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Summer Adventure: Temecula Cable Car Wine Tour

The Glass is More Than Half Full

I bought the Cable Car Wine Tour in Temecula as a Christmas gift for William, and we finally had time to book at the end of July, which coincided with the end of our 10+ day quarantines and Rachel's time off work in August.  

As 50somethings, we were the two oldest people on the tour but that didn't stop us from having fun, dancing, playing along with Cable Car Karoke and taking a lot of photos.  

William said, "I'd give it a 6 out of 5 stars!" 

Where We Stayed 

We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites; it's one of several hotel locations where you can get picked up and dropped off for the tour. 

This was great because we didn't have to worry about navigating, parking or having one of us be a designated driver. 

Our room had an in-room whirlpool tub (yes) and the hotel also has a swimming pool and Jacuzzi outdoors.  

The Cable Car Experience 

We started off at the Black Market Brewery, where we met our cable car driver and host.  

The morning started off with "welcome wine" at 11 a.m. along with a huge roast beef sandwich (good to have before the official drinking started!). 

Our tour guide, Ryan, was the owner of the company, and he gave us a short wine-tasting lesson.  

You can purchase wine-to-go in a "sippy cup" to enjoy on the drive up to the wineries, but it's totally not needed as there's plenty of wine available at the wineries you are about to visit.  

The cable cars are ACTUAL historic cablecars from San Francisco.  They are open-air vehicles, so you can look down and see the cars on the roads as you travel up to the wineries.  There was lots of waving and looks from passengers in regular vehicles! 

The Wineries 

We went to three wineries (Callaway, Maurice Carrie and Somerset), and I vote Callaway as the most beautiful views, Maurice Carrie as the most fun (champagne and live music) and Somerset as the most interesting because we got to go inside the building where they make the wine.   

How Much Wine Was There? 

At the start of the tour, we had "welcome wine" and we also had drink tickets for 6 tastings per winery, PLUS many of the wineries gave extra pours and/or very generous pours.  

If desired, you can easily drink the equivalent of 1.5 bottles of wine per person on the tour. 

There is no need to "pre-game" for this tour as you'll have plenty to drink at the wineries; I actually only had one small taste at the third winery because I was done drinking at that point. I even passed up the chance to taste "raw" wine, which was siphoned directly from a barrel with a tool called a "thief." 

Party On, Cable Car Guests!

Did anyone get sick: I'd read the "fine print" about people getting sick at the wineries or on the trolley and didn't think it would really happen but someone on our tour did get sick. Luckily, the host was prepared and told everyone not to feel embarrassed about it and to just let him know if you needed a bag. 

How crazy was it: We had a birthday party on our group but no one was super crazy; everyone was just having a good time.  I heard that the bachelorette party on the trolley in front of us was a little out of control.  

My favorite part of the drives between wineries was:  "Cable Car Karaoke" when Ryan played popular songs and we all got to sing along.  They also played "our song" (September by Earth, Wind and Fire) so we got danced on the trolley, and we got a round of applause from the younger set when we also broke out our dance moves to Low by Flo Rida. 

Cable Car Wine Tour Tips 

  • No need to pre-game; there's plenty of wine for everyone. We had several leftover pour tickets, and Rachel was about done drinking when we arrived at the third winery. (Note: I didn't feel sick, I was just done!) 
  • Don't wear a hat, it will probably blow right off on the trolley.
  • If you have long hair, bring a hair tie in case you want to pull your hair back. It is windy on the trolley.  
  • Enjoy the moment, you will have a different experience at each winery.
  • Lots of good photo opportunities at each winery. 
  • There are free chips (salt) and cold bottled water on the trolley. Stay hydrated! 
  • After a day of sipping wine plus being in the sun and wind , we were grateful to come back to a nice cold hotel room and food delivery.  We finished our day with Mexican food and a Hallmark movie, lol. 

Making It a Weekend 

On Friday night, we drove up to Temecula and had dinner at the 1909 restaurant in Old Town, which had okay cocktails and excellent people watching.  

We really confused our server when we asked them to make an off-menu drink with our favorite brand of gin. (Translated: a dirty martini with Plymouth Gin!)

On Sunday morning, we had breakfast and coffee at a lovely French bakery, shopped the boutiques in Old Town Temecula and took a few photos. We bought a notebook and a bottle of locally made lavender scented bubbly bath for Rachel to enjoy at home. 

There are many "photo worthy" backgrounds including interesting wood, old buildings, and these painted murals. It was 90 and humid, so we only shopped for a couple of hours before heading back home.  


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