Temecula’s gorgeous wine country used to be Southern California’s best-kept secret, but the region has grown in popularity in recent years and now attracts wine lovers and tourists from around the country. Whether you’re coming from the East Coast or East San Diego County, planning your trip out well in advance will ensure you can take full advantage of what Temecula’s wineries have to offer, but first you’ll need to decide when to visit. 

You might be wondering when’s the best time to visit Temecula’s wine country, and the short answer is, “Anytime!” The region boasts mild weather year-round, but your experience might vary depending on the time of year you arrive. Here’s a breakdown on what the different seasons have to offer before planning your Temecula winery tour:

Autumn

Most wine enthusiasts will say the autumn harvest season is the best time to visit a winery, and not just because vineyards in the region turn spectacular shades of gold and red. Wineries start harvesting grapes in September, with white and sparkling wine grapes going first, followed by red wine grapes into October. This gives you the opportunity to witness the annual grape crush with tours through the crush pad, where grapes are pressed before the fermentation process can begin. This behind-the-scenes peek at the winemaking process is essential for true wine fans.

Spring

If the sheer beauty of the natural landscape is high on your list for vacations or weekend trips, you might want to visit Temecula’s wine country during the spring, when vineyards and the surrounding backcountry are lush and vibrant green. You’ll get to experience the official start of the wine season, before vines become heavy with fruit, and the weather will be at its SoCal peak—not too hot, not too cold, perfect for touring the vineyards.

Summer

The vineyards are still in the growing phase during the summer months, but the main difference between visiting Temecula wineries in the spring and summer is the variety of alternative activities available in Temecula. You can expect summer-exclusive festivals and other town events, plus wineries that offer live music and other entertainment usually plump up their schedules during the summer season. Hot air balloon rides are spectacular in the summer—not much can beat a gorgeous summer sunset.

Winter

If you’re a self-described wine geek, you can’t beat winter for the best time to visit Temecula wineries. Since winter is considered the off-season, wineries won’t be packed with visitors, allowing you exclusive time to talk with wine experts during wine tours. Some wineries even offer behind-the-scenes tours in areas typically unavailable during the growing and harvest seasons when there is too much activity to accommodate visitors. 

Best day of the week to visit Temecula wineries

Aside from seasonal differences, there will also be differences in your experience based on the time of the week you visit Temecula wineries. If you prefer a fully social experience where you can mingle with other wine enthusiasts, the busy weekends are your best bet. But if you’d rather have one-on-one time with winery experts, go during the week when crowds aren’t as large.

Temecula has something to offer for everyone, anytime of the year!

Whether you choose to walk amongst the lush greenery of springtime vineyards, or witness the excitement of the annual grape crush in the fall, it’s always a good time to visit Temecula’s famous wine country. And if you’re making the trip to Temecula, you might as well round out the experience with a hot air balloon ride—there’s no better way to view Temecula’s vineyards than from above! Call Compass Balloons at (760) 704-7407 to schedule your sunrise or sunset flight.