There is no better way to experience the beauty of Temecula Wine Country than from a hot air balloon. Recently, Ponte associates were invited to go on a balloon ride with California Dreamin’ Hot Air Balloon Rides. It was one of the most spectacular mornings I have experienced here in Temecula. Starting the day off at 5am, we all arrived at California Dreamin’ ready for an adventure.
I never knew how much it took to prepare for such a seemingly serene experience. We first drove around wine country, stopping at various locations to release small balloons. The expert staff would watch them float upward and gather information about the wind direction and speed to find us the ideal location to take off. Once the location was selected the real work began. Large tarps were unloaded and spread across the field. The balloons, all bundled up, took 3 strapping young men to move into position and unfold. Large fans were placed at the mouth of the balloons and turned on to start blowing them up. As soon as the balloons were inflated enough, the hot air was “fired up” and we were all loaded into the baskets.
Ready for takeoff!
Floating upward, the valley was magnificent as the sun rose over the hills to the east and fog spilled through the valleys to the west. Looking out over the vast wine country and seeing the wineries, vineyards, and houses all spread out was awe inspiring. The expert pilots guided the balloons down over the citrus groves and grape vines; we could even seen jack rabbits hopping about the open land. It was so quiet up in the air that we could actually hear dogs barking up to 1500 feet below us. Overall the experience is one I will remember for the rest of my life, and hope to be able to experience again in the future.
The view from up here
Since the flight starts so early in the morning, I highly recommend you stay the night at our beautiful winery hotel, the Ponte Vineyard Inn the night before. Check out some of our special overnight packages here. Nestled amongst the vines in the sprawling vineyards of Temecula Valley, there is no better way to start your vacation. After your balloon ride you will be centrally located and ready to start a day of wine tasting at Ponte and a few of the other 30+ wineries here in the valley!
–What is your favorite activity to do in wine country?