(951) 506-5899  | 

About Sol de Luz Vineyards

Sol de Luz Vineyards invites wine lovers everywhere to experience the rich agricultural tapestry of De Luz, California. To those familiar with the region’s unique landscape, there is a palatable anticipation for the area’s production of superior quality grapes and expert vintners. From these bright beginnings will come wines that delight the senses and challenge expectations.

Cultivating almost two dozen varietals, Sol de Luz approaches its craft with passion, authenticity and meticulous attention to detail. The result? Elegant wines distinguished by their complexity, character and incomparable taste.

Wines under the Sol de Luz label will debut in 2019. Meanwhile, its sister brand, Sweet Oaks, also offers varietals grown in Sol de Luz soil.

A new era is dawning in De Luz and for the winery that draws its name from sunlight.

Meet the Growers
Heather Petersen, CEO / Jason Altepeter, COO

.

Hailing from deeply agricultural backgrounds in the Midwest, soon-to-be-married couple Heather Petersen and Jason Altepeter, have planted their roots in De Luz, California — home to tranquil, rolling hills of fresh citrus.

Drawn to the alluring beauty of Temecula’s endless stretches of lush properties, Petersen and Altepeter decided on De Luz to cultivate meaningful work rooted by an intricate, intimate connection to the land.

The work began with Petersen and Altepeter — both entrepreneurs familiar with building successful companies from the ground up — growing grapes as a passion project. With a shared appreciation for fine wines and unique vintages, the couple’s endeavors allowed them to genuinely immerse themselves in Temecula’s deep-seated wine culture.

However, Petersen and Altepeter quickly realized that the uniqueness of the area’s offerings afforded an even greater opportunity — one that the couple believed could only be found in De Luz. With this realization came a vision and shortly thereafter, the couple purchased four properties and planted more than 70 acres of 22 different varietals, comprising what is now Sol de Luz Vineyards.

Sol de Luz, which translates to “sunshine” in Spanish, is an affectionate nod to Petersen’s childhood nickname from her grandfather. The vineyards, located throughout the heart of De Luz, boast a remarkable growing climate and rich soil — characteristics wine growers recognize as essential for yielding viable vines. These vines— in turn— produce grapes that, in the right winemaker’s hands become exquisite wines found only in one place — De Luz.

The rarity of De Luz’s grapes, coupled with Petersen and Altepeter’s passion for the community in which they work, inspired the vineyard owners to file a request for De Luz to be established as an American Viticultural Area (AVA). AVA designation offers a rare prestige and notable prominence that is truly representative of the distinct flavor embodied from the area.  

With the AVA designation pending, Petersen and Altepeter have high expectations for Sol de Luz Vineyards — expectations they will soon share through invitation only when they debut their first wine club offerings at their wedding this summer.

_

The Winemaker’s Art
Mark Horvath

For many, art is merely a piece of work that can be viewed and touched. However, for artisan and winemaker, Mark Horvath, wine, his art of choice, is something that should be tasted, consumed and experienced.

Horvath began his career as a cellar worker at Carmenet Winery in Sonoma, California. A formative experience where he realized his passion for wine, it was at Carmenet where Horvath became fascinated with the art and science of winemaking. This fascination evolved into hard skills that afforded him opportunities to craft wines appreciated by wine connoisseurs and hobbyists alike. His journey includes experiences at top wineries such as Babcock Winery in Santa Ynez Valley.

Years later, Horvath co-founded Kenneth-Crawford Wines with colleague Kenneth Gummere. The duo produced many of the region’s finest and most sought-after pinot noirs, syrahs and grenaches. After a successful run, Horvath, a lifelong student of his art, took over the winemaking responsibilities at Tres Hermanas Winery in Santa Maria in pursuit of broader winemaking knowledge and expertise.Horvath partnered with Heather Petersen and Jason Altepeter in 2016 to put his experience building successful wines to work for the Sweet Oaks and Sol de Luz labels. Working closely with the couple, Horvath is currently bottling Sweet Oaks Wine’s first five varietals (Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Viognier, Malbec, and a Rhône Blend) for the estate’s inaugural vintage.

De Luz AVA

A new chapter for Southern California wine.

To help understand the story of where a wine originates, wineries tend to use American Viticulture Areas (AVA) on their labeling. In October 2017, Heather Petersen, CEO of Sol de Luz Vineyards, began underwriting the process to designate a new AVA in the De Luz foothills adjacent to Temecula Valley.

The projected De Luz AVA is a 21,652 acre (33.83 mi2) region in Riverside County, embraced by the Santa Rosa Plateau in the north and the Riverside/San Diego county line in the south. Situated between 15 and 22.5 miles from the Southern California coastline, the area is distinguished by low hills, pocket valleys, and southwest oriented canyons. To the east, the Temecula Valley creates a natural boundary due to its lower local elevation and flatter relief.

The mineral-rich soil features combinations of quartz, feldspar, plagioclase, olivine, pyroxene, micas, biotite, talc, muscovite, chlorite, sericite, and graphite — deposits from millennia of landslides from the region’s tectonically active igneous and metamorphic formations. Numerous traverse valleys leading to the proposed De Luz AVA’s western flank channel cooler marine air across the region and into the neighboring Temecula Valley AVA. Average rainfall ranges from 19 inches per year in the west to 14 inches in the east — wetter than Temecula, but within range of other California AVA’s like Paso Robles and Santa Barbara.

American Viticulture Area designations are approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and can take 5 to 10 years to approve. Until the new AVA receives official recognition, wines produced in the area will continue to label under the South Coast AVA or Southern California Region, appellations covering the largest and one of the most diverse growing regions in the state.

Wine Club!

Sol de Luz Vineyards will bottle its inaugural De Luz vintage in 2019.
Be among the first to experience the exquisite Sol de Luz wines.

Discover other wines crafted with grapes unique to Sol de Luz Vineyards!

Sweet Oaks Wine

pic

Sol de Luz Careers

Sol de Luz Vineyards is growing and hiring!!! If you’re looking for a place to put down roots, let’s meet.

Assistant Winemaker   |  Temecula, California

Tasting Room Associates   |  Temecula, California

Tasting Room Manager   |  Temecula, California

Wine Club Manager   |  Temecula, California

Winery Manager   |  Temecula, California