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Road Trip: Find Undiscovered California Wine Regions

The Signal logo: MainLogo The Signal 7/6/2022 The Signal

By Michele E. Buttelman 

Californians love wine. It’s a matter of state pride that California has some of the best wine in the United States. It’s hard to imagine there are areas of the state producing exceptional wine that have received little acclaim.  

Take this road trip wine trek and discover a few of California’s hidden wine gems. Some tasting rooms require reservations. It’s always wise to call ahead and check out requirements before visiting.  

From the Santa Clarita Valley it’s an hour and a half drive to your first stop on the tour, Triassic Vineyards in Tehachapi.  

Triassic Vineyards in the Tehachapi Valley is celebrated for its zinfandel and syrah. Courtesy Triassic Vineyards © Provided by The Signal Triassic Vineyards in the Tehachapi Valley is celebrated for its zinfandel and syrah. Courtesy Triassic Vineyards

Tehachapi 

Triassic Vineyards 

24627 Cummings Valley Road, 

Tehachapi, California 93561 

Tasting room: 661-822-5341 

Open Friday-Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 

Tehachapi Winery 

22136 Bailey Road,  

Tehachapi, CA 93561 

www.tehachapiwinery.com 

Tasting room: 661-821-9587 to make your reservation 

Open Friday-Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. 

Grapes sometimes grow where you least expect them and even many California oenophiles don’t realize that there’s quality winemaking in the high country of Tehachapi (elevation 4,193 feet). 

Tehachapi has unique, rich, rocky soil dating to events in the Triassic Period (more than 200 million years ago), which has produced a distinct terroir, complex and rich in nature. 

Known as the Land of Four Seasons, Tehachapi was named a new American Viticultural Area in 2020.  

Triassic Vineyards is celebrated for its zinfandel and syrah. And in spring, the view of poppies blooming in the Cummings Valley is positively spectacular. 

Tehachapi Winery has an extensive 42-acre property, with 18 active acres of vineyard. Tehachapi Winery remains the largest-producing winery in the area, residing at an altitude of roughly 4,000 feet. 

After leaving Tehachapi it’s a little more than two hours’ drive to the Cucamonga Valley.  

By Michele E. Buttelman  Californians love wine. It’s a matter of state pride that California has some of the best wine in the United States. It’s hard to imagine there are areas of the state producing exceptional wine that have received little acclaim.   Take this road trip wine trek and discover a few of California’s […] © Provided by The Signal By Michele E. Buttelman  Californians love wine. It’s a matter of state pride that California has some of the best wine in the United States. It’s hard to imagine there are areas of the state producing exceptional wine that have received little acclaim.   Take this road trip wine trek and discover a few of California’s […]

Cucamonga Valley 

Filippi Winery & Vineyards 

12467 Base Line Road,  

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739  

Store and tasting room: 909-899-5755 

Open Tuesday and Thursday noon to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. 

Galleano Winery is the oldest Prohibition-era winery in the Cucamonga Valley still owned by the family and operating at its original location. Courtesy Galleano Winery © Provided by The Signal Galleano Winery is the oldest Prohibition-era winery in the Cucamonga Valley still owned by the family and operating at its original location. Courtesy Galleano Winery

Galleano Winery 

4231 Wineville Road,  

Mira Loma, CA 91752 

https://www.galleanowinery.com

By reservation only 951-685-5376 

In the early 1900s, the Cucamonga Valley was one of California’s most important wine regions. Most of its vineyards have given way to suburban development, yet the valley’s wine tradition endures. The area is known for zinfandel and warm-weather varietals. In 1995, the federal government established the Cucamonga Valley as an approved viticulture area. 

At Rancho Cucamonga’s Joseph Filippi Winery & Vineyards, you can take tours of this fifth-generation family operation, whose wine inspired the Grateful Dead song “Pride of Cucamonga.” The history of Filippi winemaking dates back to 1922.  

Since 1994, the Filippis have revitalized the old vineyards and undertaken new vine plantings as they work to restore the historic Ellena Bros./Regina Winery with the city of Rancho Cucamonga. 

In nearby Mira Loma, taste the zinfandels and Rhône varietals at historic Galleano Winery. 

The Galleano Winery was founded in 1927 by Domenico Galleano. The winery complex remains largely unchanged today and is open daily for wine flights, wines by the glass and wines by the bottle. 

Galleano is the oldest Prohibition-era winery in the Cucamonga Valley still owned by the family and operating at its original location. 

From the Galleano Winery it’s just a short hop, less than an hour, to reach the Temecula Valley.  

Temecula Valley 

Robert Renzoni Vineyards 

37350 De Portola Road,  

Temecula, CA 92592 

Tasting Room open daily 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. 

Mama Rosa’s Trattoria open daily noon to 5 p.m.  

Reservations recommended 951-302-8466, ext. 5. 

Danza del Sol Winery is located on the De Portola Wine Trail in the heart of Temecula Valley. Courtesy Danza del Sol Winery. © Provided by The Signal Danza del Sol Winery is located on the De Portola Wine Trail in the heart of Temecula Valley. Courtesy Danza del Sol Winery.

Danza del Sol Winery 

39050 De Portola Road,  

Temecula, CA 92592 

www.danzadelsolwinery.com 

Tasting room patio open daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Make reservations on the website 

While the Temecula Valley can’t claim to be “undiscovered,” it has yet to reach the renown as Napa or Paso Robles as a “must visit” wine destination, which makes it a perfect stop on your wine trek.  

Head out for a spin along the Temecula Valley’s DePortola Wine Trail, which includes 10 family wineries.  

If you don’t have time to visit all 10, make stops at the Robert Renzoni Vineyards, which lets you savor the flavors of Italy, thanks to its trattoria and acclaimed Montepulciano.  

Nestled in a 40-acre vineyard, Danza del Sol Winery is also located on the De Portola Wine Trail. The Danza Estate Tour includes: Temecula Valley wine history, a total of six wines tasted including one taste off the reserve list, plus a sparkling greeting and a souvenir glass.  

The Temecula Valley is Southern California’s largest wine region. With more than 30 wineries, including some with bed and breakfasts and luxury hotels, as well as a growing reputation for outstanding varietals, the valley earned recognition as one Wine Enthusiast’s 10 best wine travel destinations for 2019. 

From Temecula it’s less than 30 minutes to your last destination, Escondido.  

Enjoy the view while sipping wine on the tasting patio at Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery in Escondido. Courtesy Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery © Provided by The Signal Enjoy the view while sipping wine on the tasting patio at Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery in Escondido. Courtesy Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery

Escondido 

Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery  

3255 Summit Drive,  

Escondido CA 92025 

www.hungryhawkvineyards.com 

Open daily noon-6 p.m.  

Tasting room: 760-489-1758 

Vesper Vineyards 

298 Enterprise St.,  

Escondido, CA 92029 

http://VesperVineyards.com 

Open Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5 p.m. or by appointment 760-749-1300. 

BK Cellars Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge 

2225 Barham Drive, Suite D 

Escondido, CA 92029 

Open Wednesday-Friday: 3:30-8 p.m., Saturday: 1-8 p.m., Sunday: 1-6 p.m. 

Call for reservations 760-270-9851 

https://www.bkcellars.com

California wine country nearly reaches the Mexican border in San Diego County, where the proud winemaking tradition is the state’s oldest and dates to the 18th century.  

Just outside Escondido, acclaimed Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery grows 15 varietals on vineyards with spectacular views of the San Pasqual Valley. Rows of grapes stretch toward boulder-strewn hills in this beautiful valley.  

To discover Escondido’s urban wine scene, try the Vesper Vineyards tasting room and the BK Cellars Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge. 

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