Classic Cars, A Chocolate Festival And, Of Course, Wine
Here’s a rundown of them, all neatly wrapped up into what is called Springfest.
The Temecula Rod Run is first weekend of March. More than 600 pre-1974 classic cars cruise down Old Town Front Street each year for the classic “Cruise Night” while Saturday’s Car Show allows visitors to take a peek into the workings of these vehicles parked along the streets of Old Town.
That same weekend, March 1 & 2, is Pechanga Resort Casino’s 11th annual Chocolate Decadence & Wine Festival. It pairs wide array of chocolates and other sweets with a variety of wines and live music. The Wine Festival aspect of it features notable and award-winning wines from California (including Napa Valley, Sonoma County, and Temecula) and abroad (including France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand). Several regions around the world will be represented through chocolates, desserts and chocolate sculptures.
In April, the Temecula Valley Bluegrass Festival features bluegrass bands, beers and wines, April 12-14. Camping is available at Tucalota Creek Ranch Cellars.
The inaugural Pechanga Sushi, Sake & Beer Festival isSaturday, April 20, and offers more than 40 premium safes (daiginjo, ginjo, junmai and sparkling) including many award-winning brands and styles from all over Japan will be poured alongside Japanese beers. Tickets include unlimited samples of sake, beer and sushi, and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley.
The next weekend it’s the Taste of Temecula Valley, April 26-27. It starts with a VIP dinner and concert and continues with an festival featuring Southern California restaurants, wineries, breweries and bands. It benefits a charity for local students.
If you’re looking for more that day, the next day the De Portola Wine Trail celebrates its 10th anniversary for the Big Red Fest. This nine-winery wine tasting offers nosh pairings with three red wines from each winery. Visitors can meet the winery owners and taste red wines of the new vintage releases along the 5-mile stretch on the southern part of Temecula Valley Wine Country.
May brings Craft Brew Month, which recognizes the area’s craft brewing scene and numerous breweries. Participating breweries celebrate the month by offering specials and live events.
The first weekend in May welcomes the return of Reality Rally (May 2-4). This three-day charity event, with funds going to to Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center, features live entertainment and “fun for funds” that aim to help the lives of local citizens facing cancer. Visitors can participate in an Amazing Race style (with teams including reality TV stars), a Lip Sync Showdown, and a Celebrity Chef Showcase.
And then it’s the region’s signature event, the 36th annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival (May 31-June 2). As the name implies it features area wineries, as well as craft beers, tons of vendors and a big festival-type stage with name acts. A highlight is the evening balloon glow, in which the hot-air balloons come into the area to light up while tethered to the ground. Balloon rides are available, too, as long as you make reservations well in advance of the event.
Additional concerts, live entertainment, marketplaces, classes, workshops and more things to do during the spring season, as well as event details can be found at VisitTemeculaValley.com.