A beautiful image of Avensole Winery at sunset.

The Storied History of Avensole Winery

In the land where the ground is sandy, the mornings are crisp, lies the Lytton Family estate. With sunshine hugging every corner of the vineyard, the sea of vines produces some of Temecula Valley’s finest fruit. 

Nestled in the heart of Temecula Valley, our estate grown varieties Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon have been carefully nurtured for over three decades. This adventure began when Temecula Pioneers, Vince and Audrey Cilurzo, a Hollywood couple with careers in the film industry, purchased 100 acres of land now known as Rancho California Road. Taking a leap of faith in a world of wine, they planted the first commercial vineyard, dedicating their time to grape growing and winemaking. This new venture eventually led to our estate’s first plantings of Zinfandel! The Cilurzo family successfully established a reputation of producing exceptional red wines in Temecula Valley, an achievement the wine industry did not expect from this emerging new wine region. Their dedication to quality wine was evident in every bottle and in return became a shining example of the region’s commitment to excellence. 

Temecula Valley’s wine community flourished the following years, resulting in more families committing to the art of wine. In 1984, it was declared an American Viticultural Area (AVA), signifying its progress and growth in the industry. With the regions newfound recognition, that same year Bud and Maurice Van Roekel embraced the spirit of the valley and purchased 50 acres of land from the Cilurzo’s. While building their family winery, they planted our estates old-world varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and Gewurztraminer. Building a legacy of their own, their commitment to the vineyard to the cellar led to the production of award-winning wines recognized throughout California! 

Fast forward to the early 2010s, where our story begins. Adventurous siblings Sheldon Lytton and Maribeth Levine, were on a quest to find the perfect California vineyard to embark on their dream of owning a family winery. Traveling all across Southern California, it was one afternoon they took a break in their search, and travel to Van Roekel Winery & Vineyards to enjoyed a summer concert among the vines. There they were immersed back into the rolling hills from their many summers in Austria. Sipping on their mother’s favorite varietal, Gewurztraminer, it was then they knew this was the estate they were destined to build their family dream of producing premium wines, and cultivating a space to share many of life’s special moments.

A historical photo of the estate where Avensole Winery was established.

The Van Roekels passed the baton to the Lytton family the summer of 2014, and so the race began! Working tirelessly day in and day out, the family renovated every corner with intention. The Lytton family aimed to honor the rich history of the land while creating a welcoming atmosphere for wine lovers, keeping in mind the Temecula spirit. They carefully cultivated the space with hospitality at the forefront, ensuring the land’s legacy persisted for future generations. Susan was out on the grounds beautifying our landscape planting roses. Shel was in the vineyard, planting our new addition, Heritage Zinfandel. Maribeth meticulously memorizing the layout of each building and thoughtfully strategizing the decor for every new area, from the member lounge all the way to the restaurant. In the mist of the renovation, harvest was around the corner. The Lytton Family wanted to encapsulate this moment of their dreams coming true with the creation of their first wine! This dynamic team, hand harvest fruit from the legendary Zinfandel vines planted by Temecula Valley’s first family, the Cilurzo family. From this fruit, they crush, pressed and fortified it with brandy to create the first estate wine, Primitivo Port. You can come in today and savor the excitement of the legacy that is our beginning!

A beautiful image of Avensole Winery at sunset.

Aging like fine wine, opening a family winery does not happen overnight. Wines needing to be produced to stock the tasting room, thus 2015 was the first vintage the Lytton family could work from bud to bottle. Sheldon was excited to get his hands dirty to make his first wine collection with well-known winemaker, Tim Kramer. Together, they tended the vines from dormant season to harvest, and began the wine production to produced diverse selection of wines, a wine for every palate. From sweet balanced whites to crisp dry roses, and let’s not forget the bold, oaky reds. With our wine collection growing it was ready just in time for our grand opening during the summer of 2016. 

This dynamic team had a desire to transport guests to the old world in the modern era. They curate each space with the wine enthusiast in mind, creating a unique experience that combines contemporary elegance with classical charm. The result is a destination that captures the essence of wine-making, pairing it with the finer things in life to create a truly unforgettable experience. Now what will they call this newfound destination. Avensole, a term which originated from the family, embodies the very essence of an exceptional journey, encapsulating the final step of their discovery of this unexplored paradise.

A beautiful image of a hot air balloon overlooking a vineyard in Temecula Valley.

Now you can say the rest is history but this is just our beginning. Living in the present and ready to continue to share our story and embrace yours! We hope you can pay a visit to our family estate and explore the vines, along with the delicious estate wine selection through the years. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply looking to escape to another time, we hope Avensole Winery is the perfect retreat for you.

To learn more about our piece of paradise and the wonders of Temecula, book a winery tour with us

At Avensole Winery we offer a “Cork & Fork Wine Tour” which you can learn more about and book by clicking here. We also offer a very unique “Wine & Chocolate Experience” which you can read about and book the experience with this link.

Jennifer + Lawerence

What Guests are Saying About Avensole Winery

When it comes to wineries in stunning Temecula, you’re truly spoiled for choice – so why do so many visitors and locals choose Avensole Winery? Whether it’s the award-winning wine, the impeccable service, the delicious food of our winery restaurant, the live music and ambiance, or our enchanting weddings, our valued guests can’t help but be impressed. Let’s take a look at what some have said recently about their experience at our Temecula winery.

Avensole’s Award-Winning Wine

Our 2015 Barbera is 86% Barbera and 14% Zinfandel. Dark cherry fruit with hints of strawberry, lavender and vanilla, are perfectly balanced with a round, fruit forward finish.

The main event – after all, you can’t be a great Temecula winery without great wine. 

“We decided to sample the wines to see how well we liked their varieties compared to other wineries we belong to already. We were very impressed with everything from the beautiful grounds, welcoming and informative staff, wine club options and benefits, and the wines. We ended up joining and going to dinner as new members!”

“We spent time at Avensole and it was as if we had arrived in Tuscany! The views of the scenic countryside are breathtaking. We loved the San Giovese and the white wine The Melody Twins. The wait staff and wine sellers were charming and helpful and could not have been nicer to us. This is an elegant but easy place to come and spend time and we can’t wait to return.”

“One of many beautiful wineries in the area. But! Probably some of the best wine, food and service you will find in Temecula! Kara made my visit to Avensole just perfect. Definitely check them out!”

“We have been going to Avensole since it opened. Hands down, best red wines next to Napa. We just love the atmosphere and view. We have brought many of our friends here and they all love it like we do.”

The Wine Tasting Experience

An elegant tasting room with truly knowledgeable experts elevates the Avensole experience.

“We visited the tasting room today and had a fantastic experience. Our server Alby was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The tasting room has a very charming, laidback atmosphere, and the wines themselves were excellent. Whether you’re a connoisseur or new to wine tasting, I highly recommend visiting Avensole. This is a great local winery that I will definitely be returning to!”

“Our experience at Avensole Winery in Temecula was delightful! From the moment we arrived, we were greeted warmly by staff and seated in a lovely setting overlooking picturesque vineyards. The tasting session was enjoyable, with diverse wines that catered to every palate. The staff’s expertise added depth to the experience, guiding us through the unique flavors and characteristics of each wine.”

“Super friendly staff and comfortable areas to sip your wine! Thanks David for the delicious Rose and wine wisdom! Beautiful spot and wine!”

Food Paired with Wine at our Restaurant

Chef’s special Rack of Lamb - Fennel & juniper crusted rack of lamb with port lamb demi, roasted baby red potatoes, roasted cauliflower and pea purée.

Outstanding wine and superb food is an unbeatable combination. When it comes to Temecula winery restaurants, you won’t find better than Avensole.

“Great food and fantastic wine in a beautiful setting. I loved the brie appetizer, the calamari, the brussel sprouts, and my scallops were cooked perfectly. Our server was fantastic, we were a large reservation and they handled our group of 20+ people and several additional tables of other diners impressively. Food came out quickly and was all delicious. We just had a really nice time all around, so thank you.”

“Came to try their new brunch menu and it did not disappoint. My husband’s steak was perfectly cooked, the brussel sprouts were incredible and the french toast was quite possibly the most amazing combination of flavors I’ve ever had. Highly recommend and we’ll be back.”

“Not only does Avensole have great wine, their cocktails are awesome, as well! Someone in our group recommended the lavender martini and wow, it was perfect! Several of us ordered the crab grilled cheese with tomato soup, others had the surf & turf special – all were delicious and filling!”

Live Music to Set the Mood

Looking for a Temecula winery with live music to inspire you and set an ambiance? Look no further.

“They have amazing ambience, and excellent local music. There is evening dining outdoors with patio heaters galore so you stay warm.”

“Fun night! Food was great and the entertainment, Western Grit, comprised of singer Natalie Kirkwood and Fernando Sanchez on guitar, was FABULOUS! Will be heading back that way soon.”

“Came here to celebrate a special occasion. Our food was excellent, wines were fantastic, service was prompt, and staff was friendly. Check their website for their live music schedule! 10/10!”

“Great wine and food! Went for our anniversary and enjoyed a table on the patio with live piano music. We had a Brie appetizer and Lobster Mac and Cheese, both delicious.”

A Dreamy Location for a Winery Wedding

What better place is there to have your dream wedding than a stunning California winery?

“Avensole is hands down the most beautiful and enchanting venue in Temecula. As a wedding planner, I always dreamed of my own wedding, and all of my dreams came true at Avensole! I worked with Jessica from start to finish, and she was incredibly kind, helpful, and responsive. She made the planning process so easy and stress free. The food is unbelievable! People are STILL talking about how delicious our wedding food was! Thank you, Avensole (& Jessica!) for giving us the wedding of our dreams.”
-Mr. and Mrs. Holland

“Had my October wedding here and it was amazing! All my guests loved the decor and service. We had plated dinners and my coordinator Jessica was fantastic!”

“I love Avensole, but I’m a biased. I got married there. Everything went flawlessly. I’d definitely recommend this venue for parties/weddings. The wines are great and so is the food. The staff is nice also! Definitely recommend.”

“Such a great venue! We just went to the most beautiful wedding here and the views were wonderful. The winery is gorgeous and well maintained. The food was delicious and of course, the wine was great!”

If you’re looking for some spectacular wine, fantastic food, or even planning your own wedding, be sure to reach out to Temecula’s best winery. The team here at Avensole can’t wait to meet you!