Vineyard Vacation: Carter Estate Winery and Resort

Temecula is the ultimate SoCal wine vacation destination, with crystal blue skies, hot air balloons and award-winning vineyards. Although only gaining its notoriety in the past decade or so the Temecula Valley has been producing some of the best wines in all of California beating out Napa and Sonoma many times for the overall best winery in the state. Shockingly yet still quite unknown this incredible region is home to more than 40 wineries boasting 3500 acres of vineyards that create more than 50 varietals from Chardonnay to Syrah. The many accolades that have been acquired from the region are due to not only passionate wine growers that live and breathe to produce award-winning wines but also for the ideal climate in the Temecula Valley. 

Hot days, cool nights and afternoon breezes rolling in off the Pacific Ocean help produce an array of sophisticated wines consisting of Spanish and Mediterranean varietals perfectly suited to thrive in the region. With its ability to produce incredible wines, ideal climate, and a long list of top-notch resorts it is no wonder Temecula has been voted as one of the 10 best wine destinations in the world.

For a luxurious weekend, retreat look no further than the Carter Estate Winery and Resort. Launched in 2015 this award-winning vacation haven offers everything you could need for the highest level of rest and relaxation. With 60 Mediterranean-inspired bungalows and suites all furnished with in-room fireplaces, marble bathrooms, soaking tubs, walk-in showers and private patios, guests are ensured the pinnacle of opulence and comfort. A wide range of amenities are available in each room, from plush bathrobes, wet bars, wine-chilling refrigerators, flat-screen HD TVs, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers visitors have everything they need for a pleasurable stay.

Step outside your balcony door and a world of beauty surround you; blossoming roses, rolling vineyards and clear blue skies dotted with hot air balloons, the property provides a magical start to the day. Each morning, sip a decadent coffee on your patio while a complimentary continental breakfast is delivered right to your door. Treat yourself to freshly baked pastries while gazing up at the hot air balloons above, this truly is wine country at its best! 

Spend the afternoon at the resort’s refreshing swimming pool. Fully equipped with a hot tub and poolside bar and grill overlooking the resort’s famed vineyards. The closed-in area offers a peaceful setting for lunch. The hotel offers two onsite dining options for guests during their stay, choose from poolside dining at The Vineyard Grill or enjoy in-room dining delivered to your bungalow for a more private setting.

A more intimate dining affair awaits guests at the award-winning Vineyard Rose, located at the resort’s sister property South Coast Winery directly across the street. Enter the impressive Tuscan-inspired dining room featuring a wine bar and outdoor terrace to take in the awe-inspiring landscapes before you. The Vineyard Rose offers contemporary California cuisine sourced from the season’s best locally grown ingredients. Executive Chef Jose Esparza the man behind the scenes at both Carter Estate as well as South Coast Winery brings a wealth of knowledge in presenting a high-quality dining experience with every meal he presents. Working his way through the ranks of some of California’s esteemed dining establishments Esparza now spends his days collaborating with award-winning South Coast Winery Master Winemaker Jon McPherson to provide guests exciting food and wine pairings. 

From the 4X Golden Bear Charcuterie for two to the Skuna Bay Miso Salmon to the New Zealand Rack of Lamb each meal is paired with one of the resorts famed wines. Together the combination of South Coast Winery and Carter Estate has brought in over 3,000 awards nationally and internationally including the esteemed Golden Bear award which is the California Golden State Winery of the Year. This incredible feat is well deserved and yet no surprise when it comes to the passion and fervor of both owner Jim Carter as well as his winemakers Jon McPherson and Javier Flores. This dream team of wine aficionados brings years of knowledge and their love for viticulture and the proof lies in the result that they create each year. 

Although Carter Estate and South Coast Winery share the same owners and management each location has its own unique style and approach to winemaking. Carter Estate focuses on a more premium and technical process with its well-known “Methode Champenoise” production of their sparkling wines. Although true Champagne can only be produced in the region of Champagne, France Carter uses the same bottle fermented process you would find there, and the result has visitors coming in droves. Featuring the only sparkling wine in the Temecula Valley using “Methode Champenoise” guests are in for a real treat with a visit to the private tasting room where they can spend the day sipping on an exquisite collection of Carters esteemed wines.

To take your visit to the next level of relaxation check in to the Grape Seed Spa. Located next door at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa guests of Carter Estate have full access to a day of pampering at this world-class facility. Access includes a 24-hour fitness center, heated outdoor pool, alfresco saltwater whirlpools, steam rooms, dry saunas, two tranquility rooms and a wide range of treatment rooms. 

Choose from an array of spa services from a Green Goddess Facial to a Deep Relief Back Treatment Massage, any treatment you choose is designed for pure bliss. Post-treatment take a stroll down the tranquil paths through the vineyard, attend a private yoga class or relax poolside sipping on a glass of the resort’s signature wines which is included with your treatment.

Carter Estate Winery and Resort is the ultimate destination for a wine-soaked escape. With its first-rate accommodations, breathtaking views, and world-class wines available at your fingertips you couldn’t ask for more. With sixty impeccably designed private bungalows and suites, a private tasting room and full access to its sister property South Coast Winery, this destination cannot be missed.

Images Courtesy of Carter Estate