Wiens Family Cellars combines standout wines, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and scenic surroundings. As a result, our winery experience was memorable when we visited Temecula earlier this month. As you can see, we brought quite a few bottles home. Moreover, we discovered that Wiens Family Cellars is a true family collaboration. Their mission is: “From vine to glass, our family is dedicated to producing harmoniously balanced and skillfully crafted wine, while fostering a culture rooted in the idea of family, quality, and integrity.” Read on for more about the family, their story and their magnificent array of wines.
Wiens Family Cellars
The Wiens story began in 1996 near Lodi, where Doug Wiens planted a 14-acre vineyard with some of his family. In 2001, he opened Wiens Family Cellars with his brothers. Subsequently, in 2003, the family moved their vineyards, production and tasting room to Temecula. While construction was underway for a new winery, the family sold their wine from a temporary facility.
George, the eldest Wiens brother, designed the new Temecula winery and tasting room, which opened in October, 2006. The winery now consists of 110 acres over multiple vineyards in Sage, La Cresta, and Temecula. Jeff is the general manager and the middle brother of nine brothers and sisters that make up the Wiens family.
Doug is the director of wine-making. Today, his son Joe continues the tradition his father and uncles began, focusing on big reds and crisp whites. The family is still heavily involved, so we weren’t surprised to see several Wiens while we were there.
Wiens Family Cellars Facilities
The winery’s beautiful tasting room features wood beams, mahogany bars with granite tops, polished concrete floors, a marble fireplace, and a large outdoor patio. In addition, Wiens offers a cellar room and a barrel room for seated tastings by appointment.
When we arrived, the engaging tasting room manager, Donna Weisbruch, welcomed us to the lovely patio for the afternoon. Next, she introduced us to Mike Swanson, our knowledgeable, experienced and friendly host. Above all, he poured us small tastes of 13 wines to share, so we could really get a handle on the large and impressive winery portfolio. Mike is a wine blogger and a wine geek, who is also known as thecrush.blog on Instagram.
Wiens Family Cellars Wines
All the wines we tasted were outstanding. But we brought five bottles home – 2021 Rosé of Primitivo (2), 2018 Reserve Barbera (2) and 2017 Reunion. We found the decision difficult because we tasted so many darn good wines. For example, we chose the wines we wanted Mike to pour however, many more options are on their current tasting list. As well, Mike brought out two of our choices at a time; as a result, the photos below show two bottles.
2021 Rosé of Primitivo ($24) and NV Blanc de Blancs ($32)
We liked the Rosé of Primitivo so much, we brought two bottles home. Likewise, we were not surprised to learn that it sold out shortly after. (However, Rosé of Malbec is now available.) Rosé of Primitivo is fresh, light and full of aromas and flavors of watermelon and strawberries. Meanwhile, Blanc de Blancs is a refreshing, crisp sparkler with soft bubbles, lemon zest and shortbread on the palate.
NV Brut Rosé ($34), 2018 Barbera ($43) and 2018 Reserve Barbera ($59)
Mike also poured Brut Rosé, pretty bubbles made with 97% French Colombard and 3% Syrah. What a fun sparkling wine. This bottle would be perfect with brunch or with dessert after dinner. Think strawberries and cream. And then we moved to reds, starting with 2018 Barbera. What a delightful wine. We enjoyed it so much that Mike opened the 2018 Reserve Barbera for us too. Consequently, we bought two bottles of the Reserve, with dark fruit and hints of smoke. Both Barberas pair well with tomato-based, garlic-heavy dishes such as Bolognese, lasagne and spaghetti.
2018 Montepulciano ($32) and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon ($44)
Wiens doesn’t always grow enough fruit to make a stand-alone Montepulciano, but they did in 2018. This medium-bodied red is 82% Estate Montepulciano, topped with 18% Zinfandel. Similarly, serve this bright wine with Italian dishes. Next up, 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Temecula Valley. This Cab is structured, dense, big and chewy. Like most Cabs, pair it with grilled hamburgers, steak or other meat dishes.
2019 Domestique ($44) and 2019 Obscura ($42)
Subsequently, two beautiful Wiens red blends grabbed our attention. 2019 Domestique GSM combines 48% Estate Syrah, 26% Temecula Valley Mourvedre and 26% Temecula Valley Grenache. Layered and textured, this luscious Rhône-style blend features dark fruits with earthy and spicy notes. Pair it with chicken or lamb chops. Another big red, Obscura blends 80% La Cresta Merlot with 10% San Ignacio Merlot and 10% Sage Petite Sirah. This 2018 Obscura is a lush, elegant wine. Bring out the barbecue and serve it with steak, burgers or ribs.
2017 Reunion ($46) and 2019 Crowded ($49)
2017 Reunion is a tasty symphony of 57% Syrah and 43% Cabernet Sauvignon. Smoky, dark fruit notes from the Syrah are side-by-side with raspberry and currant flavors in the Cab Sauv. Of course we brought home a bottle. And then there’s 2019 Crowded, named for the crowd of grapes — 33% Petite Sirah, 32% Sangiovese, 23% Zinfandel, 9% Syrah, 3% Malbec — woven together into a layered, harmonious blend. We like the name because this is also a crowd-pleaser, which appeals to different palates and complements many dishes.
2019 Chateau Grand Rouge ($125) and 2018 San Ignacio Unforgiving ($105)
Wow. If our cellar weren’t already overflowing with special-occasion wines, we would have also purchased these two beauties. Chateau Grand Rouge is stunning, with notes of plums, spices and coconut on both the nose and the palate. The wine is crafted from select barrels, and this wine “exemplifies the highest echelon of our ‘Big Reds’ winemaking.” Unforgiving blends 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Malbec, 10% Merlot and 7% Carménère into a plush Bordeaux-style blend. Mike told us its name is attributed to the amount of care and attention their San Ignacio vineyard requires to produce a crop. Concentrated, full-bodied and gorgeous, this is a wine to open in celebration of milestones. Serve it with premium beef or short ribs.
Summary: Wiens Family Cellars
In conclusion, we were impressed during our trip to Wiens Family Cellars. We decided to stop by after our dear friend Mary recommended it when we visited wine country in Temecula earlier this month. And we are so glad she did. Wiens Cellar surpassed our expectations, and consequently became one of our favorite wineries in Temecula.
Margot and Dave