Our Story 2018

"When we first saw Avensole in 2013, we fell in love with the hilltop location, the view across the valley and the sprawling vineyards. For every adventure there is a discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. We hope you will "discover" Avensole like we did and enjoy our wines and fare."

Our Story

Our Vineyard has 20 Acres of Vines.

Estate varietals grown:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Muscat Canelli
  • Old Vine Zinfandel
  • "Heritage" Zinfandel
  • Gewürztraminer

Growing up in suburban Chicago, brother and sister Sheldon and Maribeth Lytton (Levine) had the unusual dream of owning a vineyard someday. Their parents came from European ancestry and because of that, the Lytton family frequently travelled throughout Europe exploring their roots. In the process of those travels, they saw much of the Italian, French, and Austrian countryside including many wineries and vineyards. The siblings found the beauty of those areas to be both inspirational and intriguing. Even though their adult lives took them in different directions, Shel as a lawyer, politician, and movie producer; Maribeth as a Juilliard trained musician and then interior designer, they both ended up in Southern California but never forgot the vision of the lush vineyards they saw in their early family travels.

When Shel opened a branch of his law firm in Murrieta California in 2013, he was eager to see Temecula Wine Country. He not only loved what he saw but when he found out the hilltop winery was for sale, he called Maribeth and said, “This is it!” He recognized the potential of the land as it had a striking similarity to the vineyards he had seen in Europe. The property was purchased in 2014. It was renamed, “Avensole”, a word comprised of “avventura” Italian for adventure and “sole” for one of a kind, matchless. The Lytton family philosophy is that discovery and adventure make life meaningful.

It was their vision to create a winery that would produce fine wines, and be a welcoming place for their guests to enjoy those wines and excellent food in comfortable yet elegant surroundings. So, Maribeth used her skills as a designer to help restructure the layout of the property. The pond was built and the buildings were extensively remodeled, inside and out. Maribeth was joined by Shel's wife, Susan Lytton, a professional designer in her own right, who helped decorate the interiors and was responsible for the remarkable landscape design you see today.

The Lytton family hopes that when you head home after a day at Avensole, you will say you had a truly memorable experience and that you can't wait to return.

In the meantime, welcome. Enjoy your adventure.