So you say you want to experience Ponte but you’ve only got a day? No, no, don’t get overwhelmed…although we now have three eateries, we’re happy to say that your wish is possible. The key? Get an early start. It’s worth it: just wait until you drive down Rancho California Road in the early morning hours. The views of the vineyards are stunning. Pull into Ponte Vineyard Inn and head over to Bouquet for breakfast. Hmm, will it be pork belly confit with poached eggs and grilled asparagus? Perhaps a garden omelet, stuffed with spinach, wild mushrooms and feta cheese? Or maybe you’re in the mood for something sweet, like crepes and berries?
If healthy is your choice, you could go with Irish steel cut oatmeal with local honey and a glass of fresh carrot juice. Whatever your choice, you’re off to a great start.
By the time you finish you’ll probably want to let your food settle, so wander the grounds of the hotel and Ponte Winery at will (we hope you brought your camera). Got some good shots? Be sure to share them with us on Facebook, or tag us on Instagram (#ponte_family_estate)…we’d love to see!
Okay, all that walking has made you thirsty so it’s time to head in to Ponte’s Tasting Room to do some wine tasting. Are you a red, white or sweet fan? Not sure? We have some of each so sip away and pick up a bottle or two of your favorites. Walk around the enormous Marketplace and check some things off your shopping list. With cookbooks, home décor, candles, lotions, gourmet foods, wine tools, even clothes, we’re sure you’ll find something that you will love.
My, how time flies, it’s already time for lunch! Step outside for a light bite (remember, you’ve still got another place to eat at!) at the award-winning The Restaurant at Ponte. To re-charge your battery, try any one of Chef Guiliano’s starters or salads. The charcuterie board and cheese plate are both dynamite with a glass of Ponte wine, as is the wine country salad.
At this point, it might just be time for one of Ponte’s winery tours to begin (you can check the times here). You are in for a treat! Join a friendly Ponte tour guide and see the vast grounds, including the wine tank yard and the Barrel Room (where you’ll taste wines right from the aging vessels), the Vineyard Pavilion and sample grapes right off the vines. Once it’s over, meander on over to two nearby wineries: Wiens Family Cellars and/or Southcoast Winery. Even if you’re done tasting for the day, it’s a pleasant walk.
By now, the day is winding down. The sun may even be setting but you’re not finished yet! You absolutely cannot leave Ponte without experiencing The Cellar Lounge.
Located underground at Ponte Vineyard Inn, this is Temecula Valley’s only full cocktail bar. With seasonal, handcrafted cocktails and a stellar if not smaller menu, it’s the perfect ending to a great day. Put down your shopping bags and wine bottles, sit at the bar or a plush booth and relax over an Anjou: fresh muddled lime and basil with Grey Goose pear vodka and St. Germain elderflower liquer. Or sip a Santiago: Chilean pisco with orange liqueur, fresh lime juice, hibiscus floral infusion and a splash of Ponte Moscato. Of course, you could also enjoy an icy microbrew or glass of local wine. Enjoy a dinner of a variety of bites the Cellar Lounge serves up, like Kobe Beef Sliders, Tempura Shrimp, or Mediterranean Nachos, among others.
Ta-da! You’ve done it! Three restaurants, wine and even cocktails at Ponte Winery. Granted, you didn’t experience dinner at Bouquet (and what an experience it is!), but this is just an excuse to return soon. Of course, if you can stay overnight with us, all the better. Aside from being able to experience Ponte Vineyard Inn’s seriously delicious breakfast basket over coffee on your patio or balcony, you will absolutely adore this charming boutique hotel and all the amenities that come with it.
We hope you are able to take advantage of an all-day experience in the country at Ponte. Bring your mom, your dear one, your best friends, your co-workers, whoever, just be sure they love food and wine and a great time.
–What is your absolute favorite thing about visiting Ponte?