Our Behind The Scenes Tour at Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Located in the Heart of Temecula Valley

Jan 4, 2019 | Temecula, Wine

When you hear the name Callaway most people usually think of the famous golf brand but what many people don’t realize is that before building a golf empire, Ely Callaway Jr. helped to put Temecula on that map as a serious wine producing region, and we are so glad he did! Callaway Vineyard & Winery was one of the very first wineries in Temecula and has transformed a lot throughout the years to become what it is today!

Callaway Vineyard & Winery is hard to miss as you drive into Temecula Wine Country, as it is perfectly perched high on a plateau, allowing it to sit above many of the other wineries that surround it and offering stunning views of the valley below, including the well-known Rainbow Gap. The property is home to acres of vineyards, the tasting room, wine making facility, indoor and outdoor event spaces and a restaurant – everything you could need all right there!

Behind The Scenes at Callaway

We were given exclusive access to where the amazing wine is made

Our Private Tour at Callaway

While we had been to Callaway during previous trips to Temecula Wine Country, and are proud wine club members at Callaway, we’d never actually been on a tour of the property. So we were super-excited to take full advantage of our private tour and tasting during our last visit to Callawy.

As we walked into the tasting room at Callaway to begin our tour we were each greeted with a glass of Callaway NV Bella Blanc Sparkling Wine. Inside we met our tour guide for the day, Cole, who is an amazing sommelier in training at Callaway.

Our tour started in the outdoor ceremony and event space, where we were also greeted by Regina, the head of Marketing and eCommerce at Callaway.

beautiful rose garden at Briar Rose in Temecula Wine Country

From left to right: Cole, Allison, and Regina

The view was of course amazing, offering clear views for miles of the mountain line and beautiful vineyards. Cole was able to share some of the company history with us and spoke with us about how much the winery has changed and evolved over the years. One of the most interesting things Cole educated us about was the “Rainbow Gap” in the Santa Margarita Mountain Range, which creates the perfect conditions for growing grapes in Temecula Valley.

FUN FACT: What Is the Rainbow Gap?

Temecula Valley has the ideal conditions for growing grapes, mostly due to the gap that exists (known as the Rainbow Gap and pictured here) in the Santa Margarita Mountain Range.

From the Rainbow Gap, it’s a 25 mile straight line to the Pacific Ocean. The cool, moist ocean air flows inland through the Rainbow Gap, and gets trapped in Temecula Valley, especially at night. That is why Temecula is usually foggy and gray almost every morning.

The vines love these cool/moist temperatures at night, and the change to more hot/dry temperature during the day.

Not only did we capture the Rainbow Gap as seen from Callaway Winery, we also took an early morning hot air balloon ride over Temecula Wine Country and captured picutrss of the early morning fog (moist, cold air) that gets trapped over the vineyards.

Wine Production At Callaway

Approximately 30,000 bottles of wine are produced on-site at Callway Winery & Vineyard

As we moved to the outdoor wine production area we got an up close look at all the different equipment that is used to get the grapes destemmed, pressed and the juice ready to move inside to the indoor production area. Our tour shifted inside and we were blown away by the amount of tall stainless steel wine tanks that they store the wine in during the fermentation process. We even got to try some wine right out of the tank!

After that we headed into the 4,800 sq. ft. barrel room, which also doubles as a reception area for weddings and special events. The whole perimeter of the room was lined from floor to ceiling with barrel after barrel of actual aging wine. While in the barrel room we were given samples of wine straight from the barrel.

It was interesting being able to taste the wine at all the different stages of the winemaking process and seeing how the flavors changed and evolved during each step in the process. It was then time to head back into the tasting room to taste some of their most current, finished, wine selections.

Briar Rose Winery Owner chats with Allison for A Taste of Temecula

Fun Fact: Did you know that each grape varietal has a different shaped leaf?

We had no idea until Cole showed us the differences on some of the vines. If the winemaker or vineyard crew ever isn’t sure what part of the vineyard they are in they could always check the shape of the leaves on the vines around them to quickly and easily figure out what types of grapes are growing in that area. Check out the difference between Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah leaves below.

Wine Tasting at Callaway

Cole lead us into the Owner's Private Reserve Library for a one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience

The Wine Tasting Room at Callaway

Before jumping into our private tasting experience, I want to take a moment to acknowledge Callaway’s beautiful tasting room. Lined with nearly floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the tasting room allows abundant amounts of light into the large airy space. The tasting bar runs almost the entire length of the glass wall, only stopping to allow a door to exit to their outside seating area. Our tour started early in the morning, before their normal operating hours, so we got to a few shots of the tasting room empty. As our tour was wrapping up around noon, the tasting room was full of guests!

Owner’s Private Reserve Library

We actually had our tasting in the Reserve Room, one of the newest renovations at Callaway. Cole walked us through a tasting of 4 different wines, we selected red as those are our favorite, and we also got to snack on a tray of meats, cheeses, nuts and crackers. Cole is actually training to become a Sommelier so that knowledge that he was about to pass on about each specific wine was truly incredible. We learned so much and walked away with a list of new favorites that we are looking forward to receiving in future wine club shipments.

Callaway’s vineyard is currently planted with Viognier, Syrah, Dolcetto, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Grenache, Roussanne, Petite Sirah, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Muscat Canelli and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. With that being said there are many different wines to try during your tasting, and no matter what type of wine you prefer there is bound to be something you’ll love!

The Meritage Restaurant at Callaway

If you are stopping at Callaway for a tasting or wine club pick-up (or even if you aren’t and are just looking for a great place to eat) I highly suggest swinging by the on-site restaurant, Meritage. Just like the winery itself, there are amazing views, the staff is amazing and everything that you put into your mouth you will love.

To learn more about Meritage and get a sneak peak at some of the chef’s newest creations read our full review of the restaurant here – CLICK HERE

During our Callaway tour and private tasting we learned so much. Cole was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Callaway will always be one of our favorite wineries in Temecula Valley and we know you won’t be disappointed if you stop in for a tasting, but we highly suggest making a reservation (in advance) for the tour as well. It will help you to understand the winemaking process and have you appreciating the wine that you’ll be tasting even more!

HEY! We’re Allison & Shawn

And we LOVE sharing our passion for Temecula Wine Country From the stunning views, to endless vineyards, thrilling adventures, good food and GREAT wine…join us for an insider journey through beautiful Temecula Wine Country.

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