is in for a treat. From hidden rooms to intimate lounge areas, nothing is off limits at the Robert Renzoni Winery! I tried a couple amazing red wines while I was there that is called 2011 Concerto and the Flore di Fano...both are delicious and I highly recommend a tasting! As good as the wine is, there is more than just wine being sold at the Renzoni Winery. Leila, the family dog, also has a line of hot sauce including a Habanero & a Green Chile sauce!
Just when we thought our visit couldn't get anymore exclusive we went to Weins Family Cellar and got treated to an intimate tasting of the very best wines in the Reserve Cellar Room. We started with a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and proceeded to try the 2012 Reserve Chardonnay. One thing that stuck out about Weins was the customer service. Each wine has a great story to go along with it. If there wasn't a story, there was a kind smile to ask you how you're doing. What more could you ask for?
The final stop of the day was Europa Village. You walk into the facility and immediately feel like you're in Europe. To partner with that feel, all of the wines are reflective of those found in France, Spain and Italy. The cool part about Europa Village is that it is set up to takes you on a journey...a wine journey if you will. C'est la Vie Wine Chateau offers a French wine country experience, Bolero Cellars brings a Spanish flare, and Vienza is all things Italian. Europa Village also has great rooms to top off your experience!
I recommend starting your experience at the festival with a balloon ride. Not only is it perfect for a romantic setting, but the views alone are what sold me. We get it, sometimes heights aren't for everyone, including me, but a hot air balloon is a necessary part of the Temecula experience and remember...you've got a glass of champagne or wine waiting for you!
Want to attend the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival?
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: Temecula Creek Inn