After our great stop in Ramona, we looked forward to our next destination, Temecula. We got a taste of Southern California wine in Ramona, but Temecula is probably the biggest wine destination in the region.
Pechanga Resort and Casino
We started off our week in Temecula at the RV park at Pechanga Resort and Casino. The park is nice, close to town, and has a Passport America rate. We mainly set up here for the work week. However, it also gave us a chance to check out Old Town Temecula. Unfortunately, we weren’t that impressed with Old Town though. We drove down after work one night, and there didn’t seem to be much going on. It was kind of cold and windy, so that may have been why. We walked around for a bit, but eventually decided to try out a cocktail bar, The Daisy, in a part of town closer to Pechanga. The cocktails were good there, but a little expensive for our taste.
Lake Skinner Recreation Area
After our week at Pechanga, we moved out to Lake Skinner Recreation Area on Thursday for the weekend. Lake Skinner is closer to the wineries, so we planned to use it as a base for wine tasting.
For our first wine stop, we went to Lumiere Winery after work on Thursday. The winery is a small family business on a beautiful property. We weren’t that crazy about the wine, but the atmosphere was nice.
On Friday, we drove to Ponte Winery for our first stop. Ponte has great reviews, and we had high hopes. Unfortunately, we weren’t the only ones with the idea to visit. There was hardly any room in the tasting room, and we could barely hear each other talk. We stayed for one tasting but decided to try something else. Fortunately, our next stop, Robert Renzoni Vineyards, was fantastic. We really liked everything about it. The wine and service was great, and we ordered a bottle to drink on the patio for sunset.
Saturday Wine Tasting
On Saturday, we planned to get some exercise at Lake Skinner and then head out for an afternoon of wine tasting. I got in a great ride, and Leigh went for a walk around the lake. However, as we started our drive out of the park, we realized that we didn’t have much gas in the Jeep at all. We were also several miles from a gas station. I guess this can happen from time to time when you tow your car around. Fortunately, Doffo and Chapin wineries were right outside the park.
Doffo has great reviews, and we tried it first. We had perfect weather, and the atmosphere at Doffo was really nice. They have two main areas, and we stayed in the outdoor/garage area. It was a lot of fun, but really crowded.
From Doffo, we walked across the street to Chapin Family Vineyards. Despite being very close, the atmosphere was totally different, much quieter. We got a bottle of wine, which we really enjoyed, and sat out on the deck.
Party at the Campground
After our afternoon of wine tasting, we went back to Lake Skinner for the evening. Before dinner, we decided to take a stroll around the campground. We met another couple, Scott and Karen, on our walk and ended up sitting around the campfire (and eating dinner and playing Jenga) with them the rest of the night.
We weren’t expecting it, but California has been possibly the friendliest state we have visited so far.