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Wednesday, September 2, 2015 9:00 PM

First Wine Cave in Southern California A Natural Wonder For Growing Wine Region

Oak Mountain Winery, located off of the popular Temecula Valley Wine Country De Portola Wine Trail, has taken their expansion seriously. Their record growth and expansion has grown not out, but under the mountain for which they are named. Oak Mountain Winery now is debuting the first subterranean wine cave ever constructed in Riverside County.
The first mined cave in Southern California, Oak Mountain's cave is 104 feet below the surface, 10,000 square-feet in size, and stays an average natural temperature of 66-67 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for the 400-500 barrels of wine stored there.

"The barrels are happy, and we have more arriving in the next few weeks," stated owner Valerie Andrews. It was Steve and Valerie Andrews's dream to core into the mountain behind their winery, as the best use for creating space for growth.

"When we bought the property, my husband dreamed of drilling into the hillside to create a wine cave," Valerie said. "We began investigating every wine cave we could find from Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, and started to plan our expansion. Riverside County had never dealt with a construction project of this magnitude, as we are the first man-made cave in the county."

With Oak Mountain Winery's growing success, selling out annually of their Rhone and Bordeaux styled Temecula Valley Wine, the Andrews's stated they were running out of space.

"We were busting out of the seams," she said. "Planning and engineering of our wine cave began just over three years ago. Steve was penciling out plans, and working with the engineers and builders, talking to workers who had built caves in northern California. As soon as the bank came on board, we were ready to roll."

The first mined cave in southern California, the entire project took over two years to complete. With finishing touches all that remained, Oak Mountain looked to the reasons why their cave is not just unique but ideal in the winemaking business.

"The caves allow the winemakers to better utilize the land, as the vineyards will continue to grow above the cave construction," Valerie said. "Wine caves also naturally create the ideal conditions for aging. Structurally, it's steel, concrete, with engineered groundwater drains for proper drainage. It's truly a wonder in our region." With the use of geothermal technology, the cave temperatures and humidity stay in a range best suited to this process. "These wine caves aren't just ideal for barrel aging, but also for special events," she said. 

Oak Mountain Winery will soon offer this unique, cool banquet spaces for private parties and destination weddings. Inside, plans for an Oak Mountain Cave Tasting Room Bar that will be open from Monday through Friday, tours for those who wish to see the caves along with a private tasting, a restaurant under the executive head chef Steve Bearse-of New Life Culinary Creations--will also be open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the cave.

"The small menu boasts amazing food that you can't order elsewhere in Temecula Valley Wine Country," Valerie said.
The Cave at Oak Mountain Winery recently debuted to area wedding professionals, and promises to be an ideal spot for hosting weddings in Temecula Valley Wine Country. "We had wedding photographers, caterers, and area professionals in to dress the space and show the many different looks that brides can achieve when you host a wedding here. It's a breathtaking venue." Call to schedule your tour today.

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About Visit Temecula Valley

Visit Temecula Valley is the official tourism marketing organization and resource for visitors in the Temecula Valley Southern California region. The Temecula Hotel Tourism Improvement District is the primary source of funding for Visit Temecula Valley activities and programs. Additional funding is provided through alliances with visitor-serving partners throughout Temecula Valley.
Visit Temecula Valley is online at The Temecula Valley Visitors Center is located in Downtown, Old Town Temecula (Third Street and Mercedes) adjacent the Old Town Temecula Parking Garage. For visitor information and assistance, please call 888-363-2852 or 951-491-6085.

About Oak Mountain Winery
Oak Mountain Winery is home to Temecula Valley Wine Country and Southern California's only subterranean wine cave. A pet and equine friendly winery in Temecula Valley Wine Country. The ten acre hilltop winery sits on top of a ridge soaring 1,450 feet above the Temecula Valley. Oak Mountain Winery is listed among Temecula Winegrowers Association's Wedding Locations. Located at 36522 Via Verde - Temecula, CA. 92592. For more information, visit: