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History of Temecula Valley Wine Country

By Posted on 18th March 2017 | In Tips
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 the 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 place. 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. By that time, 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 the 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 the US history.  In 1882 another significant moment occurred, as the remaining Native Americans were displaced in the Pechanga Indian Reservation, a 4000 acres’ area situated few miles away from Temecula.

The next milestone event in the history of the Temecula Valley was the extension of the first railroad line in the region, which took place in 1882. This marked a new wave of local economic development. Unfortunately, the railroad was destroyed by frequent floods in the late 1880’s, 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 and they 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 the Vail Lake.  In 1964, the Vail family sold their ranch to the Kaiser Development Company which lead to a dramatic impact on 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 the Long Valley Road, which soon became known as Rancho California Road. They established in 1968 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 and 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 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, or 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, and complimentary beverages. Contact us at 858-336-1894 and book your limo today!

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