Cougar Vineyard & Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley




Located in Temecula Valley, Cougar Vineyard & Winery is a charming family-owned boutique winery that offers a unique and delightful wine-tasting experience. Owned and operated by Rick and Jennifer Buffington, this winery stands out for its focus on Italian varietals, some of which are rarely found in the United States. From Lambrusca di Alessandria to Primitivo, they offer a wide range of wines that perfectly complement their favorite foods. With picturesque views of the valley, a cozy tasting room, and their own vineyards on-site, Cougar Vineyard & Winery invites you to indulge in their hand-crafted, award-winning wines and enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere.


Owned and operated by Rick and Jennifer Buffington, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has been a beloved establishment in Temecula Valley since 2006. However, the Buffingtons’ winemaking journey started long before that. With a passion for crafting exceptional wines, Rick and Jennifer began their winemaking adventure over 20 years ago. It all began as a home-based hobby in Texas and later Washington, where they lived before settling in Fallbrook, CA.

While living in Bellevue, WA, Rick and Jennifer found inspiration for their winery’s name from Cougar Mountain, the place they called home. Thus, the Cougar label was born. Specializing in 100% Estate grown Italian varietals, Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers a unique selection of wines, including varietals rarely found in the United States, such as Lambrusca di Alessandria, Brachetto, Prosecco, Falanghina, Ciliegiolo, and Negroamaro. In addition to these unique offerings, the winery also cultivates more commonly known varietals like Sangiovese, Aglianico, Primitivo, Montepulciano, Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, and Arneis on their 17-acre property.

Winemaking Process

At Cougar Vineyard & Winery, winemaking is a meticulous process that starts from the ground and ends in the glass. The winery takes pride in growing its own grapes, ensuring the highest quality and control over the final product. The grape growing and harvesting process is carried out with great care and attention to detail, ensuring that only the best grapes are selected for winemaking.

Once the grapes have been harvested, they are immediately brought into the winery for wine production and bottling. Every step of the winemaking process is carefully monitored and executed by Rick and Jennifer themselves. From fermentation to aging, the winemakers ensure that each bottle reflects the utmost dedication and craftsmanship.

To maintain the integrity and quality of their wines, Cougar Vineyard & Winery also provides on-site wine storage. This allows the wines to age gracefully and develop their unique flavors over time.

Cougar Vineyard Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley

Tasting Room and Amenities

The Tasting Room at Cougar Vineyard & Winery provides a delightful experience for wine enthusiasts. As you step into the room, you’ll be greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere, reflecting the friendly nature of the winery. The Tasting Room offers an overview of the winery’s history and winemaking process, allowing visitors to deepen their appreciation for the wines they are about to taste.

But it’s not just the wines that make the Tasting Room special. The room boasts picturesque views of the Valley, offering a serene and tranquil environment to enjoy your wine tasting experience. As you savor the flavors, you can also take in the beauty of the surrounding olive trees and grape vines.

For those who prefer a more relaxed setting, Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers a charming picnic area. Surrounded by olive trees and grape vines, this area allows visitors to enjoy their wines in a peaceful outdoor setting. It’s the perfect spot to unwind, connect with nature, and create lasting memories with friends and family.

And of course, the main attraction at the Tasting Room is the hand-crafted, award-winning wines themselves. Rick and Jennifer have dedicated their expertise and passion to create wines that consistently deliver on flavor and quality. Whether you’re a fan of white, red, or sparkling wines, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has a variety of options to satisfy every palate.


Cougar Vineyard & Winery knows how to celebrate and create memorable experiences for its visitors. One of their highlight events is the Lei-bor Day BBQ, held annually to commemorate Labor Day. This event combines delicious BBQ food with live music and, of course, the opportunity to taste and enjoy Cougar’s exceptional wines. It’s a chance for the community to come together, relax, and have a great time in the beautiful surroundings of the winery.

In addition to their Labor Day event, Cougar Vineyard & Winery hosts various other events throughout the year. These events range from wine release parties to themed celebrations, providing a diverse array of experiences for their loyal customers and wine enthusiasts alike.

Cougar Vineyard Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley

Location and Contact Information

Located at 39870 De Portola Road in Temecula, Cougar Vineyard & Winery is easily accessible for visitors. If you have any questions or need further information, you can reach them at 951.491.0825. The winery is owned by Rick and Jennifer Buffington, who have been instrumental in establishing the winery as a leading destination in the region.

To give you an idea of the winery’s production capabilities, Cougar Vineyard & Winery currently produces 7,500 cases of wine annually. This speaks to the commitment and dedication of the winemakers to consistently deliver exceptional wines.

When it comes to satisfying your taste buds, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has you covered. Sangio’s Deli, located on-site, offers delightful food services to complement your wine tastings. Open daily from 11am to 6pm, Sangio’s Deli provides a variety of delicious options to enhance your wine tasting experience.

For visitors planning on arriving in a limo or bus, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has a registered Responsible Partner Program (RPP) policy in place. This means that only RPP-registered vehicles are allowed on the premises. Advance reservations are required for groups of 7 or more, to make sure they’re available.

The winery’s operating hours are from 11am to 6pm daily, offering ample time to explore, enjoy, and indulge in the delights that Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers.

SIP Passport Promotion

As a way to show appreciation and give back to its customers, Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers a SIP Passport Promotion. With this promotion, you can enjoy exclusive discounts on wine purchases, allowing you to stock up on your favorite bottles at a reduced price. In addition, on the day of the SIP tasting, you can also enjoy a 10% discount at Sangio’s Deli, making your visit even more delightful.

Cougar Vineyard Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley

Guided Tours

For those looking to truly immerse themselves in the world of winemaking, Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers guided tours. These tours provide a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about the intricate process of crafting exceptional wines. Led by knowledgeable guides, the tours offer insights into grape cultivation, wine production, and the art of wine tasting. It’s a fantastic way to deepen your appreciation for the winemaking process and gain a newfound understanding of the wines you enjoy.

Wedding & Event Spaces

Whether you’re dreaming of a picturesque vineyard wedding or planning a special event, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has beautiful spaces to make your vision come to life. The winery offers several event spaces that can be customized to fit your needs and create unforgettable memories. From intimate ceremonies to grand celebrations, the team at Cougar Vineyard & Winery is dedicated to making your special day truly extraordinary.

Cougar Vineyard Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley

Visitor Amenities

At Cougar Vineyard & Winery, every visitor, including furry friends, is welcome. The winery is known for its dog-friendly environment, allowing you to bring your four-legged companions along for the wine-tasting experience. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy the company of your pets and create lasting memories together.

Families with children are also invited to experience the warm and inviting atmosphere of Cougar Vineyard & Winery. The winery prides itself on providing a family and kid-friendly environment, ensuring everyone can enjoy their visit to the fullest.

To enhance the ambiance and create a vibrant atmosphere, Cougar Vineyard & Winery often hosts live music events. These performances add an extra layer of vibrancy and entertainment to your wine-tasting experience, creating a truly immersive and enjoyable visit.

If you find yourself needing some refreshment, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has a restaurant on-site. Offering delicious food options, the restaurant perfectly complements the wines and provides a convenient option for a bite to eat during your visit.

Lastly, remember to check out the Cougar Vineyard & Winery gift shop. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to remember your visit or a thoughtful gift for a wine lover, the gift shop offers a variety of unique and wine-related items. It’s the perfect place to find something special to commemorate your experience at Cougar Vineyard & Winery.


Cougar Vineyard & Winery takes immense pride in its diverse selection of varietals. From white to red, still to sparkling, the winery offers a range of flavors to suit every wine lover’s palate.

Some of the notable varietals available at Cougar Vineyard & Winery include Arneis, Montepulciano, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Vermentino, White Blend, Red Blend, and Sparkling wines. Each varietal showcases the distinct characteristics and craftsmanship that make Cougar Vineyard & Winery truly exceptional.

So, whether you’re a fan of crisp and refreshing whites, full-bodied reds, or the effervescence of sparkling wines, Cougar Vineyard & Winery has something to satisfy your wine cravings.

In summary, Cougar Vineyard & Winery is a family-owned and operated boutique winery that prides itself on its dedication to crafting exceptional Italian varietals. From growing and harvesting their own grapes to meticulously making, bottling, and storing their wines on-site, the Buffingtons ensure that every step of the winemaking process receives the utmost care and attention. With a welcoming tasting room, breathtaking views of the Valley, and a range of amenities for visitors to enjoy, Cougar Vineyard & Winery offers a delightful experience for wine enthusiasts of all kinds. So, why not plan a visit to Cougar Vineyard & Winery and discover the magic for yourself?

Cougar Vineyard Winery: A Family-Owned Boutique Winery in Temecula Valley

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