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Unexpected Wine Find! Temecula Winery Review

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By Carol A. Wilcox     Photos by Paul Wilcox

Chapin-Family-VineyardsQuite by accident we happened upon Chapin Family Vineyards. Located on Summitville Street in Temecula, California, Chapin is located at the far end of Rancho California Road. The tasting room was busy on the day of our visit, but owner Steve Chapin made room for us at the tasting counter and welcomed us with a big smile. That’s what struck us about Chapin; his smile. He seemed to be enjoying the hectic atmosphere and never stopped smiling! His enthusiasm created an energy that seemed to permeate the entire tasting room. 

We sampled a few wines and then settled on a couple of glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy on Chapin’s outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard. The color in the glass was deep red and the sunlight playing on the glass gave the wine a deep, warm glow. The aroma had notes of dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. The taste was dark berry and the finish was long and smooth. 

Steve Chapin started out by growing grapes for other wineries, eventually deciding to produce wines under his own label at his own vineyard in 2006. Today the winery produces about fifteen types of wine, all 100% estate grown. For Chapin, it’s all about the wine; from vineyard to barrel, the entire process is supervised ensuring that wines produced are quality-driven. 

While sipping our wine, Steve offered us a barrel tasting of the Summit II Merlot blend and we were more than happy to comply! In the glass the wine had a deep garnet color. We allowed the wine to open a bit. The aroma had notes of cherry and earth. Tasting the wine, it had a dark cherry and pepper taste with a slight sparkle at the finish. We felt that this wine, given a little more time in the barrel, will prove to be a favorite.

We were delighted to come across this unexpected wine find! 

36084 Summitville St.
Temecula, CA 92592
Note: This article was originally published in Southwest Wine Guide in June, 2014. The article was updated in 2018 by the author.

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