Perched high above the De Portola trail, Gershon Bachus Vintners boasts 360 degree views of the Temecula Valley. Owners Ken and Christina could have easily used the property to build a massive wine tasting venue, but instead opted for a luxurious Tuscan estate in which to share intimate tastings with friends and guests.
“We love to sit and share our wine with guests, to educate them on the area, the winemaking process and what they might be tasting as they sample,” said Christina. “We know we would lose that opportunity if we had hundreds of people in our tasting room at one time.”
In keeping with their goals of slow growth and an intimate tasting experience, Gershon Bachus keeps a fairly low profile.
“We have been open almost 300 days, but it has taken us five years to hit that milestone,” Christina laughed. “The more intimate style makes it quite interesting and lovely for us as well as our visitors.”
Fans and friends have learned to call ahead or check the Gershon Bachus Facebook page to see if they are open.
“Gershon Bachus is a ‘must stop’ on the De Portola Trail,” said regular guest and local businessman, Trasier Schuyler. “It is an upscale wine tasting experience — you sit and enjoy exceptional wines while spending time with the owners.”
“Try the Grenache,” he went on to say. “It is one of the best in the valley.”
Ah yes, the Grenache. As with each of the 12 wines Gerchon Bachus currently has in rotation, it has a story.
“The Grenache was meant to be a blending wine,” said Christina. “However, when we tasted it, we knew it had to stand alone. It shone so brightly, we named it Hesperus for the god of the Evening Star.”
It seems Ken and Christina are quite the romantic storytellers, as each of their wines is named for a god or goddess, a theme which carries great significance for them.
Gershon Bachus was Ken’s grandfather, a passionate self-taught winemaker who never realized his dream of owning a vineyard. By carrying on the traditions of the old country — family, friends and food (and wine) — Ken and Christina honor his memory and capture the essence of his dreams.
“Bachus is also the god of wine,” said Christina. “The gods and goddesses theme was a natural choice and we love that it adds a layer of romance to all we do.”
Although the stories of gods and goddesses enhance the wine experience, Ken and Christina believe that their wine has its own story to tell.
“We serve our wine — even reds — from chilled carafes to maintain the integrity of the flavor profile,” said Christina. “It starts out cool, but as it aerates and warms, the aromas and flavors open up. If you start with warm wine, you have nowhere to go from there.”
Gershon Bachus Vintners wines, along with samples from the nine others on the Trail, will be offered at a first ever “Off the Trail” De Portola wineries event on Oct. 20 at Vail Lake.
“We are excited to be hosting a De Portola Wine Trail event away from wine country,” said Christina. “We will have a paella cooking competition and paired wines from each winery. It will be an excellent opportunity for the community to come and enjoy all the trail has to offer.”
Gershon Bachus Vintners is located at 37750 De Portola Drive in Temecula.
To learn more, visit www.gershonbachus.com.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.