January Dreaming: An Afternoon of Wine Flights and Friends at Thornton Winery

January 17, 2020

January Dreaming: An Afternoon of Wine Flights and Friends at Thornton Winery


Today, we’re reminiscing about one of the wineries we visited on our ‘Wine for No Reason’ trip in June of 2017 to California’s Temecula Valley, which sports over 50 vineyards. Thornton Winery bills itself as Temecula’s Original Champagne House, so of course we had to go there.

View of the winery from the Thornton Winery web site

It was our first afternoon in Temecula, a lovely day in June, and the joie de vivre of vacation was in the air.

Our friends arriving, definitely in the spirit

Thornton Winery is a happenin’ place, with concerts, events, tours and special tastings, but we caught them on a quiet weekday afternoon, which was perfect for our group of six.

Our view from the Thornton Winery patio

We had a marvelous time enjoying the wines and our wide-ranging conversations. It was one of those rare occasions in a group in which everyone listens while only one person speaks. There was a real sense of connectedness.

A wine-tasting triple date

Thornton Winery uses the methode champenoise to make sparkling wines, and because several of us ladies on the trip are big fans of the bubbly, we knew we needed to taste them. Everyone started with champagne flights. (I know, I know, it isn’t really called champagne unless it’s made in the Champagne region in France, but just humor me a little on this. I mean, look at those glasses…isn’t your first thought, “Yum, champagne!!!”)

Tastings for everyone

The champagne (ahem) sparkling wines definitely lived up to their descriptions on the Thornton Winery web site. My favorite was the Brut Rosé, which was crisp and refreshing, with floral notes and a long, yeasty finish. (Look at me trying to be a wine critic!) Here’s what the web site says about the rose.

“Thornton Winery’s Brut Rosé sparkling wine has a light-garnet color, which results from the short amount of time it was in contact with the grape skins. The grapes were hand-harvested and hand-sorted prior to undergoing whole-cluster pressing. Following the primary yeast fermentation, the wine underwent a second ferment in the bottle using the traditional champagne method. The bottled Rosé remained en Tirage for an extended period that was followed by riddling, disgorging and finally dosage. You’ll appreciate its complex aromas and flavors along with a lingering finish.”

Thornton Winery Online Wine Shop

The other wines were great, too! The men moved on from the bubbly and were delighted with their choices.

It’s an understatement to say that a good time was had by all. I highly recommend an afternoon at Thornton Winery as a great way to kick off a wine tour in the Temecula Valley.

The Grill-Meister and me, in ‘Wine for No Reason’ vacation mode

As a little something extra, there’s a fountain with rubber duckies in the plaza at the winery. There may have been two fewer when we left…

That’s all for today’s January Dreaming post. You can see why these memories are a perfect mood-enhancer for a dreary January Friday. It’s not really cold here in Southeast Texas right now, but gray and foggy, for days and days on end. You can see why we’re January Dreaming.

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