If you find yourself a bit unsteady on a signature “Vineyard Walk” with Temecula’s Walking Winos, blame it on the meandering vineyard trails (remember: wine doesn’t make people tipsy; drinking wine makes people tipsy.) Created by Debbie Taylor, a former docent at Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, the Walking Winos gleefully burn calories hiking from winery to winery, tasting at a few along the way. The routes are planned to include cardio in the first 30 minutes and generally take three to four hours. During that time, you’ll cover approximately 3 miles across the valley’s long flat stretches and gently rolling hills (more like “bumps”). Debbie is constantly changing the routes and tasting stops to keep things as fresh as a delightful white. Loop through vineyards and country estates, taking in dramatic views of the Palomar mountain range. And while this isn’t Grape U., you’ll learn how to distinguish varietals like zinfandel and sangiovese and snatch tidbits of Temecula’s winegrowing history from the largely local crowd. Between Debbie’s love of the grape and her organizational skills (she also owns a travel agency), you’ll have access to the best vintages and vantages in the region. And remember, as you’re walking off that cabernet, wine is a biofuel.
TIP: If summer weather is firecracker hot (as it often is in Temecula), Debbie hosts walking routes in Old Town Temecula where tasting rooms and seasonal festivities like live music keep things cool.
Vineyard Walks by Walking Winos are typically scheduled once per month. The next one is this Saturday, May 28, and after that, June 5. Find other dates (and events) and reserve a spot through Walking Winos at meetup.com or contact Debbie at email@example.com. There is no fee to go on a Vineyard Walk although gratuities are appreciated. Pay for optional tastings as you go, ranging from $10–$25. Debbie has negotiated group discounts at some wineries, often at 50% off. Rain cancels outings. Dog-friendly (if your dog is friendly).