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Fairy Tale Wine Tasting


Your chariot awaits! (Photo by Ginger Giordano)

Limos to jeeps to trolleys to party buses, wine tasting in Temecula Valley offers up a variety of fun, safe options to enjoy your day here in Southern California’s premier wine region. All terrific choices designed to enhance your experience with wine, friends, and a stress-free day. Enter the latest, most romantic wine tasting tour yet! Imagine a beautiful white horse-drawn carriage slowly ambling through the vineyards, taking in the majesty of wine country’s sights, sipping on sumptuous wines, and being pampered with a gourmet picnic along the way. Now you can with The Temecula Carriage Company.

It’s not just for weddings anymore!

I met owner/operator Marika Vierling about two months ago in front of our winery one lovely Sunday afternoon. My first question was, “Are we having a wedding today?” Knowing full well we weren’t, I trotted (sorry) on over to find out what special occasion brought this whimsical horse carriage bedecked with roses and plush red seats to our front door. Just a day of wine tasting with two lucky couples, was the response. I was smitten with the idea and jumped at the opportunity to experience my own afternoon of Cinderella style wine tasting.

The "Carriage Crew." (Photo courtesy of Debbie Wiens)

It didn’t take long to find eager companions to join me and even had to turn some away and squeeze an extra in at the last minute. Magical. Enchanting. Charming. Romantic. Imagine receiving a text saying, “Your carriage awaits.” Throw in a Milady and I’m a goner! We started our day at Wiens Family Cellars where Marika’s youthful mother, Dale Hagen, greeted us with a delicious epicurean delight including a variety of fresh fruit, lahvosh, stuffed grape leaves, and creamy cheeses accompanied by a Wiens 2008 Reserve Tempranillo Petite Syrah. We languished, chatted, photographed, and relished the tasty feast and bold spicy flavors of the wine.

With a pleasant tingling feeling resonating within us, our happy group meandered through the vineyards and orange groves while savoring the sights and sounds of nature, the melodic clippity clop of Cotton’s hooves, and the merry ring of laughter filling the air. Next stop, Ponte Winery, where their motto reigns supreme, “If you like it, it’s good wine.” Judging by the crowds, everyone there agrees! Wine tasting is included in our stop at Ponte where the ever-popular Bevarino is freely flowing and we mingled amongst the other patrons while enjoying the lush grounds.

South Coast Winery rounds out the trio of wineries on our tour, and included a bottle of your choice of award-winning wine from this California Winery of the Year two years running. As we are actually carried through the vines at South Coast (the third winery we’ve visited with a wedding in progress), love is definitely in the air. Even if we were four ladies and a guy!

(Photo by Ginger Giordano)

We concluded our tour back at Wiens Family Cellars, where the diligent Dale had repositioned our well-appointed table into the shade and offered a heavenly strawberry cake and superb, chilled bottle of Wiens crisp, fruity 2008 Viognier. Perfect ending to a perfect outing.

Whether you’re looking for a little romance, a unique way to impress out-of-town guests, or just a fun alternative to the usual wine country tours, you will find it all with hosts Marika, Lauren, Dale and their handsome steeds Cotton and Karl. With a variety of packages, carriages, and tour options available, The Temecula Carriage Company will tailor your ride to suit your needs and budget. Call today to book your special wine tour at 858-205-9161.

Your chariot awaits. Prince Charming is optional!

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