Guide to Thornton Winery in Temecula Valley

Karen Frazier
vineyard in Temecula, CA

Thornton Winery, located in Temecula, California, is a beautiful and unique winery that offers an array of wines and entertainment options for wine and music lovers. With California Champagne and sparkling wines, reds and whites, and sweet chocolate wines, you're sure to find a wine you love. And with a summer concert series featuring well-known musicians including jazz and rock legends, Thornton Winery is the place to be in Temecula.

Thornton Winery Wines

There's something for wine lovers of all stripes at Thornton Winery. Whether you like a sweet dessert wine, a dry white or red wine, or something with lots of bubbles, Thornton Winery's lineup of fine wines from winemaker Tom Stolzer has you covered. Buy wines in their online shop or at the winery.

White Wines

Thornton Winery offers an array of tasty, affordable white wines that cost between $25 and $40 per bottle.

  • Chardonnay from Thornton Winery is a blend of barrel fermented and stainless steel fermented, so the wine is only very lightly oaked. The Chardonnay also doesn't undergo malolactic fermentation, so the focus is on the flavors of the fruit. Expect a crisp, acidic white with notes of green apples and a lovely hint of minerality.
  • Reserve Chardonnay is fermented sur lie (on the lees) for six months in French and Hungarian oak barrels. The result is a creamier mouthfeel with green apple and vanilla aromas.
  • Pinot Grigio is a crisp, fruit-forward white with some contact with neutral oak. The result is a nicely balanced, clean, zippy white.
  • Vermentino is a Sardinian grape that grows well in Southern California. The wine has lemon and citrus notes that are pleasing to the palate.
  • Viognier is an aromatic white grape that originated in the Rhône. Floral notes of honeysuckle draw you into this fragrant white.
  • Muscat Canelli, another name for Moscato, is lightly sweet and aromatic. This is a tasty wine for people who like their quaffs on the sweeter side with notes of orange peel and spice.

Red Wines

Thornton's red wines range in price from around $25 to around $60, with most landing in the $40 range. With a New World take on classic Old World French and Italian grapes, Thornton offers a wide array of red wine varietals and blends.

  • Thorny's Red Coat is an intriguing blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, and Barbera grapes. It's the winery's most affordable red at about $25 per bottle.
  • Italian red wine varietals from Thornton include Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Sangiovese.
  • French red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Petit Verdot, and Mourvèdre.
  • Red blends include a Cab-Merlot and Cab-Syrah.

Rosé

Thornton offers one rosé, a deeply-hued dry rosé with hints of berries and cherries that's perfect for summer sipping.

Sparkling Wines

If bubbles are your thing, Thornton is well-known for their sparkling wine. Wines are made using the méthode champenoise. With an array of interesting sparkling wines and California Champagnes, you're sure to find the one that suits your palate.

  • Fruit flavored sparkling wines include raspberry, peach mango, pineapple, pomegranate, and peach, all costing under $20 per bottle.
  • Traditional cuvées include brut reserve, brut reserve natural, brut rosé, non-vintage (NV) brut, NV brut rosé, NV blanc de noir (white of blacks), and NV cuvée rouge, all for between $40 and $50 per bottle.

Chocolate Wines

Chocolate wines are Port wine style dessert wines that cost $23 each per bottle. Flavors include A Kiss of Coffee, A Kiss of Chocolate, A Kiss of Mint, A Kiss of Strawberry, and Milk Chocolate Kiss.

Visiting Thornton Winery

Visitors to the winery have an array of options for food, wine, and entertainment. The winery is located at 32575 Rancho California Road in Temecula.

Wine Tasting and Tours

20-minute tours are available on Saturday and Sunday with a guided walk through the Champagne making process. Public tours occur at noon, 2 PM, and 4 PM. The tasting room and Champagne Lounge are open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tasting fees range from $19 to $25 depending on the flight you choose, and each flight features four or five wines. You can also purchase wines by the glass or bottle.

Casual Food

The winery also has a casual café lounge with an array of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and entrées. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.

Café Champagne

Café Champagne is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The brunch menu is available on Sundays from 11 AM to 3 PM. Lunch is available daily from 11 AM to 5 PM. Dinner is available Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 7 PM and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 9 PM. Enjoy California cuisine with gluten-free and vegetarian options available. Reservations are available by calling 951-699-0099, or you can reserve on Open Table.

Concert Venue

The winery is also a concert venue featuring a summer series of concerts. Friday night concerts can also include a menu of foods including appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Friday concerts occur on the patio, and you can find artists and times on the website. Champagne concerts occur throughout the summer in the open-air concert venue with tickets and schedules available on the website.

Something for Everyone

Whether you want tasty wines, fun concerts, or delicious dining on modern California cuisine, the Thornton Winery has a little something for everyone. So why not plan your visit to Thornton Winery to enjoy all the sites, tastes, and sounds it has to offer.

Guide to Thornton Winery in Temecula Valley