Bella Vista Winery (12) at 41220 Calle Contento (951-676-5250) Through a non-descript front door, visitors entering Bella Vista Winery will find an exciting, entertaining and wholly satisfying wine-tasting experience complete with an informal and friendly tasting room. Visitors also enjoy their beautiful, well-stocked gift shop filled with one-of-a-kind gifts. But the big attraction is one of the largest and most popular tasting rooms in the valley offering visitors over twenty quality white, red, sparkling and dessert wines. In fact, this is where bus loads of wine tasting enthusiasts make it almost a pilgramige to make sure to stop here.
This hillside location off Calle Contento is the site of the first commercial vineyard planted in the Temecula area. It was here that Temecula proved to be a suitable area to grow premium vinifera grapes. And today Bella Vista is the first winery in the area to have certified organic vineyards. In addition to making the classic California Varietals, Bella Vista also produces sparkling wines, sweet Muscat offerings, a late-harvest Petite Sirah and a number of good blends.
The winery was built in 1978 and is now owned by Hungarian-born Imre Cziraki, who has owned vineyards in the area since 1982. In Hungary, he helped the family make wine when he was a young boy and brings this experience to Bella Vista.
A number of improvements have been made to the property, with more planned. The Vista Picnic Area above the winery features shady palapas, brick walkways and tables and chairs around the lake to sit and enjoy the unsurpassed panoramic views of the wine country, mountains and sunset. It’s sheer beauty makes this a perfect setting for any event be it a wedding or a big family reunion.
The winery planted the first premium wine grape vines in the region in 1968 and opened the winery in 1978. They now annually produce over 22,000 cases of both red and white award-winning wines. The winery is open for tastings 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. Twenty-three wines are available for tasting daily; the cost is only ($10) for six tastings. Credit cards: MC, VISA.