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The Inland Empire Travel Guide

Temecula

Temecula, with its rolling green vineyards, country inns, and first-rate restaurants, bills itself as "Southern California Wine Country." The region is home to three-dozen wineries, several of which offer spas, fine dining, or luxury lodging and shopping. The name Temecula comes from a Luiseño Indian word meaning "where the sun shines through the mist"—ideal conditions for growing

wine grapes. Intense afternoon sun and cool nighttime temperatures, complemented by ocean breezes that flow through the Rainbow and Santa Margarita gaps in the coastal range, help grapevines flourish in the area's granite soil. Once best known for Chardonnay, Temecula Valley winemakers are moving in new directions, producing Viognier, Syrah, and other Rhône-style blended reds and whites. Most wineries charge a small fee ($10 to $15) for a tasting that includes several wines.

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