Summary: Miramonte has music Friday and Saturday nights. With numerous round tables, this makes a delightful winery to visit with friends. The tasting room is a relaxing environment. At Miramonte, they are trying to blend the past with the future. The focus of the winery is on producing quality dry red wines.
We enjoyed our visit to Miramonte where we met Christina Wright, tasting room manager, and Cane Vanderhoof, owner of Miramonte Winery. Cane began the winery in 2001. In addition, we met the reason behind the “Miramonte” name. Mira is a five-year-old large black Newfoundland dog. Despite his size, he is friendly and loves people. Mira is also in one of the popular wine dog books.
With four acres of vines, vineyards at Miramonte are a top priority. Current grapes include Syrah and Petit Syrah. They are adding a new section of vineyards accounting for another five acres. Two consultants are involved with the winery and they use top technology in the vineyard including "equalization limiters” and probes to check the water in the soil. They place “equalization limiters” on the irrigation line at each vine to keep the water pressure equal. By doing this, they are able to see that the development of the vines is equal. According to Cane, there is a difference between vineyards that use the “equalization limiters” and those that do not have them. Grape production increases by 40 percent in the vineyards that use the “equalization limiters”. Probes in the air and soil help with determining the amount of water the vines need. Miramonte focuses on sustainable practices and in 2003 committed to “Sustainable Wine Growing Practices.” Additional grapes are sourced from local growers.
The winery produces 6,000 cases of wine. This winery has some of the most unusual wine labels we have seen. The etched bottles are sandblasted and then painted. These make great gifts including corporate gifts. Members of the Wine Club receive an etched bottle that says “Happy Birthday.” A sister company, Celebration Cellars, etches and paints the wine bottles.
We tasted several wines at the tasting counter. Viognier 2006 had an apricot and floral aroma with an apricot taste. The finish was crisp with a long fruity aftertaste. Riesling 2007 had a baked apple aroma. The taste was sweet with apple plus pear nuances. The mouth feel was velvety. The finish was fruity and became dry. Sangiovese 2005 offers a cherry aroma with a very cherry taste. The finish had mild tannins with a cherry aftertaste. This wine was aged in French and American oak for 19 months. Opulente 2005 was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. The aroma and taste offered berries and oak. There were tannins on the finish. Opulente 2005 was aged in French oak for 20 months.
The winery has plans to enlarge by adding a multi-level terrace of 10,000 square feet. The terrace will encompass several levels and allow for small group gatherings. Landscaping will include trellising. Construction will begin in May 2009 and finish in about six months. The current tasting room will remain open throughout the construction of the terrace. The new additions will add to the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Vineyards dot the rolling hills leading up to the distant mountains.
The winery tasting room offers a good venue for events. Long black curtains tie back to showcase the stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. Round glass top tables and ceramic red tile flooring adds to the atmosphere of the tasting room. This is a delightful setting for their Happy Hours that are held on weekends. Happy Hour offers wine and beer tastings on Friday and Saturday nights with live music. The winery also offers seasonal events including Vintner Wine Club Dinners and a Mother’s Day Brunch.
The tasting room is open seven days a week. When you visit Miramonte Winery, be sure to ask about the etched bottles.
33410 Rancho California Road
Temecula, California 92591
GPS: N33° 31.545’ W117° 04.664’
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