We had stopped by Keyways in December and found it full and busy in the midst of their Victorian Christmas Faire. We enjoyed walking into the tasting room decorated for the holidays with Santa reciting “The Night Before Christmas” before the fireplace. It was truly enchanting…. and full. So we didn’t stop to taste, we soaked in the ambience and went on our way with plans to return to taste on our next trip.
And so we did. I was fascinated reading about their Brazilian Onyx bar, which is really beautiful. Founded in 1989 by Carl Key, Keyways was one of the original wineries in the Temecula Valley. The winery used to be known as the only woman-owned winery in Temecula. Terri Delayer, the female owner, sold the winery to Silverton Partners in late 2011.
The grounds here are beautiful and the tasting room feels like a wonderful small hotel lobby, with a seating area with a fireplace and the beautiful bar.
Our Wine Tasting started with the 2012 Fume Blanc, which had grapefruit of course on the nose there was a little mineral and chalk on the back of this with spice on the finish and a little heat. The 2010 Riesling was very nice with citrus on the nose and green apple on the palate. This wine was clear, minimally sweet, and really tasty in an unexpected way. The 2010 Valley Cuvee Du Sud was my favorite. It is a Rhone Blend with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre as well as Petite Sirah, Cinsault and Viognier. It had a wonderful cigar box nose with lovely tannins and warmth. Think red berries with earth and spice. There was a little peppery heat on the end. Really beautiful. The 2010 Valley Cuvee Du Nord is in a Northern Rhone style and is Syrah based with the same varietals as the Du Sud but in different proportions. You get more fruit on this one and it is darker and chewier. The 2008 Charbono had a sweet nose. On the first taste it was sweet on the palate and then mellowed with additional tastes. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve had a sweet nose with dark chocolate. The tannins here were more aggressive and the wine had a medium to long finish.
If you have a chance I definitely recommend getting here around the holidays with time to spend at the Victorian Christmas Faire. There are vendors set up in the grassy area out front, Carriage rides in horse drawn carriages and the whole atmosphere is just amazing. And don’t miss sidling up to that beautiful Brazilian Onyx bar and grab a glass of The Du Sud to enjoy while listening to Santa in front of the fire.
For more Pictures check out our Keyways Photo Page.