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Temecula Valley Vineyards See Early Budbreak

February 25th, 2015

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Despite the abnormally wet December and SNOW (!) in January, winter just didn’t last long enough in Temecula Valley’s wine country to keep spring at bay.

“We thought last year was early”, said Steve Andrews, Oak Mountain Winery’s owner and winemaker, “but we’re already seeing some “pushing” on our hillside vineyards”.  And “pushing” leads to budbreak, which is exactly what JD Harkey, of Drake Enterprises, a local farm management company, reported today.  JD shared the photo above, showing actual bud- break on a head-pruned Zinfandel vine he saw just this morning.

“It’s the earliest budbreak I’ve ever seen”, said Harkey.  “It’s going to be an interesting harvest!”

While delaying pruning as long as possible – sometimes into January and early February – often results in later budbreak, this year is proving challenging for local vineyard managers.  An early budbreak can be devastating to a vineyard if a late spring frost comes along, particularly if the buds have begun to flower, which is the pre-cursor to fruit set.

We were lucky last year, which was also a record breaker for early bud break here in Temecula.  We were thankful for a nice, long and temperate spring season that allowed the fruit to develop fully and evenly throughout the valley.  And while we all know that Mother Nature does what she wills, we’re hoping she slows things down a bit.  We want more winter!

 

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It’s National Drink Wine Day!

February 18th, 2015

national wine day

Yep, you heard it right.  Today is National Drink Wine Day!

Just think… an entire day designated to drinking wine. I am so in!   And yes, we’ve all seen the studies that show drinking a glass of wine a day improves heart health, reduces forgetfulness, boosts immunity, and increases bone density. So, it’s healthy, right?  But really, days like today are just one more reason to enjoy a great wine with some great people.  So pop a cork and raise a glass!

And just for fun, here’s a few fun facts to share with your friends while you’re sharing that bottle of Temecula Valley wine.

 1.  Italy produces the most wine.

2.  California produces the most Chardonnay.

3.  Very few wines improve with age.

4.  The term “bouquet” refers to the scent of the wine; “aroma” is the scent of the grapes.  Together they equal the “nose”.

5.  There’s about 100 calories in a glass of wine.

6.  The word “wine” is mentioned 521 times in the Bible.

7.  Marilyn Monroe is said to have bathed in champagne. It took 350 bottles to fill her bathtub.

8.  Swirling “aerates” your wine by releasing the compounds which combine with oxygen to create the bouquet or aroma.

9.  Three glasses of dry red wine have less calories than one Twix bar.

10.  In California, wine country tours are second only to Disneyland in popularity with tourists.

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Wine Country Recipe: Cheese Fondue

February 9th, 2015

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Nothing screams romance more than fondue!  So, this Valentine’s Day, if you’d prefer to forgo the crowded restaurants and opt for a quick, simple and romantic meal at home, we’ve got you covered with this cheese fondue recipe.  Pair with a salad, your favorite Temecula Valley Riesling and perhaps some chocolate fondue for dessert…and…voilà, you’ve got the perfect Valentine’s dinner.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

Directions:

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside.  Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer.  Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid.  Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue.  Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.

Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot.  Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads.  Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus.  Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Suggested pairings:

Baily Vineyard & Winery ~ 2013 Riesling – A delicate, dry and fruity white.

Briar Rose Winery ~ 2013 Riesling – Opening up with a soft apricot on the front and light fruity sweetness on the finish.

Lorenzi Estate Vineyards & Winery ~ 2012 Riesling – The nose is aromatic with spicy stone fruit with a combination of sweet Meyer lemons, along with tropical touches of mango and pineapple.

Mount Palomar Winery ~ 2012 Riesling – Prominent scents of pineapple and soft hints of star fruit, with a smooth tropical finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy Tyler Florence and foodnetwork.com.

 

 

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February Winery Events

January 30th, 2015

Red wine spilled from glassesBaily Vineyard & Winery

Sangiovese Saturdays at Carol’s
Saturdays in February; / 11:30a-3:00p / Live music, mulled wine, cheese fondue, 1/2 price Sangiovese

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch!  Live acoustic entertainment.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Thursday-Sunday / 11:00a-2:30p / Tours and vertical tasting of library Meritage.  Sit down with bread and cheese plate; $30 (Reservations required 24 hours in advance) / Bar Tasting; $20.  Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

Valentine’s Luncheon
Saturday, February 14 / 11:30a-3:30p / 3 course lunch for $29.95 per person, featuring live music. Reservations Required.

Valentine’s Dinner
Saturday, February 14 / 5:00p-8:30p / 4 course dinner for $64.95 per person, featuring live music .  Reservations required.

Bel Vino Winery

Valentine’s Day Dinner
Saturday, February 14 / 6:30p- 9:30p / $90 per person / $80 per person, wine club members / 5 course dinner with wine pairings.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Cupid’s Flight Couples Wine Tasting
Saturday, February 14 & Sunday, February 15 / 11a-4p
This lovely wine flight tasting is sure to delight your Valentine! You will each choose a trio of wines to sample while enjoying the spectacular view from our hilltop winery. To make it extra special, we are including a small sampling of “love bites” to share /  $35 per couple; $31.50 Wine Club Members

Romance Found at Meritage
Saturday, February 14 / 4:30p-8:30p / Join us at Meritage at Callaway for a special menu featuring savory offerings. Live music performed by Dustin Jake.  Reservations are required and can be made online or call (951) 587-8889 between 11am and 3pm daily to speak with our host/hostess.

Happiest Hours
Grab your friends and join us for a marvelous time!  Friday and Sunday from 3:00p-6:00p in the lounge at Meritage at Callaway.  20% all tapas, $2 off wine by the glass, 20% off bottles of Callaway wines and available domestic, import and craft beers.

Wine Flight Fridays
EVERY Friday beginning at 3pm
Travel around the world with us and experience a different wine region every month. Savor and compare the varietals that best represent a particular region paired with a special selection of Tapas typical of that region. This month, enjoy a wine flight of 3 wines from South America for $15.

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway
Every Sunday at Meritage at Callaway from 4pm-8pm in the main dining room.  Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views.  Live music from local musicians begins at 6pm.  No cover charge and no reservations required.

Open Mic Night at Meritage at Callaway
Thursday, February 5 / 6:00p-9:00p / A creative life needs to be lived out in the OPEN; heard and shared with others. Join us for an evening of tapas, wine & creative collaboration. We will provide the stage, you provide your words, your unique sound and your talent. Come early to sign up.  Call (951) 587-8889 or email stefano_butto@callawaywinery.com for more information.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery

8th Annual Super Chili Bowl
Sunday, February 1 / 3:00p-8:30p /Join us for food, wine, beer & football. Super Bowl XL11. Chili competition kicks off at 3pm. 14 chili competitors will battle to become our newest Chili Champion! / Competitors $10 (spots filling up quickly), Wine Club $20, All others $25. Price increases $5 day of. Email wineclub@cougarvineyards.com to join in on the fun. 4-6 tickets purchased and pick out which table you’d like in the Barrel Room reserved for you today!

Danza Del Sol Winery

Live music on the patio / 1p-5p
Saturday, February 7 – Racheal Stark
Saturday, February 14 – TwoFish
Sunday, February 15 – TwoFish
Saturday, February 21 – Tony Suraci
Saturday, February 28 – Hamilton & Schultz

Get Sauced
Friday, February 13 / $65 per person; $58.50 per person, wine club / Get your Valentine SAUCED!  Ahem, Get Sauced on Valentine’s Day!  Treat your sweetheart to a delicious, fun filled evening of food, wine and culinary entertainment.

Doffo Winery

Super Bowl Party: Argentine Style
Sunday, February 1 / 2:00p-7:00p / $10 per person / Watch the game on our big screen in the MotoBarrel Room while enjoying traditional homemade Argentinian food along with our handcrafted red wines and craft beer.  Food will be available for purchase.  A “ladies” boutique will offer some alternative entertainment for those not interested in watching the entire game.  Visit www.doffowinery.com for more information.

Romantic Valentine’s Dinner
Saturday, February 14 / 6:00p-9:00p / $75 per person+ purchase of one or more bottles of wine per person. / Treat your loved one to the most romantic event of the year.  Indulge in our Italian inspired four-course meal paired with our very own handcrafted wines. Reservations required and limited seats available.  Register at www.doffowines.com.

Europa Village

Live Music
Fridays from 5:30p-8:30p and Sundays from 1:00p-4:00p / February 1 – Dustin Jake / February 6 – Cougrzz Rock Duo / February 8 – Joe Baldino / February 15 – Jimmy Patton / February 20  – Radical Pie / February 22- Danielle Taylor / February 27 – Missy

Valentine’s Day Wine Paired Dinner & Musical Play – “Romance, Romance”

Europa Village presents a sweetheart of a musical paired with a romantic gourmet 5-course dinner. Each course paired with Europa Village C’est La Vie Wines; Friday Tickets: $115pp/Société $103.50pp (Table for 2); Friday Tickets: $89pp/ Société $80pp (Seated at a Table of 8); Saturday Tickets: $125pp/Société $112.50pp (Table for 2); Saturday Tickets: $99/ Société $89 (Seated at a Table of 8)

Falkner Winery

Valentine’s Lunch Special
February 13-16
Lunch for 2 for $55 / Reservations required by calling 951-676-8231 xt. 1 or by visiting www.falknerwinery.com

Valentine’s Romantic Dinner
Saturday, February 14 / 5:30p-9:30p / 4 course meal with wine and live entertainment/ Reservations required by calling 951-676-8231 xt. 1 or by visiting www.falknerwinery.com

Wine Appreciation Class
Saturday, January 21 / 10:00a-12:30p / $45 per person

Sweetheart Party Event
Saturday, February 21 / 6:00p – midnight / Sweetheart Party Event / Reserve the date for a fun evening event with music, dancing, food, wine and more!

Frangipani Estate Winery

Valentine’s Day Dinner
Saturday, February 14 / 6:30p-9:30p / 4 Course Wine Paired Dinner / Live Entertainment from the singing group Sinatra & Friends / $65 per person plus tax/gratuity; $55 per person plus tax/gratuity  for wine club members / Advance reservations required by February 12, 2015

Lorimar Winery

Live Music

Fridays & Saturdays 6p-9p / Sundays 2p-5p

Valentine’s Day
Saturday, February 14 / Special offer for two people: includes a bottle of 2012 Bravia, a pizza from Pairings, one dessert, two heart stemless glasses for only $59!  Order tickets online to reserve a space, or call the tasting room at 951-694-6699.  First seating is at 6:00p.  Live music during the day is Tom Bray from 1-4p and Lifetime Rocker from 6p-9p.

Mount Palomar Winery

Bottles “n” Brushes Painting Class with Wine
February 15, 21, 22, 25 / 12:00a-3:00p  (February 25th class is 11:00a-2:00p)/ $45 per person – includes a glass of wine!  (Discount given for multiple guests) / To sign up or for more information, please contact Dorothy Hawthorne at 951-302-3088 or doughawthorne@verizon.net.

Valentine n’ Wine!
Saturday, February 14 / 11:00a-4:00p / $25 per flight.

Oak Mountain Winery

Valentine’s Day Dinner Celebration
Saturday, February 14 / 6:00p-9:00p / $90 per person, plus tax and gratuity / $80 per person, plus tax and gratuity, Wine Club Member / Join owners, Steve and Valerie for a special Valentine’s Day Celebration Dinner. Reservations are required by calling 951-699-9102

“Wine, Food and Fun” Cooking Class
Saturday, February 21 / 6:00p-9:00p / $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in January / 1:00p-5:00p

Oak Mountain Winery University

Bubbles 101 – We want to burst your bubble with our champagne class / Oak Mountain Winery’s Sparkling Wine Class will have you taste three of our handcrafted sparkling wines made and bottled here in Temecula.  You will be served 3 of our sparkling wines paired with artisanal cheeses.  Learn fun facts you always wanted to know about sparkling wines and champagne.

Blending Reds – Create, bottle and label your very own blend / In our Blending Class, you get to be the Winemaker!  You will be supplied with three of Oak Mountain’s red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, tasting notes, a measuring flask and pipette, three wine glasses for sampling your creation and a “cheat sheet” provided by our own winemaker to help you with the process.  You will have the option to bottle your custom blend of wine for an additional $29.  We will then pop in a cork and add a personalized label and you’ll take home wonderful memories – as well as a one-of-a-kind bottle of wine.

Wine Tasting for Dummies 101 / Our beginners class for Wine Tasters.  This is a good class to take if this is your first visit to a winery and want to know the basics of wine tasting.  You will taste three wines paired with delicious gourmet cheeses and dark chocolate toffee.  You will also get to sample eight of our infused Avocado Oils and Balsamic Vinegars that are only available at Oak Mt. Winery.

Rhone Wine Class 201 / Our second, more advanced class after taking Wine Tasting 101 is our Rhone Wine Tasting Class 201.  Learn how these grapes are grown here in the valley and how wine is made, while tasting varietals from different areas in the Rhone region of France.  Just like the 101 class, you’ll get 3 wine tastings and 8 tastings of Avocado Oil and Balsamic Vinegars.

Bordeaux Wine Class 201 / You will learn how these grapes are grown and how they are harvested and processed, while tasting Oak Mountain wines from different areas in the Bordeaux region of France.  Just like the 101 class, you will get 3 wine tastings and 8 tastings of Avocado Oil and Balsamic Vinegars.  We recommend that you have taken our Wine Tasting 101 class prior to this course.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Vineyard Rose Valentine Season of Love Prix Fixe Dinner
February 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 / Three special courses with wine; just $99 for two! / Reservations a must by calling 800-539-1375.

Valentine’s Dinner at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Saturday, February 14 /5:30p-9:30p / $99 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Wine & Dine Chef’s Table at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant
For those who truly love to dine, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s culinary team offers a front row seat into their world with a special “Chef’s Table Dinner”. The Vineyard Rose Chefs create a custom five-course menu just for you. Our expert Winemakers then pair each course with our award winning wines to heighten the dining experience to another level. Whether it’s a special celebration or an intimate affair, our Chef’s Table dinner for 2 to 8 guests will define the art of fine cuisine with a memorable evening of food and wine for only $135 per person. Call 951-491-8077 to reserve your table today.

Happy Hours at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Monday-Friday 3:00p-5:30p / Join us in the Vineyard Rose Lounge for reduced priced selected appetizers, award winning select glasses of South Coast wines and local drafts.  PLUS corkage fees are waived for any South Coast Winery wine bottles brought in to the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and consumed while dining on Wednesdays too!   Visit www.WineResort.com to view menus and find out more.

Wine Wednesdays at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
6:00p-9:00p / Wednesday nights just got even better at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant as award winning pianist, Blessie Isaac-Hopkins, takes the helm behind our elegant grand piano.  This world traveler and life-long student of music has performed internationally over the course of her career at many high-end hotels and resorts, including the Peninsula, Regent, Westin, Hilton and Shangri-la Hotel and now you can enjoy her music at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Reserve today for an unforgettable Wednesday evening with fine wines, delicious food and live music between the hours of 6:30p to 9:00p. Call 951.587.9463

Vintner Vault Thursdays
Every Thursday in February is Couples Day at South Coast Winery’s Vintner’s Vault Tasting Room.  Bring your spouse, your loved-one, your partner, your friend and treat yourself to a wine tasting experience for two. / Couples Tasting: $20 wine tasting for two people.  Includes two keepsake South Coast Winery wine glasses with your paid tasting

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vintage Vantage Menu

Monday-Thursday 11:30a -3:00p / Specially priced $9.99 lunches at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant for those aged 55 and over. Call 951-587-9463 x 2 for more information or reservations.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours
Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday. 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.   Call 800-539-1375 Ext. 350 to reserve your spot today.

Thornton Winery

Valentine’s Romantic Rendezvous
Saturday, February 14 /  $135.00, plus tax and gratuity.  Live music, A rose for your Sweetheart, a 4 course meal with wine or sparkling wine,  private tables of two located in our Champagne Caves or Vineyard View room or dinner at Café Champagne –$75.00 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  3 course meal.  Reservations are required by calling 951-699-0099.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dream Big, Temecula Valley Winemakers!

January 30th, 2015

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This week we’re at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento for a yearly industry event that helps keeps us all “in the know”.  Apart from pouring a sampling of fabulous Temecula Valley wines to some of the 14,000+ attending wine lovers, we caught up with a few of our own to find out what they were dreaming about while walking through the chock full convention center.

Arturo Villareal, winemaker at Danza del Sol was looking for some new barrels.  But what he’s really dreaming about is a new, much larger wine cellar.  Sorry, Art!  I don’t think they actually sell those.

We caught up with Damian and Marcello Doffo who were in the midst of purchasing a water treatment system for Doffo Winery. While it’s a much needed purchase, there’s certainly much more fun things to buy…

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Nick and Cindy Palumbo were looking for some portable stainless steel tanks.  And dreaming of a cold beer! As Nick always says, “it takes a lot of beer to make wine.”

BJ Fazeli, who’s winery is being built as we speak, needs everything for his new winery.  He brought along his wallet and is definitely dreaming BIG.

The Wiens brothers are in the market for a new de-stemmer but are dreaming about a new optical sorter that will separate and remove the less than perfect grapes from the sorting table.  It’s a winemaker thang!

JD Harkey and Chase Drake, of Drake Enterprises are dreaming REALLY big and hoping Ben pops for a machine harvester this year.

Jon McPherson and Javier Flores, the dynamic duo of winemakers at South Coast, were searching out some “state of the art” lab equipment for the new Carter Estate Winery which is scheduled to open in just a few weeks.

All in all, I’d say the Temecula Valley winemakers, while truly dreaming big dreams, were pretty down to earth.  Except for Art and that new cellar…

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World of Wine Barrel Tasting 2015

January 21st, 2015

WOWlogo_no year_burgundy_lgRevised

Hey kids, what time is it? It’s World of Wine time!

And that means it’s time to visit Temecula Valley wine country for WoW, our Winter Barrel Tasting event, coming up on March 7 and 8, 2015.  It’s one of just two times per year when the wineries open their cellar doors for the weekend, allowing guests to enjoy a multitude of wines paired with scrumptious snacks.

The 2 day event offers ticket holders a self-guided wine country tour that allows visits to all of our member wineries.  You’ll receive a map of Temecula Valley Wine Country, a passport which allows a visit to each participating winery, and a souvenir glass.

The event is held from 10am to 4:30pm. 2 day tickets are regularly $99 per person.  BUT, purchase your tickets before February 8 and SAVE $10 per 2 day ticket.

All tickets are Will-Call and are available for pick-up between 9:30am and 1pm ONLY on the day(s) of the event. Guests will be notified via email as to their pick-up location. Local, Sunday Only and Designated Driver tickets are also available.

So plan to join us in March. And get WoW’d!
For additional information, visit www.temeculawines.org/events or call us at 800.801.9463.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Herb and Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Cauliflower, Shallots and Carrots

January 12th, 2015

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Fresh herbs, crunchy pistachio nuts and the slight sweetness of caramelized cauliflower complement this dramatic, crusted rack of lamb. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend.

Ingredients:

3 slices white sandwich style bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
1 rack of lamb with 8 rib bones, Frenched
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard or other brown mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Put the bread, pistachios, parsley, rosemary, thyme and the 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Scrape the mixture on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Slice the carrots at an angle, into ½ -inch pieces, and cut each piece in half lengthwise.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, cauliflower, carrots and shallots. Stir to coat the vegetables, and then cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Stir and turn the vegetables and cook them undisturbed for another 3 minutes. Stir and turn one more time. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.

Cut the lamb rack in half between the fourth and fifth ribs. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and pepper on all three surfaces.

Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lamb, fat side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn both pieces and sear for 1 minute on each of the other two surfaces. Place the lamb on a roasting pan, fat side down, and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and transfer the lamb to a plate. Brush all three surfaces of each piece with the mustard and coat generously with the pistachio mixture. Keep the leftover pistachio mixture on the baking sheet.

Return the lamb to the roasting pan, fat side up, and roast it for 3 minutes or until the coating is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Put the pan with the remaining pistachio mixture in the oven for 3 minutes to toast. Transfer the nuts to a small serving bowl.

Reheat the cauliflower and add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a very sharp knife, cut between the ribs to make 8 lamb chops.

To serve, arrange 2 chops on each plate with a serving of the cauliflower. Pass the toasted nuts for sprinkling.

Suggested Pairings:

Foot Path Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – An inviting wine with rich red berries and subtle tannins on the palate.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2011 VS Cabernet Sauvignon – Soft tannins along with layers of spice and cocoa continue into a rich, velvety finish.

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery ~ 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Sophia’s Vineyard – Bright dark fruit with black currant, raspberry and pepper nose and lingering black cherry.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2011 Sonata – Bouquet of toasted oak, vanilla, and dried cherries, amid layers of cherry, cranberry and spice with a hint of coffee on the finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

 

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Dream Big ~ Rosie and Gerry Wilson, Wilson Creek Winery

December 19th, 2014

Check in every month where we feature a new interview with a Temecula Valley winery owner. You’ll learn where they came from, why they chose Temecula – and what keeps them passionate about the sometimes not-so-glamorous life of a winery owner.

gerry_rosie_wilson

When the motivating factor for starting a winery was “togetherness”, you must know that we’re talking to Gerry and Rosie Wilson, owners of Wilson Creek Winery!

 So, how did this all start?
Our family had spread out, Bill was working in San Diego, Mick was in Sacramento and Libby was in Solvang.  We were trying to figure out where to retire to when Bill came up with the idea of starting up a small family business where we could all come together to live and work as a family.  We thought it sounded fun; our friends thought we were nuts! But we came together as a family, scraped up every dime we could find and each chipped in what we could to make it happen.  And it’s been a blessing since day one.

Why Temecula?
For us, it was – and is – all about the lifestyle.  We’d visited Temecula many, many times over the years as a weekend golf getaway from our Pasadena home and we’d always loved the area. Where else do you get to wake up to balloons flying overhead and go to sleep with hundreds of stars in the sky?  Or walk down from our home with our dogs to go to work each day?  And I can’t think of any place on earth where a call for a “sunset alert” is a common occurrence.

What keeps you going?
In the beginning, it was a LOT of work.  We did as much of the manual labor as possible ourselves.  We dug the ditches for pipes, ran wires for the electrical, planted trees and roses and anything else we could to save money.  Thank goodness we were all younger then!  We used to laugh and say we all worked half days; which 12 hour shift we worked was up to us!  But we were committed to support four families – and we did.  We ate lots of peanut butter sandwiches back then, but they taste great with wine.

Wilson Creek Winery is known for its philanthropic efforts throughout the valley, why is that so important to you and your family?
We really never really thought about it in the beginning, that’s just the way we’ve always been.  When you don’t have a lot of money, but you have a product that people love, it’s a great fit.  We could always go and pour wine and in doing so, it really helped us to build our brand.  We believe that when you give, what you get in return comes in spades. And now that we have such a beautiful place, it would be a shame not to share it when we can with those in need.

It seems that “niceness” around here starts at the top…
We’re just so darn lucky!  We have a wonderful team of people working with us that we just love.  From our winemaker to our vineyard manager and from our chef and restaurant staff to our tasting room staff; they’re all just such a pleasure to be around every day.  We consider ourselves one big, happy family.

 

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January Winery Events

December 18th, 2014

January Events 2015

It’s the start of another new year (again) and if you haven’t visited Temecula Valley Wine Country lately, now’s the time!  There’s never a dull moment in wine country, and this time of year is no exception.  Check out the wine country calendar of events and make plans to visit us soon!

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Sangiovese Saturdays at Carol’s
Saturdays in January; / 11:30a-3:00p / Live music, mulled wine, cheese fondue, 1/2 price Sangiovese

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch!  Live acoustic entertainment.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Thursday-Sunday / 11:00a-2:30p / Tours and vertical tasting of library Cabernet Franc.  Sit down with bread and cheese plate; $30 (Reservations required 24 hours in advance) / Bar Tasting; $20.  Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

“Inventory Reduction Sale”
Entire month of January / A sale on all current vintages to make room for the 2014 whites and rose and the 2011 reds.  Visit or call the winery for details.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Prime Rib Fridays
Every Friday at Meritage from 5pm-8:00pm in the main dining room.  Enjoy a three-course Prime Rib dinner for $35 per person!  Choose from soup and salad, a scrumptious Prime rib entree and finish with a house made Crème Brulee for two!  A special wine discount of 20% off Callaway wines by the bottle is available throughout the evening.  Vini Contreas performs live in the main dining room every Friday beginning at 6pm and continuing throughout the evening.  Reservations are not required.  No cover.  Cannot be combined with any other offers, including wine club member discounts.

Happiest Hours
Grab your friends and join us for a marvelous time!  Friday and Sunday from 3:00p-6:00p in the lounge at Meritage at Callaway.  20% all tapas, $2 off wine by the glass, 20% off bottles of Callaway wines and available domestic, import and craft beers.

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway
Every Sunday at Meritage at Callaway from 4pm-8pm in the main dining room.  Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views.  Live music from local musicians begins at 6pm.  No cover charge and no reservations required.

Open Mic Night at Meritage at Callaway
Thursday, January 8 / 6:00p-9:00p / A creative life needs to be lived out in the OPEN; heard and shared with others. Join us for an evening of tapas, wine & creative collaboration. We will provide the stage, you provide your words, your unique sound and your talent. Come early to sign up.  Call (951) 587-8889 or email stefano_butto@callawaywinery.com for more information.

Europa Village

Live Music
Fridays from 5:30p-8:30p and Sundays from 1:00p-4:00p / January 2 – Radical Pie / January 4 – Mark Norris / January 9 – Dustin Jake / January 11 – Jimmy Patton / January 16  – James Wells / January 18- Dustin Jake / January 23 – Bryan McManus / January 25 – Joe Baldino / January 30 – Two Fish

Murder Mystery Dinner – “And, The Murder Goes To….”
Saturday, January 24 / 6:30p-9:00p / $70 per person / Societe Members $63 per person / Purchase tickets at www.europavillage.com

Murder Mystery Dinner – “And, The Murder Goes To….”
Sunday, January 25 / 6:30p-9:00p / $70 per person / Societe Members $63 per person / Purchase tickets at www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery

Wine Appreciation Class
Saturday, January 17 / 10:00a-12:30p / $45 per person

Frangipani Estate Winery

9th Year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, January 10 / 1:00p-5:00p / Wine specials throughout the day.  Special wine cocktails.

Lorimar Winery

Live Music

Fridays & Saturdays 6p-9p / Sundays 2p-5p

Mount Palomar Winery

Bottles “n” Brushes Painting Class with Wine
January 7, 22, 24 / 11:00a-2:00p / January 24th class is from 12:00p-3:00p / $45 per person – includes a glass of wine!  (Discount given for multiple guests) / To sign up or for more information, please contact Dorothy Hawthorne at 951-302-3088 or doughawthorne@verizon.net.

Oak Mountain Winery

9th Anniversary Party
Saturday, January 17 / 6:00p-9:00p / Come join us to celebrate our 9th anniversary party for Oak Mountain Winery.  Dinner, wine and live music by Rhandi & Associates.  Call 951-699-9102 for more details.

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in January / 1:00p-5:00p

Oak Mountain Winery University

Bubbles 101 – We want to burst your bubble with our champagne class / Oak Mountain Winery’s Sparkling Wine Class will have you taste three of our handcrafted sparkling wines made and bottled here in Temecula.  You will be served 3 of our sparkling wines paired with artisanal cheeses.  Learn fun facts you always wanted to know about sparkling wines and champagne.

Blending Reds – Create, bottle and label your very own blend / In our Blending Class, you get to be the Winemaker!  You will be supplied with three of Oak Mountain’s red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, tasting notes, a measuring flask and pipette, three wine glasses for sampling your creation and a “cheat sheet” provided by our own winemaker to help you with the process.  You will have the option to bottle your custom blend of wine for an additional $29.  We will then pop in a cork and add a personalized label and you’ll take home wonderful memories – as well as a one-of-a-kind bottle of wine.

Wine Tasting for Dummies 101 / Our beginners class for Wine Tasters.  This is a good class to take if this is your first visit to a winery and want to know the basics of wine tasting.  You will taste three wines paired with delicious gourmet cheeses and dark chocolate toffee.  You will also get to sample eight of our infused Avocado Oils and Balsamic Vinegars that are only available at Oak Mt. Winery.

Rhone Wine Class 201 / Our second, more advanced class after taking Wine Tasting 101 is our Rhone Wine Tasting Class 201.  Learn how these grapes are grown here in the valley and how wine is made, while tasting varietals from different areas in the Rhone region of France.  Just like the 101 class, you’ll get 3 wine tastings and 8 tastings of Avocado Oil and Balsamic Vinegars.

Bordeaux Wine Class 201 / You will learn how these grapes are grown and how they are harvested and processed, while tasting Oak Mountain wines from different areas in the Bordeaux region of France.  Just like the 101 class, you will get 3 wine tastings and 8 tastings of Avocado Oil and Balsamic Vinegars.  We recommend that you have taken our Wine Tasting 101 class prior to this course.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Wine & Dine Chef’s Table at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant

For those who truly love to dine, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s culinary team offers a front row seat into their world with a special “Chef’s Table Dinner”. The Vineyard Rose Chefs create a custom five-course menu just for you. Our expert Winemakers then pair each course with our award winning wines to heighten the dining experience to another level. Whether it’s a special celebration or an intimate affair, our Chef’s Table dinner for 2 to 8 guests will define the art of fine cuisine with a memorable evening of food and wine for only $135 per person. Call 951-491-8077 to reserve your table today.

Happy Hours at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Monday-Friday 3:00p-5:30p / Join us in the Vineyard Rose Lounge for reduced priced selected appetizers, award winning select glasses of South Coast wines and local drafts.  PLUS corkage fees are waived for any South Coast Winery wine bottles brought in to the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and consumed while dining on Wednesdays too!   Visit www.WineResort.com to view menus and find out more.

Wine Wednesdays at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
6:00p-9:00p / Wednesday nights just got even better at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant as award winning pianist, Blessie Isaac-Hopkins, takes the helm behind our elegant grand piano.  This world traveler and life-long student of music has performed internationally over the course of her career at many high-end hotels and resorts, including the Peninsula, Regent, Westin, Hilton and Shangri-la Hotel and now you can enjoy her music at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Reserve today for an unforgettable Wednesday evening with fine wines, delicious food and live music between the hours of 6:30p to 9:00p. Call 951.587.9463

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Touchdown Sundays
We’re making football Sundays a day for the ladies. Join us every Sunday during football season from 12 noon to 3pm in the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Enjoy half priced mimosas, sangria and our signature Spumante Diamante. Reservations Recommended. Call 951-587-9463 x 2

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vintage Vantage Menu
Monday-Thursday 11:30a -3:00p / Specially priced $9.99 lunches at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant for those aged 55 and over. Call 951-587-9463 x 2 for more information or reservations.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours
Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday. 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.   Call 800-539-1375 Ext. 350 to reserve your spot today.

Festival of Wines
January 18-24 / A whole week dedicated to tantalize your senses!  We’ve tasked each of our resort’s departments to create a special celebration dedicated to the Art of Wine!  Come out any day of the week to enjoy all that we have to offer!  Visit www.wineresort.com or call 800.539.1375 for more information.

Thornton Winery

Thornton Winery’s Chef’s Counter Dinner
Friday, January 30 / 7:00p / A one of a kind dining experience! An interactive Chef’s table in a private kitchen, where you will dine one-on-one while the chef prepares your five course meal right in front of you. Seating is limited to 10.  Reservations are required by calling 951-699-0099.

 

 

 

 

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California Restaurant Month, Temecula Wine Country Style!

December 18th, 2014

California Restaurant Month – Splurge, Savor and Save

CA Restaurant Month

Outdoor cafes and bistros, ultra-fresh ingredients, innovative chefs—sample the best of Temecula Valley wine country’s incredible culinary scene throughout January during California Restaurant Month.  Enjoy unforgettable dining experiences at several of our winery restaurants where you’ll find incredible pre-fixe and specialty menu items all month long.

Taste the Place we call home by mentioning California Restaurant Month at any of the below winery restaurants to receive special discounts!

Meritage at Callaway Vineyard & Winery
32720 Rancho California Road
www.CallawayWinery.com

Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery
33440 La Serena Way
www.BailyWinery.com

Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery
40620 Calle Contento
www.FalknerWinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
35820 Rancho California Road
www.MonteDeOro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
33820 Rancho California Road
www.MountPalomar.com

Vineyard Rose Restaurant at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
34843 Rancho California Road
www.SouthCoastWinery.com

Thornton Winery
32575 Rancho California Road
www.ThorntonWine.com

Creekside Grill – Wilson Creek Winery
35960 Rancho California Road
www.WilsonCreekWinery.com

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