Event Recap: Temecula Valley Wine Tour 2011

Article by wine tour coordinator and SoCal VSA member Tom Dougherty. Photos by Lelah Baker-Rabe and Dylan Osborn.

This year’s annual Temecula Valley Wine Tour was an exceptional event with a combination of a beautiful Southern California day and dedicated Volvo fans and followers from all over Southern California as well as Arizona. We had an unexpected yet truly appreciated turn out of at least 43 participants and 24 cars of varying vintages and all in really pristine condition.

We started at a point south of Temecula and motored in caravan fashion over scenic country roads through Pala and into Temecula skirting most of the highways. Even though it was St. Valentine’s Day weekend we had minimal traffic throughout the wine valley to deal with.

We cruised our way to the first stop at Leonesse Cellars. We were able to get all of our cars aligned here with at least 20 cars along the back fence.

As soon as time permitted we moved on to the next destination, the Monte D’Oro Winery. Two videos on YouTube show parts of the caravan as they entered this unique winery:

Volvos Entering Monte D’Oro Part 1

Volvos Entering Monte D’Oro Part 2

The wine tasting room featured a see through floor into the storage facilities and private party areas. Once we completed the visit to this winery we continued on the Temecula Valley Wine Trail which is “Rancho California Road” and passed by most of the other wineries which are now estimated to be over 30 in the area.

We headed into Old Town Temecula via early established roads such as “Butterfield Stage Road” and “De Portola Road” which lead us to town. We were able to park conveniently on the open top of the roof of the newly constructed Old Town Garage and had a photo opportunity with our cars. Once most of us got to the Old Town Garage we were treated to a BBQ lunch at reserved tables at the famous “Sweet Lumpy’s BBQ”.

The weather was perfect and we were able to eat outside. There was a large selection of beers on tap to choose from for those who didn’t partake in the wine tasting. We finished up the day at about 3:00 PM. Some folks went on to tour Old Town and other wine tasting rooms and/or the variously themed Western shops.

All in all it was a tremendous event for us. The 2011 wine tour is probably now the most highly attended event for San Diego Volvo Sports America. The SDVSA chapter has been putting on this trip since 1997 when there were perhaps a dozen wineries and today there are over 31 wineries to choose from. We were fortunate enough to have our fellow Volvo enthusiasts from nearby VSA and VCOA chapters drive all the way from Prescott, Phoenix and Tucson, AZ with their unique and beautiful cars and we hope to see them again. We were also glad to see that a number of “regular” local Volvo fans were able to join us again. We were all able to re-establish old contacts and friendships and we added a few new members too. Could we have asked for more oh Odin? Many thanks to everyone.

Check out some of the beautiful Volvos that participated in this year’s wine tour:

A fine lineup of 240 series Volvos at Monte D'Oro Winery. From right to left: SCVSA member Sheldon Roth's '81 242 Turbo, Randy Pace's 242 Turbo, SCVSA member (and SCVCOA president) Dave Barton's 242, new SCVSA member Joe Dudley's '91 244, and Steve and Mary Westwood's 245 "rooty."

Past and present: Bob Brassard's '73 1800ES next to Lelah Baker-Rabe and SCVSA Chapter Coordinator Dylan Osborn's '08 C30 T5.

Jay and Ellen Norton in their 1800E exit the Leonesse winery followed by SCVSA members Ted Brough and Andy Woo in Ted's '67 1800S.

San Diego VSA Chapter Coordinator Jim MacIndoe's 142.

Martin Sholz's immaculate '64 122 wagon.

SCVSA members Munyungo Jackson and Iona in his '62 P1800.

Matt and Barbara Torch's '71 1800E basks in the Temecula sun.

The '73 1800ES of Tom and Barbara Dougherty. Thanks for another successful wine tour Tom! SoCal VSA will see you next February.

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