Temecula Wine Country is growing by leaps and bounds. Seems like every month there is another winery open. One of the newest to join in is Villa Europa. This quaint winery is like taking a mini-vacation to France, Italy and Spain all in one day.
Villa Europa is a winery focusing on wines from three different countries in Europe: Spain, Italy and France. Currently there are three buildings that are spliced together but plans are to split them into separate wineries by country. Each winery will focus on different varietals. The concept is fun and exciting, while being very serious about their wines. And they should be proud because their first releases are delicious.
While their vineyards are young, having been planted in 2006, they are still awaiting their first estate harvest. The Villa Europa team purchased grapes from selected vineyards enabling them to produce wines “worthy of their name”. Their winemaking style can be defined as “Old World Apprenticeship”, aspiring to a slower pace of life, with grace and finesse over power. They strive for elegant, vivacious, delicate and harmonious wines.
Touring the winery is as much fun as tasting their exceptional wines. Enter the wrought iron gates into a center courtyard with an Olive tree, surrounded by outdoor seating and statues. Look out over newly planted vineyards and the newly acquired Inn at Europa Village.
Visit rustic Spain perhaps the Rioja Region at Bolero Cellars. Enjoy Spain’s most famous wine varietal: Tempranillo. This ruby red wine is rich with black cherry, strawberry preserves and vanilla bean wrapped around dark chocolate and tobacco. Smooth on the palate it will pair nicely with tapas plates. Go one step further and try their “Libido” (I know- that’s just too easy- so I won’t comment) a delicious blend of Tempranillo, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignane. But, you won’t be able to drink just one glass. Your taste buds will be oh so happy.
In the center of the three regions is charming and romantic Italy. White stucco, arched doorways, flanked with wine barrels are all reminiscent of a Tuscan village. Savor a bold Sangiovese or the soon-to-be-released Pinot Grigio which promises to be popular with a delicate nose and crisp flavors of pear and lemon cream.
Around the bend is France: C’Est La Vie. Enjoy Syrah, Syrah en Vie, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon while in France. The tasting room, straight from a Henri Toulouse Lautrec painting, is red and black with gold lettering. The black and white harlequin flooring compliments the billowy fabric laden ceiling. Outside the black and white striped awning covers the patio and accents the red façade. Enjoy a lazy afternoon here; experience the French joie de vivre as if you were at the Moulin Rouge on the Left Bank in gay Paris circa 1920.
Come for a day, or spend a night or two amongst the vines. The new Inn at Europa Village next door set quaintly amidst the vineyards is currently under transition from a previous owner and will open soon. Each room is named after a wine: Sangria, Merlot, Reisling, Pinot Gris. Nights rates range on weeknights from $130-160 and weekends $160-190.
Plans are in the works for a lucky few to live amongst the vineyards in exquisite, sprawling estates. Homeowners can even have their own vineyards on their properties and will eventually be able to make their own wine through Villa Europa. Estate lots are currently available to purchase.
Find out current tastings, hours and events as well as follow Villa Europa’s progress at www.europavillage.com.