Mount

PALOMAR

Mount Palomar Winery, located in the Temecula Valley wine appellation, is a fine wine estate dedicated to making wines of distinctive taste and high quality. Scroll right

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History

Located among rolling hills and mesa lands at 1400 feet elevation, Mount Palomar is a working wine estate with 17 acres of producing vineyards overlooked by the Palomar Mountain range. John H. Poole started Mount Palomar’s vineyards in…

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Vineyards

Vineyards do more than provide grapes. Soils, climate and vineyard practices are reflected in the flavors and quality of the wine they produce. Our decades of years experience in the Temecula Valley assures excellent vineyard care in harmony with our surroundings. In our dry climate, proper irrigation control is …

3

Winemaker

Mount Palomar’s winemaker James Rutherford is a Northern California transplant who received his degree from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. He gained most of his experience on the Central Coast in both the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo wine regions working at various levels in…

History

01

Located among rolling hills and mesa lands at 1400 feet elevation, Mount Palomar is a working wine estate with 55 acres of producing vineyards overlooked by the Palomar Mountain range.

RIGHT

John Poole is Mount Palomar’s
original winemaker.

BOTTOM

John Poole is Mount Palomar’s
original winemaker.

TEMECULA

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96

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John H. Poole started Mount Palomar’s vineyards in 1969, pioneering the new wine region and growing the finest grapes possible. Formerly a radio electronics engineer and station owner, he wanted to establish a new agricultural business and enjoy the relaxed pace that accompanied it. Pioneering the new Temecula region was natural for him. He helped pioneer early military radar use during WWII, established California’s only offshore radio station (KBIG-AM on Santa Catalina Island), established one of the nation’s first UHF television stations (now Channel 22 in Los Angeles), and created Los Angeles’ first commercially successful FM radio station.

The barrel rooms at Mount Palomar.

John established the original Mount Palomar vineyards, and was our first winemaker in 1975. He created a place where people could immerse themselves in the world of fine wine in a pleasant and relaxed Wine Country atmosphere. Joe Cherpin was one of the first winemakers at Mount Palomar Winery, making him one of the pioneers in this historic wine region.

LEFT
The barrel rooms at Mount Palomar.

1975

ABOVE
The Mount Palomar Courtyard.

Mediterranean

Grapes

John Poole’s son, Peter Poole, took over the operation of the Winery in 1985, making it the first winery in the Temecula Valley under second-generation leadership. Peter introduced a number of “firsts” in the Temecula Valley, most significantly beginning the trend to Mediterranean grape varieties, which is so significant today. He and Winemaker Etienne Cowper combined creative forces to create top quality, Temecula Valley wines.

1985

John Poole’s son, Peter Poole, took over the operation of the Winery in 1985, making it the first winery in the Temecula Valley under second-generation leadership. Peter introduced a number of “firsts” in the Temecula Valley, most significantly beginning the trend to Mediterranean grape varieties, which is so significant today. He and Winemaker Etienne Cowper combined creative forces to create top quality, Temecula Valley wines.

Vineyards

FFor years, Mount Palomar Winery was the leading vineyard experimenter in the Temecula Valley. We have grown more grape varieties for wine than most wineries ever will. We also pioneered vineyard trellising methods, leaf canopy management, and crop thinning techniques for the Valley. We believed this work was necessary in establishing a new wine region, and we gained invaluable insights in the process.

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Vineryards and Mountains
in the background.

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FULL

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Vineryards and Mountains
in the background.

RIPE

FLAVORS

Vineyards do more than provide grapes. Soils, climate and vineyard practices are reflected in the flavors and quality of the wine they produce. Our decades of years experience in the Temecula Valley assures excellent vineyard care in harmony with our surroundings. In our dry climate, proper irrigation control is a major influence in moderating the grapevine micro-climate and producing high quality wine. Mount Palomar employs “regulated deficit irrigation” monitored by modern instruments and our own visual judgment of the vines. In addition, all our vines are mulched with organic materials. These practices conserve water use, and create a healthy leaf canopy and grapes with full, ripe flavors. 

The size of the grape crop is another major factor in determining quality. In addition to initially training the vines for a moderate crop level, red wine varieties are “color thinned” at veraison or color change, removing any grape bunches with low color and leaving only the best to ripen. Finally, hand harvest takes place when the grape flavors indicate full ripeness and the disappearance of immature characteristics. We are creating wines in the vineyard with rich, pleasing flavors and smooth, mouth-filling textures.

Open courtyard for events & weddings

Wine barrels at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula. Recognitions our wines have earned include four Best of Show awards at major wine competitions and numerous Best of Class and Gold Medal distinctions. A Mount Palomar wine has been named “Best Wine of the Southern California Region” by the California State Fair five separate times. Mount Palomar has also been recognized for sustainable environmental practices in viticulture.

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Open courtyard for events & weddings

Our vineyards are located in the Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA)*. This wine region covers 33,000 acres in California’s South Coast region, north of San Diego County. The entire region is above 1000 feet elevation and receives cooling Pacific Ocean influences. The ocean breezes, elevation, and higher surrounding mountains combine to produce cooler temperatures in the Temecula Valley AVA than in the adjacent areas. The soils are mostly granitic sandy loam and are of low fertility and water holding capacity – perfect for limiting excessive vine vigor and producing well balanced and varietally true wines.

The Western reach of the AVA has the strongest marine influence on temperature, and is usually a UC, Davis Region II (moderately cool). The central part of the AVA, where Mount Palomar Winery is located, is generally a Region III (moderately warm), yet receives regular winter frost and cooling breezes. Elevations here are above 1400 feet. Most winegrape varieties do well in this area.


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Our vineyards are located in the Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA)*. This wine region covers 33,000 acres in California’s South Coast region, north of San Diego County. The entire region is above 1000 feet elevation and receives cooling Pacific Ocean influences. The ocean breezes, elevation, and higher surrounding mountains combine to produce cooler temperatures in the Temecula Valley AVA than in the adjacent areas. The soils are mostly granitic sandy loam and are of low fertility and water holding capacity – perfect for limiting excessive vine vigor and producing well balanced and varietally true wines.

The Western reach of the AVA has the strongest marine influence on temperature, and is usually a UC, Davis Region II (moderately cool). The central part of the AVA, where Mount Palomar Winery is located, is generally a Region III (moderately warm), yet receives regular winter frost and cooling breezes. Elevations here are above 1400 feet. Most winegrape varieties do well in this area.


BEST WINE

Winemaker

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Mount Palomar’s winemaker James Rutherford is a Northern California
transplant who received his degree from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo. He gained most of his experience on the Central Coast in both the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo wine regions working at various levels in production and apprenticeship, as well as in the winemaker position. He is experienced in the cultivation and vinting the varietals native to France, Spain, Italy and Germany; many of which are planted at Mount Palomar Winery. 

JAMES

“My family pioneered California, and though I have lived overseas and have had opportunities away from home, I feel my place is here.”

My family once owned the greater part of Napa Valley, being the first family to settle and the first to produce wine in Napa while California was still part of Mexico. Hence both Yountville and Rutherford, CA are named after the family. The Temecula wine region is not exactly new and offers it’s own sophistication and style that differs from the larger wine areas to the north, however I feel it still welcomes the pioneering spirit and is flexible to creativity. Mount Palomar’s estate vineyards with some 25 varietals provides an amazingly broad palate from which to work. With 20 wines on the tasting room bar at any given time, wine-making at Mount Palomar is a true test of one viticultural, oenological, and cultural knowledge. It is a joy to work with so many cultivars, however, there is no time to play favorites as one must always remain focused and ready to work with the characters and quirks of each varietal.”

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Air balloons seen over Temecula vineyards.

Air balloons seen over Temecula vineyards.

My family once owned the greater part of Napa Valley, being the first family to settle and the first to produce wine in Napa while California was still part of Mexico. Hence both Yountville and Rutherford, CA are named after the family. The Temecula wine region is not exactly new and offers it’s own sophistication and style that differs from the larger wine areas to the north, however I feel it still welcomes the pioneering spirit and is flexible to creativity. Mount Palomar’s estate vineyards with some 25 varietals provides an amazingly broad palate from which to work. With 20 wines on the tasting room bar at any given time, wine-making at Mount Palomar is a true test of one viticultural, oenological, and cultural knowledge. It is a joy to work with so many cultivars, however, there is no time to play favorites as one must always remain focused and ready to work with the characters and quirks of each varietal.”

With Mount Palomar Winery’s long-standing reputation on the line, James was carefully chosen to maintain quality and direct production during the winery’s critical stage of growth. He shares the family’s vision and sees the opportunity and potential. His first full vintage at Mount Palomar began with the 2013 harvest. “George Yount probably only had Mission Grapes to plant the first vineyards of Napa. He would have been envious!”

2022-

ABOVE
Mount Palomar is a great place to escape it all.