Brie of Dreams at Maurice Car’rie

Maurice Car'rie Vineyard

The sprawling Victorian style farmhouse is eye catching as you drive down Rancho California Road.  They also lay claim to the oldest structure in Temecula with their barn and windmill.  The vineyards here were the first established in Temecula back in 1968 by Vincenzo Cilurzo. Maurice and Bud Van Roekel  founded this winery in 1986. This is the sister property to the Van Roekel Winery, the winemaker here is Gus Vizgirda.  He creates wines that are meant for drinking not for storing for years in a dusty cellar.

Maurice Carrie in Oil

Maurice Carrie in Oil

This winery is most famous for it’s baked brie and sourdough bread which is only available on weekends in Maurice’s Kitchen, but…you can pick up an unbaked loaf to take with you and back yourself any day of the week.

On the weekends the front lawn fills with tents for the Maurice Car’rie Arts and Crafts Fair.  Every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm you will find local craft vendors with jewelry, paintings, ceramics etc.  You can wander the craft fair finding treasures and then pick up some of that amazing Brie to enjoy with a bottle of wine on the picnic grounds.

They are open daily from 10 am to 5 pm and offer tastings for $10 for 5 wines or you can get a dual pass for $18 to allow you to taste 5 here and 5 at Van Roekel.  They also have a Champagne tasting that allows you to taste 4 here at Maurice Car’rie and 4 at Van Roekel up the hill.

A family winery with Hart

Hart Winery
Hart Winery

Hart Winery

When you drive into Temecula Wine Country the very first winery you come across is Hart Family Winery.  In 1974  over the weekends Joe and Nancy Hart  and their 3 sons planted the first grapevines in their vineyard in Temecula.  In 1980 they built their winery and produced their first wines.  This winery has stayed small and focused and still produces only 5000 cases of wine each year.  Growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Viognier, Syrah, Merlot Grenache, Sangiovese, Zinfandel & Sauvignon Blanc.

When we visited in early 2012 we were greeted at the door by “Bosco”.  He was resting on the rug at the door.  Inside you step into the coolness of the tank room, the tasting bar is just inside the door with a small area for gifts, beyond it you see the stainless steel tanks and typically Joe Travis Hart walking about checking the tanks.

While there we tasted the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Rousanne, 2010 Zinfandel, 2007 Merlot, 2007 Cabernet Franc, 2010 Blanc de Franc ( a rose of Cabernet Franc), 2008 Syrah, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2009 Aleatico (an obscure grape native to the Puglia region in Italy) from the Palmador Vineyard which is a fortified dessert wine.

This small family run winery is well thought of in the community and respected for paving the way for Temecula Wine Country.