Many wine enthusiasts visit the wineries in Napa or Sonoma not just for the wine itself, but for the wine caves. These subterranean tunnels are used to keep wine at a constant cool temperature while it ages, with optimum humidity. They also make for some great places to sip wine, walk around and take a Facebook profile picture (you know who you are).
If you’re wine tasting in California, wine caves are typically only found in the northern or central areas of the state. But Oak Mountain winery in Temecula is about to open that area’s first wine cave.
The cave was dug into a hillside in the DePortola WineTrail region of the Temecula Valley. It will be open for tours and tastings on Feb. 13.
“It was a first for Riverside County, so the planning process took about two years,” said Valerie Andrews, who owns and operates the winery with her husband Steve, in a statement.
The cave is 104 feet underground and will store more than 400 barrels of the winery’s wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It also houses its own kitchen, banquet room and tasting rooms.
During the opening weekend, 45-minute wine cave tours will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tours are $30 per person and include a wine tasting with small bites from the kitchen and a souvenir glass.
Following opening weekend, wine cave tours will be available Monday through Friday and reserved for wine club members on the weekends.
36522 Via Verde Road, Temecula, (951) 699-6102, www.oakmountainwinery.com.
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