Underground
New wine cave to open in Temecula Feb. 13
If you haven't been to Napa or Sonoma,  1you may not know about the wine caves -- which actually are a big part of the wine-tasting experience for a lot of people. The vintners use these subterranean tunnels to keep wine at a constant temperature while it ages. Wine-lovers really like sipping wine in these caves.

Well now Southern Californians don't have to go to Northern California to experience a wine cave -- just go to Oak Mountain Winery in Temecula, which opens its wine cave to the public on Feb. 13.

The cave is in the DePortola WineTrail region of the Temecula Valley. It's 104 feet underground and stores more than 400 barrels of wine. There are also tasting and banquet rooms in addition to a kitchen.

Wine tours through the cave are $30 per person and include a wine tasting with light snacks and a souvenir glass. After opening weekend, the winery plans to make the cave available to the general public Monday through Friday, with wine club members having the cave to themselves on weekends.

The wine industry is booming in Temecula with dozens of unique wineries of all sizes. Most of them are conveniently located along a few major thoroughfares that stretch several miles eastward from Temecula's more densely populated areas.

Several big-time wineries that have built tasting rooms, restaurants and other tourist-friendly facilities right alongside their wine-making operations. The valley hasn't caught up with Napa and its 300-plus wineries, but Temecula still weighs in with an abundance of scenery—vineyards are everywhere you look—and a variety of wineries that gives you a feel for both the big and small, the more corporate as well as the more down-home family operations.

For more information on Temecula Valley wineries and accommodations, contact the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association at 1-800-801-WINE or visit www.temeculawines.org.
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