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History of Temecula Valley Wine Country

History of Temecula Valley Wine Country By Posted on 10th June 2023
History of Temecula Valley Wine Country

Temecula Valley is nowadays one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southern California. This region’s charm is the result of top-quality wines, a picturesque landscape, and unique wine tours that lure tourists worldwide.

However, Temecula wasn’t always the wine authority that we now know. It took 200 years to turn this land into one of California’s must-see places. So, let’s take a quick look at this region’s history and learn more about Temecula’s evolution.

We, at Aall In Limo & Party Bus, take our clients to Temecula regularly. Most of them love to go to:

History of Temecula in a Nutshell

The first inhabitants of the territory currently known as Temecula Valley were Native American tribes. At the beginning of the 18th century:

  • The first white men started to settle in the area. They were missionaries who aimed to Christianize the local Indian population
  • The first Temecula rancho was also established

In 1831, the first group of American trappers arrived here. Back then, California was controlled by Mexico, but this state’s dominance was threatened by the incursions of the American Yankees. Therefore, the Government decided to grant Temecula Rancho to Felix Valdez in 1845. This marked the beginning of a period dominated by rancheros. Temecula Valley became a well-known stop on the logistical route of choice in California’s 1850s.

The route was so popular that a post office was set up in town, a rare institution in California at that time. Nonetheless, due to this region’s isolated position, the cultural influences of Spanish, Mexicans, and Native Americans were preserved.

By 1860, Temecula Valley Had Been the Subject of Massive Migration

This was also the time when Temecula Valley witnessed the great Mormon March, the most impressive military march in US history. 

In 1882, significant events in the history of the Temecula Valley took place:

  • The remaining Native Americans were displaced in the Pechanga Indian Reservation, a 4000 acres’ area situated few miles away from Temecula
  • The first railroad line in the region was extended

This marked a new wave of local economic development. Unfortunately, the railroad was destroyed by frequent floods in the late 1880s, bringing back the Valley to its initial state of isolation. In 1890, the territory saw a great revival period brought by the development of granite stone quarries. By the end of the century, Temecula had been gaining a reputation for its flourishing economy based on grain and cattle.

The year 1904 marked the arrival of Walter L. Vail, a grand rancher who would play a decisive role in the later development of Temecula Valley. By 1947, the Vail family:

  • Possessed almost 90,000 acres of land in Temecula
  • Dominated the local economy, which was centered around their ranch

In 1948, they managed to build the dam on the Temecula River that gave birth to Vail Lake.  In 1964, the Vail family sold their ranch to the Kaiser Development Company, which dramatically impacted the entire region. Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo are another couple who saw the opportunity to retire to a sizable estate with a comfortable Mediterranean style:

  • In 1967, they bought 40 acres of property on Long Valley Road, which soon became known as Rancho California Road
  • In 1968, they established the first modern commercial vineyard in Temecula

During the 70’s Temecula became a dream destination for groups of professionals who started to settle here. This naturally led to the development of the real estate market. The Kaiser Land Development Company promoted the region and brought massive investments. Because of the favorable weather conditions, the company also decided to:

  • Grow vineyards
  • Create wineries that would enhance the Valley’s real-estate potential

The Founding of Callaway Winery in 1974 Was the Beginning of Production in Temecula Valley

The winery was sold in 1981 by Callaway to Hiram Walker and Sons.

In 1975 John Poole opened Mount Palomar Winery, and in 1978 the Cilurzos opened another winery at a new site. Their initial vineyard, the oldest one in Temecula, is now owned by Maurice Carrie Winery.

This is how Temecula started to grow into the renowned wine tour destination we now know. In 1984 Temecula was recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). In 1989, the city of Temecula was officially named as such.

The denomination’s origin is traced back to the Luiseño Indians, who used the term "Temecula" to designate a sunny place, illustrating once again the mild climate of the region. The intricate history of Temecula Valley is at least as fascinating as its wine diversity. This region is now a recurrent destination for groups of tourists who want to:

  • explore its wineries
  • enjoy the popular balloon rides
  • book a venue for a special event

Let Aall in Limo & Party Bus Help You Discover Temecula

Aall In Limo & Party Bus will take you to Temecula’s best wineries and will make your experience memorable. Our chauffeurs will drive you to your favorite spots. They are the pros when it comes to Temecula wine tours. Our lovely limos come with:

  • great entertainment systems
  • fantastic equipment
  • complimentary beverages

Contact us at 858.336.1894 and book your limo today!

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