September is California Wine Month, a celebration of the state’s nearly 11,000 wine growers and winemakers, whose home turf should top your go-now list!
Travelzoo created a Southern California guide on how to make the most out of the final days Wine Month this year, including exclusive deals on wine tastings, vineyard hikes, cellar tours, festivals and more. The grape harvest is underway, the summer crowds are gone and the local deals are ripe for the picking – especially for Travelzoo members.
Just an hour outside of Los Angeles and 1.5 hours from San Diego, Temecula offers the full wine country experience for those based in SoCal or for LA visitors looking to explore beyond the city limits. There’s also plenty to explore in central California with Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo an easy hop by car.
WHERE TO STAY:
If you’re looking to stay and enjoy the festivities, Temecula Wine Country has a two-night retreat for $269–which is 48% off. The two-night getaway is a Travelzoo-member favorite with a charming 22-room inn set on 11 acres in Southern California Wine Country.
Guests enjoy spacious rooms featuring balconies, fireplaces and large marble bathrooms with tubs. Additionally, the inn is a quick drive from Callaway Vineyard and Winery, Thornton Winery, Mount Palomar Winery and Redhawk Golf Club. This deal includes Friday-night stays with Thursday arrivals.
Solvang’s Hotel Corque in Santa Barbara Wine Country is a sophisticated wine country hotel just off Solvang’s main street. The hotel has complimentary extras including Wi-Fi, parking and all-day coffee, free all-day shuttles to the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez and farm-to-table dinners. Sunday brunch and happy hour specials are also available right next door!
Near San Luis Obispo, the 4-star Avila La Fonda deal includes wine tastings at three local wineries ($60 value) and a box of chocolate ($9 value) for $199 per night. The room also comes with a bottle of sparkling wine ($25 value) and a snack basket ($14 value).
All guests receive breakfast croissants with juice/coffee, noontime snack featuring nachos and imported beers, evening local wine reception with appetizers and fresh pie at night.
Avila La Fonda is an adults-only property and, the hotel is filled with character, transporting guests to a 19th century Mexican village and is a member-favorite hotel. Deals are priced based on two guests sharing a room.
Perched on a quiet, sandy beach with sweeping views of the bay, the Monterey Tides is a part of the Joie de Vivre Hotels and offers a secluded coastal retreat. Guests unwind to the hypnotic sound of waves crashing on this intimate stretch of beach away from the touristy downtown waterfront.
WHERE TO SIP:
Located on the De Portola Wine Trail in the heart of Temecula Valley, the spacious tasting room is perfect for wine lovers looking to try an array of options. Each person gets 10 tastings with appetizers (cheese, crackers, fruit and chocolate) as well as a souvenir glass to take home! You can tour the 40-acre vineyard and production site and learn about the history of the valley and process from vine to bottle.
This Travelzoo deal earns a near-perfect 99% approval rating from members, who praise the “knowledgeable” guide and “beautiful” scenery. It includes $25 for an ambassador tour and tasting for one person (reg. $55), $45 for an ambassador tour and tasting for two (reg. $110), and $89 for an ambassador tour and tasting for four (reg. $220).
Round up your friends for a limousine ride with Champagne through Wine Country. Stop at wineries for tastings and pose for photos to remember the experience.
Guests are transported via limousine or party coach along with being provided champagne or mimosas, cheese, crackers and chocolate on board. There are three winery stops with five to six tastings each and complimentary photos. This four-hour guided winery tour with tastings is $89 for one person (reg. $179) and $169 for two people (reg. $358).
Go beyond California Wine Month with a wine passport for two people in the greater Santa Barbara area – good for two-for-one wine tastings and discounted wine purchases. It features 22 locations from Santa Barbara to Lompoc, and you can visit each place at your leisure through the rest of 2018! Locations include Cambria Winery, Foxen Vineyard and Silver Wines.
WHERE TO EXPLORE:
Temecula Valley Crush, Sept 29
Hosted by Monte De Oro Winery, this annual event is celebrating 50 years of providing wine and cuisine
experiences from over fifteen winery and local restaurants and caterers.
VinoPalooza Music & Wine Festival, Sept 8
For those who can’t get out of the city, this award winning music and wine festival brings together tastings from more than 20 wineries at LA’s Marina del Rey hotel.
Fly over SoCal Wine Country in a hot air balloon at sunrise, an unforgettable experience complete with champagne and photos. Enjoy coffee, juice and pastries before the ride and champagne while in the air. Afterwards, a limousine retrieves you from the landing location, and you’ll receive complimentary photos to share on social media.
The hot air balloon ride is great for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, and you enjoy discounted two-for-one wine tasting at Monte De Oro Winery afterward
This deal includes $169 for a balloon flight for one person, any day (reg. $249), $259 for a balloon flight for two people, Monday-Friday (reg. $498), and $279 for a balloon flight for two people, Saturday-Sunday (reg. $498).
Travelzoo has numerous deals that contribute to California Wine Month so be sure to grab a designated driver and enjoy.