Van Roekel Winery and Vineyards
Kathy and Terry Sullivan
Summary: When we visited Temecula, California in February 2008, we visited a winery called La Cereza. The winery has now reverted to the original owners, Bud and Maurice Van Roekel and renamed Van Roekel Winery and Vineyards. The Van Roekels also own the winery next door, Maurice Car’rie. Enjoy the wine tasting experience in the large tasting room that offers visitors a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Maurice and Bud Van Roekel founded Van Roekel Vineyards in 1994. Today they own and operate both Maurice Car’rie Winery and Van Roekel Winery and Vineyards. Each winery has a separate identity, wine label and wine varieties. They share the same winemaker Kestutis “Gus” Vizgirda, viticulturalist and production facility manager. Gus began at the wineries with the 2004 harvest. For five years, Buddy and Cherie Linn leased the two wineries. The Van Roekels returned in February 2010 to run the day-to-day operations.
Gently sloping downwards to a valley floor, the 27 acres of onsite vineyards include Gewürztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. At the time of our October visit, harvest was complete and the vines were beginning to show the first fall colors.
The Van Roekel Winery and Vineyards offers a delightful experience with the warm friendly ambiance of the tasting room. The long wood tasting counter provides space for many wine enthusiasts. Wines for sale are displayed in half oak barrels with one half set inside the other half barrel at an angle. Many gourmet food items are available. Take time to browse the large area of wine accessories and the gift selections available. Wine enthusiasts may enjoy the wine-related flags for purchase.
Wines tasted were under the Van Roekel name. Viognier, a double gold winner was pale yellow. The aroma was fruity while the taste had sweet with apricot nuances. There were peach hints on the finish. The Gewurztraminer 2009 was a light straw color with a light aroma of fruit including peach, apricot and pear hints. The taste was smooth and lingered on the finish. Raspberry Champagne emphasized raspberry notes throughout the taste.
The Papa’s Red was a blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot. The ruby wine had an aroma of red stone fruit notes with a taste of plum and cherry nuances. The fruity finish had mild tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 was a dark ruby with aroma nuances of wood and black fruit. The taste offered black berry and spice notes. The fruity finish had mild tannins. Grenache 2006 was a dark purple with an aroma of red cherries. The wine had a smooth taste of mild tannins and red cherry fruit.
The nearby building that was used for relaxing with a cigar and a glass of wine is under renovation. It houses the barrel aging area.
Enjoy a visit to Van Roekel Winery owned by Bud and Maurice Van Roekel. You will discover a delightful atmosphere in the tasting room. Be sure to add the Van Roekel’s Maurice Car’rie next-door winery to your itinerary.
Van Roekel Winery and Vineyards
34567 Rancho California Road
GPS: N33º 31.862' W117º 03.587'
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