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Wine Country Recipe ~ Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sour Cream

February 1st, 2017

Enjoy the classic combination of dark chocolate and tart, sweet berries in a tender, buttery crust. You’ll want to pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sparkling Wine or Late Harvest Zinfandel.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
1½ cups pastry flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg yolk
1½ cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces dark chocolate (about 60% cacao), chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup  heavy cream

Directions:
To make the crust, mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the butter, cream, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and egg yolk in a small bowl. Stir the butter mixture into the flour just until blended.

Transfer the dough to a 10-inch nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom and sides of the crust and put the pan in the freezer for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Take the crust from the freezer. Press a piece of foil tightly against the bottom and up and over the sides of the crust (to prevent the dough from puffing up while cooking).

Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let the crust cool completely.

To make the filling (up to 3 hours before serving), mix and partially crush the raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Stir the sour cream into the raspberries and return the bowl to the refrigerator.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl.

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes.Whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

Spread the raspberry mixture evenly into the tart shell.

Spread the chocolate cream evenly over the raspberry mixture.

Chill for 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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February Winery Events

February 1st, 2017

Avensole Winery
Valentine Couples Dinner at the Restaurant / February 10-14, 2017 / 11:00a-8:00p / Indulge your senses with a romantic prix fixe Valentine’s menu created especially for the occasion. Enjoy an enchanting evening on our beautiful outdoor terrace, where the scene is set for romance with live entertainment and an unforgettable gourmet four-course culinary delight for two / Includes one glass of Explore wine or beer per person. Special cocktail for the weekend: P.S. I Love You Martini / Cost: $150 per couple / Please call our concierge to make your reservations: 951.252.2003 ext. 301.

Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting /Available on Sunday of each the month / 2pm-3:30pm / For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x305 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 2pm-4pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our vineyards. Avensole Winery boasts some of the oldest vineyards in Temecula Valley, combined with the newest amenities, and has become the destination for wine lovers. Conclude this tour with a culinary treat pairing 7 Avensole wines with local gourmet Mangia Cheese, guided by our wine experts / Cost: $75 / Reservations required. Please call 951-252-2003 x305 to make a reservation.

Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / Guests of Avensole’s Restaurant are in for a culinary treat. Avensole offers a charming place to savor eclectic foods and delicious wines in a lively atmosphere.  The vibrant indoor and outdoor setting creates a perfect venue to gather and relax with your friends and family while you sip you favorite Avensole wines and enjoy the wide array of craft beers and cocktails offered / All free and open to the public. Please feel free to call our Concierge 951.252.2003 x301 and reserve table for dinner or join our bartenders for drink at our bar / For a list of entertainment schedule please log on to www.avensolewinery.com

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio Saturday & Sunday from 1p-4p / Enjoy live music at the Tasting Room patio with views over the vineyards. Gourmet Mangia cheeses are available for purchase to complement Avensole wines, and cheese and charcuterie platters are available to order from the Restaurant / All free and open to the public.  Open seating at the Tasting Room patio.

Baily Winery
Valentine’s Day Lunch at Carol’s Restaurant / February 10, 11 & 12 / 11:30a-3:00p / Enjoy a 3-course Valentine’s special lunch menu. Live Music by Chuck Sacayan on Saturday and Sandii Castleberry on Sunday / $29.95 per person plus tax and gratuity / Please call for reservations at 951676.9243

A Valentine Candlelight tasting for 2 / Feb. 10, 11 & 12 / 11:30a-3:30p with seating’s every hour at Baily Estate Tasting Room / Special Cabernet Sauvignon and Port tasting, charcuterie and chocolate plate for two / Cost: $35 per person / Seating is extremely limited so reserve today. Call 951.972.9768.

Bel Vino Winery
Sweetheart Dinner / February 14th / 6:00 to 9:00 pm / Treat your valentine to an evening of romance filled with exquisite wines, five course meal and wine pairing, dancing and as our gift to you a bottle of Prima Port / Cost:  $85 per person for Wine Club Members, $99.95 per person for non-members / For reservations please call 951-676-6414 for reservations, visit www.belvinowinery.com, or visit the winery to purchase tickets.

Friday Night Live at Bel Vino / Every Friday 6p-10p / Free admission / Wine, Beer and specialty cocktails in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; select Bel Vino Bistro menu offered from 6p to 8:30pm / No outside food or drinks allowed.

Live Band every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm to 4pm /Admission is always free / Bands play on our Hilltop Terrace Stage.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Valentine’s Dinner at Meritage / February 14th / Seatings at 5-5:30, 7-7:30, 9-9:30 / This is a gourmet four course, prix fixe menu served with an Amuse Bouche and a long stemmed rose. Featuring Live Music / $75.00 per person, tax and gratuity not included / The menu can be viewed online at www.callawaywinery.com. For Reservations call 951.587.8889

 Cupid’s Flight Couples Wine Tasting / February 11th through 14th / 10:30am – 5:00pmach person may choose from a trio of wines to sample, 2 oz of each,  which also includes  chocolate covered strawberries and a long stemmed rose (roses are available while supplies last)

Chocolate covered strawberries can be purchased additionally, in a serving of 6, for $20.00. Long stemmed roses can be purchased for $5.00 each / $37.50 per couple/ $30 for wine club members / Purchases can be made in the gift shop, or by calling 951.676.4001. No reservations required.

Prix Fixe Friday at Meritage and Live Music / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Reservations are not necessary. For menu information call 951.587.8889

Brunch Specials every Sunday at Meritage / 11am / Cost is $25 / Includes a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice, entrée and dessert.
*All food from Meritage is farm-to-table, either grown on property in restaurant garden or locally outsourced.

Callaway Winery Tours offered daily / 11am and 1pm / Tour only, $10 per person. Tour with tasting, $25 – tour includes 1 tank sample, 1 barrel sample and 4 additional tastes at the Tasting Bar / Reservations not necessary. For more information call 951.676.4001

Live Music at the Courtyard Patio / Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm / Please check our website for a list of scheduled performers.

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
10th Annual Super Chili Bowl / February 5 /  2pm-8pm / Calling all Super Chili Cooks!  It’s time to show off your best dish!  Only 10 competitors each year for the coveted Top Chili Cook title!  Sign up soon as these spots go quick.  Chili competition kicks off at 3pm.  Wine club attendees are $25, Non-wine club $30.  All paid parties of 4 -6 can reserve the location of their table!  Please let us know your group name and desired location!  Tables are on a first come basis but there’s not a bad seat in the house. Price includes chili tasting, food and wine or beer.  Price increases by $5 day of the event / Email events@cougarvineyards.com  or Call 951-767-8398 for more information. 

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Happy Hour 7-8p two-for-one glasses of wine / Free to the public
Sunday Live Music / 2:00-5:00pm / Free to the public

Danza del Sol Winery
Get Sauced / February 12th / 3:00 PM / GET SAUCED!! for Valentine’s. Join us for a fun-filled afternoon of food, wine, and culinary entertainment in our Club House! / Price: $58.60 – $65.00 / Please visit us at www.danzadelsolwinery.com for reservations and information.

Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Feb. 4 – Sean Wiggins / Feb. 11- Tim Apple / Feb. 18- JD Priest / Feb. 19- Two Fish / Feb. 25- Tony Suraci / Please check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for additional information.

Europa Village
International Languages of Love / Feb. 11 / 4pm & 6pm / We invite you to “taste” with your ears, and then with all your five senses, as we take you a multi-sensory journey of live music, wine, and cuisine from France, Spain and Italy. Tasting is 90 minutes in length / $79 per person. Please call (951) 695-7175, ext. 207 or visit our website www.europavillage.com for tickets.

L’Amore at Europa / Feb. 14 / 6pm – 8pm / Europa Village presents an intimate candlelight 5-course gourmet dinner paired with Europa’s fine wines. Dinner prepared by award-winning Chef Dean Thomas. $125 per person. Please call (951) 695-7175, ext. 207 or visit our website www.europavillage.com for tickets.

 Wine Education Class – Italian Wines / Feb. 19 / 11am & 2pm / Hosted by our in-house sommelier, Dr. Doug Garman, you will learn about six Italian wines Europa offers with a light food pairing / $35 per person. Two classes available at 11am and 2pm / Please call (951) 695-7175, ext. 207 or visit our website www.europavillage.com for tickets.

 Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / 2/5 – Astra Kelly / 2/12 – Jimmy Patton / 2/19- Sebastian Sidi / 2/26- Joe Baldino.

Falkner Winery        
Valentine’s Lunch at the Pinnacle / February 11 through February 14th / Valentine Lunch Special for 2 in the Pinnacle Restaurant / Cost: $59 for Two + + (normal menu also available)  Extended Sat hours 11:30-4:30. Sun-Tues 11:30- 3:30 / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4 or online at www.falknerwinery.com.

Valentine’s Dinner in the Pinnacle Restaurant / February 14th / 5:30-9:30pm / Early seating 5:30 $99++ ($89++ Wine Club) Regular seating $115+ tax per person ($104+tax wine club) / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Live Entertainment provided by Jeff Johnson / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4 or online at www.falknerwinery.com.

Sip N Paint Class “Wine” / February 16th-Couples (or Individual) / 6-8 pm / Includes all materials & Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle / $35 per person or $60 per couple / Reservations are required. Please log on to Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com.

Wine Appreciation Class / February 18th / 10am -12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option / RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Fazeli Cellars
Fazeli’s First Valentines Dinner / Feb. 11th & Feb. 12th / Begins at 6:00pm / Come enjoy champagne upon your arrival and enjoy an elegant 5 course meal paired with wine and specialty drinks. Enjoy a strawberry and chocolate fountain, dessert bites and coffee to finish off this romantic evening. Enchanting music will be performed by Diego Mondragon / Limited space available so pick your Valentine date soon! / Cost: $120 Non-members, $100 club members / For reservations please visit www.fazelicellars.com.

Vintners Musical Showcase / February 18 / 6p-10p / Variety of up and coming musicians – Food, wine and beer available for purchase / For reservations and information please visit www.fazelicellars.com

Salsa Night with Salsafama / Saturday, February 25 / 7p-10p / A 45-minute free lesson (no partner required) followed by dancing, dancing, dancing.  Glass of Sangria with entrance / Cost: $15.00/non member – $10/member / Food and beverage available for purchase / For reservations and information please visit www.fazelicellars.com

Legacy at Fazeli Cellars / Every Friday evening of each month / 6p-10p / 3 course dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine and live entertainment / Cost: $99.99/non member couple, $79.99/member / For reservations and information please visit www.fazelicellars.com

Live Music at our Tasting Room / Every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Check our website www.fazelicellars.com/events for a schedule of performers.

Leoness Cellars
A Midwinter’s Dream Dinner / February 14 / 5p to close / Four-course, wine-paired dinner for two with limited reservation available. Dine in The Restaurant at Leoness with a special pre-fixed menu for two, specially paired with your favorite Leoness Cellars wines / Cost, menu information and reservation: $100 per person. Reservations can be made on our website: http://www.leonesscellars.com/The-Restaurant

Longshadow Ranch Winery
Legends of the Wild West Dinner Theater & Variety Show / Feb. 10 & 17 / 7pm- 9:30pm (Doors open at 6pm)  / An amazing hand written organic Western themed comedy production featuring the finest dancers, vocalists & actors available. We are so proud to have Broadway veterans from Tony award winning productions in this show. Family friendly as always but a great date night as well. / Buffet style supper includes Western spaghetti in ample portions with ranch style meatballs, steamed mixed veggies and garlic bread, Dessert to follow. *Vegetarian option available. Please specify in reservation notes. Wine, beer, soda and bottled water available. Coffee available with dessert / VIP tickets $35**; Gen. Adm. $25** / **A two drink minimum is required and not included in ticket price. VIP ticket includes – priority service and seating. Front of the line for meet-and-greet/photos with performers on stage / This will be an outdoor event so dress accordingly. Inclement weather will result in rescheduling. No refunds on ticket purchases / For tickets and reservations, please log on to: https://squareup.com/store/longshadow-ranch-winery

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Valentine’s Day Brunch / February 12 / 10:00am – 12:30pm /  Celebrate ‘Love Day’ a little early with mimosas, brunch and more/ Tickets are $35/person, $25/under 21 / Tickets available online at www.lorimarwinery.com. Space is limited!

Live Music Friday & Saturday / 6p-9p / Free to the public
Live Music Sunday / 2p-5pm / Free to the public
Please check our website www.lorimarwinery.com for a schedule of performers.

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Live Music on the Patio at Masia de la Vinya / Every Saturday from 12pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Feb. 4 – Astra Kelly / Feb.11- Fandango / Feb.18- Tralian Rox / Feb. 25- Dustin Jake/ Please check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for additional information.

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7p-10p / Free to the public / No reservations required / Friday line up: Feb. 3rd, JD Priest- Wildly soulful. All-American rock, incredibly popular local favorite! February 10th, Ruben V- Latin & salsa music! /Feb. 17th, Mickie Arnett- 90’s rock and covers! / Feb. 24th,  Alaina Blair- Country/pop with some rock and soul! / Saturday line up: Feb. 4th, Midnight Satellites- Gutsy, modern rock performers. Big sound! / Feb. 11th, Bluefish- Big rock sounds from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s! / Feb.  18th, Missy Andersen- Known as a Southern California’s top blue’s diva! / Feb. 25th, The Core- Eclectic variety of jazz, rock, pop, & soul! /For additional information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Tequila Tastings / Saturdays and Sundays through the month of February / 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM / Mount Palomar Winery is hosting Temecula’s only tequila tastings on our beautiful outdoor patio! Enjoy samples of top shelf Asombroso tequilas, made from 100% blue agave. You’ll enjoy 5 samples of fine tequila, including San Francisco World Spirits Competition double gold award winners and a bonus margarita sample / Prices and availability subject to change, more at http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Annata-Bistro/Bar/Tequila-Tastings / Tickets: $25 at the door

Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / Feb. 5, 11, 12, 18, 25 /1:00p – 3:00p / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!) / Tickets: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/133232.html

Valentine’s Day in Annata Bistro/Bar / Feb. 14 / 4:00p – 9:00p / There is nothing more romantic than a four course meal, a glass of sparkling wine, and a stunning view of the Temecula Valley. Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Annata Bistro/Bar and enjoy a beautiful evening in Temecula Wine Country. We’re offering an exclusive menu only available for Valentine’s day, including an appetizer, soup or a salad, your choice of four delectable entrees, and a delicious dessert / Reservations at: https://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Valentines-Day

Oak Mountain Winery
Valentine’s Dinner / Feb. 11 / 6:00pm / Enjoy an elegant four-course dinner at The Cave / Cost: $90 for pp., $85 for Club members / Reservations is required. Please log on to www.oakmountainwinery.com to view a full menu and to reserve or call 951.699.9102

Ponte Winery
Valentine’s Day at The Restaurant at Ponte / February 14 / 5:00p-8:00p / Join us at The Restaurant at Ponte on Valentine’s Day for live music and a romantic dinner featuring a special menu / Cost: Entrées range in price from $21 – $135 / Reservations required: 951-252-1770.

Live Music in The Restaurant at Ponte / Every Friday and Saturday night / 5:30pm-8:00pm / Enjoy live music while dining at The Restaurant at Ponte Winery / Free to attend / Visit www.pontewinery.com for more information.

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar open late every day, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn. The Cellar offers live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend / Visit www.pontevineyardinn.com for an entertainment schedule.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-7pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, wine and more!

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Wine, Dine and Painting / February 5 / 10:00 – 1:00pm / Wine, Dine and Painting Class hosted by Jill Roberts of Art + Vino, the original and most popular Art and Painting class in the Temecula Valley! Take in the views and tap into your inner Picasso, then enjoy a fantastic lunch at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant! This package comes with two-three hour instruction and supplies to paint your masterpiece, and follows with a select lunch menu and glass of wine to enjoy at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant / Cost: $70 Wine Club | $75 Non Wine Club / Reservation Information: Purchase online or call Wine Club at 951-587-9463 Ext. 5250

Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Vineyard Rose / February 14 / 5:30 – 9:00pm / Treat your sweetheart to a memorable Valentine’s Day dinner in The Vineyard Rose Restaurant at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Chef Jason Rivas will serve up a special gourmet menu as guests enjoy an intimate evening in the dining room overlooking the surrounding vineyards. Please visit our website to view our 5-course dinner menu / Cost: $125pp – includes a specially selected South Coast bottle of wine / Call (951) 491-8077 for reservations. 

Bridal Showcase / February 26 / 10:00am – 3:00pm / You’re invited to our Bridal Showcase South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Enjoy our Award Winning Sparkling Wine and delectable hors d’oeuvres; envision yourself on your wedding day in our romantic locations. Wedding Specials and promotions will be offered for weddings booked on Sunday, February 26th, 2017 only. Space is limited, signed contracts and nonrefundable deposits must be submitted to receive special offers. Meet with our Exclusive Vendors as they offer complimentary expert wedding advice, décor ideas and day-of discounts / Cost: FREE / Reservation Information: RSVP to 951-587-9463 Ext. 7275

Golden Bear Wine Tour / Saturday and Sunday / 11am-12:30pm, 2pm-3:30pm / This Tour will highlight why South Coast Winery has been awarded California Winery of the Year for the 4th year. You will be able to experience 8 of our award winning wines paired with Chef Choice individual plates of California cuisine. You will also receive a logo wine glass to take home to remember your experience with us while you enhance your wine knowledge. Golden Bear Tours are offered Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2pm. Space is limited, advance reservations are required. Must be over 21 years of age to attend. This is a 75-minute walking tour followed a 45-minute food and wine pairing / Cost: $60 per person, $55 Wine Club / Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today. Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $40pp; $35pp Wine Club Member / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today /Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Indulgent at GrapeSeed Spa / Through February 28th / Now you can enjoy an ancient method of relaxation with a four handed tandem massage. Energy, balance, and relaxation are heightened with the choreographed massage that ignites complete euphoria. Our Indulgent Package Includes: 50-Minute Tandem Massage, Poolside Lunch, Glass of South Coast Wine / Cost: $239 / Call our GrapeSeed Spa to book today! (877) 552-1731 .Service cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Available February 1st through 28th, 2017.

#RoséAllDay / Every Sunday in February / 5:00pm – 6:30pm / Gather your friends for GrapeSeed Spa’s popular Vino Vinyasa class. Our talented yoga instructor will lead you on an amazing 80 minute journey focusing on chakras within. This session features four of our most popular Rosé wines! / Cost: $30 / Call our GrapeSeed Spato book today! (877) 552-1731. Service cannot be combined with any other offers or discounts. Available February 1st through February 28, 2017.

Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / 2pm-5pm /Join us for live music entertainment in our Vintner’s Garden / For a schedule of entertainment please visit www.southcoastwinery.com

Happy Hour at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant/ Monday – Friday / 3pm – 5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservation Information: Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Thornton Winery
Valentine’s Dinner at Café Champagne / February 14 / 5:00p – 9:00p / 4-course meal, music and your Valentine will receive a rose. / Cost: $82.95 / For reservations please call 951.699.0099.

Vindemia Winery
Valentine’s Wine & Cheese Tasting / Offered February 10th – 20th / 11am-5pm / Calling all red wine lovers! Join us at Vindemia Winery for a special Valentine’s wine and cheese pairing in our romantic outdoor tasting room and scenic patio. Our high-quality wines and incredible views are sure to make the occasion memorable / $20 for 5 tastes with cheese pairings, bread, and olive oil / No appointment needed.

Wiens Family Cellars
Reserve Zinfandel & Chocolate Dinner / Feb. 10 / 6:30pm-9:30pm / The ultimate wine and chocolate lover’s dinner! Each chocolate infused course is perfectly paired with a vintage Zinfandel to create a pairing that is pure ecstasy! Romantic candlelight, beautiful décor, and great company make this the ideal Valentine’s date night. In addition, we will have bottles of the vintage Zinfandels, only available at the dinner for purchase to take home / Cost: $100 Regular $80 Wine Club / Purchase tickets www.wienscellars.com

Wilson Creek Winery
Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling): $46.95, Buffet only: $36.95, Children: $14.95 / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Creekside Grille / February 14 / Accepting reservations between 6-7:30pm / T your sweetheart to a fabulous and delicious 4-course dinner including a long stem rose and a bottle of Sparkling Wine surrounded by a romantic view and live entertainment /$120 per couple + tax/gratuity / For reservations Call 951-699-9463.

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The Women of Wine Country

January 31st, 2017

The Wine Institute of California estimates that between 15-20% of California winemakers are women, which is an increase of 5-10% from the early 1990’s. According to the Gallup Poll’s Annual Consumption Habits Poll, 52% of women consumers say they drink wine more often than any other beverage compared to only 20% of men so it makes sense this historically male dominated field is becoming an appealing option for women. Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is no exception. Talented women like Olivia Bue, winemaker at Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Winery, Valerie Andrews owner of Temecula Hills Winery and Oak Mountain Winery, and Cindy Palumbo owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery achieve success while raising families, giving back to the community, and inspiring other women in the industry.

Olivia Bue, winemaker for Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Winery, first got into wine through family. “I grew up in Encinitas, surrounded by a family who loved wine. Uncorking bottles was always in the equation at every family gathering; wine was our conduit to laughter and love. Around the age of 16, a close family friend who had enrolled at the UC Davis School of Viticulture and Enology told me about the program and experience. The moment I received my acceptance letter I made an easy decision to pack my bags and head up to Davis,” says Bue. She is undaunted by the physical labor and long hours, motivated by those who doubted her or judged her because she is young and female.

Bue advises women interested in entering the winemaking field to taste wine as much a possible, discuss wines with others, take classes and be patient. “Winemaking is such an art,” says Bue. “Yes, there is a lot of heavy manual labor and endless hours during harvest, but taking the time to understand your region’s complexities is something that takes time and a love of the art. Any gender can accomplish that!” Bue is especially passionate about Temecula Valley wines. “The more wines I taste outside of Temecula Valley, the more confident and proud I become of our region’s path. We are going in such a strong direction forward and I continue to be impressed at the quality of wines being made in Temecula Valley.”

Valerie Andrews, co-owner and co-founder of Oak Mountain Winery and Temecula Hills Winery, got her start in Temecula back in 1999 when she and her husband, Steve, moved to a 10-acre ranch just on the edge of Temecula’s wine country. They built Temecula Hills Winery on the property, which opened in 2001, and then Oak Mountain Winery on a separate property which opened in 2005. The vines were hand-planted by Valerie, Steve and their children in 2000. Now in her second decade of her wine career, Valerie is deeply loved by the community and consumers and admired and respected by her colleagues.

In addition to operating the wineries, Valerie’s community involvement runs deep. She balances her time running the day-to-day business operations at both wineries as well as serving on the board for the De Portola Wine Trail and on the hospitality committee for the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. Valerie also founded Cause Fur Paws, a non-profit organization whose mission is assisting animals with diabetes and helping senior citizens with companion pets. Cause Fur Paws Inc., helps low income pet owners pay for 100% of their medical needs. Dog labeled wines and hand crafted cork tiaras can be found at Oak Mountain Winery with proceeds going to help local animals in need. In addition, Oak Mountain is the site of numerous dog events and charity fundraisers throughout the year.

Co-owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery, Cindy Palumbo has been in the valley since 1994. She first started at Callaway and Hart wineries with Joe Hart and John Moramarco. Now co-owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery, a 13 acre, 2500- case-per-year winery, with her husband Nick Palumbo, Cindy is very active in all aspects of the business. They are committed to small-lot, handcrafted wines from varieties grown on the property. She has also been instrumental in implementing sustainable farming and has helped to create more than just a winery but a “whole farm approach” to their agricultural activities believing that a winery should first and foremost be considered an agricultural entity. She is very active in the community and donates both time and money to local charities, including Big Hearts for Little Hearts of Temecula Valley, as well as the proceeds from her children’s books, the Farm Boy Series. The series is a collection of entertaining children’s books that teach about sustainable farming. In addition to working full time at the winery and authoring children’s books, Cindy has been deeply involved with teaching children to farm in a sustainable manner through a local 4-H program.

Whether by virtue of their family wine ties, passion, or drive, Bue, Andrews, and Palumbo are producing some of the valley’s best wines all while serving as pillars of leadership in Temecula Valley’s wine and farming community. These women are paving the way for future women winemakers and winery owners in Temecula Valley.

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Top Wines Paired with Top Aphrodisiac Foods

January 31st, 2017

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country gets into the Valentine’s Day spirit by going one step beyond the chocolate and wine pairings so prevalent this time of year – aphrodisiac pairings. The popular wine destination shows the diversity and versatility of the region’s wines through suggested pairings with certain foods believed to be libido-enhancing.

“One of the things that makes Temecula Valley so special is the number of different grape varieties we can grow successfully here, thanks to our Mediterranean-like climate, as well as the broad spectrum of wine styles we produce. This makes experimenting with food pairings – even the most challenging ones – really exciting,” said Devin Parr, Wine Country Marketing Director for Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. “We thought it would be fun to throw around some ideas about which Temecula Valley wines might go with foods rumored to be natural aphrodisiacs, given that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Jury is still out on whether or not the foods actually work, but we had a lot of fun coming up with the list of pairings.”

Oysters + 2016 Hart Winery Arneis

Although the science behind this mollusk’s libido-boosting properties is murky at best, Oysters are one of the foods most commonly thought to have aphrodisiac effects. This is thought to be because they contain zinc, which is necessary to produce testosterone, as well as amino acids and serotonin, which enhance the body’s response to pleasure. Pair these briny bivalves with a crisp, mineral driven white, like Hart Winery’s 2016 Arneis.

Avocado + Thornton Winery Brut Reserve Natural NV

Avocado’s reputation for being an aphrodisiac dates back to the Aztecs, who believed in it so much that they prohibited virginal women from leaving the house while they were being harvested. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E, which boosts the immune system and helps give skin a youthful appearance, perhaps making us look more attractive to the objects of our affection. Pair a bowl of rich, creamy guacamole with something bright, bubbly and capable of cutting through the fattiness of the avocado, like Thornton Winery’s zero dosage Brut Reserve Natural Methode Champenoise sparkling wine. For extra oomph, sprinkle on some maca powder, whose libido-driving powers have been more firmly established in science.

Chili Peppers + 2015 Baily Rosé of Sangiovese

Chili peppers are known to stimulate endorphins, speed up heart rate and increase sweat production, all similar to what we undergo when we are getting in the mood. Spicy dishes can be tough to pair with wine. Stick to a wine with some acid, which can soften extremes in richness, fat or spice, as well as some fruitiness or residual sugar, which can help temper spicy heat. Try Baily’s easy-drinking, slightly off-dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

Coffee + 2012 Fazeli Cellars Shiraz

Much like chili peppers, coffee is a stimulant that increases heart rate and blood flow, contributing to feelings of an enhanced libido. Since an actual cup of coffee is one of wine’s worst enemies, try something like coffee-rubbed brisket paired with a complex, juicy red like Fazeli Cellars’ 2012 Shiraz, which also just received 92 points in the Wine Enthusiast.

Chocolate + 2008 Leoness Cellars Cinsaut Dessert Wine

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate, and probably for good reason. Chocolate is thought to boost passion levels through phenethylamine, the stimulant that is released in the brain when we fall in love, and tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, a brain chemical associated with elevated moods and arousal. Choose a dopamine-spiking dark chocolate and pair it with something sweet and luscious, like Leoness Cellars’ 2008 port-style dessert wine of Cinsaut grapes.

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January Winery Events

December 21st, 2016

It’s the start of another new year and if you haven’t visited Temecula Valley Wine Country lately, now’s the time! Check out January’s calendar of events and make plans to visit us soon!

Avensole Winery
Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting / Jan. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 / 2pm-3:30pm / Start off the New Year at Avensole Winery! For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x305 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Jan. 6, 13, 20, 27 / 2pm-4pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our vineyards. Avensole Winery boasts some of the oldest vineyards in Temecula Valley, combined with the newest amenities, and has become the destination for wine lovers. Conclude this tour with a culinary treat pairing 7 Avensole wines with local gourmet Mangia Cheese, guided by our wine experts / Cost: $75 / Reservations required. Please call 951-252-2003 x305 to make a reservation.

Annual Barrel Tasting Event / Jan. 28 / 11am-4pm / Avensole Winery will be participating in this exciting day of wine tasting in Southern California Wine Country. Join us for wine samples, perfectly paired with delectable culinary creations / Cost varies; Tickets available through Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association www.temeculawines.org.

Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / Guests of Avensole’s Restaurant are in for a culinary treat. Avensole offers a charming place to savor eclectic foods and delicious wines in a lively atmosphere. The vibrant indoor and outdoor setting creates a perfect venue to gather and relax with your friends and family while you sip you favorite Avensole wines and enjoy the wide array of craft beers and cocktails offered / All free and open to the public. Please feel free to call our Concierge 951.252.2003 x301 and reserve table for dinner or join our bartenders for drink at our bar / For a list of entertainment schedule please log on to www.avensolewinery.com

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio Saturday & Sunday from 1p-4p / Enjoy live music at the Tasting Room patio with views over the vineyards. Gourmet Mangia cheeses are available for purchase to complement Avensole wines, and cheese and charcuterie platters are available to order from the Restaurant / All free and open to the public. Open seating at the Tasting Room patio.

Bel Vino Winery
Karaoke Night / Every Friday 6p-9p / Free admission / Karaoke every Friday night at Bel Vino Winery in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; select Bel Vino Bistro menu offered from 6p to 8:30pm / No outside food or drinks allowed.
Live Band every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm to 4pm /Admission is always free / Bands play on our Hilltop Terrace Stage

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Prix Fixe Friday at Meritage and Live Music / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Reservations are not necessary. For menu information call 951.587.8889

Brunch Specials every Sunday at Meritage / 11am / Cost is $25 / Includes a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice, entrée and dessert.
*All food from Meritage is farm-to-table, either grown on property in restaurant garden or locally outsourced.

Callaway Winery Tours offered daily / 11am and 1pm / Tour only, $10 per person. Tour with tasting, $25 – tour includes 1 tank sample, 1 barrel sample and 4 additional tastes at the Tasting Bar / Reservations not necessary. For more information call 951.676.4001

Live Music at the Courtyard Patio / Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
2nd Annual Cougar Meets Italy / January 25th and 26th / 6pm / EVENT WILL SELL OUT SOON! Our most successful event to date is around the corner. This is a professional wine judging event pairing Cougar wines with their counterparts from Italy. All attendees will also judge the wines for themselves. After the judging the results will be shared. Last January’s results were very exciting! This is a two day event. Wednesday is a showing of the Bottle Shock movie which this event is based upon. Movie starts at 6p. Cost is $10pp for a glass of wine and all the popcorn you can eat! The main event is Thursday which includes explanation of the judging process, wine judging, dinner, commemorative wineglass and live music from Don Brennan. Main event is $70pp Wine Club, $75pp Non-wine club. Main event plus movie night is $75pp Wine Club, $80pp Non-wine club. All prices do not include tax. Tax will be added at time of purchase / For tickets and information please log on to www.cougarvineyards.com

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Free to the public
Sunday Live Music / 2:00-5:00pm / Free to the public

Danza del Sol Winery
Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for a schedule of performers.

Europa Village
Cooking Demonstration / Jan. 17 / 11am & 1pm / Italian Themed cooking demonstration by our Executive Chef Dean Thomas. Includes three course lunch with wine pairings. $58 plus tax. Please contact (951) 695-7175 for tickets.

Murder Mystery Dinner / Jan. 21 or Jan 22 / 6pm – 8:30pm / “Murder in the Manor” – performance takes place in our Wine Cave during a gourmet dinner prepared by our Executive Chef Dean Thomas. Cost is $80 (Saturday) or $75 (Sunday). Please contact (951) 695-7175 for tickets.

Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / 1/8- Jimmy Patton, 1/15 -Danielle Taylor, 1/22 – Dustin Jake, 1/29 – Joe Baldino

Falkner Winery
Prime Rib Weekend Specials in the Pinnacle Restaurant / Jan. 1st- 29th / 11:30-3:00 / 10 oz $32/ 16oz $40 / Make your reservation 951-676-8231 Option 4 / Check out all preparations on our website www.falknerwinery.com

Wine Appreciation Class / Jan. 21 / 10-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option / RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Sip N Paint Class / Jan. 26 / 6-8 pm / “Springtime in Paris” / $35 per person; $30 for wine club members with code “Falkner” / Includes all materials & Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle / Reservations are required. Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Leoness Cellars
Live Music in The Restaurant at Leoness Voted Best Winery Restaurant by USA Today! Every Friday 5pm-8pm & Saturday 5-8pm / Free and open to the public.

Live Music in the Barrel Room Sunday 1pm-4pm / Free and open to the public.

Longshadow Ranch Winery
Legends of the Wild West Dinner Theater & Variety Show / Jan. 13 & 20 / 7pm- 9:30pm (Doors open at 6pm) / An amazing hand written organic Western themed comedy production featuring the finest dancers, vocalists & actors available. We are so proud to have Broadway veterans from Tony award winning productions in this show. Family friendly as always but a great date night as well. For tickets and reservations, please log on to: https://squareup.com/store/longshadow-ranch-winery

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Live Music Friday & Saturday / 6p-9p / Free to the public
Live Music Sunday / 2p-5pm / Free to the public
Check our website www.lorimarwinery.com for a schedule of performers.

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Live Music on the Patio / Every Saturday / 12:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Enjoy great wine and live music! / Check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for a schedule of performers.

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7p-10p / Free to the public / No reservations required / Friday line up: Jan. 06: Big Truth- High energy, Top 40 cover & dance band / Jan. 13: Ruben V- Latin & salsa music / Jan. 20: Mickie Arnett- 90’s rock and covers / Jan. 27: Tricia Freeman- Country, rock, and blues / Saturday line up: Jan. 07: JD Priest- Wildly soulful. All-American rock, incredibly popular local favorite / Jan. 14: Bluefish- Big rock sounds from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s / Jan. 21: Missy Andersen- Known as a Southern California’s top blue’s diva / Jan. 28: Midnight Satellites- Gutsy, modern rock performers /For additional information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite / Jan. 8, 14, 15, and 28 & Feb. 5 / 1:00p-3:00p / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!) / Cost: $45 /
Ticket at: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/133232.html

Live Music at Mount Palomar Winery! / Every Saturday and Sunday / 1pm-4pm / Local musician will perform live on our beautiful outdoor patio. You can enjoy a craft cocktail, a draft beer, a glass of wine and the Mediterranean inspired men at Annata Bistro/Bar along with the show / Free entertainment / For more information please visit www.MountPalomarWinery.com/Annata

Ponte Winery
Live Music in The Restaurant at Ponte / Every Friday and Saturday night / 5:30pm-8:00pm / Enjoy live music while dining at The Restaurant at Ponte Winery / Free to attend / Visit www.pontewinery.com for more information.

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar open late every day, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn. The Cellar offers live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend / Visit www.pontevineyardinn.com for an entertainment schedule.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-7pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, wine and more!

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $40pp; $35pp Wine Club Member / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today /Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / 2pm-5pm /Join us for live music entertainment in our Vintner’s Garden / For a schedule of entertainment please visit www.southcoastwinery.com

Happy Hour at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant/ Monday – Friday / 3pm – 5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservation Information: Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Wiens Family Cellars
Wine Blending Experience / January 21st @ 6pm / Find your inner winemaker at our popular Wine Blending Experience event! Guided by our expert wine making staff, you’ll taste, evaluate, and blend selected varietals to create your own signature bottle of wine. Be prepared for a fun and educational night which includes the blending experience, your signature bottle of wine to take home, and appetizers / Cost $100 Regular $80 Wine Club / Purchase tickets www.wienscellars.com

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Ponte Winery’s Beverino Infused Apple Pot Pie

December 21st, 2016

These Beverino Infused Apple Pot Pies look amazing! Beverino actually means “easy to drink” in Italian. The wine’s subtle sweetness comes from a careful blend of several varieties (Ponte Winery’s best kept secret), all grown right here in Temecula.  We can’t think of a better way to enjoy a glass of it by pairing it with this scrumptious looking dessert.

Yield: 6 medium individual baking dishes

Apple Pot Pie Filling

Beverino, Cranberry & Currant Poaching Liquid Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups Ponte Beverino
⅓ cup sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
¾ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup dried currants
Zest of one orange

Method:

  1. Put wine and sugar in small saucepan with cinnamon sticks.
  2. Add the cranberries, currants, and orange zest.
  3. Cook on medium-low heat until poaching liquid is reduced by ⅓.
  4. Take off heat and set aside to cool.

Apple Filling Ingredients:

6 large granny smith apples, chopped into ½ inch cubes
⅓ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. Put the cubed apple in a large bowl. Stir the wine poached dried fruit, cinnamon sticks, sugar, flour and cinnamon into the cubed apples and stir with rubber spatula.
  2. Refrigerate overnight to allow apples to soak up the poaching wine flavor.

Puff Pastry Rounds

Method:

  1. Purchase puff pastry from freezer section of grocery store. Thaw the puff pastry. If the pastry won’t unfold, let thaw a little more. Remove one sheet and place on cutting board.
  2. Using your baking dish as a stencil, turn it upside down and set onto puff pastry in upper left corner. Run a sharp knife blade around the outside of the dish to create the top. Repeat. Use second puff pastry sheet if needed.
  3. Place the pot pie tops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Take a small cookie cutter and cut a second hole in the center of the puff pastry. Place another piece of parchment on top of the puff tops. Place another cookie sheet on top of the parchment. This will stop the puff pastry from rising too high and ensure even and level finished tops.
  4. Bake in oven at 350° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove top cookie sheet and top baking parchment. Egg-wash the puff pastry tops and sprinkle generously with raw sugar.
  5. Return the puff pastry tops to the oven and bake for 5-8 more minutes until golden brown. Store in airtight container until ready to assemble.

Assembling the Apple Pot Pie:

  1. Remove cinnamon sticks and fill the baking dishes to the top with Beverino apple filling.
  2. Take the left over juice from the filling and divide it evenly among the baking dishes.
  3. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes until apple mix is bubbly and apples are tender. Leave foil on top of dishes and let rest until warm to the touch. Clean outside of baking dishes where juices have boiled over.
  4. Place one pre-baked puff pastry top on top of the baked apples. Place one scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the puff pastry in the center hole. Finely grate fresh nutmeg onto ice cream and garnish with one dried apple chip. Serve warm.

Dried Apple Chip Slices:

  1. Slice one unpeeled, whole granny smith apple on thin setting of mandolin cutter, or carefully slice apple into even thin slices. Dip lightly into simple syrup (which is mixture of ½ cup water and ½ cup of sugar brought to a boil and cooled).
  2. Place sweetened apple slices onto sprayed parchment or silicon mat. Bake at 225° until crispy. Test by peeling one apple slice from parchment or mat and place on counter top until cold. Taste for crispness. Return to oven until desired crispness. Finished crispy apple slices should be slightly golden brown

Recipe and photo courtesy of Ponte Winery

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Winter in Wine Country

December 20th, 2016

So, what exactly goes on in the vineyards when it’s winter time?  The annual growth cycle of Temecula Valley’s grapevines consummates in autumn with leaf fall followed by vine dormancy. After harvest, typically August-October in Temecula, the vine’s roots and trunk are busy storing carbohydrate reserves produced by photosynthesis in their leaves. Once the level of carbohydrates needed by the vine is reached, the leaves change from green to yellow and start to fall off the vines. Usually after the first frost, the vine enters its winter dormancy period. During this time, winemakers get a break from the bulk of their farm work as the vines sleep and start to prepare for the next wine season.

During this dormant period, according to Wiens Family Cellars winemaker Joe Wiens, the vines don’t need a lot of attention. Wiens puts on a little water to keep the roots moist and let them sleep. “We get to breathe a sigh of relief after the long hours of crush but have plenty of other things to keep us busy” says Wiens. Blending, barrel work, and bottling, in addition to brushing up on wine knowledge, new techniques, and attending winemaking seminars to continually improve are some of the things that keep him busy.

Nick Palumbo, winemaker and owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery shares: “Winter time is busy! The good news is it gets cold here in Temecula, so the vines go into dormancy and that gives us a chance to get caught up in the cellar after a long harvest season. That means topping barrels, assessing previous vintages and getting ready for bottling as well as general maintenance. Mulching is done if needed and pruning all needs to be done just after the holidays. Weed and pest control (gophers etc) as well as going through the irrigation system and getting that dialed in for the spring are all on the to do list. We also don’t forget to prep for much needed rain events. We need to make sure if and when we do get rain, it doesn’t erode our soils and farm roads. Winter is a good time for winemakers to take off the cellar boots, put on the farm boots, and get out in the quiet cold mornings alone and start making next years wine which will be hanging on the vines sooner than we think.”

At Danza del Sol Winery, Art Villareal, the winery’s winemaker, stays busy during winter processing wines from the recent harvest. This includes filtration, cold stabilizing, racking, and placing wine into barrels. “There is no downtime in winemaking. We are always processing wine from the previous harvest and preparing for the upcoming bottling season” says Villareal. As far as vineyard maintenance goes, Villereal says patience is key and waits for the vines to go dormant and then prunes them back. He also states Temecula is special as the winter keeps the vines asleep only as long as necessary and ensures a longer period of time to mature the clusters during the growing season.

With all the activity in the valley during the winter, a visit to Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is an entertaining winter option. Many wineries offer behind the scenes tours where guests can see some of the winter viticulture and winemaking processes happen in person. While visiting, guests can stay at one of the many local inns, hotels, or resorts.

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Get Chilled in Temecula Valley Wine Country!

December 1st, 2016

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Everyone knows that the holidays can be particularly busy, stressful and rushed.  Why not come and join us in Temecula Valley Wine Country on December 15th to “chill” with us!  Several of our wineries are keeping their doors open late so that you can participate in the Temecula Chilled Holiday Shopping Night from 5:00p-7:00p.

Just one trip to your local wine country will get you all the gifts you need to give. Plus, you can sip while you shop! Our winery gift shops offer unique and charming wine-themed gifts, specialty food items, home decor – and of course, delicious wine.

During the Holiday Shopping Night, shop at select tasting rooms and enjoy holiday refreshments, carolers, carriage rides at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa and more!  Participating wineries include: Bel Vino, Callaway, Danza del Sol, Foot Path, Monte De Oro, Mount Palomar, Ponte, South Coast and Wilson Creek.

To learn more about Temecula Chilled and all of the activities planned, please click here.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Maple Sugar-Ginger Roast Pork

December 1st, 2016

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This pork loin roast is marinated with a sweet-and-spicy combination of maple sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper; the sugar melts to form a luscious glaze as the meat roasts.  Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon for the perfect holiday meal!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, tied
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons maple sugar (see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Blood orange slices, red currants and sprigs of mint, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Using a small, sharp knife, make thin slits all over the pork loin roast and slip a garlic slice into each one. In a small bowl, mix the maple sugar with the ginger, salt, red pepper and olive oil. Rub the paste all over the pork, wrap it well in plastic and refrigerate overnight in a small roasting pan; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the pork for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400° and roast the pork for about 35 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Discard the string and carve the pork into thin slices. Arrange on a platter, garnish with the orange slices, red currants and mint and serve.

Notes:

Maple sugar, made from reduced maple syrup, is available at specialty-food stores. Alternatively, use granulated brown sugar.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Oak aging softens and flavors the wine with notes of oak, vanilla and spice.

Carter Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 4 ~ Full bodied and velvety upon first taste, this is a supple wine with great varietal intensity.

Falkner Winery 2013 Syrah Rock Creek Vineyards ~Enjoy the wonderful red ruby color of this Syrah and the delicious flavors of plum and raspberry.

Hart Winery 2013 Syrah ~ This old-vine Syrah displays rich fruit, great depth and color, and a long, lingering finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of foodandwine.com

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December Holiday Events in Wine Country

December 1st, 2016

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Avensole Winery
Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / All free and open to the public.

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio Saturday & Sunday from 1p-4p /All free and open to the public.

Baily Vineyard & Winery
Dog Day Sundays / Every Sunday at Carol’s Restaurant / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Live acoustic music on the patio.

Vertical Tastings at Baily Estate Tasting Room / Every Thursday-Sunday through December 24 / 11p-4pm / Your choice of a Cabernet Franc Port vertical tasting and food pairing $25pp or Cabernet Sauvignon vertical tasting of 5 vintages at the bar $20pp or a sit-down tasting with bread & cheese $30pp / For reservations and information please call Lisa at 951.972.9768

Bel Vino Winery
Karaoke Night / Every Friday 6p-9p / Free admission / Karaoke every Friday night at Bel Vino Winery in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; select Bel Vino Bistro menu offered from 6p to 8:30pm / No outside food or drinks allowed.

Live Band every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm to 4pm /Admission is always free / Bands play on our Hilltop Terrace Stage

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Santa Comes to Callaway and Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration / December 15th / 4pm to 8pm / Free to the public / Enjoy hot cocoa for all and cookie decorating for the children. Santa will be arriving at 4pm with a mailbox so children may write letters to Santa. Callaway’s annual barrel tree lighting will begin at sundown. Spend the evening shopping and sipping wine with a 30% discount on wine and merchandise (excludes OPR and Library Wines).

Swirl, Sip & Learn / Every first and last Sunday of the month Callaway will be offering Wine Classes, 12pm, noon, $30 to $40 per person / Call 951.676.4001 to reserve a spot.

Callaway Winery Tours offered daily / 11am and 1pm / Tour only, $10 per person. Tour with tasting, $25 – tour includes 1 tank sample, 1 barrel sample and 4 additional tastes at the Tasting Bar / Reservations not necessary. For more information call 951.676.4001

Prix Fixe Friday at Meritage and Live Music / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Reservations are not necessary. For menu information call 951.587.8889

Live Music at the Courtyard Patio / Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm
Brunch Specials every Sunday at Meritage / 11am / Cost is $25 / Includes a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice, entrée and dessert. All food from Meritage is farm-to-table, either grown on property in restaurant garden or locally outsourced.

New Year’s Eve Dinner at Meritage / December 31st, 5pm to 8pm / $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Celebrate the New Year with a fabulous four-course meal and live music at Meritage. Chef Diamond has meticulously created a special farm-to-table, New Year’s Eve menu for your dining pleasure / For reservations call 951.587.8889

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Free to the public / Reservations suggested but not required for groups of 10 or more, Industry benefits even after 6p, two-for-one glasses of wine after 7p / Dec. 2nd Evan Diamond Goldberg ~ Local singer-songwriter / Dec. 9th Aaron White ~ folk, acoustic and blues / Dec. 16th Kenny Marquez ~ Returning to Cougar – local acoustical artist and rocker / Dec. 23rd Jeff Brinkman ~ Original acoustic singer-songwriter / Dec. 30th Britt Doehring ~ acoustic melodies and jazzy grooves

Sunday Live Music / 2:00-5:00pm / Free to the public / reservations suggested for groups of 10 or more / Dec. 4th James Holland ~ acoustical guitarist / Dec. 10th Will Sumner ~ Smooth jazz / Dec. 18th Don Brennan~ acoustical guitarist

Danza del Sol Winery
Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for a schedule of performers.

Europa Village
Cooking Class with Chef Dean Thomas / Dec. 3rd / Two classes offered: 11am and 1pm / $55 per person / French themed cooking class with our Executive Chef Dean Thomas. Class includes step-by-step lesson plan, cooking demonstration, take-home recipes, and a gourmet three-course lunch paired with Europa Village wines / For reservations please log on to www.europavillage.com

Live Friday Night Entertainment / 6pm-9pm / Free to the public.
Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public

Falkner Winery
Sip n Paint “Personalize It” / Dec. 1 / 6p-8p / Cost $35; $30 for Wine club members / Enjoy a personalize holiday painting you create on your own. Fee includes all supplies / Reserve at artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Sip & Shop / Dec. 11 / 4p-7p / Falkner invites you and your friends to shopping, wine & fun! Treat yourself, shop for the holidays & participate in our raffle. 20+ vendors will be available during this event and visit with Santa from 5:30p to 7:00pm / Wine will be available by the glass / Free to attend / For information please contact wineclub@falknerwinery.com.

‘Chilled’ Shopping Event / December 15th / 5-7pm / Holiday Shopping in Wine Country. Special wine and gift sales / www.TemeculaChilled.com

Leoness Cellars
Live Music in The Restaurant at Leoness Voted Best Winery Restaurant by USA Today! Every Friday 5pm-8pm & Saturday 5-8pm / Free and open to the public.

Live Music in the Barrel Room Sunday 1pm-4pm / Free and open to the public.

Longshadow Ranch Winery
Legends of the Wild West Dinner Theater & Variety Show / December 9 & 16 / 7pm- 9:30pm (Doors open at 6pm) / An amazing hand written organic Western themed comedy production featuring the finest dancers, vocalists & actors available. We are so proud to have Broadway veterans from Tony award winning productions in this show. Family friendly as always but a great date night as well. / Buffet style supper includes Western spaghetti in ample portions with ranch style meatballs, steamed mixed veggies and garlic bread, Dessert to follow. *Vegetarian option available. Please specify in reservation notes. Wine, beer, soda and bottled water available. Coffee available with dessert / VIP tickets $30**; Gen. Adm. $20** / **A two drink minimum is required and not included in ticket price. VIP ticket includes – priority service and seating. Front of the line for meet-and-greet/photos with performers on stage / This will be an outdoor event so dress accordingly. Inclement weather will result in rescheduling. No refunds on ticket purchases / For tickets and reservations, please log on to: https://squareup.com/store/longshadow-ranch-winery

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Tree Lighting Celebration / December 4th / 5pm / Come meet Santa, enjoy Christmas cookies, cocoa, mulled wine and more! – Select merchandise and wine sale

Live Music Friday & Saturday / 6p-9p / Free to the public

Live Music Sunday / 2p-5pm / Free to the public

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Live Music on the Patio / Every Saturday / 12:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Enjoy great wine and live music! / Check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for a schedule of performers.

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7p-10p / Friday Line-up: 12/2- The Core- Eclectic, variety jazz /12/9 -Ruben V- Latin & salsa music / 12/16 – Mickie Arnett, 90’s rock and covers / 12/23- JD Priest- Wildly soulful / 12/30-Tom Solis,variety of pop, rock, country, contemporary, & Americana / Saturday Line-up: 12/3 – Indica Roots- Reggae, ska & rock band / 12/10 Bluefish- Big rock sounds from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s / 12/17- Missy Andersen, top blue’s diva 12/21 Indica Roots- Reggae, ska & rock band/ Free to the public / No reservations required. For more information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Live Music at Mount Palomar Winery! / Every Saturday and Sunday / 12p-3p (times may vary) / Annata Bistro/Bar is hosting a live musical performance from 12 – 3 PM! Enjoy a craft cocktail while listening to a talented local performer on our beautiful outdoor patio. / For hours and reservations, go to http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Annata (hours are subject to change)

Tequila Tastings at Annata Bistro/Bar / December 3rd & 4th / 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM / Mount Palomar Winery is hosting the first ever tequila tastings in Temecula in our on-site restaurant, Annata Bistro/Bar! Enjoy samples of top shelf Asombroso tequilas, made from 100% blue agave. You’ll enjoy 5 samples of fine tequila, including San Francisco World Spirits Competition double gold award winners / Tickets: $22 at the door / RSVP at www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Annata

The Hollywoodland Murder / December 16th / 7:00p to 10:00p /The talented performers from Dainty Dames events are hosting another intriguing night of mystery at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula, California. Enjoy a delectable 3 course meal and a glass of champagne while hunting for a killer and solving the mystery. The story: The year is 1949, and YOU a member of Tinsel Town’s elite, are invited to the world premiere of “The Hollywoodland Murder”, which has stirred up some controversy. Critics claim it is an exploitation of the infamous murder of “The Black Dahlia,” only a few years since it shocked the nation. Unbeknownst to YOU and other premiere attendees, guests have entered a one of a kind hostage situation, as they innocently mingle & dine on a delectable 3 course meal. The Killer has arrived and carefully constructed a twisted game, where guests must work together by participating in various challenges and tests of wit to solve this murder mystery, before the body count grows! / For tickets: http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Murder-Mystery-Dinner

Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / December 4th, 10th & 18th / 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!) / For tickets: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/133232.html

Ponte Winery
Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar open late every day, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn. The Cellar offers live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend / Visit www.pontevineyardinn.com for an entertainment schedule.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-7pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, wine and more!

Football Specials in The Cellar Lounge / During NFL Football Games, during business hours Sunday, Monday and Thursday /Enjoy food and drink specials in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn during NFL games! Watch the game on the big screen while enjoying your favorite Ponte wine on tap. Visit our website for more information / Cost: No cover charge, food and drink specials $4 – $15.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards
Enjoy live music every Saturday & Sunday at Mama Rosa’s Trattoria / 1:00pm-4:00pm / Free to the public / For a schedule of performers and to view the restaurants menu, please visit www.robertrenzonivineyards.com

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Elegant Christmas Dinner / December 24 & 25 / 5:30 – 9:00 pm / Allow South Coast Winery Resort & Spa to Make your Christmas Dinner One to Remember at Vineyard Rose Restaurant Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Let our elves take care of you this year with Chef’s elegant 4-course Christmas Dinner with a single price, based on the entrée selected / Reservations are required so call today to reserve the best selection: 951.587.9463

Fa La La La La…. Let the magic begin / Nov. 27 through Dec. 24 / 6pm-9pm / We’ve deck our halls and have tuned our chords, now all that’s needed is for you. Enjoy the traditional and heartwarming songs from Christmas Carolers, dressed up in vintage attire Fridays through Sundays. Free to the public.

Jingle All The Way / Sunday’s in December / 2p-5p /Grab your favorite wine and then plan to meet up with Singer/Performer James Wells in the Vintner’s Garden at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa each Sunday afternoon.

All Wrapped Up For the Holidays / During the month of December, each time you spend $50 dollars on retail in the Gift Boutique at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, we will wrap it up for you in a gift basket. Basket must include retail items.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $40pp; $35pp Wine Club Member / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today /Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Happy Hour at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant / Monday – Friday / 3pm – 5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservation Information: Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Wiens Family Cellars
New Year’s Eve Dinner / December 31st / 8:00pm / Enjoy a seated dinner followed by hours of DJ dancing to send the year 2016 off in style. Start the night off with appetizers and complimentary glass of wine followed by a seated dinner and dessert bar. Dancing will begin after dinner and a glass of complimentary sparkling will be provided at midnight. Formal Attire Only / $100 Wine Club Members, $125 Regular admission / To purchase tickets and review dinner menu please log on to: http://www.wienscellars.com

Wilson Creek Winery
Wine Academy / Dec. 11 / 1p-3p / Holiday food & wine pairing in the Garden Terrace Room / Instructor: Greg Pennyroyal / Wine Club Members $40, Non-members $55 / Call to reserve 951.699.9463

Live Entertainment / 12p-4p / Free to the public / 12/3 JD Priest / 12/4 Jeff Tucker / 12/10 Smoothie Jones / 12/11 Tim Walsh / 12/17 Doug Laramie / 12/18 Funk Shui Planet / 12/31 Michael Le Clerc

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