“Go Wine Tasting with Old Fashioned Horse Power”
What is it about a horse that is so romantic? There is something about Prince Charming riding in on his white horse to rescue his damsel in distress and fulfill all of her romantic expectations. Equines symbolize bravery, boldness, wildness, freedom, journey, adventure, victory. Romantic, indeed!
The romance in Temecula is all around us. This fertile valley is a prime wedding destination and people come from near and far just to get a taste of our beautiful countryside, eclectic old town shops, vast vineyards and upscale ranch homes. The Luiseno Indians called this place “where the sun shines through the mist”. As traffic crests the 15 freeway troubles seem to melt away as the mist dissipates. Life slows down and comes into focus with the fresh air and earthy vineyards of this beautiful valley.
Driving further into wine country we might find ourselves wondering what life must have been like in this valley before the cars, noise and soccer moms.
The Temecula Carriage Company is the best way to step back in time and find out just what all of this means.
Tucked behind the orange groves, nestled in the heart of wine country is a family owned and operated herd of horses who are loved by longtime horsemen, Mark and Marika Matson. Twelve horses can be found dozing in the pasture under the tall eucalyptus trees in the front of the Temecula Carriage House. The horses are a variety of different draft horses. Percherons, Belgians, Clydesdales, Mules and Gypsy Vanners make up the herd of horses that are loved and owned by Mark and Marika. Draft horses are known for their strength, patience and docile temperament. These horses are well suited for pulling with short backs and powerful hindquarters. They each stand 16-19 hands high at their withers and weigh in at about 1400-2000 pounds.
The horses at the Temecula Carriage Company are accustom to living outside in the pasture together. In inclement weather they are all brought into the post and beam barn. The barn was hand built by the Matson Family. A wind tight barn is a warm, dry refuge for the sweet horses to snuggle together on chilly, wet nights in Temecula.
Properly appointed carriages are reserved for the private horse drawn carriage rides that can be arranged by calling the barn directly. Private romantic carriage rides are for couples and the Horse Drawn Trolley transports groups of up to 16 to 4 different wineries.
The popular private Horse drawn carriage rides are frequented by couples for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, date nights or just a special way to get around to the different wineries. Proposals packages are complete with intimate vineyard sunsets and a bottle of sparkling wine from our favorite local wineries.
The carriages are “Vis-a-vis” style meaning face to face in French. The plush seats are of burgundy velvet. Each carriage is outfitted with a wicker picnic basket. Picnic baskets are filled with a charcuttere picnic of herbed meats, artisan cheeses, buttery crackers, olives, chocolates and of course, a bottle of wine. Parasols and flannel blankets are also onboard the carriages and are within reach of the riders.
Guests peer out the windows of the winery pick up location waiting anxiously for their horse drawn tour. Passengers step onto the carriage and sip their favorite wine as drivers doff their top hats and whisper the words “step up” to their faithful steeds. A slow moving ride awaits them.Traveling through the winery property and opulent gardens couples begin to connect with each other as they see the connection with the grapes on the vine and the grapes in their wine glass.
As the pavement turns to dirt and the gentle hooves land softy making a clip clop sound as the vineyards engulf the carriage. Snow capped mountains in the distance make the air fresh and clean. Birds of prey and wildlife are in plain site and as our minds slow down to the speed of the horse’s easy going gate we can plainly see our very own Prince Charming and our very own Damsel in distress sitting face to face in the beautiful horse drawn carriage.
Temecula Carriage Company offers 1 hour and 2 hour private horse drawn carriage rides through the wineries. The Horse Drawn Trolley Winery Shuttle is also avail for larger groups.
Our private carriage rides through the vineyards are the perfect date. Please feel free to call us directly so that we can help you plan your special day.