Living in Palm Springs may feel like a perpetual vacation but sometimes even us perpetual vacationers need an escape. One of my favorite weekend getaways is just over the hills from the desert to Southern California’s very own wine country, Temecula. Temecula is just a short drive from most of Southern California, including Palm Springs (just over an hour) and is full of wineries, breweries, golf, food, and shopping. Get ready to pack your bags as I share my perfect weekend itinerary with you!

Book a stay at the newly opened The New Inn, a modern farmhouse style boutique hotel just minutes from the heart of Wine Country.  All the rooms have a unique theme and feature private terraces with expansive views…the perfect spot to sip your wine under the stars.

Start your wine tasting adventure at Wiens Family Cellars at one of the many outdoor tables.  My tastings always begin with the Amour de L’orange sparkling wine, trust me, yours should too!  Other favorites on my tasting “must have” list are the Rosé of Pinot Noir (a perfectly light and crisp rosé) and the Fume Blanc before moving over to the red side of the menu.  The reds are where things get extra exciting for me (since I am a red wine drinker). Wiens is known for their Big Reds and their tasting menu never disappoints. The Barbera, Domestique, and Red Crowded are always favorites of mine. If you happen to visit around the Holiday season save a taste for the Merrytage, a fun red blend with notes of Holiday mulling spices and rich cherry. To end my tasting I like to move to the Reserve Wines – any Cabernet on the list is a must try…bold, rich and very Californian…just the way I like my wine! After taking a trip through the yummy wines, my fiancé and I love to grab some cheese and crackers from the tasting room and order a bottle (or two) of my favorite wines to enjoy on the breezy patio.

After a full day of sipping wine a yummy dinner outdoors is a must. My fiancé and I have found tons of favorite restaurants in Old Town Temecula, just a quick drive (or Lyft) from Wine Country. Old Town is made up of wooden sidewalks, antique shops, and plenty of good food. Head to Blackbird Tavern for a casual night in their backyard space- I love the Disco Fries (no judgement) and the Brussels Sprouts paired with an Old Fashioned or a glass of local wine. If Mexican food is more your speed, Espadin is the place for you! Fried Avocado, Ceviche and plenty of Mezcal are menu favorites. After dinner head back to that private terrace and settle in for a nightcap.

After a long weekend of wine tasting there is nothing more enjoyable to me than a boozy brunch. PUBlic House does a beautiful job bringing a gastropub vibe with local and fresh ingredients together. Try the Avocado Toast or the Goat Toast with a poached egg or the Kobe Burger if you are really going big.  Oh, and don’t miss a house crafted Bloody Mary or glass of rosé to accompany your brunch.

Before heading home stroll down the sidewalks of Old Town, pop into the local shops, browse eclectic antiques, and grab some artisan cheese from the Temecula Valley Cheese Shop.

Happy Weekending!

Nicole a.k.a. @thedarlingnikki