Thornton Winery – Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country




Are you a wine enthusiast seeking an unforgettable experience in Southern California’s wine country? Look no further than Thornton Winery, the gateway to Temecula Valley. This premier winery, owned by John M. and Steve Thornton, offers award-winning wines, gourmet cuisine, live music, and stunning grounds for weddings and banquets. With a focus on producing exciting and distinct varietals, Thornton Winery has become renowned for their sparkling wines and unique Mediterranean-style blends. The elegant French-style chateau, surrounded by picturesque vineyards, provides the perfect backdrop for a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a wine tasting, savor a gourmet meal at Café Champagne, or attend one of their famous Champagne Jazz events, Thornton Winery promises an exceptional and memorable visit.


Thornton Winery Overview

Welcome to Thornton Winery, the gateway to Southern California’s Temecula Valley Wine Country! Here at Thornton Winery, we strive to create a premier winery experience that caters to the needs of wine enthusiasts like you. With our award-winning wines, gourmet cuisine, live music, and stunning wedding and banquet facilities, we aim to provide a memorable and enjoyable visit for everyone.

History and Philosophy

Established in 1981 by owners John M. and Steve Thornton, Thornton Winery has a rich history in the wine industry. Our tradition began in 1988 when we introduced the Methode Champenoise process to create seven complex and interesting sparkling wine varietals. Over the years, we have garnered more medals than any other sparkling winery in major competitions across the United States.

In 1993, we expanded our offerings to include premium varietal wines. These unique wines emulate classic styles from the Mediterranean and Rhone regions, and have won numerous awards, including a recent Double Gold award for our 2000 Cote Red from the International Eastern Wine Competition. Our philosophy is centered around producing wines that are exciting, bursting with flavor, and showcasing the distinct characteristics of each varietal.

Location and Amenities

Situated on 20 acres, Thornton Winery boasts an old-world charm and grace that is truly enchanting. Our elegant French-style chateau overlooks the picturesque vineyards of the Temecula Valley, creating a stunning backdrop for your visit. Our amenities include Cafe Champagne, where you can enjoy a delicious meal paired with our wines, and the Champagne Lounge, where you can relax and unwind in a cozy setting. Be sure to explore our breathtaking fountain terrace and herb gardens, where you can take in the beauty of our surroundings. And don’t forget to visit our gift shop, where you can find unique gifts and souvenirs to remember your experience at Thornton Winery.

Thornton Winery Varietals

At Thornton Winery, we offer a wide range of varietals to suit every palate. Whether you prefer sparkling wines or premium varietals, we have something for everyone.

Sparkling Wines

Our sparkling wines are the pride of Thornton Winery. Utilizing the Methode Champenoise process, we create seven complex and interesting sparkling wine varietals. These wines are crafted with precision and care to ensure the highest quality and the most delightful flavors. From crisp and refreshing Brut to rich and opulent Blanc de Noirs, our sparkling wines are sure to impress even the most discerning wine connoisseur.

Premium Varietal Wines

In addition to our sparkling wines, we also offer a selection of premium varietal wines. These wines emulate classic styles from the Mediterranean and Rhone regions, and have won numerous awards for their exceptional quality. From bold and robust reds like Syrah to elegant and vibrant whites like Sangiovese, our premium varietal wines showcase the unique characteristics of each grape variety.

Thornton Winery - Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country

Winemaker Tom Stolzer

Behind every exceptional wine is a talented winemaker, and at Thornton Winery, that person is Tom Stolzer. With a passion for winemaking and a commitment to quality, Tom Stolzer brings his expertise and creativity to every bottle of wine he produces.

Winemaking Philosophy

Tom Stolzer’s winemaking philosophy is centered around creating wines that are exciting, bursting with flavor, and showcasing the distinct characteristics of each varietal. He achieves this by using whole cluster pressing, extensive blending, barrel aging, and different vinification techniques. By producing each varietal in a unique manner or style, Tom ensures that every wine from Thornton Winery is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Distinct Varietal Expression

One of the hallmarks of Tom Stolzer’s winemaking approach is his commitment to achieving distinct varietal expression. Each wine produced at Thornton Winery is crafted to highlight the signature notes and aromas of the grape variety it is made from. Whether it’s the bold and spicy flavors of our Syrah or the bright and fruity notes of our Sangiovese, you can taste the true essence of each varietal in every sip.

Thornton Winery Grounds

When you visit Thornton Winery, you’ll be greeted by the stunning beauty of our grounds. From the elegant chateau design to the charming Cafe Champagne and Champagne Lounge, every detail has been carefully curated to provide an exceptional experience for our guests.

Chateau Design

Our winery is designed in the style of a French chateau, exuding timeless elegance and sophistication. The architecture and landscaping blend seamlessly with the surrounding vineyards, creating a picturesque setting that is perfect for weddings, events, or simply enjoying a glass of wine in a beautiful environment.

Cafe Champagne and Champagne Lounge

At Cafe Champagne, you can indulge in a delicious meal paired with our exquisite wines. Our menu features a variety of gourmet dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a memorable dining experience. After your meal, head over to the Champagne Lounge, where you can relax and unwind with a glass of our sparkling wine. The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff will make you feel right at home.

Fountain Terrace and Herb Gardens

For those who appreciate natural beauty, our fountain terrace and herb gardens are a must-see. The fountain terrace offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and serves as a gathering place for guests to relax and take in the scenery. Our herb gardens are meticulously maintained and provide a wonderful sensory experience. Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the fragrant aromas of fresh herbs.

Thornton Winery - Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country

Thornton Winery Events

There’s always something exciting happening at Thornton Winery. From our popular Champagne Jazz Series to a variety of other events, we offer a range of experiences for wine lovers and music enthusiasts alike.

Champagne Jazz Series

Our Champagne Jazz Series is a highlight of the year, featuring world-renowned jazz musicians in an intimate setting. Sip on our award-winning wines while enjoying live music under the stars. This series has become a beloved tradition for locals and visitors alike and is not to be missed.

Other Events

In addition to our Champagne Jazz Series, we also host a variety of other events throughout the year. From wine pairing dinners to holiday celebrations, there’s always something happening at Thornton Winery. Be sure to check our event calendar regularly to stay up to date on all the latest happenings.

Thornton Winery Contact Information

We would love to hear from you! If you have any questions or inquiries, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Address and Phone Number

  • Tasting Room: 32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591
  • Mailing Address: P.O. Box 9008, Temecula, CA 92589-9008
  • Phone: 951.699.0099

Ownership Information

  • Owned By: John M. and Steve Thornton

Thornton Winery - Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country

Thornton Winery Hours

Plan your visit to Thornton Winery with our convenient hours of operation.

Tasting Room & Gift Shop Hours

  • Daily: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Cafe Champagne Hours

  • Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Winery Hours

  • Please note that our winery hours may vary on days with live music. Wine tours are currently not available.

Thornton Winery Limo/Bus Policy

If you’re planning to visit Thornton Winery with a large group, we have a limo/bus policy in place to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

Limo/Bus Reservation

We recommend making a reservation if you will be arriving in a limo or bus. This will help us accommodate your group and provide the best possible service. Please contact events@thorntonwine.com for reservations.

Large Party Reservation

For large parties, we also recommend making a reservation in advance to ensure that we can accommodate your group. Please contact events@thorntonwine.com to make a reservation for your large party.

Thornton Winery - Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country

Thornton Winery Current Production

At Thornton Winery, we are proud to produce a wide range of wines to suit every taste. Here’s a glimpse into our current production.

Annual Production

We produce approximately 15,000 cases of wine annually. Each bottle is carefully crafted with passion and expertise to deliver the highest quality and exceptional flavors.

Food Services

Our food services are available to enhance your visit to Thornton Winery. Whether you’re looking for a gourmet meal at Cafe Champagne or a light snack from our gift shop, we have options to satisfy every craving. Our menu features dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a fresh and delicious dining experience.

Thornton Winery Association and Membership

Become a part of the Thornton Winery community and enjoy the benefits of our association and membership programs.

TVWA Membership

Thornton Winery is a proud member of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA). By joining TVWA, you can gain access to exclusive events, discounts, and special offers from wineries throughout the Temecula Valley. Connect with fellow wine enthusiasts and immerse yourself in the vibrant wine culture of the region.

Trade Partners

We value our relationships with trade partners and are always looking to expand our network. If you’re interested in partnering with Thornton Winery, please reach out to us for more information.

Winery Jobs

Are you passionate about wine and looking for a career in the industry? Thornton Winery offers a range of job opportunities in various departments, including hospitality, winemaking, and administration. Visit our website or contact us for more information about current job openings.

Thank you for choosing Thornton Winery as your destination for a premier winery experience. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing our exceptional wines with you. Cheers!

Thornton Winery - Gateway to Temecula Valley Wine Country

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