Our first major trip together was to San Diego and, as with many vacations thereafter, we checked to see where the nearest wineries were located.
This is how we found Temecula, CA - and all the wineries that are back to back on two main streets (Rancho California Road and De Portola Road).
We find Wiens is overall one of the better (and more consistent) producers in the area. The wines are good with a nice blend of grapes from Temecula and areas around California.
Where most wineries in the area are known for their one special wine, Wiens however has a nice large wine portfolio (which makes wine tastings in their barrel room that much more fun!).
The wines of Wiens are like most warm climate New World wines: they are very fruit forward. We did like the Barbera. Syrah and various other reds (including some available only to wine club members) and especially the Viognier, which had good weight and mouthfeel. We recently had the 2007 Mourvedre, which became better as it opened up and was even better the next day. Temecula wines are in general a drink-me now style but that's the fun of going to wine country. Wiens even has a sparkling chardonnay infused with a touch of orange, the "Amour de L'Orange".
The area is quite arid, but the wineries get the afternoon breezes from the Pacific through the Rainbow Gap that keeps the grapes from becoming raisins on the vine. The nights are significantly cooler as well.
We had to return to take our wedding photos in their barrel room. Though Temecula is smaller than Napa and Sonoma, it does have a laid back atmosphere. The area relies a lot on tourism and is not overly crowded, so it's worth the visit if you are in Southern California.
Wiens Family Cellars is located at 35055 Via Del Ponte in Temecula, CA.