At Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery (40150 Barksdale Circle, 951/676-7900, www.palumbofamilyvineyards.com , Fri. noon–5 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.), you won’t find the immense tasting room complex and thousands of cases of wines available at other local wineries.
A tiny family operation, Palumbo takes pride in growing every grape that goes into each bottle of wine. With 12 acres of vineyards, the winery produces 1,500 cases of wine each year. A season’s release might include five wines — mostly reds with a token Viognier or other hot-weather white for variety.
Though they’re only open regularly on the weekends, you can call the winery for a private tasting appointment during the week. Or better yet, offer to bring 7–15 of your friends down to the winery for a private winemaker’s dinner! Nicholas Palumbo is a chef as well as viticulturalist and winemaker, and has been known to entertain private parties who express an interest in his fabulous food and wine.