Where to Find Sparkling Wines Made in San Diego
San Diego sparkling wines shine like a star
Sophisticatedly positioned within an hour’s drive of San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs, the Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area is one of the fastest-growing wine regions in the country. Its Mediterranean climate is ideal for producing varietals such as Rhône, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, as well as Viognier, syrah and pinot gris. And many wineries have mastered the art of producing sparkling wines.
These 3 places offer the best sparkling wines found in our city.
1. Thornton Winery
32575 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA
(951) 699-0099 | Visit website
Although the term “champagne” is usually reserved for French sparkling wines of the Champagne region, Thornton Winery in the Temecula Valley has assimilated the word into its everyday existence. From its award-winning Café Champagne Restaurant to its Champagne Jazz Concert Series, Thornton is no stranger to la méthode champenoise. It produces a wide variety of widely recognized sparkling wines.
Opened in 1988, Thornton “combines Old World style with New World taste,” finding excellence with its Brut Reserve 1996, which won the Platinum Award at the Critics Challenge International Wine Competition and the Gold Award at the San Diego International Wine Competition. It also boasts the Thornton Cuvée Rouge, Non Vintage, which won Best of Class at the Temecula Valley Wine Society Competition.
Shown above: Thornton Winery in Temecula
Also Read: 3 Best Wineries In Temecula You Must Visit
Acidic wines such as the Thornton NV Brut are exceptional with sour or salty food, as the wine’s acidity cuts the saltiness. For a more unique experience, let your pallet be thrilled with Thorton’s sparkling wines flavored with peach, pineapple and pomegranate.
2. Wiens Family Cellars
35055 Via Del Ponte, Temecula, CA
(951) 694-9892 | Visit website
If flavor to your dry brut life is what you desire, then you may want to explore the Wiens Family Cellars. Although it is “famous for big reds,” its Amour de L’Orange sparkling wine is quite refreshing. The winemaker began with the finest chardonnay cuvee—loaded with fruity aromas including pear, coconut and pineapple—then added just a hint of natural orange flavoring, intentionally keeping the residual sugar down to please the more serious aficionado. The subtleness of orange and sugar creates a wonderful blend of Old World Champagne with New World freshness.
Shown above: Wiens Family Cellars
It’s a perfect sparkling wine to introduce to your Saturday morning mimosas. And if you don’t have the time to travel to Temecula, this tasty bottle can be purchased at The Wine Loft in the Forum shopping center of Carlsbad. Bill Boyer, the proprietor, says they gained a following for this specific sparkling wine—and you can definitely taste why.
3. Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards
35960 Rancho California Rd, Temecula, CA
(951) 699-9463 | Visit website
And let’s not forget about Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards. Its very popular Almond Champagne, a gold medal winner at the Riverside International Wine Competition and the California State Fair—has quite a local following that’s quickly becoming a national one.
Shown above: Wilson Creek Winery
Shown above: Wilson Creek Winery
But did you know that Wilson Creek also produces other sparkling wines? Its cellars are stocked with Orange Mimosa Sparkling Wine, Peach Bellini Sparkling Wine, Grand Cuvee Champagne and Cuvee Rouge, which won a gold medal this year at the Los Angeles International Wine and Spirits Competition.
New kid on the block
Another discovery in Temecula Valley is the Raspberry Sparkling Wine at Oak Mountain Winery (oakmountainwinery.com). Although some of the first champagne-producing grapes came from pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay, its chardonnay and chenin blanc grapes provide a crisp and refreshing experience with a hint of vine-ripened raspberries. This Silver Medal winner at the Orange County Fair is enjoyable for all occasions.