There’s a reason you won’t find much written about Temecula on this blog.
The wine generally isn’t great. It’s crawling with limos and party buses full of bachelorette parties and tipsy tourists.
So many people treat Temecula like a bar that many tasting rooms hand you a stack of tokens or a punch card so they can carefully control your pours.
And then there’s Foot Path Winery.
We visited on a hot, dry summer day where temperatures hovered in the high 90s. They pour their wine in their wine making facility, which is essentially a large shed. It’s doors were wide open that day and the thermometer inside read 82 degrees.
That’s when we realized this is also where Foot Path stores their wine barrels.
This told us that all of Foot Path’s wine was probably ruined.
UC Davis's wine barrel storage guidelines call for a room that’s optimally 55 degrees and never over 60.
Hotter temperatures speed up the aging process. Wine starts to cook when temperatures rise above 80 degrees.
Prolonged exposure to these temperatures permanently damages the wine. The delicious fruit characteristics disappear, replaced by raisin flavors. The wine changes color too.
A 2010 Merlot shouldn't look like this:
None of their wine tasted good to us. It all tasted cooked.
We’ve said before that the only rule in wine is if you like it, it’s good. There was another couple in the tasting room who seemed to be enjoying the wine and even bought a couple of bottles. Foot Path has decent ratings on Trip Advisor. They’ve been making wine for 13 years, so there must be some market for their wine.
Just not in our house.