Sun’s out and wines a plenty at Mount Palomar Winery

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Lamborghini and McLaren car owners display their cars during a private event at Mount Palomar Winery Sunday, Aug. 23. Valley News/Lexington Howe photo

With its vast vineyard and rolling hills, guests come from near and far to visit Mount Palomar Winery.

Founded in 1969, Mount Palomar Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Temecula Wine Country.

“We have I think 25 different varieties of grapes,” John Petty, the winery’s executive general manager, said. “We’re known for our big red varietals and so anybody that is interested in some really great, full body red wine definitely find something to their liking at Mount Palomar.”

They have some unique white wines as well.

“We are one of the few wineries, I think only two wineries in all of California that actually grow what’s called a cortese grape and that makes excellent white wine, especially for the hot days out there,” Petty said.

Lamborghini and McLaren car owners display their cars during a private event at Mount Palomar Winery Sunday, Aug. 23. Valley News/Lexington Howe photo

They also have one of the oldest Solera Cream Sherry.

“Our cream sherries go almost as fast as we can bottle them,” Petty said. “They are made from a Palomino grape, and they bake in old Kentucky whiskey barrels, for about five years they bake in the sun.

“The sherry capital of the world is Spain,” Petty said. “We’ve had a lot of world travelers that say that our sherry competes with the best sherries that they’ve had in Spain, so we’re very proud of our Solera Cream Sherry.”

Most of their varieties are Italian.

“We are certainly known for our Italian grapes, grape varieties, and in fact, we are one of the few wineries, if not the only winery in Temecula that actually has a lot of topography,” Petty said. “When you come on-site you have to climb up a hill from Rancho California Road, and then you kind of drop into a little valley. Many people say it reminds them of Tuscany when they come in, which is appropriate because most of our wine varieties are Italian.”

Mount Palomar Winery also has some exciting future plans in the works.

Mount Palomar Winery serves Temecula since 1969. Valley News/Lexington Howe photo
Mount Palomar Winery serves Temecula since 1969. Valley News/Lexington Howe photo
Mount Palomar Winery wins wedding awards from WeddingWire and the Knot for couples choice award and best of weddings. Valley News/Lexington Howe photo

“The project received entitlements from the county of Riverside approximately three years ago,” Petty said.

The project will include 180 hotel rooms, a 7,000-square-foot signature restaurant, new wine production facility, a new tasting room, a two-and-a-half-acre lake, a 10,000-square-foot ballroom which will be a part of the hotel, wedding chapel and a 2,000 seat outdoor amphitheater, according to Petty.

“We’ve already pulled out some of our grape vines in anticipation of grading,” Petty said. “After this current harvest, we’ll pull out our remaining grape vines, and we hope to be actually grading by the first quarter of 2021, so not too far away.”

Mount Palomar Winery also is a popular wedding destination and has won several awards.

“We are still currently doing weddings because we have a very large outdoor, upper patio, and we serve our wedding receptions through our restaurant,” Petty said.

“We do about 80 to 100 weddings a year, and the COVID-19 thing of course has caused some rescheduling of weddings,” he said. “I think all of our Saturdays are already booked for 2021.”

They do currently have weekend openings, however, in 2020.

“The views from our wedding ceremony area are absolutely spectacular,” Petty said.

For more information on Mount Palomar Winery, visit https://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/.

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at lhowe@reedermedia.com.