Beginning in the vineyards, the grape varietals are carefully matched to the climatic and geographic conditions best suited to produce the finest wine. The grape clusters are nurtured with only the best winegrowing practices.
Optimal soil conditions, adequate sun exposure, particular vineyard trellising, and just enough irrigation results in berry quality that is small in size, packed with flavor and complex in fruit essences.
Doug Wiens and his brothers did extensive research when deciding to move the winery's operation from Lodi to Temecula. Doug found the climate in Temecula to be quite close to the climate at the northern end of Napa Valley where some of the state's biggest and best Cabernets are grown and produced.
Doug believes that in order to create intense, flavorful wines, grapevines need to be stressed and grown in extreme conditions with good sun exposure. To produce these quality wines, Doug takes advantage of the variety of growing locations in the local area.
Temecula is a very diverse appellation where a couple of miles can make a big difference. From the lowest to highest point the elevation varies more than 1000 feet, and the soil changes dramatically from one end of the valley to the other.
The heart of the Temecula Valley, the lowest part of the Temecula appellation, experiences the highest temperatures. Buck Mesa is slightly higher in elevation, with a bit more coastal breeze. The soil in these areas is sandy loam with almost no rocks, and wines produced from grapes grown here are usually lighter and somewhat fruitier. Vineyards tend to be more productive in these conditions and in order to “hold back” production and increase quality the winegrower may use deficit irrigation and limited fertilizer to stress the vines. Naturally low-producing varietals like Viognier and Gewürztraminer do well in these conditions.
La Cresta is about 5 degrees cooler than the Temecula floor with thin and rocky soil, perfect for “big reds” and even more like the Napa Valley . Wiens describes “big reds” as wines that are more intense in flavor and color, with the ability to be aged for five years or more. The rocky soil forces the vines to work harder to produce fruit, and the berries are small and intense in flavor. In addition to color and flavor, the small berries create a wine that is higher in tannins and slightly higher in alcohol, which helps to protect the wine as it ages. These characteristics work together to make a well-balanced, quality red wine.
The Wiens family also farms a large vineyard in Sage, just outside of Temecula in Riverside County . The elevation there is 1000 feet higher than the Temecula floor. The nights are lower in humidity and therefore cooler, creating a higher night-day variation for optimal grape development.
Wiens Family Cellars is committed to producing world class “big red” wines with fruit sourced from the Temecula Valley . One of their most important current goals is to produce a Bordeaux blend that is on par with the best of the Napa/Sonoma regions. Doug believes that Temecula can produce luxury reds among the highest quality in California.