Why Choose Sweet Oaks

Choosing your next favorite wine can be very overwhelming. California alone has over 4,000 wineries, each offering an ever-changing list of labels. Even narrowing your choices down to a particular variety, terroir, or vintage gives countless options for potentially wonderful wines. It’s a worthy pursuit, but one that’s easier with a nudge in the right direction. So naturally, we recommend that every wine lover choose Sweet Oaks for their next delicious discovery. You might pick up a bottle from your local wine shop, join the wine club, or even plan a fabulous weekend away to Temecula for an in-person tasting. Here are some excellent reasons to do so.

A Taste of Temecula

Everyone’s heard of Napa, but Temecula Valley is an insider’s secret in the wine world. Known as Southern California’s Wine Country, Temecula occupies a beautiful, sun-drenched valley with a unique microclimate ideal for growing wine grapes. Tons of sunshine all year round, low rainfall, and consistent morning mists make Temecula’s rich soils especially suited to Mediterranean varietals and all the most iconic California grapes

The Temecula Valley AVA has more than 40 wineries, growing around 50 varietals. It’s a niche alternative to the state’s best-known wine regions. So if you’re bored of Napa and Sonoma wines, consider expanding your wine-drinking horizons. Look south and choose Sweet Oaks wine! 

A Wine for Everyone

Sweet Oaks’ inaugural vintage comprised five varietals: Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Viognier, Malbec, and Cuvee. Owners Heather and Jason Altepeter and winemaker Mark Horvath thoughtfully curated the lineup to represent the absolute best of the estate. These five offered enough choices to suit most wine lovers’ preferences but not so many as to overwhelm or diminish the care that went into each bottle. 

Today’s list of Sweet Oaks wines and wines from the sister label, Sol de Luz, has expanded – yet another reason to choose Sweet Oaks wine. However, it retains its focus on all-time favorites, an aromatic Pinot Grigio evoking stone fruits with a dry finish and an outstanding Zinfandel with jammy fruit and a hint of acidity in perfect balance. In addition, some original creations like the DeLuzional Syrah Blend with toasty new oak on the nose and the super-approachable Brosé Grenache have joined the classics. 

Further, you might choose one of Sweet Oaks’ three sets of three wines — a trio of trios — that take your palate on a delightful journey across the winery’s range. First, check out our private tours and tastings options, then see which is right for you.

A Labor of Love

When choosing Sweet Oaks for your next bottle, glass, or wine-tasting experience, know that every sip represents a labor of love. Sweet Oaks’ owners Heather and Jason Altepeter came to California from the Midwest, bringing together a love of wine and shared backgrounds in business and agriculture. Having started Sweet Oaks as a passion project, the couple married — in Temecula — around the time they also committed to the winery as a full-time venture. So the winery was founded as a labor of love. 

Sweet Oaks winemaker Mark Horvath also brings a love of wine to the operation. His wine journey started with a job in a Sonoma cellar, which soon became an obsession with the art and science of winemaking. It then evolved into a stellar career pursuing excellence in the craft all over California. Horvath worked in a series of the state’s top wineries, co-founded Kenneth-Crawford Wines, and partnered with the Altepeters in 2016 to create Sweet Oaks and Sol de Luz wines. He specializes in Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, and Grenaches.

A Wine Country Vacation

It’s tempting to select Sweet Oaks wines from a wine list but even more enticing to visit the estate in person. So if you love wine, why not plan a wine-tasting vacation in Temecula Valley? It’s an easy-to-reach destination for SoCal locals, just one hour from San Diego, 90 minutes from Los Angeles, and an hour or less from Orange County and the Palm Springs area. This prime location makes Temecula an ideal spot to feature on a longer Southern California itinerary for visitors from farther afield.

Wine tasting is the major tourist draw to Temecula Valley, and for a good reason. There are 40-plus wineries to consider, most with tasting rooms open to the public. You can explore the options on a self-guided tour or book a guided private or group tour. Of course, you should choose Sweet Oaks for a wine-tasting tour while in town. The intimate wine-tasting experience features a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery in addition to a flight of best-selling wines. You can even stay at Sweet Oaks Winery’s Home Sweet Home, a Craftsman-inspired house on a serene, 28-acre equestrian estate. It sleeps up to eight guests. 

Some visitors don’t want to base their entire Temecula Valley vacation around wine alone. Weird, huh? No worries – there are plenty of other attractions and activities to pursue while visiting Temecula. Hot-air balloon tours are a big attraction, offering unrivaled views of the rolling, vineyard-covered hills. Old Town Temecula is a charming place to stroll around, browse the antiques stores and boutiques, and dine on excellent farm-to-table cuisine. Finally, you might stop at the Temecula Valley Museum to learn about the city’s rich history, founded in 1859. 

If you love country music, dancing, and having a few drinks (which may or may not be wine), be sure to have a night out at the Temecula Stampede. It’s the largest country and western venue on the West Coast. In the daytime, go hiking at the nearby Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. It’s known for its natural beauty, serenity, and abundant birdlife. The western United States’s largest casino is next door to Temecula – Pechanga Resort and Casino. In addition to gaming, it offers live entertainment, shopping, dining, and a top-notch 18-hole golf course. 

Ready to Try Sweet Oaks Wine?

Trying a glass or bottle of wine from the Sweet Oaks lineup is always an excellent idea. So plan a trip to Southern California’s wine country and visit us at Sweet Oaks Winery. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a private tour and tasting and pick up your favorite bottle today!

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