You like wine tasting? Are you up for a little adventure? I bet you love a deal. Can I package all this for you into a rustic vineyard romantic getaway? Yup! Read on.
I know you often go wine tasting and think – OMG this is such a beautiful place, I wish I could linger longer, but alas, there’s only the vineyards, the tasting room and the road leading home at the end of the day. So when you’re in the San Diego area next time…sip, savor and sleep over at Shadow Mountain Winery.
Located between Temecula Wine Country and Julian in Southern California, Shadow Mountain Vineyards & Winery is nestled on a northeastern slope at 3400', in the coastal mountain range of northern San Diego County. It’s technically located on Sunshine Summit, 1/2 mile off scenic State Hwy. 79, which for your history buffs, was once part of the historical "Butterfield Stage" that brought many American and European settlers west to California.
The owners, Alexander and Pamela McGeary purchased the estate in 1990 and have continued the tradition of growing and producing premium white, red and dessert wines in this unique microclimate. The present winery and production facility, rebuilt from a devastating forest fire in 1995, was opened to the public in 1996.
What’s really interesting about this place is that cool Pacific Ocean breezes moderate the warmth of the summer heat in the day. Winter temperatures are generally mild with some seasonal snowfall. Rainfall totals average 23" a year. And get this …they experience a four-season climate (yes this is in San Diego County). This kind of location is prized for quality grape growing. Current vineyard production is 25 acres and another 20 acres planted and managed by the owner for their production needs.
This winery has a long history of award winning wines. On my last visit, I tasted a couple of medal winners with the owners. First up was the 2005 Variation 3. It’s a beautiful lean red wine showcasing an exquisite blend of 50% Merlot, 25% Cab Franc, and 25% Cab Sauvignon. 98% estate grown, it’s smooth layers of soft vanilla notes, makes this $38.00 Gold medal and Best of Class (California State Fair) beauty a winner.
My second tasting was a 2008 Dry Muscat. What an interesting wine. When they say “dry” they mean it: .01 residual sugar. The varietal flavor shines through as it presents with a beautiful nose. Your taste buds will expect something sweeter. At $18.00 this is an excellent wine to purchase for a hostess gift for the wine aficionado.
The tasting room, visitor center and picnic areas are open Wednesday through Sundays from 10AM to 5PM and most Monday holidays.
The COTTAGES Option
Think about spending the night in one of their affordable charming cottages. This is a real treat. A bit rustic for the five-star crowd, but it’s genuinely a juicy slice of retreat heaven. Lovely use of color and space. Get into wind-down mode and enjoy the serene setting of this 3rd generation estate.
Room rates are $110.00 per night, including a premium bottle of Shadow Mountain Vineyards wine. A continental breakfast is also offered. Restrooms and shower are located just behind the cottages.
Shadow Mountain Vineyards and Winery
34680 Highway 79, Warner Springs, CA 92086
Tel. (760) 782-0778