New: Carter Estate Winery in Temecula

Jim Carter's 119-acre spread made its middle-of-May debut.

FRESH SIPS: Every oenophile has their go-to winery, the one they know a lot about, from its beginnings to its big years to what it does best, bottle-wise. But there are, beyond everyone's favorite spots, those landmark winemakers that every vino fan knows a little something about, from a great glass of pinot noir they had their once to a lovely dinner enjoyed on a patio a few years back. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa is definitely one of those stalwarts 'round Temecula Valley, a favorite of many but known by all. So when news that South Coast owner Jim Carter would be unveiling Carter Estate Winery and Resort, a 119-acre spread in Temecula, was announced, wine tasters penciled in a visit on their next time through, knowing what they know of South Coast's history for making a very solid sip. That "next time through" Temecula Valley can now officially start whenever, for the newest winery made its grand "phase one" debut on...

FRIDAY, MAY 15: The "luxury lifestyle resort" will offer "more intimate tasting experiences" in addition to some swanky stay-over options: 42 bungalows dot the property, and there's a pool with cabanas to boot. As for the libations visitors to the tasting room shall try? Think sparkling wines, "classic cuvees" that shall include Blanc de Blanc, Blanc de Noir, and Brut, but the winery is producing swanky still varietals as well. 

TASTING ROOM: To experience the upscaleness that the new winery is embracing, there is, of course, the room de tasting, which shall keep daily hours of 11 a.m. to 5 o'clock. As for the deep-cellar, in-the-know cuvees that may one day nab the sorts of awards that South Coast gets on the regular? Word for the new winery says a "prestige Cuvee, which will take five or six years to obtain the desired quality ratings, will also be part of the production." Oenophiles, it could be time to add a new winery to your knowledge file, the one you like to pull out at tasting counters to impressive your pals (and, okay, yourself, too).

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