Love. Wine. Golf.
Love is in the air when golf and wine combine with your Valentine any day of the year. While wineries are proliferating the landscape across the country, there is still something about the authenticity of California regions. One of our favorites there might surprise you since it is located between Palm Springs and San Diego on I15. Temecula is the Napa Valley of Southern California. Temecula Creek Inn is a most relaxing place to stay, play and savor the elixirs and love. Every room has a balcony with a golf course view spanning tee boxes and finishing greens with waterfalls in front and snow capped mountains on the horizon. The furnished robes are the very softest for lounging on the balcony morning and night. Three very versatile nines await play during the day.
The Pechanga Resort and Casino provides a wilder experience, especially on the Journey. This golf course, set upon the ancient grounds of the Pechanga Tribe of Luiseno Indians is well named. Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest designed an exhilarating ride through the rugged terrain of canyons and ravines. Pechanga means “a place where water drips.” This might pertain to the many water features or perhaps the sweat dripping from your forehead as you tee up on number 6 where the fairway far below looks impossible to reach. On the way up, the cart screen posts a message from the clubhouse “enjoy the view as you climb 300 feet.” Don’t let the nuances on the greens become a nuisance and you chance a good score. After an adventurous round you might get lucky in the Pechanga Casino, one of the largest game rooms in the world. If not, try the couples’ massage in the spa, which includes champagne and chocolate covered strawberries for a happy ending.
Almost 40 wineries span the rolling hills of Temecula. We found our favorite red at Leonesse Cellars along with a broad sweeping view that blew us away. Blue sky framed a castle in the distance like a Tuscan painting. Wilson Creek specializes in almond champagne that is light and refreshing. Their Creekside Grill dining al fresco or in the barrel room pleases the eye as well as the palette. At Thornton’s winery we learned the definition of winos – “women in need of sanity.” Que syrah, syrah, the petite syrah is smooth while the tempranillo tames the beast. Golf and wine make the perfect marriage.
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