Thornton is one of the first wineries seen when entering Temecula’s Wine Country from Rancho California Road. Dating back to 1988, Thornton attracts a large crowd. They have a tasting room, restaurant, good outdoor and indoor seating options, and a very active jazz concert series. If you’re looking for jazz in Temecula, Thornton Winery is your best bet.
They’re also a solid bet for champagne lovers. They’re proud of their méthode champenoise process, and guests can learn more with one of their quick tours.
If you’re a believer in Yelp reviews, you’ll likely put Thornton at the bottom of your list. Although it’s one of the lowest reviewed wineries in the valley, it’s important to consider why it gets those poor reviews.
A little investigation points to a few areas. First, the concert experience disappoints many guests. High prices with underwhelming service lead to bad memories. The same goes for their restaurant.
However, you’ll also read reviews from those who love Thornton for those same reasons. Like all the other wineries, it’s a matter of subjectivity.
Thornton Winery’s tasting room is open daily from 10:00 am. They do not list a closing time, but around 5:00 pm is a safe bet, give or take.
Their tasting experience is different compared to most wineries in the Temecula Wine Valley. You have the option to sit and order from a menu. There are several flight options, individual tasting options, and the option to order a glass or bottle. The sit-down table service suits those who find the standing tasting rooms tiresome. Additionally, there’s ample space for those who do prefer to stand with their wine.
Thornton Winery is well known for its selection of champagnes. Whether you like reds, whites, or sparkling wines, you’ll find what you’re looking for on their extensive menu.
Guests are welcome to explore the sparkling wine making process on a 20-minute tour. The tour explains the traditional methods used in productions, including full explanations of the process, a walk through the production line, and a tasting to finish things off.
Public Winery Tours are on weekends, and private tours for groups of 15 or more are available by reservations.
For more information, visit their Wine Tour and Tasting Page, or call 951-699-0099 ext 3112.
Cafe Champagne Restaurant
The restaurant at Thornton Winery serves lunch, dinner, and an excellent Sunday Brunch. Their website boasts of winning the Gold Award for Contemporary Cuisine from the Souther California Restaurant Writers Association for 11 consecutive years. However, Yelp reviewers seem to disagree. Some guests give it high marks, but others complain about the high prices and poor quality.
For reservations or for menu information, visit their website or call 951-699-0088
Thornton Winery has two wine clubs. First, their Thornton Winery’s Club de Vin Wine Club is free to join. Members receive two bottles every other month with a 20% discount. Members choose from Red, White, Champagne, or Mixed. Benefits include 10% off concert tickets, 10% off at Cafe Champagne, 10% off gift shop purchases, two complimentary tastings per day, and more.
The second wine club is their Reserve Club. For $549 per year, members receive a personalized mixed case of wine or champagne. Additional benefits include coupons and 15% off for concert tickets, two coupons towards meals at Cafe Champagne, discounts on purchases, and more.
Thornton does offer weddings. Visit their Weddings Page for a brochure or to request more information.
There are no onsite accommodations at Thornton Winery.