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Falkner Winery Tour

October 17th, 2014

Last week joined a bus group of fellow Palm Springs Frontrunners & Walkers for a day in beautiful, not-far-from-downtown-Temecula in the heart of Temecula Valley Wine country. Our objective was to enjoy lunch and tour the related facilities of Falkner Winery. It was to be my first experience visiting any part of a winery other than the tasting room.

Our lunch was in The Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery, a newish establishment built in 2006. Its web-page states it “offers great panoramic views, outstanding Mediterranean style food, and high quality service.” 2006 must have been the year in which this was written. As for our meal that day, I’ll say no more about the lunch.

The winery qualifies as a boutique operation. It’s owned by Ray and Loretta Falkner who recently celebrated their 14th year in business. The facility is not large and it’s quite modern with lots of stainless steel. A 24 year-old young man served as our guide as we toured the wine-making and storage areas. He did a good job explaining everything and answering our questions. We learned that some of the grapes are grown in the nearby fields and owned by the winery while some are purchased from other growers. The process of converting grapes to wine was clearly explained (extraction, mixing varieties, storage in wood casks, etc.), though not demonstrated for we were between seasons.

Falkner Winery produces more than sixteen different wines. Their web-page listing of awards has over forty entries dating from 2007. The highlight of the day was the wine tasting option that followed our tour. Although our group had been promised four tastings, the winery staff didn’t stop “pouring” at four. All group members were provided the option to taste every wine on the menu. A past bout with cancer radiation cure left my own taste buds significantly diminished. So I lack the ability to differentiate between subtle flavor differences. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the wine tasting and the friendly manner in which the offerings were served. Some of my fellow tour members appeared to have palates that had been waiting for this day – their interest in tasting appeared to encompass the entire menu.

I had hoped to see wine-making occur, caverns or cellars with huge oak barrel containers and the damp smell of an old winery. That didn’t happen for the Falkner operation proved quite small, but modern and functional. It appears their success comes from blending grape flavors into new offerings that win awards and satisfy purchasers. They clearly know their business for the nods of tasting approvals from those in our group reinforced the news of the many awards the winery has accumulated.

Their website is at www.falknerwinery.com and if you plan to spend any time in the Temecula area, Falkner might be worth a visit.

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