Stop number two on our Temecula, California wine country tour brought us to the Briar Rose Winery just outside of town to the east. The Briar Rose was a bit difficult to find as it sits inside what appears to be a residential (albeit rural) part of the town. One moment, you’re passing by new-ish houses and the next moment, Google Maps is telling you to turn around. It’s there, though, I promise.
The Location41720 Calle Cabrillo Temecula, CA 92592 (951) 308-1098
Online at www.briarrosewinery.com
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 5pm. Limos & Buses Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 1pm
Other than the winery being a bit difficult to find, the grounds of the winery are fantastic. Their main building looks like an older home that may have been converted into their tasting rooms and store front. The landscaping in front of and around the main building was meticulously maintained and was a pleasure to view and relax in. They have outdoor seating at the winery that I strongly encourage you to take advantage of. The indoor seating area (the door on the right) is a bit dark, while the store front (the door on the left) is pretty small. Space is not as abundant at this winery, but, unless you’re traveling with a large group you should be fine.
I have to also preface this part of the review with a bit of a disclaimer. I’ve mentioned in my Oak Mountain Winery review that I’m by no means a wine expert. That said, Briar Rose wine is going to take a few hits on my scorecard, but not because of my lack of knowledge of wine but because of the lack of time I had to enjoy it.
The wine itself was very hit and miss – some were pretty good and some were just dreadful. Those that missed the mark in my book include the “Citronier”, which tasted far too bitter and cheap for my tastes, and the 2009 Pinot Noir. I’m not a fan, let’s just put it that way.
Some that were surprisingly tasty include the 2011 Estate Reisling and the 2009 Chardonnay.
You can view their full list of wines here.
Again, we purchased a Groupon special for the Briar Rose Winery, however, we failed to read the fine print that reservations were required for use. I’ve used more than a few Groupons before and reservations were rarely “required”, but I guess it was our bad for not noticing.
We arrived about an hour before they closed on a Saturday evening and they almost turned us away. We argued that we wouldn’t be able to “come back some other time” since we were traveling from out of state. Thankfully, they obliged and let us use our voucher, but I felt the entire time like they were trying to rush us out the door (they were; I wasn’t just imagining that).
We weren’t planning on lurking for hours and I shouldn’t complain since they let us use our voucher and “break the rules”, but the whole experience still left a bad taste in my mouth (literally and figuratively).