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Wine Country Recipe ~ Mulled Wine

December 1st, 2017

Spiced mulled wine is a winter favorite — warm, flavorful, and always so comforting!  And, it’s incredibly easy to make.  We’re definitely going to give this recipe a try over the holidays.

Ingredients:

1 (750 ml) bottle of dry Temecula Valley red wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup brandy (optional)
1/4 cup honey or sugar
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer (not a boil — you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.

*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready to serve.

Recipe courtesy of www.gimmesomeoven.com 

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December Winery Events

December 1st, 2017

This December, eat, drink and be merry in Temecula Valley!

Who can resist a visit to wine country for the holidays? Come enjoy Christmas extravaganzas, exclusive New Year’s Eve parties, sleigh rides through the vineyards, thousands of holiday lights on display – and many more affordable festivities!

Avensole Winery
Painting in the Vines / December 15 / 1:00-4:00pm / Create your own masterpiece under the guidance of professional artist Bonnie Rinier, whose fool-proof painting method will ensure that even novices end the day with a gorgeous watercolor painting to take home / $49 per person, includes all supplies and a glass of wine / $41.65 Wine Club price / Must purchase tickets in advance: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-390489/Painting-In-The-Vines.html

Holiday Happy Hour / November 24 through December 31 / 3:00-6:00pm in the Restaurant Bar / Enjoy a special Holiday Happy Hour menu with cuisine and cocktail specials for the holidays, including seasonal sangria, mulled wine, and dessert cocktails / For more information please visit www.avensolewinery.com

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 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online at link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace every Saturday from 6p-9p / 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. Mangia gourmet cheeses are available for purchase to complement Avensole wines in the Tasting Room/ All free and open to the public. Open seating at the Tasting Room patio.

Baily Winery
Vintage Port & Food Pairing / Available Thursday-Sunday from December 1st – 30th at Baily Estate Tasting Room / 11am-4pm / A rare opportunity to taste all the award-winning Baily Ports; 2003, 2006, 2009 vintages / Includes food pairing plate of fruit, cheese, walnuts and chocolate / $25 per person. 12 seats open every hour / Reservation is required 24 hrs. in advance with credit card. Please call Lisa at 951-972-9768

Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768. *Closed November 24 thru 26th.
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 / For more information please contact the restaurant at 951.676.9243

Bel Vino Winery
Friday Nite Live at Bel Vino / Every Friday 6p-10p / No Cover / Wine & Beer / Bel Vino Bistro open until 9 pm/ 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. For a list of scheduled performers please visit https://www.belvinowinery.com/events/

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration / December 14 / 5:30 to 8:00pm / Free / Join for our annual Wine Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration! Bring the kids to meet Santa and enjoy cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, Christmas carolers, discounts on wine, gifts and more. Experience Christmas in wine country with us.

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is 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, but for 10 or more highly recommended / 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 accouterments. 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

Chapin Family Vineyards
Live Music at Chapin / Every Friday and Saturday from 2pm to 5pm / Please check our Facebook page for a list of scheduled performers. Free to the public.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
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 / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.cougarwinery.com.

Danza del Sol Winery
Holiday Wine Dinner / December 10 / 5pm – 8pm / $68 Members, $72 Guests (plus tax) / Enjoy an evening celebrating the holidays with owner, Bob Olson & winemaker, Art Villarreal! Listen to live jazz music from Stephen Vaughan, while you enjoy an amazing wine paired dinner prepared by Chef Volker Lutz / RSVP to Kelly -k.hefley@danzadelsolwinery.com, 951-302-6363 x26 or online at danzadelsolwinery.com/reservations-events

Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Please check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for additional information.

Doffo Winery
Live Music every Saturday and Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.doffowines.com

Europa Village
Murder Mystery Dinner – Girls Night Out / Saturday, December 9 / 6:00pm / $80 pp / Join us for an evening of mystery and intrigue. You will need to keep your eyes and ears open, because someone will be ruthlessly murdered at the end of the play, and it’s up to you to guess who-done-it! Performance will take place during a gourmet dinner prepared by Europa’s Executive Chef, Dean Thomas / For reservations please visit https://shop.europavillage.com/events/Murder-Mystery-Dinner—Girls–Night-Out-Dec09

Murder Mystery Dinner – Girls Night Out / Sunday, December 10 / 6:00pm / $75 pp / Join us for an evening of mystery and intrigue. You will need to keep your eyes and ears open, because someone will be ruthlessly murdered at the end of the play, and it’s up to you to guess who-done-it! Performance will take place during a gourmet dinner prepared by Europa’s Executive Chef, Dean Thomas /For reservations please visit https://shop.europavillage.com/events/Murder-Mystery-Dinner—Girls–Night-Out-Dec10

Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Big Truth Band at Falkner Winery / December 15 / 7:00-11:00pm / Public event; Friday night in the Pinnacle Restaurant. Enjoy FREE live music! Food, Wine, Beer, Dancing / Adults only 21+ and over / RSVP on our Facebook events page.

Sip N Shop & SANTA Family Event / December 16 / 12:00-7:00pm / Free to attend / Photos with SANTA (4-7pm), Caroling, Photo booth, Food, Wine, Hot Chocolate available from 4-7pm. 20 + Vendors! Holiday items, handmade goodies, Scentsy, Jewelry, Lipsense and more!! Please check out our Facebook events page for more information.

Sip N Paint Class “Snowman Love” / December 20 / 6:00 -8:00pm / $35 per person. Includes all materials / Wines available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members do receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Foot Path Winery
Tamale Making Classes at Foot Path Winery / December 9 and December 16 / 10:00 am / For those of you who wish to know the art of the Tamale come join us in one of the instructions classes held at Foot Path Winery. Two classes will be held, December 9th for Chicken Tamales (Green)and December 16th for Pork Tamales (Red). Learn masa, sauce, meat and corn husk preparation. And most of all, where to purchase your ingredients for the tamales. Recipes and instruction information will be handed out at each class based on subject matter. Lunch will be provided as well as drinks. In addition, there will be sampling of either green or red tamales / Class cost is $30 any you will take home a dozen tamales prepared that day! Class size is limited to 20 people; based on the quantity of people we will either have teams of 4 or 5. Call – 951-764-1849 Chris or Email – deanefoote@verizon.net to reserve a spot / You can secure your spot, on the line, by sending in the class fee by December 2, 2017. Call and reserve your spot on the assembly line…dancing is not required.

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night / December 29 / Doors Open at 6:30pm / Cost is $10 Members / $15 Non-Members / Admission includes 45 Minute Salsa Lesson and a glass of Sangria / Food and drinks available for purchase / Purchase Tickets Here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390102/Salsa-Night-122917.html

New Year’s Eve at Fazeli / December 31 / Come dressed to kill or as your favorite Bond character
Ticket Option #1 @ 7:00pm / $120 / $100 Member includes champagne greeting, 3-course meal and wine pairing with live entertainment, plus DJ & dancing, late night mash-tini bar and midnight champagne.
Ticket Option #2 @ 9:30pm / $55 / $45 Member includes champagne greeting, DJ & dancing, late night mash-tini bar and midnight champagne.
For reservations and to purchase your tickets please visit: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390073/New-Years-Eve.html

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.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
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 list of scheduled of performers.

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Holiday Sip & Shop / December 2 / 11am – 5pm tasting open – Shopping from 12pm-4pm / Free admission / Sip on your favorite Masia wine while shopping on the patio. 10 local vendors, food truck and live music.

Friday Nights @ Masia / December 1 through January 5, 2018 / 4pm to 7pm / Free to attend / Join us in the Vintner’s Lounge & Patio for Friday Nights!

Live Music on the Patio at Masia de la Vinya / Every Saturday from 12pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Please check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for additional information and a list of scheduled performers.

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Arts & Craft Fair / Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11a-5p / Maurice Car’rie Winery offers a charming arts and crafts fair every Friday – Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5 PM. Located on the front picnic grounds at the beautiful Maurice Car’rie Winery are craft vendors with wares that are handmade such as jewelry, paintings, and ceramics along with fun items like great handbags and designer-style sunglasses.
Open to the public, free admission

Saturday Live Music Outdoors Under the Lights / June 10 & 24 / 6p – 9p / Various local artist performances. Admission is free for this concert / For a schedule of performers, please visit www.mauricecarriewinery.com

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 6:00p-9:00p / Free to the public / No reservations required / For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
Sounds of Sunday / Every Sunday / 1pm-5pm / Live music program on our outdoor patio. Come listen to local artists each Sunday afternoon while enjoying a refreshing glass of wine and lunch. Free admission. For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
A Rockabilly Holiday! Live in the Barrel Room / December 1 / 6:00-10:00pm / Mount Palomar Winery is hosting an amazing evening of classic Rockabilly songs! Gino and the Lone Gunmen are performing live in our beautiful barrel room, playing classics by Elvis, The Stray Cats, Buddy Holly, and swingin’ Holiday Hits such as: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock, Blue Christmas, and many more! / For tickets please go to: https://www.heyday.com/shows-tickets

Paint Nites in the Barrel Room / December 3 & 4 from 1-4pm, December 16 & 23 at 12-2pm and 4-6pm / 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 – save $15 with the coupon code CREATE30 / For tickets please go to: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Ponte Winery
Last Chance Shopping Night at Ponte Winery / December 20 / 10am-8pm / Join us after-hours to stock up on wine for your seasonal festivities, and to shop for last minute holiday gifts. Enjoy live music beginning at 5:00 p.m. / Free to attend / Wine Club Members receive 25% off wine and merchandise, and 30% or more off case purchases.

New Year’s Eve Dinner in The Reserve Room / December 31 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / Make plans to join us this holiday season as The Restaurant at Ponte hosts a New Year’s Eve Dinner to remember! Dine from a festive special menu in our intimate Reserve Room at Ponte Winery. Seating is limited; please call 951.252.1770 or email restaurant@pontewinery.com for reservations.

Live Music in The Restaurant at Ponte / Every Friday and Saturday night / 5:30pm-8:30pm / Enjoy a gourmet meal and stunning views while listening to a variety of talented musicians / Entertainment is free while dining / Visit www.pontewinery.com for a list of scheduled performers

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday / 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.

Midnight Toast in The Cellar Lounge / December 31 / 12:00pm-12:30am / Ring in the New Year in The Cellar Lounge… Join us for a festive evening and a midnight toast! Enjoy small bites, craft brews, signature cocktails and wine on tap. Cheers to 2018! / Cost: Menu Items $6 & Up.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-6pm / 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, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Gameday Specials in The Cellar Lounge / Head to The Cellar Lounge to catch NFL games on the big screen! Enjoy a delicious Gameday Menu, as well as draft brews, signature cocktails and Ponte wine on tap / Sunday, Monday and Thursdays during NFL games broadcast during business hours / Cost: Menu Items $13 & Up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Tree Lighting & Snow Festival / December 3 / 5:00pm-8:00pm / Free Admission* / Bring your holiday cheer and don’t forget your snow gear! Join us South Coast Winery’s Annual Tree Lighting & Snow Festival. This fun for the whole family event will include a real snow play area, face painting, sleigh rides, Santa, food, live entertainment and more! South Coast Winery is proud to be an official Toys for Tots drop-off location. Guests are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate at the festival / *Tickets will be available to purchase inside the festival for food/beverage/events.

Start the Day at GrapeSeed Spa / Monday-Friday, December 1st – December 23rd / Start your day at South Coast Winery with this special spa package! This package comes complete with: 50-minute aromatic Swedish massage or gorgeous GrapeSeed Facial, mimosa, pastry or fruit & yogurt parfait / Cost: $115 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731. Valid Monday-Thursday, December 1st – December 23rd, 2017 before 1:00pm. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

Sunday Sip at GrapeSeed Spa / Sundays only; December 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018 / Your choice of a 50-minute Gorgeous Grapeseed Facial or South Coast Classic Massage plus wine tasting for one at South Coast Winery or Carter Estate Winery / Cost: $104 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731

Neroli Escape at GrapeSeed Spa / December 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018* / Escape to the lush vineyards at The Grapeseed Spa and enjoy a glass of award winning wine, appetizer, and a 50-minute South Coast Classic Pedicure or manicure to revive your spirit / Cost: $55 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731 / *Not available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Blackout Dates: 12/25. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

Wine, Dine and Painting / December 3 / 10:00am-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 Members | $75 Non-Wine Club / Reservation Information: Purchase at SouthCoastWinery.com or call Wine Club at 951.587.9463 Ext. 5250

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, and 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.
Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / 1pm-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: 3:00pm – 5:30pm, Saturday -Sunday: 3:30pm -5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Late Night Happy Hour at The Vineyard Rose / Fridays and Saturdays / 9:00 – 11:00am / Looking for something to do late night in Temecula Valley’s wine country? South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose restaurant now has late night happy hour! / Cost: View Happy Hour Menu at South CoastWinery.com / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – 951.491.8077

Thornton Winery
Friday Night Live Music / Every Friday night / 6pm-9pm / Free admission / Please visit our website for a schedule of performers at thorntonwine.com or call 951.699.0099. Reservations are a must for dinner table.

Wilson Creek Winery
New Year’s Eve Dinner / December 31 / 6:30-9:00pm / $100 ($90 wine club) /Join us for a New Year’s Eve Dinner experience in our brand new exclusive Upper Room. Enjoy a 4-course dinner with wine pairings designed exclusively for this event by Executive Chef Steve Stawinski. Sip on a glass of reserve wine while listening to the beautiful acoustical guitar entertainment. We will celebrate 2018 with an East Coast ball drop at 9 pm / For reservations please visit https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/RESERVE.AMS

New Year’s Eve Dancing / December 31 / 9pm – Midnight / $59 ($53 wine club) / Put on your dance shoes and bring in the new year at our high energy, Vegas style dance club in the gorgeous Wilson Creek Champagne Ballroom. The event will be complete with a hosted bar, late night snacks, and desserts to top off the night. Bring in the new year with a west coast ball drop at midnight / For reservations please visit https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/RESERVE.AMS

New Year’s Eve DINNER + DANCING / December 31 / 6:30pm – Midnight / $139 ($125 wine club) Dinner or Dancing? Why not Join us for both? Come and bring in the new year with an amazing Upper Room dinner experience paired with high energy dancing to end the night. Enjoy a 4-course dinner with wine pairings designed exclusively for this event by Executive Chef Steve Stawinski. Sip on a glass of reserve wine while listening to the beautiful acoustical guitar entertainment. Then put on your dance shoes and bring in the new year at our high energy, Vegas style dance club in the gorgeous Wilson Creek ballroom. The event will include a hosted bar, late night snacks and desserts and to top off the night, a west coast ball drop at midnight / For reservations please visit https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/RESERVE.AMS

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.

Live Entertainment / Every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm – 4pm / Free to the public / For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com.

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Doffo Winery Takes Top Prize!

December 1st, 2017

Visit Temecula Valley (VTV), in coordination with Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA), recently announced the winners of the second annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting. The event took place on Sunday, November 12, 2017, at Leoness Cellars, and featured a walk-around blind tasting, a wine seminar led by Master of Wine Roger Bohmrich and a 6-course awards dinner paired with last year’s winning wines.

Doffo Winery’s 2015 Zinfandel took first place in the competition, after taking second place to Wilson Creek’s Petite Sirah at last year’s inaugural event. The 2017 second place winner was Lorimar Winery’s 2014 Syrah, and third place was taken by Thornton Winery’s 2014 Estate Syrah.

“We are beyond thrilled with receiving 1st Place in the People’s Choice competition,” said Damian Doffo, CEO and Winemaker for Doffo Winery. “We work very hard in the vineyard to produce high quality fruit and make exceptional wine. We look forward to sharing our wine with the public in February.”

Over 200 guests tasted 29 wines (6 whites and 23 reds) without knowing any of the wines’ identities, and rated them on a scale of 1-5 during a walk-around wine tasting. The top 12-scoring wines from this portion of the event went on to be poured during a wine seminar led by Master of Wine Roger Bohmrich, where they were again tasted blind and rated on a scale of 1-5, including by Roger himself. Final scores were tallied to determine the top 3 “People’s Choice” wines. Wines could be any variety or a blend, at any price point, as long as they were from the Temecula Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). Entries ranged from just $24 per bottle to well over $100, and represented a number of grape varieties, from Falanghina to Syrah to Cabernet Franc.

In addition to the walk-around tasting and seminar, the event featured a six-course dinner created by Chef Daragh Matheson from Leoness Cellars, paired with last year’s People’s Choice winners. A VIP reception offered hand-selected pours presented by local winemakers and winery owners. San Diego singer-songwriter Christian Taylor performed throughout the tasting. The evening’s dinner program was emceed by Lindsay Pomeroy, Master of Wine Candidate and owner of the “Wine Smarties” school in San Diego, and a brief keynote was delivered by Bohmrich. Local musician Brian Stodart performed throughout the dinner program.

Sponsors included Gosch Ford, 34° Crisps, Palpula Dips & Sauces, Temecula Lavender Co., Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants, Aall In Limo & Party Bus, Grapeline Wine Tours and American AgCredit. Carter Estate Winery & Resort was the official hotel partner for the event.

The top twelve scoring wines in alphabetical order were as follows:

Avensole Winery 2014 Malbec, $32.95
Baily Vineyard & Winery 2014 Malbec, $25.00
Doffo Winery 2015 Zinfandel, $72.00
Falkner Winery 2014 Rock Creek Syrah, $49.95
Fazeli Cellars 2014 Shiraz, $48.00
Hart Winery 2014 Volcanic Ridge Vineyard Syrah, $60.00
Leoness Cellars 2014 CS Cabernet Franc-Merlot, $38.00
Lorimar Winery 2014 Syrah, $48.00
Miramonte Winery 2014 Estate Syrah, $65.00
South Coast Winery 2016 Viognier, $25.00
Thornton Winery 2014 Estate Syrah, $49.00
Wiens Family Cellars 2015 Sangiovese, $44.00

Most wines can be purchased directly online through each winery’s website. The entire list of wines entered into the competition can be accessed HERE.

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November Winery Events

November 1st, 2017

There’s a chill in the air now and suddenly we’re planning holiday meals! Whether your holiday plans keep you close to home or off visiting relatives, plan to sneak in a trip to Temecula Valley Wine Country to stock up on your favorite wine, or attend one of the great events going on in wine country!

Avensole Winery
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 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online.

Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace every Saturday from 6p-9p / 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. Mangia gourmet cheeses are available for purchase to complement Avensole wines in the Tasting Room/ All free and open to the public. Open seating at the Tasting Room patio.

Baily Winery
Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768. *Closed November 24 thru 26th.

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 / For more information please contact the restaurant at 951.676.9243

Bel Vino Winery
Endeavor Concert / November 4 / Doors open at 6pm – 10:00pm / Endeavor will be playing songs from the 70’s featuring Rush, the Beatles and the Eagles / General Admission $25 pp. Wine Club$15 pp.VIP Tables (Seat 8) $150 each table / For reservation please contact Ashley by phone or email at (951)428-2358 or ashley@belvinowinery.com.

Friday Nite Live at Bel Vino / Every Friday 6p-10p / No Cover / Wine & Beer / Bel Vino Bistro open until 9 pm/ 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. For a list of scheduled performers please visit https://www.belvinowinery.com/events/

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is 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, but for 10 or more highly recommended / 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

Chapin Family Vineyards
Live Music at Chapin / Every Friday and Saturday from 2pm to 5pm / Please check our Facebook page for a list of scheduled performers. Free to the public.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Cougar Craft – Cork Trees / November 29 / 4:00p – 6:00p / Join us for a 2nd evening of Wine, Snacks & Cork Crafting. We’ll be creating Cougar Trees! / $15 Wine Club Members; Pre-Paid $18 for general public / $20 The Night of the Event (if spots are still open) / This price includes a glass of wine from our regular wine list, light snacks and supplies for 1 Cork Tree. Another fun night to Sip, Nibble & Craft away! / Reserve your spot, this will sell out! Please visit http://www.cougarvineyards.com/temecula-wine-country-events, call or come in TODAY!
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 / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.cougarwinery.com.

Danza del Sol Winery
Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Please check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for additional information.

Doffo Winery
Live Music every Saturday and Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.doffowines.com

Europa Village
Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Veterans Day Specials and Sales / November 10-12 / 10a -5p / Special sales for active duty and retired military. Free Classic Wine Tasting (Nov 1st-13th) and 15% off in our tasting room / Lunch Specials at The Pinnacle Restaurant.

Sip N Paint Class “More Wine Deer” / November 16 / 6p -8p / $35 per person / Includes all materials. Wines available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members do receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

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

BLACK FRIDAY SALES! / November 24 / 10a -5p / No reservation needed! Everything will be on sale!

Fazeli Cellars
Dinner & Cabaret / November 12 / 6p -9p / $40 Members / $45 Non-Members / Enjoy Indian, Persian, and Lebanese Dishes along with Bollywood, Persian, Egyptian, and Tribal Fusion Dancers! / Purchase Tickets Here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-389984/Dinner-And-Cabaret.html

Salsa Night / November 17 / Doors Open at 6:30pm / $10 Members / $15 Non-Members / Admission includes 45 Minute Salsa Lesson and a glass of Sangria / Food and Drinks available for purchase / Purchase Tickets Here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390001/Salsa-Night-111717.html

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.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
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 list of scheduled 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! / Please check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for additional information and a list of scheduled performers.

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Arts & Craft Fair / Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11a-5p / Maurice Car’rie Winery offers a charming arts and crafts fair every Friday – Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5 PM. Located on the front picnic grounds at the beautiful Maurice Car’rie Winery are craft vendors with wares that are handmade such as jewelry, paintings, and ceramics along with fun items like great handbags and designer-style sunglasses Open to the public, free admission

Saturday Live Music Outdoors Under the Lights / June 10 & 24 / 6p – 9p / Various local artist performances. Admission is free for this concert / For a schedule of performers, please visit www.mauricecarriewinery.com

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7p-10p / Free to the public / No reservations required / /For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
Masquerade Winemaker’s Dinner / November 11 / 7:00pm-10:00pm / $ 93pp / Join us for an extravagant evening as we celebrate the end of harvest masquerade style! We will be featuring a sensational 5 course dinner, paired with our award-winning wines. Costumes optional, masks required! For reservations and information please visit www.montedeoro.com

Zinfandel Blind Tasting / November 18 / 6:00pm-8:00pm / $60 pp / Join us for a celebration of one of Monte De Oro’s flagship varietals: Zinfandel. We will be sampling over ten different offerings from various California wineries, including Temecula, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, etc. / For reservations and information please visit www.montedeoro.com

Signature Food and Wine Series / November 19th / 12:00pm-2:00pm / $50 pp / Our Signature Food & Wine Series is a culinary offering unique to Monte De Oro. Our food and wine experts put together the freshest ingredients as they take you through a 5-course showcase featuring Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine. Seating is limited for this event and we anticipate a sell-out crowd! / For reservations and information please visit www.montedeoro.com

Sounds of Sunday / Every Sunday / 1pm-5pm / Live music program on our outdoor patio. Come listen to local artists each Sunday afternoon while enjoying a refreshing glass of wine and lunch. Free admission. For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nites – Art and Wine in The Barrel Room! / November 25 at 12pm & 4pm; November 26 at 1pm / Cost: $45 – save $15 with the coupon code CREATE30! / 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/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Ponte Winery
Thanksgiving at Bouquet Restaurant / November 23 / Seating begins at 4:00p / $52 per guest / Join us at Bouquet Restaurant at Ponte Vineyard Inn as we celebrate Thanksgiving! Gather your friends and family for an elegant autumn feast with traditional favorites and delectable desserts / Reservations required: 951-676-7898 / To view menu please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Thanksgiving Special in The Cellar Lounge / November 23 / 12:00p – 9:00p / Menu items $7 and up / Join us in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal filled with friends, family and fun. Enjoy holiday fare and the big game in a casual setting. No reservations needed. Seating is first come, first served.

Black Friday at Ponte Winery / November 24 / 10:00a – 8:00p / Live Music and Hors d’ Oeuvres from 5:00p – 8:00p / Stop by the Tasting Room at Ponte on Black Friday to kick off your holiday shopping! Stock up on wine, gifts, gourmet foods, home and holiday décor and more. Wine Club Members save 30% on all wine and merchandise, 35% on cases of wine and 40% on two or more cases of wine. Savings begin at 10 a.m.! / Free to attend, $20 to taste.

Live Music in The Restaurant at Ponte / Every Friday and Saturday night / 5:30pm-8:30pm / Enjoy a gourmet meal and stunning views while listening to a variety of talented musicians / Entertainment is free while dining / Visit www.pontewinery.com for a list of scheduled performers

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday / 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-6pm / 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, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Gameday Specials in The Cellar Lounge / Head to The Cellar Lounge to catch NFL games on the big screen! Enjoy a delicious Gameday Menu, as well as draft brews, signature cocktails and Ponte wine on tap / Sunday, Monday and Thursdays during NFL games broadcast during business hours / Cost: Menu Items $13 & Up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Thanksgiving at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant / November 23 / Brunch: 8:00am – 3:30pm; Dinner: 5:30pm-9:00pm / Brunch & Dinner menu will include delicious Traditional Thanksgiving meal and much more of our Chef’s delicious homemade plates. Meal prices vary between brunch & dinner / Reservations required please call 951.587.9463 / For more information please visit SouthCoastWinery.com

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, and 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.
Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / 1pm-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: 3:00pm – 5:30pm, Saturday -Sunday: 3:30pm -5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Late Night Happy Hour at The Vineyard Rose / Fridays and Saturdays / 9:00 – 11:00am / Looking for something to do late night in Temecula Valley’s wine country? South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose restaurant now has late night happy hour! / Cost: View Happy Hour Menu at South CoastWinery.com / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – 951.491.8077

Autumn Attunement at GrapeSeed Spa / Monday-Thursday from November 1st – November 30th / Delight in the ripeness of Autumn with our delicious Apple Orchard Antioxidant Facial. This service detoxifies and protects skin increasing healthy cellular turnover. Includes your choice of lunch poolside with a glass of South Coast wine / Cost: $120 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731 / Blackout Date: November 23rd. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.
Sunday Sip at GrapeSeed Spa / Sundays only; starting November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018 / Your choice of a 50-minute Gorgeous Grapeseed Facial or South Coast Classic Massage plus wine tasting for one at South Coast Winery or Carter Estate Winery / Cost: $104 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731 / Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

Neroli Escape at GrapeSeed Spa / November 1, 2017 – January 31, 2018 / *Not available on Wednesdays and Thursdays / Escape to the lush vineyards at The Grapeseed Spa and enjoy a glass of award winning wine, appetizer, and a 50-minute South Coast Classic Pedicure or manicure to revive your spirit / Cost: $55 / Call to book today! 877.552.1731 / Blackout Dates: 11/23, 12/25. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

Deck the Halls Shopping Event at GrapeSeed Spa / November 17 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / All are cordially invited to attend the stylish Deck the Halls event at the GrapeSeed Spa. Enjoy raffles with fantastic spa prizes, and wine whilst shopping at this social extravaganza. Also, be one of the first to sign up for some incredible spa package promotions that can only be enjoyed by attending this event and can be redeemed during the holiday season / Cost: $10 per person / Reservation Information: Call 951.587.9463 Ext. 7280 to reserve your place today! $10 per person will be charged at the time of reservation to secure your spot.

Thornton Winery
Thanksgiving at Thornton / November 23 / 12:00p – 5:00p / Choose and enjoy selections from a three-course menu at Cafe Champagne restaurant / Cost $54.95 pp plus tax and gratuity. $19.95 plus tax and gratuity for children 12 and under / Call for reservations or online at Open Table. 951.699.0099 or visit www.thorntonwine.com

Friday Night Live Music / Every Friday night / 6pm-9pm / Free admission / Please visit our website for a schedule of performers at www.thorntonwine.com or call 951.699.0099. Reservations are a must for dinner table.

Wilson Creek Winery
Wine Country Music Awards / November 5 / 6pm-9pm / Come see Berlin perform with awards presented to the finalists of the 2017 WCMA in each of the following categories: Acoustic, Pop, Singer Songwriter, Country, Rock, Cover, Instrumental, Youth (under 18), People’s Choice, Christian, and Misc. There will be a Red Carpet event with celebrity judges and live performances. Award presentations to be followed by a concert headlined by Berlin. In support of Temecula Education Foundation & Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation. For tickets and additional information, visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com and click on the WCMA Berlin icon on the homepage.

The Wallflowers Concert / November 12 / 6pm-10pm / General Admission $55 / Come see The Wallflowers perform at Wilson Creek Winery, presented by Golden Crown Productions. With hit singles in “One Headlight,” “6th Avenue Heartbreak” and “Three Marlenas,” the Grammy-winning LP sold more than 4 million copies and made Jakob Dylan an overnight star in his own right. This concert is in Support of Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation & Wounded Warrior Project. For tickets, pricing and additional information, visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com and click on The Wallflowers icon on the homepage.

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.

Live Entertainment / Every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm – 4pm / Free to the public / For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com.

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White Wine and Cider Brined Roasted Turkey with Swiss Chard, Sausage, Apple, and Dried Plum Stuffing

November 1st, 2017

A fruity cider and white wine steeped brine is key to this moist and flavorful turkey. Begin the brining process 2 days before roasting. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Merlot.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

A fruity cider and white wine steeped brine is key to this moist and flavorful turkey. Begin the brining process 2 days before roasting. Pair with California Chardonnay or Merlot.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Brine:
8 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 small yellow onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 cups apple cider
1 bottle white wine

1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1/2 lemon, halved
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Brine and air-dry the turkey:
Bring the water, salt, sugar, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns to boil in a large pot, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat, add the cider and wine, and cool to room temperature. Place the turkey, breast-side up in a large container. Pour the brine over the turkey, adding more cold water, as needed, to cover. Refrigerate the turkey for 24 hours, turning the turkey once or twice in the brine.

Remove the turkey from the brine, discard the brine, and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours or overnight to allow the skin to thoroughly dry out. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

Roast the turkey:
Heat the oven to 350°F.
Loosely stuff the turkey cavity with the onion, lemon, thyme, and sage. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Roast the turkey in the oven, about 15 minutes per pound, or until the juices run clear when pierced at the thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey with the melted butter at first, and then the pan juices every 20 to 30 minutes. If the breast browns before the turkey is fully cooked, loosely cover with foil.

Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Loosely cover with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Serve with Swiss Chard Stuffing (see below).

Swiss Chard, Sausage, Apple, and Dried Plum Stuffing:
12 ounces pitted dried California plums, about 20, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (1-pound) loaf sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed, crumbled
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 green Swiss chard leaves, about 12 ounces, ends trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock

Directions:

Combine the pitted dried plums and wine in a small bowl. Let stand while you prepare the stuffing.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Toss the bread with 1/4 cup oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the oven until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and cool.

Decrease the oven temperature to 350°F. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Do not discard the fat from the skillet.

To the same skillet, add the apples and onion and sauté over medium heat until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the chard and cook until the leaves wilt, about 5 more minutes. Stir in the dried plums and wine, the butter, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add to the sausage, then add the bread and chicken stock; stir to thoroughly combine.

Pour the dressing into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake until brown and crisp on top, about 30 more minutes.

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Wine Institute of California 

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Holiday Wine Pairing Guide

November 1st, 2017

Mom’s stuffing, Aunt Nancy’s cranberry sauce and your sister’s sweet potatoes.  Menu: done!  But what about the wine?  Choosing a bottle (or two!) of wine to bring to the holiday table can be tricky.  Appealing to not only your menu, but to a cross-section of practiced palates and novice wine drinkers may seem challenging.  But don’t stress out over one of the simplest tasks of the holiday season. Make it simple.  Any wine you enjoy is a good wine!

One certainly doesn’t need to look to others to rate, score or direct you to make a particular wine choice. Bring a wine you’re familiar with to the table.  Chances are it’ll be just fine – and maybe even sublime!

First and foremost, don’t worry about pairing with the herbaceous, the tart or the sweet accompaniments to your turkey, ham or prime rib.  It’s much simpler to match the wine to the main protein dish.  Here’s a few tried and true varietal selections for some classic holiday main dishes:

Wines to Serve with Ham
Ham just begs for a something lightly sweet.  Look for wines with a touch of residual sugar like a Baily Vineyard & Winery Riesling or a Maurice Car’rie Winery Gewurztraminer.  Both are lighter in style, a bit lower in alcohol and still offer plenty of food-friendly acidity and crowd-pleasing palate appeal.  If you’re looking for an easy to pair red, go for a lighter style like Tempranillo.  Great examples can be found at both Robert Renzoni Vineyard & Winery and at Danza del Sol Winery.

Wines to Serve with Turkey
Although an array of whites work perfectly well, Sauvignon Blanc is an all-time, hands-down favorite pick that holds up well to turkey – and all it’s side dishes. Temecula Valley provides the perfect playground for growing this varietal, so you’ll find many great examples of it here.  Beautifully aromatic offerings from the musqué clone can be found at Hart Winery and at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Soft red varietals like Syrah also make suitable partners; you can find some fabulous ones at Falkner Winery and Leoness Cellars.

Wines to Serve with Prime Rib
White wines will have a hard time keeping up with the likes of Prime Rib, but there are so many reds to choose from that make impressive cohorts, you’re sure to find one you’ll all enjoy.  Choose an affable Cabernet Sauvignon from Callaway Vineyard & Winery, a food friendly Italian varietal like Montepulciano or Sangiovese from Cougar Vineyard & Winery or an amazing Super Tuscan blend, Due Rossi, from Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery.

Happy Holidays!

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Wine Community Rallies to Provide Aid + Resources to Fire Victims

October 11th, 2017

Our hearts are heavy for our friends and colleagues who’ve been affected by the devastating fires in Napa, Sonoma and Mendicino counties.   Several wine association leaders have formed a support network to organize resources and direct them to those in need.  Many have asked how they can help.  The following press release was distributed this morning.  If you’re able to offer any assistance, whether it be “on-the-ground” support or financial assistance, please contact the individuals listed below. #CAWineStrong

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (October 11, 2017)—Wine industry leaders have formed a support network to provide immediate assistance and long-term aid to victims of the fires ravaging Northern California and are calling on the national wine community for additional help. Organized by a group of association leaders representing the Golden State’s major winegrowing regions, support efforts include fundraising and creation of an online resource where vintners can find and offer resources, such as generators, trailers, lodging and manpower.

“Our focus right now is on getting on-the-ground support to impacted growers and vintners to help stave off further damage,” says Ann Petersen, Executive Director of Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley. “We need the entire wine community to support this region with immediate and strategic action.”

Petersen is working with other local industry leaders to organize resources and direct them to those in need.

Short-Term Help
Vintners in the affected areas have immediate on-the-ground needs, ranging from equipment to experienced manpower.

Priorities include:
• Water Tanks, as local water resources are scarce and needed by firefighters; those who can provide should immediately email maureen@sonomavalleywine.com
• Generators to power cooling tanks and other urgently-need equipment
• Tractors and trailers to assist with moving grapes, equipment and debris
• Lodging to house workers, including tents, mobile unites or locals willing to open their homes
• Volunteer Labor. Experienced vineyard and cellar workers are needed; unskilled manpower is also welcome

The group has created an online form where supporters can list available resources and provide contact information. Resource and contact information will be shared only with members of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino winegrowing and vintner associations. Click http://bit.ly/2wNVda0 to offer resources.

Long-Term Help
Established community foundations in each of the counties impacted by the Northern California wildfires have created relief funds to provide aid to local fire victims. The group of regional leaders organizing the wine industry support effort encourages those who cannot provide ground support to make a donation in any amount to the following funds:

• Sonoma County Resilience Fund: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1431417
• Napa Valley Community Foundation: http://napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page/
• Community Foundation of Mendocino County: http://www.communityfound.org/for-donors/donate-today/community-funds/disaster-fund-for-mendocino-county/

“The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA wine community is heavyhearted today as we watch the continued impact of the wildfires on so many of our wine country brethren,” says Megan Metz, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. “It’s times like these that remind us how important the company of family and friends can be. We have banded together to help our friends as best we can to protect their businesses and livelihoods and will continue partnering on recovery efforts in the weeks and months ahead.”

Community-wide fundraising efforts are underway and messaging is being organized around the hashtag #CAWineStrong.

###

Media Contacts:

Ann Petersen, Executive Director
Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
annp@wdcv.com
(917) 558-3860

Michelle McCue, President
McCue Marketing Communications
michelle@mccuemc.com
(213) 204-4136

Megan Metz, Executive Director
Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association
megan@scmwa.com
(415) 728-8647

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It’s Squeezin’ Season! ~ A Harvest Update

September 26th, 2017

It’s our favorite time of the year!  Here’s an article originally published in Wines & Vines that gives a great overview of harvest in Temecula Valley this year.

Temecula, Calif. – Despite a heat wave and unusual rains, the vintners and growers of Southern California’s Temecula Valley are generally pleased with the quality of fruit coming in this harvest season.

At South Coast Winery, Winemaker Jon McPherson oversees 56,000 annual case production of primarily Rhone and Spanish varietal wines, all estate-grown. The winery accounts for a large portion of Temecula’s 1,300 acres planted to wine grapes.

“It was great, early on,” McPherson said of summer temperatures, which remained in the 70s and 80s during the day and 50s and 60s at night, even as his team picked Pinot Noir for sparkling wine on July 17. “Then, that last week of August, we had the crazy heat that the rest of the state experienced, followed by a lot of monsoonal influence from northern Mexico and Arizona, with moisture fed by the hurricane off of Baja.”

Those conditions led to late-afternoon rains for two days, he said, with as many as 2” of rain falling in parts of the valley. “Most of our varieties hanging at the time were Bordelais, so they weren’t too badly affected,” he said. “We did have Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc out there, and we saw some rot issues start to manifest as we got into picking, but it dried up pretty quickly. Mostly, the heat just sped everything up. For those ten days, we were trying to get everything as quickly as we could.”

Varieties yet to be picked at South Coast Winery included Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and some Portuguese varieties, comprising 140 tons, with vineyard samples coming in at 23.5° or 24° Brix. “We’ll be wrapping up in the next ten days,” McPherson said.

At Hart Winery, winemaker Jim Hart estimated his team had brought in two-thirds of their fruit – about 60 tons. The winery produces around 4,000 cases per year. With the exception of Roussanne, all of Hart’s white varieties had been picked, including Sauvignon Blanc and Arneis; as well as a number of red varieties, including Sangiovese, Syrah, and Barbera. Like McPherson, Hart let his Bordeaux varieties — Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Sirah — continue to hang.

“We have ten acres and grow about 40% of what we make,” said Hart, whose family produces around 3,500 cases annually and is the longest-standing winery in the valley at 40 years old. “The rest we purchase, but it’s all Temecula Valley fruit.” He went on to describe the large scale of the Temecula Valley AVA at 33,000 acres, 1,300 of which are planted to vines in subregions that range from valley floor to mountains, desert to coastal-influenced conditions, and include a wide variety of soils like decomposed granite and volcanic.

Temecula is part of the four-county District 16 grape growing region, which accounted for 4,190 tons in 2016, according to the state’s Grape Crush Report.

In an effort to boost quality and identify the emerging region’s style and strengths, many winemakers commit to using only Temecula Valley fruit. But that commitment was put to the test in 2016 when heat and drought drastically reduced yields, by as much as 30% for some producers.

“We had a horrendous heat wave mid-June last year, right after a lot of us leaf-pulled” said Olivia Bue, who joined Robert Renzoni Vineyards as winemaker in 2013. “It got up to 115 degrees, so a lot of our grapes shut down and shriveled because there was way too much exposure. We also had minimal rain, as every region dealt with. We lost quite a bit of our yield; it was devastating for vineyard and winery owners.”

For the 2017 crop, however, Bue reports a significant increase in rain, which washed away much of the ground salts and brought pH into greater balance. “Harvest is really back to normal for what it was four years ago,” she said. “We’re seeing more varietal characteristics represented in the flavors of the grapes just because they’re staying on the vine longer and with slower maturation.”

With a focus on Italian varietal wines, Robert Renzoni Vineyards produces 18,000 cases annually, with a focus on lean, lower-alcohol wines to preserve acids. From the estate, Bue and her team make Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Barbera, in addition to Montepulciano sourced from the Temecula Valley which, Bue said, “grows incredibly well here.”

This year’s Sangiovese, she said, was picked two weeks later than last year’s crop, and is currently undergoing malolactic fermentation in barrel right now; the brand’s two Pinot Grigio wines came in at around 23° Brix and are already fermented, one of which is being stirred on its lees for creaminess and minerality while the other will be kept crisp, clean and bright. Cabernet Sauvignon is still hanging at about 24° Brix, as are Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo; Bue plans to pick most of the remaining fruit next week.

She recalled how, in 2014, the Pinot Grigio was ready to be picked by July 14, nearly four weeks ahead of schedule. “We’re definitely looking forward to lower pH, better acids and higher yields this year.”

Read more at: https://www.winesandvines.com/news/article/189801/Temecula-Wine-Harvest-Rebounding
Copyright © Wines & Vines

Photo courtesy of  Matthew Burlile 

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Strawberry and Pear Phyllo Tarts

September 25th, 2017

There is just something so delicious about the correlation between food, wine and the seasons. Specifically speaking, a sweet Strawberry and Pear Phyllo tart, a glass of late harvest wine and a crisp autumn day. Savor the last few weeks of the strawberry and pear season by preparing this easy dessert. It pairs perfectly with Ponte Winery’s popular 2015 Late Harvest.

Ingredients:
12 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
3 T butter, melted
2 T brown sugar
½ T raw honey
1 tsp lemon zest

Filling:
¼ cup muddled strawberries
2 cup ripe pear slices
2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 T brown sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:
Roll up phyllo dough and cut into 1/4-in.-wide strips. Place strips in a large bowl; toss with butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and honey until coated. Divide strips into six portions; shape into bowl shapes by placing strips criss-cross in a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5-7 minutes or until golden.

In a small saucepan, heat muddled strawberries, sliced strawberries, pear slices and 1 tablespoon brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Just before serving, spoon onto phyllo. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with Ponte Winery’s 2015 Late Harvest.

Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe & photo courtesy of Ponte Winery

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2nd Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting & Awards

September 25th, 2017

What is Temecula Valley’s best wine? You Decide!

On Sunday, November 12, join fellow wine enthusiasts and Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country movers and shakers at the second annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards!

Let your palate guide you through dozens of Temecula Valley’s best wines. Rate them and help crown the region’s favorites at a 5-course wine dinner and celebration. Never been to a blind tasting? Rest assured you won’t be blindfolded. You will simply not know which wines you are tasting until they are revealed after the event, allowing for total objectivity in your tasting.

DATE AND TIME:
Sun, November 12, 2017
Beginning at 11AM

LOCATION:
Leoness Cellars
38311 De Portola Road
Temecula, CA 92592

Three ticket levels allow you to take part in some or all of this exciting event:

People’s Choice Temecula

Estate Pass – $40: Entrance to the walk-around blind tasting from 11 AM – 1 PM of Temecula Valley’s best wines. Rate them all and help determine the region’s favorites. Enjoy light appetizers while you sip & mingle.

Reserve Pass – $175: Entrance to the walk-around blind tasting (11 AM – 1 PM) + seat at the People’s Choice awards dinner (6:30 PM – 9:30 PM), including 5-course tasting menu and wine pairings.

Grand Reserve Pass – $225: The ultimate wine-lovers package! From 3:30 – 5:30, enjoy a Temecula Valley wine seminar and seated/guided blind tasting led by Master of Wine Roger Bohmrich. Then head straight into an intimate winemaker reception including open wine bar and gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres from 5:30 – 6:30 PM. The reception will be followed by the People’s Choice awards dinner, including 5-course tasting menu and wine pairings from 6:30 – 9:30 PM, where the winning wines will be announced. Grand Reserve Pass holders will also receive a VIP gift bag and are welcome to attend the walk-around tasting (11 AM – 1 PM).

For tickets, click here

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