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Additional articles BY COURTNEY COCHRAN



Temecula to the Stars

Celeb opens B&B in trendy Temecula

Guilty pleasures – we all have them.

For some, they involve junk food and bad reality TV like Fox’s salacious Temptation Island. Others indulge in expensive spa treatments or buy things they don’t need (like the fifteenth BBQ accessory you recently picked up). For me, the ultimate guilty pleasure is the hour or two I spend every week soaking in celebrity gossip in the deliciously shameless celebrity rag Us Weekly.

Only this week, my guilty pleasure took a decidedly un-guilty turn.

While flipping through the mag’s splashy pages filled with paparazzi pics, the week’s latest inter-star indiscretions and other worldly news, I discovered that ex-“Beverly Hills 90210” star Tori Spelling has just opened a Bed and Breakfast in Southern California’s trendy Temecula wine region.

When wine & gossip align
Even better yet, she’s starring in her very own reality TV show about her exploits at the newly dubbed Chateau La Rue, which she’s been renovating with her husband while she’s eight months pregnant. The show, called “Tori & Dean: Inn Love,” debuts tonight on Oxygen as part of a six-part series chronicling the couple’s new roles as innkeepers.

And, just like that, my worlds of wine and celebrity gossip aligned, leaving me feeling victorious and – ultimately – justified in my favorite guilty pleasure. Or at least that’s what I told myself while soaking in the remainder of the mag’s non-wine-related content.

Temecula rising
Besides this latest boost in renown thanks to the relocation of Ms. Spelling, Temecula is riding the wave of a growing tourist trade and gaining critical attention for its wines that seem to get better with every harvest.

This vinous renaissance can be traced in part to the decimation of much of the area’s vineyards in the late 90s due to a vine pest. Subsequent replantings with vines better suited to the area’s unique climate and soil have led to improved wines and growing interest in the area. Way to turn a bad situation into a better one, Temecula!

Where it’s at
Happily situated just 100 miles south of LA and 60 north of San Diego, Temecula is primed to become a popular tourist destination for adventurous southland oenophiles. Besides tasting at the area’s more than 20 wineries, visitors can indulge in balloon rides, golf and spa treatments or forage for treasures at the area’s more than 600 antiques dealers.

And, visitors with a hankering for local lore and fresh produce will score big at the weekly Thursday Night Market Place in Old Town Temecula, where quaint buildings dating from the 1890s impart a sense of the past rarely felt in track home-studded So Cal.

Soak in some So Cal
Feeling spontaneous? Then head to Temecula this weekend for The Ultimate Regional Wine Tasting, an event featuring more than 200 wines from 14 West Coast wine regions stretching from Baja to British Columbia. Guests pay a fee to taste and enjoy gourmet foodstuffs including cheese, fruit and artisan breads. With 700 potential guests, this promises to be a BIG event – and a total blast. Tickets available at temeculawines.org.

And who knows? You might even bump into Tori Spelling.

Click Here for additional Temecula Wine Country information.