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Harvest in Temecula Valley is Upon Us

August 1st, 2022

Grape harvest

From lower yields and gophers to promising cabs and new babies, Temecula winemakers share how they’re feeling about harvest this year

‘Tis the season! Harvest season, that is.

Harvest in Temecula Valley is a magical time of year. The vines are lush and green, the grapes have reached full ripeness, and the wineries are abuzz with the excitement of a new crop.

While Temecula Valley is known for bright whites, classic methode sparkling wines, rich reds, and a range of sweet and dessert wines year after year, the real excitement comes with the small – and sometimes striking – differences between each harvest. Was it a hot year or unusually cool? Was there a lot of rain? Late spring frosts? How are yields looking? This kaleidoscope of factors contributes in no small way to vintage variation and keeps winemakers on their toes. It’s also part of what makes wine so beguiling to us – the wine lovers who get to enjoy each bottle after harvest.

Temecula Valley has a warm, Mediterranean climate, with long sunny days, cool mornings and nights, and late afternoon breezes. The growing season is long and there is relatively low rainfall throughout the year, which means lots of time for grapes to develop their sugars and flavor ripeness without the pressure of humidity and late-season rains that can lead to disease and other problems during harvest. The large difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures – called a “diurnal shift” – allows the grapes to retain their acidity despite the heat, creating fresh and balanced wines with lots of flavor. A range of grapes grows well in this climate, which is why Temecula is known for so many different types of wines. Some of the world’s most celebrated wine regions have a Mediterranean climate.  

Harvest time can be exciting, frenetic, and nerve-wracking for winemakers. Many Temecula Valley winemakers pick grapes at night or in the very early morning hours to take advantage of the cooler temperatures – not just for more comfortable working conditions, but to ensure that the grapes arrive intact and don’t start fermenting or oxidizing before they reach the winery. The long hours, rigorous physical work, and unpredictable schedules can make this an exhausting time at the winery for many.

We caught up with a few Temecula Valley winemakers to check in on how they are feeling about this year’s harvest, and what they are most excited about this season. Joe Wiens from Wiens Family Cellars, Jon McPherson from South Coast Winery and Carter Estate Winery, and Renato Saís from Akash Winery all shared their thoughts on the upcoming harvest.

TVWA: How is the 2022 harvest looking for you?

Joe:  “The growing season has been fairly moderate for our vineyards. We had a freeze event in mid-April (which affected most of the west coast). This freeze resulted in some crop losses in our higher elevation vineyards, especially in the early-to-bud varieties like Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. We have also noticed uneven ripeness as we near harvest, especially in the early varieties. Grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon ripen later in the season and seem to have escaped much of the frost damage and uneven ripeness.

“Fortunately we haven’t had any big heat waves in 2022 (knock on wood!), which means the variation in cluster ripeness is able to somewhat even out naturally. We are expecting roughly the same tons per acre as last year, which is down from our usual average. This is likely due to the lack of rainfall, which naturally washes away salt buildup in the soils. The salt will hinder the plant’s ability to take up water from the roots, resulting in lower yields. Overall, the fruit looks very clean and pristine, which should make for a beautiful, if not bountiful harvest.” 

Renato: Although it has been a very dry year for all of us, and it seems that is the trend nowadays, temperatures have remained very steady and mild compared to other hotter years. Fruit-set is really nice. Our biggest issue in the vineyards is the squirrels and gophers! Managing them has been the biggest challenge this year for us. Other than that, we expect a very humble harvest from our vines.

Jon: “2022 Harvest looks to be average yields with above average quality. Warmer spring temperatures pushed us into an earlier start as we are picking our Wild Horse Peak Pinot Noir later this month for sparkling wine.”

TVWA: What are you most excited about this season? 

Joe: “Because we are expecting a lighter harvest, we are looking forward to spending more time with each lot of wine. This extra attention should result in the highest quality wine possible, across the board. We’re also expecting a baby in late September, which is very exciting for my wife and me, and perhaps less so for the rest of our production team (who will have to pick up a little slack). Fortunately, we have a passionate and dedicated winemaking team, which I am fully confident will not skip a beat. Our production crew is excited for harvest to start as we wind down our bottling season. The change of pace is fun, and we always look forward to getting our hands on the newest vintage of grapes.”  

Renato: “Like any other harvest, I am excited about the challenge of making wine, having fun, and enjoying the time and effort in the vineyard and in the cellar to transform the beautiful fruit. I’m always thinking this is the best harvest that is ever going to be – optimism must exist and, along with it, timely execution.”

Jon: “We are excited for another opportunity to make great wines.”

TVWA: Are there any grapes you feel will be stand-out for you this year? 

Joe: “Our Bordeaux varieties, which will make up roughly 3/4 of our production by volume, look beautiful. They escaped much of the frost damage and have benefitted from the moderate weather. Look out for our 2022 Cabernets!” 

Renato: “Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon from our estate. I’m always expecting the best of the grapes – they look amazing.”

Jon: “Everything should be outstanding.”

TVWA: Anything you are worried about? 

Joe: “As the climate continues to change, I am worried about the long-term viability of many of the world’s wine-growing regions. From lengthy droughts, massive wildfires, and unusual weather patterns, we have a lot to keep an eye on as generational winemakers and grape growers.”   

Renato: “I am definitely worried about a lot of things: A lack of experienced workers available, the economy, but we are all worried about this… In our industry, the most I am worried about and in the long term is drought, gophers, and squirrels.”

Jon: “We are only worried about having enough water at our Wild Horse Peak vineyard to make it through the season.”

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August Events

July 29th, 2022

Red wine pour

Altisima Winery
Taco Tuesdays and Sangria Thursdays | 4:00pm-8:00pm every week! Live music every Saturday and Sunday, and Self Care Sunset on the last Thursday of the month | For more information please visit www.altisimawinery.com

Bel Vino Winery
Stevie Nicks Illusion Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band | August 26th from 6:00pm – 10:00pm | Tickets can be purchased at https://www.heyday.com/event-details/fleetwood-mac-tribute-stevie-nicks-illusion 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
IDOLX Concert! | August 19 | Doors open at 7pm concert starts at 8pm | Wine Club $36 | General Public $40 | IDOLX accurately pays tribute to the music of Billy Idol and Generation X. Join us for this fun-filled tribute where IDOLX performs all of your favorite Billy Idol and Generation X songs! Seating is provided but feel free to bring your own. Wine and beer are available for purchase. Food is provided by Devilicious Food Truck and The Baja Shrimp. No outside food or alcohol is allowed. Purchase tickets at: https://shop.callawaywinery.com/res-415193/Idol-X-2022.html
Danza del Sol Winery
New Member Tour | August 21 at 11:30AM | Walking tour of our barrel room, Club House and production facilities while sipping your favorite Danza wine | Wine Club $10 | General $15

Comedy Night in the Vines | August 28 at 7:00pm | Doors Open at 6:00pm | Tickets: Wine Club $20 | General $30 | VIP Tables Available -Table of 4 (includes a bottle of wine); Wine Club $120 | General $130 | Table of 6 (includes two bottle of wine); Wine Club $180 | General $190 | To reserve please visit us at https://www.danzadelsolwinery.com/reservation-events   

Doffo Winery
Cork n Torque Wine Tours |  Daily 11am and 1pm.  Visit www.doffowines.com  to book your tour today.

Falkner Winery
Pinnacle Late Night Salsa Wednesdays | August 10 & 24 | 5pm-9pm | $15 cover charge | Come and learn to dance Salsa from 5-6- Open dancing with DJ Andre 6-9. This event will be held in our Pinnacle restaurant and open to 21+ only | Food, Sangria, Wine & Beer will be available for purchase | Please call 951-676-8231 ext. 101 with any questions. Reservations are not required.

Friday Nights in the Rhone Valley Vertical Tasting | August 12 | 5pm-7pm | $50pp; Wine Club Members $45pp | Reservation required at www.falknerwinery.com | Explore Falkner Winery’s New Released 2020 Syrah with a vertical pairing. Enhance your love for Syrah! Chef Luis Sandoval will dive into the Mediterranean cuisine to help enhance every vintage of our Library Syrah through the years. With most of our Syrah’s rating 90pts and receiving the highest merit in international, and regional competitions. We hope you join us for the wine and food but add a little sunset and the new and improved patio area to the list! 2010 Syrah, 2012 Syrah, 2016 Syrah, New Released 2020 Syrah

Friday Nights in the Rhone Valley Vertical Tasting | August 19 | 5pm-7pm | $50pp; Wine Club Members$45pp | Reservation required at www.falknerwinery.com | Explore Falkner Winery’s New Released 2020 Amanté with a vertical pairing. Falkner Winery is now open to the public and we want to share our flagship wine the Amanté-Super Tuscan. Chef Luis Sandoval will dive into the Mediterranean cuisine to help enhance every vintage of our Library Amanté through the years. With most of the Amanté’s rating 90pts and receiving the highest of merit in international, and regional competitions. We hope you join us for the wine and food but add a little sunset and the new and improved patio area to the list. 2011 Amanté – Super Tuscan, 2013 Amanté – Super Tuscan, 2015 Amanté – Super Tuscan, New Released 2020 Amanté – Super Tuscan. Live Music. Wine for sale at the event, member discounts, and limited availability. 

Foot Path Winery
Food Wine and Music event | August 27 | 7:00 to 9:30 pm | Admission: Wine Club members $35pp; $40.00 pp, plus tax | Maria Tri-tip menu. Music by Tim Cash | Admission $35.00 wine club. $40.00 non-wine club. Call 951-265-9951 for reservations.

Frangipani Winery
A Tribute to Sinatra & Friends
| August 12 & 14 | Show starts at 7:30pm | Presented by Triple Threat Productions – General Admission $30; Students/Seniors/Military $25 | Performances outdoors – Enjoy an evening under the stars!  Purchase tickets at frangipanievents.com or call the winery at 951-699-8845

Mad Music & Wine Country Dinner | August 27 | Dinner at 6pm | Presented by Mad Mike of Mad Mike’s American Gourmet Sausages | Enjoy a 3-course dinner at Frangipani Estate Winery.  For price & reservations email frangipaniwine@yahoo.com

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Movie in the Vines featuring Sing 2 | August 7 from 6-9pm | Family Friendly | No Charge, RSVP only | Doors & Pairings Food Truck open at 6pm, Movie starts at sunset | Kid Menu items available | Complementary popcorn | Candy and snacks available for purchase. | Reservation required at https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-415498/Movie-In-The-Vines-Sing-2.html

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Battle of the Sangria’s | August 6-7 | Masia’s serving staff face off in creating the best Sangria recipe and a claim to bragging rights | Come Sip & Vote starting Aug 6, winner announced Aug 7 at 5:30 pm |Sangria Flights $25/guest $18/Wine Club complimentary stemless logo glass with wine purchased from a Sangria recipe.

Vines & Vendors | August 14 from 11am – 4pm | Local Market Edition. Come shop over 15+ local vendors, food trucks, live music, and more | Sangria & Mimosa specials, 15% off bottles during the event, no reservations, family-friendly

Monte de Oro Winery
Polynesian Night & Luau | August 13 | 7:00pm – 10:00pm | Join us for an island style evening featuring music, Polynesian Dancers, Tahitian Drummers, Fire Dancers, a delicious spread (including a pig roast!) and Sangria!!

Wine Bingo | August 19 | 6:30pm – 9:00pm | It’s time for Bingo, Monte De Oro style! Join us Friday, August 19th, for a night of calling numbers and sipping your favorite MDO wine!

Signature Food & Wine Series | August 28 | 11:30am – 1:30pm | A culinary offering unique to Monte De Oro. Our food and wine experts put together the freshest ingredients and take you through a multi-course showcase featuring Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine.
For reservations and pricing on Monte De Oro events please visit www.montedeoro.com

Oak Mountain Winery
Doogie Date Day Carnival for your pup! | August 20 |  $20 donations and one glass of wine included | 2:00pm to 8:00pm |  Cafe will be open, vendors, and live music, and raffles. Fun Day with the pups, proceeds go to Cause Fur Paws 5201c3. 

Peltzer Family Cellars
Nashville Nights | August 13 | 21+only | No cover | 3pm-10pm | Our summertime fan favorite is B A C K and better than ever. Nashville Nights has officially entered the farm, y’all! Throw on your flannels and dancin’ shoes, country music is in the air! Surround yourself with all our vintage Rusty Gold, twinkling market lights, yard games, and charming photos ops. Psst, don’t forget to enjoy the bars in every farm corner, they’ll be pouring up the good times. Be sure to soak up every bit of the scenic Peltzer grounds, it sure is a looker this time of year! Click the link for more details: https://www.peltzerwinery.com/event-directory/events-calendar/

The Killer Dueling Pianos | August 25 | 21+ only | $55 cover | 6pm-9:30pm | Dancing? Encouraged. Singing along? Obviously. Attendance? A must. Join us at the Crush House for an interactive dueling piano performance by The Killer Dueling Pianos! Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.peltzerwinery.com/event-directory/events-calendar/

Endless Peltzer Summer | August 27 | 21+only | No cover | 6-10pm | Let’s get together and feel alright, y’all. Dance to reggae tunes, sip on Summer Sangria Flights, and taste some local Food truck bites! We’re stirrin’ up a lively time at our darlin’ Crush House with our Endless Peltzer Summer event! Chillax at our front porch tables and let the sunny SoCal times roll. Click the link for more details: https://www.peltzerwinery.com/event-directory/events-calendar/.

Paint and Sip for Autism | August 31st | 21+only | $45 per painter | 5-8pm | Join Pretty Paints for a fun step-by-step Painting Class hosted by @prettypaintsparty at the beautiful Peltzer Farm & Winery Farmstead! Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.prettypaintsparty.com/new-products-2/aug31peltzerpaintandsip

Wine Wednesday | Every Wednesday at the Crush House | All ages welcome | 11-8pm | Join us for extended hours in the Crush House with live music and local food truck bites… For details check out our events calendar: https://www.peltzerwinery.com/event-directory/events-calendar/

Late Nights at the Crush House | August 6 & 20 | 11-10pm | Join us for extended hour in the Crush House with live music and local food truck bites… For details, check out our events calendar: https://www.peltzerwinery.com/event-directory/events-calendar/

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
South Coast Winery New Summer hours | Tasting Room open daily from 11 am and closing at 5pm Sunday through Thursday.  Open until 8 pm on Fridays and 6 pm on Saturdays.  Live music on Fridays from 4pm – 8pm and on Saturdays from 1pm – 5pm. Come visit us today!

Sweet Oaks Winery
Mom’s Monday Day Off | Every Monday in August |11:00am-6:00pm | $20 tastings fo those ladies that hold our lives together! Unwind – with or without the kids | RSVP: https://fb.me/e/1Blso03sN

Wine Down Wednesday | Every Wednesday in August | 11:00am-6:00pm | Bring your own picnic and come relax on our ranch! Taste our newest Summer Releases, spend time with our furry friends, play yard games, and so much more! | RSVP: https://fb.me/e/3HlPHDnPs

Thirsty Thursday | Every Thursday in August | 11:00am-6:00pm | Come sample a flight of our 6 exclusive wines. With every $50 purchase, take home a complimentary insulated wine tumbler | RSVP: https://fb.me/e/22J0pti9k

Thornton Winery
Champagne Jazz Series Concert
Mindi Abair & Euge Groove
| August 13 | 7:00pm – 10:00pm | General Admission still available – $95 | Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out | Purchase Tickets: https://www.thorntonwine.com/concerts/mindi-abair-euge-groove-august-13-2022/

Gerald Albright & Adam Hawley | August 27 | 7:00pm – 10:00pm | General Admission still available – $95 | Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out | Purchase Tickets: https://www.thorntonwine.com/concerts/gerald-albright-adam-hawley-august-27-2022/

Jesse Cook | August 28 | 7:00pm – 10:00pm | General Admission still available – $95 | Gourmet Supper Package still available – $195 | Purchase Tickets: https://www.thorntonwine.com/concerts/jesse-cook-august-28-2022/  

Vitagliano Vineyards & Winery
Looking for the perfect date night? Try our self-guided wine tasting. An only by reservation tasting experience allows you and a guest to try five wines hand-selected by our winemaker, perfectly paired with an assortment of meats and cheese. You can pre-order this experience at https://vitaglianowines.com/tasting-experiences/

Wiens Family Cellars
Seated Paired Tasting | Want a more intimate tasting experience? Try our seated paired tasting. An only by reservation tasting experience held in our private Cellar Room, Cellar Patio or Barrel Room with our reserve or limited-production red wines paired with cheeses, meats, and nuts. Available Thursday -Sunday at 11am, 1pm or 3pm. For pricing and reservation please visit https://www.exploretock.com/wiensfamilycellars

Wilson Creek Winery
Wilson Creek Late Nights every Friday night! Have a night out with friends in Wine Country! Enjoy wine, delicious food, and live music. No reservations needed – just come on in from 5pm – 8:30pm.

Dinner at the Creekside Grille every Thursday and Friday Night with new summer menus! Reservations are highly recommended at www.WilsonCreekWinery.com

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Summer Garden Flatbread

July 29th, 2022

Vegetable flatbrad

Release your inner artist with a garden-themed flatbread designed by you. Make a “sketch” of the topping by laying out your design on a 12-inch round of parchment paper, then transfer the components to the surface of the dough just before baking. Choose vegetables that will cook through in 20 minutes; suggestions follow. Pair with Temecula Viognier.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 g) store-bought pizza dough 
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • Sea salt

Suggested Toppings:

  • Green onions, white and pale green part only (see Note) 
  • Leeks (see Note) 
  • Sliced mushrooms 
  • Yellow or red bell pepper 
  • Red onion 
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • Zucchini, thinly sliced 
  • Black olives, pitted 
  • Herbs: parsley, tarragon, thyme, fennel fronds 

Makes one 12-inch (30-cm) flatbread, to serve 2 to 4 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). 

Remove refrigerated pizza dough from its packaging and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn to coat with oil. Cover and let come to room temperature, about 1 hour. 

Using 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, coat the bottom of a 12-inch (30-cm) round cake pan or spread the oil in a 12-inch (30-cm) circle on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the cake pan or baking sheet and flatten it into a 12-inch (30-cm) round with oiled fingertips; it will want to spring back. Let the dough rest 15 minutes, then flatten again with oiled fingertips. 

Create your garden design on the dough surface. Brush vegetables and exposed dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into wedges with a pizza wheel or chef’s knife. Serve immediately. 

NOTE: If using green onions or leeks, blanch them first in boiling salted water until just tender, then chill in ice water. Squeeze to remove excess water and pat dry. Green onions take only about 1-1-1/2 minutes in boiling water; leeks may take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. 

Suggested Pairings

Danza del Sol Winery~2021 ViognierThis popular Viognier is sure to delight the senses with its beautiful aromas.

Leoness Winery~2021 Viognier Blended with small amounts of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, this wine offers aromas of stone fruit with hints of citrus and white pepper before a long, generous finish.

Carter Estate Winery~2020 Viognier This popular Viognier is sure to delight the senses with its beautiful aromas.

Monte de Oro Winery ~2020 ViognierA young bouquet of cotton candy and bubble gum that’s very sweet and enticing

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Vote for Temecula Valley

July 1st, 2022

Temecula Wine Country

Temecula Valley has been nominated by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice for Best Wine Region!

Temecula Valley is known for its diversity of varietals, with more than 50 types of grapes grown in the area. Wine grapes have been grown in the area for more than 200 years, but these days, the warm region is best known for its Italian and Rhone varietals.

In today’s present time we now have over 47 wineries located off Rancho California Road, Calle Contento, and De Portola Wine Trail.

Come out and explore Temecula Valley Wine Country for what we bring to the table (or the glass…). We are known for our dining experiences, wine country lodging, special events, and of course we cannot forget the daily wine tasting.

Raise your glass high for Temecula Valley for being nominated for Best Wine Region. Cast your vote today by clicking HERE.

Vote daily from multiple devices and help us reach number 1 before July 17th.

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July Winery Events

July 1st, 2022

Fireworks

Bottaia Winery
4th of July Pool Day |
We are open from 12-7pm: Tasting Rooms + Pool, Cafe + Cocktail Bar.  *Reservations Highly Recommended.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Queen Nation Concert! | July 8 | Doors open at 7pm; Concert starts at 8pm | Cost: Wine Club $36; General Public $40 | Queen Nation is the West Coast’s longest running, most authentic re-creation of a vintage Queen concert. Join us for this fun-filled tribute where Queen Nation performs all of your favorite Queen classics! Seating is provided but feel free to bring your own. Wine, beer available for purchase. Food provided by Devilicious Food Truck and The Baja Shrimp. No outside food or alcohol allowed.  Purchase tickets at: https://shop.callawaywinery.com/res-415192/Queen-Nation-2022.html

Carter Estate Winery & Resort
Crêpes & Champagne Sundays |Every Sunday April 3 – June 26th | 11am – 1pm (Not Available Easter Sunday) Get a taste of France at Carter Estate Winery. Start your day of wine tasting off with one of our delicious sparkling wines, paired with sweet or savory French Crêpes from The Catered Kitchens! No Reservations Required.
For more information please visit www.CarterEstateWinery.com

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Yappy Hour
| July 15 from 3:00 – 6:00 | Bring your pooch or adopt one. Dress your pooch in a patriotic theme for our contest. Doggie deli menu available. Raffle – proceeds will go to the participating rescue. Please visit www.cougarvineyards.com for additional information.

Danza del Sol Winery
Summer Movie Nights
| July 9 | 8:00pm | Enjoy outdoor movie nights and enjoy, wine, beer, food trucks and popcorn! For additional information, please visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Doffo Winery
Rock the Vines Summer Concert Series

July 23; Fleetwood Max, Fleetwood Mac tribute band | July 30;  Kisstroyer USA, Kiss tribute band | August 30;  King of Queens, Queen tribute band.
Time: 6pm-9pm | Advance tickets are required | Purchase tickets at www.doffowines.com/calevents

25th Anniversary Celebration | August 13 | Celebrate with a 12 piece All female salsa band, lite bites, and wine! | For tickets visit www.doffowines.com/calevents.

Europa Village Wineries & Resort
C’est La Vie for BBQ | July 2 & 3 | 10:00am – 5:00pm | Enjoy live music, and wine specials.

Bastille Day Celebration at C’est La Vie | July 14 | 10:00am – 5:00pm | Join us at C’est La Vie for a fun day filled with French faire, live music, and wine specials.

Latin Nights | July 19 | Starts at 7:00pm |Salsa the night away and ignite the passion and fire of our Latin Nights with live music by Kimba Light. Plus, you’ll be able to learn some new dance moves with a live instructor and delight in some wine, beer, and tapas! https://shop.europavillage.com/Shop/Events/Latin-Nights

Bebel Gilberto Concert | July 23 | 7:00pm | Join us for a night of great food, wine, and the sultry sounds of multi-Grammy nominated singer/songwriter Bebel Gilberto. For ticket info visit: https://bit.ly/3Gn4MkT

80’s Night | July 29 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm | Tear up the dance floor at the most radical 80’s party with live music, food, and drinks!
For additional information & reservations for above events, please visit us online www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Grand Re-opening & 22nd Anniversary Weekend | July 1-4 | 10am-5pm | Come and celebrate our 22 years and 4th of July weekend in Temecula Wine Country and experience the view from our beautiful new building! Enjoy Falkner wines, Sangria, picnic menu and cocktails | Enjoy 30-50% off wine case sales, Bottle raffles on the hour, and live music throughout the weekend. Enjoy a lunch for 2 specials at our Pinnacle Restaurant. Reservations for the restaurant are required and can be done through www.opentable.com or by calling 951.676.8231 (option 4).

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night | July 30 | General Admission $25 +tax; Wine Club $20 +tax; At the door $35 +tax | Doors open at 6:00pm. Tickets sold at door entrance at 7:00pm only | Tickets price includes a glass of sangria. Food available for purchase, full bar and dancing fun! | All ticket sales are final. To purchase visit https://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-392820/Salsa-Night-73022.html

Country Music Concert | July 16 | VIP Tickets Doors Open at 5pm: $60 | $50 members | Includes Reserved VIP seating, 1 complimentary cocktail, BBQ buffet dinner, 2 live performances, line dancing lesson, DJ | General Admission Tickets Doors open at 7pm: $35 — Includes 1 complimentary cocktail, 1 live performance, line dancing lesson, DJ. This event is open to 21+ yrs. only! | All ticket sales are final/no refunds. Tickets available by visiting https://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-393127/Country-Music-Concert.html

Foot Path Winery
Food Wine and Music event | July 23 | 7:00 to 9:30 pm | Admission: Wine Club members $35pp ; $40.00 pp, plus tax | Mediterranean menu and live music by The Lookouts. Visit www.footpathwinery.com for reservations and information for this event or call 951.265.9951.

Frangipani Winery
Divas of Broadway
| July 8 & July 10 | Music Show presented by Triple Threat Productions | General Admission $30 ~ Students/Seniors/Military $25 | Performances outdoors ~ Enjoy an evening under the stars! Show starts at 7:30pm.  Purchase tickets at frangipanievents.com or call winery at 951-699-8845

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Tribute Thursday
| July 7 | Stevie Nicks Illusion | No Charge, Reservations recommended, Walk-ins welcome | Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm |To make reservations please call 951-694-6699 x109 or visit: https://www.lorimarwinery.com/dining

Movie in the Vines | July 11 | Clifford the Big Red Dog |6-9pm | Family Friendly | No Charge, RSVP only | Doors & Pairings Food Truck open at 6pm, Movie starts at sunset | Kid Menu items available | Complimentary popcorn | Candy and snacks available for purchase!  | https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-415418/Movie-In-The-Vines-Clifford-The-Big-Red-Dog.html

Laugh Your Glass Off Comedy Night | July 21 | 6-9pm | $25 General public; $22.50 Wine Club | https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-415391/Laugh-Your-Glass-Off.html

Christmas in July | July 25 | 6-9pm | $10 General public; $9 Wine Club (ticket includes glass of sangria) | Live DJ, local vendors, delicious food, wine and more! https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-415424/Christmas-In-July.html

The Killer Dueling Pianos | July 28 | 7pm-10pm | $30 General public; $27 Wine Club | https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-415390/The-Killer-Dueling-Pianos.html

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Summer Concert
| July 2 | 5:30pm- 9pm | Barrels, Blues & BBQ | Live Music from The All Nighters; Food by Grammys Touch of Soul Kitchen and drink specials | For price & reservations please visit www.masiadelavinya.com

Masia’s 7th Anniversary Dinner with Chef Jillian Fae | July 9 | 6:30-9:30pm | Enjoy 7 courses paired with 7 wines | For price & reservations please visit www.masiadelavinya.com

Monte de Oro Winery
Wine Bingo
| July 8 | 6:30pm – 9:00pm | It’s time for Bingo, Monte De Oro style! Join us Friday, July 8th, for a night of calling numbers and sipping your favorite MDO wine! | For pricing & reservations visit  https://shop.montedeoro.com/res-400505/Wine-Bingo-All-American-Edition.html

Signature Food & Wine Series | July 10 | 11:30am – 1:30pm | A culinary offering unique to Monte De Oro. Our food and wine experts put together the freshest ingredients and take you through a multi-course showcase featuring Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine | For pricing & reservations visit   https://shop.montedeoro.com/res-400506/Signature-Food-Wine-Series.html

Mount Palomar Winery
Special Event featuring Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats
| July 15 | With special guests The Forty Nineteens! | For additional information and to purchase your tickets, please visit www.heyday.com

Del Mar Opening Day | July 22 | Join us for a day of style, fun & racing. Don your best hat to win prizes!  | No charge to participate! Please visit www.mountpalomarwinery.com for event hours.

Luau Night | July 24 | Hawaiian Food, Polynesian Show by Te Ori Mana, Music, Games, Prizes | Tickets available online  at www.mountpalomarwinery.com online.

Pinot & Pilates | July 31 | Mat pilates class with the best view in the Temecula Valley!  Club Pilates Members are free to attend, and non-members are $5pp | Please visit www.mountpalomarwinery.com for additional information.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Rhythm of the Vine Concert Series
Jeff Kashiwa & Tracy Carter | July 10
Darryl Williams, Jazmin Ghent & Gregg Karukas | July 24
For above pricing and tickets visit https://www.southcoastwinery.com/concerts/jazz-concert-series

Men at Work | July 28 | For pricing and tickets visit https://omegaevents.ticketspice.com/men-at-work

Vitagliano Vineyards & Winery
3rd Annual Car Show | July 9 | Enjoy live music from Harmony Grove Band, followed by line dancing lessons by Dancin’ Fun Gang! Family Friendly Event!!

Winemaker Tasting Experience | July 15 | Best Sips with Potato Chips!

1920’s Mafia Wedding Murder Mystery Dinner | July 17 | Lucky you! You’ve been invited to the Dunn Speakeasy for the wedding of the year! 21+ Event!

Forever Young 80’s Prom Night | July 29 | Grab your most righteous attire to rock out in style! 21+ Event!
For hours, pricing and details on above events please visit: https://vitaglianowines.com/events/

Looking for the perfect date night? Try our self-guided wine tasting. An only by reservation tasting experience allows you and a guest to try five wines hand-selected by our winemaker, perfectly paired with an assortment of meats and cheese. You can pre-order this experience at https://vitaglianowines.com/tasting-experiences/

Check out our New Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/Vitagliano-Vineyards-Winery-101978439213478

Wilson Creek Winery
Dinner at the Creekside Grille every Thursday and Friday Night. Reservations highly recommended at www.WilsonCreekWinery.com

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Temecula Valley Wine Rockstars Share Their Favorite Sips for Summer

July 1st, 2022

Pool, wine, and sunshine

While Temecula Valley’s warm, Mediterranean climate allows the region to produce rich and complex red wines from many different red grape varieties, the region is also known for plenty of fresh, crisp whites, juicy rosés, bright bubblies, and light, easy-drinking reds – all of which are perfect for long, steamy summer days (and nights!).

We caught up with a few of our favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country personalities to find out what they are sipping this summer. They shared their top picks for must-have warm-weather wines, all of which can be purchased at the winery, and most of which can be bought online.

Stacey Leonard, Fazeli Cellars:

“Summertime sips most definitely include Fazeli Cellars 2020 Boland Rooz this year!  Boland Rooz meaning in Farsi is ‘longest day’ – a celebration of the summer solstice. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is bright, refreshing, and dry with hints of mandarin orange, cut grass, and crisp, green apple, and perfect for beating Temecula’s heat.  Cheers!”

Tonya Wake, Cougar Vineyard & Winery:

“At Cougar Vineyard and Winery, we are enjoying our 2019 Estate Falanghina for a favorite summer wine. This wine has notes of pear on the bouquet and citrus on the palate. It’s a very crisp, refreshing wine for summer and is on sale for $120 per case, while supplies last!”

Vicky Curl, Leoness Cellars:

“As we start to experience the warmer temperatures in the Temecula Valley, we love to reach for wines that are perfect for backyard barbeques and poolside parties! Our White Merlot, Dry Rosé, and Mélange d’Été each have a variety of bright fruit aromas that remind us of strolling through a Saturday farmer’s market and, when sipped, have a crisp, clean refreshing finish that invites you to sit back, relax and enjoy the long summer days.”

Wendy Holder, Wilson Creek Winery:

“We love our Cinsault! It’s a fresh, soft, and bright red wine that goes well with a perfect summer sunset! We are also sipping on our Roussanne for summer because it’s refreshing as a white wine, but can still hold up to a hearty BBQ.”

Moriah Wilson, Peltzer Winery:

“We love sippin’ poolside and soaking up the summer BBQ energy. Our Syrah Rosé is the perfect fruit-forward accompaniment to grilled fish tacos with avocado-lime slaw. Enjoy our crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc with a Mediterranean-style pasta salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Don’t forget to lightly chill a bottle of our flagship red blend, Rustik Red to keep y’all company as you watch the sunset.” 

Valerie Andrews, Oak Mountain Winery:

Bentley’s Bubbles is a sparkling wine that was practically born for a sunny day. This pale pink Grenache rosé exudes fruitiness and elegance, with aromas of spring flowers and berries. A perfect harmony of aroma, taste, body, and finish. I also love that it was named after one of our grand doggies (he is on the label). Since I love smoking meat, I pair this with 8-hour smoked short ribs with my special BBQ dry rub.”

Sharon Cannon, Akash Winery:

“The whole Akash team is loving the new Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. This new addition to the collection is super refreshing and easy to drink. It pairs with just about anything, including all of those yummy summer salads, poolside parties, front porch sips, or watching your favorite reality show on the TV. What more could you ask for!”

Susan Chapin, Chapin Family Vineyards:

“Chapin Family Vineyards is introducing three new wines for summer. The first wine to be introduced is a fresh Vermentino that was produced and aged in beautiful clay amphoras. Our sparkling brut called ‘Frizzante’ was just released for those warm afternoons.  And, finally, our Muscat which has many layers of sweet, fruit-forward flavors, is perfect for delicious desserts.”

Nick Palumbo, Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery:

“It should be no surprise that we are popping plenty of corks on our newest Viognier release. Our 2021 Viognier is perfect for a summer BBQ, charcuterie, and sunsets, or sipping by the pool. Delicate apricot, peach, and stone fruit fill the nose, followed by a rich and rounded mouthfeel, crisp acidity, and a hint of minerals in its mouthwatering finish.”

When we asked the folks at Wiens Family Cellars what they were sipping this summer, just about the entire team weighed in!

Server Mike tells us, “When it’s hot, I want something light and refreshing, with a touch of sweetness. The 2021 Reunion Blanc and the 2021 White Crowded do that for me.”

Sandy, Wiens’ Cellar Room Manager, says she will be enjoying the 2018 Reserve Red Blend this summer. “It’s perfect for sitting out on the patio after the sun goes down. This unique blend showcases four of our best vineyards! I can’t wait to sit in the night air and savor it.”

Autumn, a server at Wiens says: “I love our Blanc de Blancs because I can always use some bubbles for my troubles in this heat!”

Eddy from production says: “Anything white, cold, crisp and refreshing like our Chardonnay, Sparkling Wines, or Sauvignon Blanc!”

Server Tori says she is loving the Rosé of Malbec. “As a fan of dry whites, this is a surprising twist on the standard rosé. Sweet, refreshing, and delicious!”

Sam, also a server, agrees: “Rosé of Malbec! The perfect wine to sip by the pool on a hot day.”

Servers Daniel and Romana, as well as Tim, Wiens’ Tasting Room Manager, share the same favorite – the 2021 Reunion Blanc. Says Daniel: “It’s a refreshing by-the-pool wine.”

Wine server Devon tells us: “Brut Rosé all day! It’s the perfect substitute if you’re trying to get away from those sugar-filled margaritas. Bright and refreshing!”

Lastly, Blake from production captures it all: “I prefer a crisp, white wine for summertime by the pool or at the beach. My go-to wines would be Blanc de Blancs first, for its crisp acidity and citrusy tartness, then move onto our Reunion Blanc to enjoy with some fresh fruits, then finally our Rosé of Malbec to pair with grilled chicken tacos.”

Thanks to all our friends in Temecula Valley Wine Country for these delicious wine suggestions. We are absolutely parched. What are you sipping this summer?

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California Lobster Benedict

July 1st, 2022

Lobster benedict with wine

This brunch staple consists of perfectly poached eggs, toasted English muffins, creamy hollandaise sauce and topped with rich buttery lobster. Serve with a Temecula Valley Chardonnay for the ultimate brunchtime meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 x 4oz lobster tails (uncooked or if already cooked warm to package directions)
  • 6 eggs (4 to poach and 2 yolks for the sauce)
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup chopped arugula
  • 1/8 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 lemon slices ¼ inch thick
  • 1 lemon wedge for sauce
  • 3 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 4 cups water boiling on stove
  • Fresh chives, a few sprigs

Serves 4

Directions

Lobster

  1. Place the lobster tails in the boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Keep pot of boiling water on for other steps.
  2. Remove lobster tails from heat and cut the shells lengthwise to help pull the meat out in one piece.
  3. Cut each tailpiece in half-lengthwise and toss into a bowl with half the butter (2 tbsp). Mix till butter is melted and they are coated.

Sauce

  1. In a steel bowl place 2 egg yolks and whisk over the boiling pot of water. Reduce the heat to medium while making sauce.
  2. Add the vinegar and whisk for about 1 min.
  3. Add the butter and whisk for another 2 min
  4. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add the lemon juice from the lemon wedge and mix. Remove from heat.

Poaching Your Eggs

  1. In the boiling lobster water, crack eggs into the water. Using a slotted spoon to gently turn them once a minute for about 3 to 4 min or until cooked to liking.
    Using the slotted spoon, remove the eggs and lightly pat them with a paper towel to remove excess water.

Building the Lobster Benedict

  1. Cut muffins and toast.
  2. Place 1 half of the toasted muffin on each plate.
  3. Combine the arugula and kale and place on top of the muffin
  4. Place 1 half of the lobster tail on top of greens on each muffin
  5. Place poached egg onto lobster
  6. Evenly distribute the hollandaise sauce over all 4 dishes. Top with chopped green onion and garnish with some chive stems.

Suggested Wines:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery~2017 Chardonnay This light, crisp Chardonnay opens with aromas of leafy pineapple and citrus fruits. The palate is lush with fresh tropical fruits, a golden delicious apple with a tangy pineapple finish. 

Lorimar Winery~2018 Chardonnay This popular Chardonnay is sure to delight the senses with its beautiful aromas.

Mount Palomar Winery~2018 Chardonnay On the nose, the wine smells of ripe, if not slightly dried apple and pear with hints of white flowers and peach.

Wiens Family Cellars ~2020 ChardonnayThe French oak used lends some creamy vanilla notes that balance nicely against crisp, green apple notes.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Name That Winery!

June 1st, 2022

Monte De Oro Winery

Monte De Oro Winery offers Tuscan inspired architecture, lush vineyards, panoramic views, and a tasting room over 21,000 square feet! Monte de Oro tasting room is a glass floor offering a unique view of the barrel cellar just below which houses over 900 barrels of wine. Monte De Oro will also be hosting our highly anticipated CRUSH event in September!

Main Tasting Room Hours:
OPEN DAILY
11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

The Main Tasting Room has an ambiance that is sophisticated and elegant, yet at the same time relaxing and comfortable. A warm, inviting atmosphere elevates everyone – from the wine novice to the experienced wine connoisseur – even before glasses have been filled. Whether it be the view of our Barrel Cellar from above, through the glass-floored tasting room, or the panoramic view of Temecula Wine Country from our outside patio, Monte De Oro Winery and its Tasting Room provides the perfect place to sit, sip and enjoy Southern California’s Premier Wines.

While you come for the wine, stay for the food! Monte De Oro also offers a casual lunch fare, pizzas, and appetizers. The Bistro is led by Executive Chef, Alfred Fierro.

The Bistro Hours of Operation:
Monday & Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday – Friday: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM 

A Few Wines To Try:

2019 Dulce De Verano ~ It’s aromas consist of sweet rose flowers along with fresh macerated strawberries, watermelon, peaches and sweet cherries with just very slight hints of sage.

2017 Tempranillo ~ Inviting aromas and flavors of ripe morello cherries, black olive, leather, espresso, and toasted almonds.

2016 Zinfandel ~ This wine initially offers aromas of raspberries and dried cranberries with a transition to spices – pronounced cinnamon and nutmeg with slight smoky oak.

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Arugula Salad with Zucchini, Carrots and Toasted Almonds

June 1st, 2022

Zucchini and Carrot Salad with Toasted Almonds and Arugula recipe

Save this fresh, colorful salad for early summer, when markets have small, tender zucchini. For the best results, look for zucchini that are no more than 6 inches (15 cm) long, and choose straight ones that will be easy to shave into ribbons. You can shave the zucchini with a vegetable peeler, but a mandoline or V-slicer makes the job easier. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley rosé.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (30 g) sliced almonds  
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) white wine vinegar, or more as needed 
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 small zucchini, preferably 2 green and 2 yellow, about ¾ pound (350 g) 
  • 2 small carrots, peeled 
  • 2 large handfuls arugula (2 to 3 ounces/60 to 90 g) 
  • Chunk of semi-firm pecorino cheese or crumbled cotija cheese (you’ll use about 3 ounces/90 g total)

Serves 4 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (190°C). Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until lightly colored and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, wine vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  

Remove both ends of the zucchini and carrots. With a V-slicer, mandolin or vegetable peeler, shave the vegetables lengthwise into thin ribbons. Discard the first and last slices of zucchini, which are mostly skin. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss well to coat with the dressing. Let stand until the vegetables soften slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. The zucchini should be pliable enough to twirl with a fork without breaking. Do not let them stand too long or they will release liquid and water down the dressing.  

Add the arugula and toss gently. With a cheese plane or vegetable peeler, shave about 3 ounces (90 g) of semi-firm percorino cheese, or crumble cotija cheese into the salad. Add the almonds and toss gently. Taste for salt and vinegar, then serve immediately. 

Suggested Pairings:

Briar Rose Winery~ 2019 Rosé Fumé– This popular Rosé is sure to delight the senses with its beautiful aromas.

Hart Winery ~ 2019 Grenache Rosé This wine offers one of the most widely planted red grape varietals in the world and has flavor profiles of spice, pepper and red fruit.

Vitagliano Winery~ 2020 Rosé This popular Rosé is sure to delight the senses with its beautiful aromas.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards~ 2021 Lyric RoséFilled with a pale salmon hue, delicate bouquet of rose petals and peach skin exuding with flavors of guava and ripe peach.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Get to Know the Dynamic Women of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

June 1st, 2022

Find out what these gals love most about Temecula, which Temecula wines are their favorites, and what keeps them busy when they’re not helping to keep Wine Country running

There is so much to write about when it comes to Temecula Valley. From fun and engaging events to delicious wines to the blossoming culinary scene to interviews with the dynamic people and personalities of Wine Country and everything in between, we are never short on ideas for great content. But did you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association? There’s actually a dynamic team of Wine Country women who contribute in no small way to keeping the region as a whole running smoothly and helping to tell the incredible stories of Temecula Valley day in and day out. And, it’s about time they got the spotlight!

Read on to find out more about these partners in wine and what makes them the dream team in Temecula Valley.

Krista Chaich, Executive Director

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

KC: I’ve lived in Temecula Valley for 21 years and have worked in Temecula Valley Wine Country for 18 years. Although I’m a native Southern Californian, I moved to Dallas, TX in the early 1990s. My husband and I returned to California in 2001 when his job was transferred to San Diego, and we settled in the Temecula Valley to be near family. 

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

KC: Gosh…it’s gorgeous!!  But, probably my favorite thing about our wine country is the people.  I have never met so many down-to-earth, genuine, passionate, and hardworking people as I have here in the Valley.

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

KC: I love Hart Winery’s Arneis, Baily Winery’s Dry Riesling and Robert Renzoni’s Lyric Rosé.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

KC: Oh, I have A LOT of stories, and I joke that I could write a book about my time in Temecula Valley Wine Country (obviously I would have to change some names to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent), but one particular memory that I’ll never forget is celebrating our wine country’s 50th anniversary.  We brought together winery owners, winemakers, growers and our wine country pioneers to celebrate this milestone at a beautiful dinner surrounded by vineyards. It was a true testament to how hard we’ve worked and how far we’ve come as a wine region, and that night I realized how fortunate I am to be a part of it all.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

KC: Besides drinking wine?  Well, my most favorite thing to do is travel with my daughter and my husband. I also enjoying spending time on my patio where I tend to my succulent garden, which I’m obsessed with!  I’ve finally found a plant I can’t kill.

Cori DeHore, Operations Manager

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

CD: My family came to Temecula in 1997 from San Fernando Valley, which is a suburb of LA county. What drew us to Temecula Valley was the small rural feel, great schools for my kids, and the draw of a unique wine region with fantastic views of vineyards from my backyard! My family loved the area’s clean air, beautiful new communities, and proximity to the major cities within an hour’s drive. Back then, our little town did not even have a mall and was home to only 12 wineries!

We also loved Old Town Temecula and its quaint antique stores that we still see today. The very first restaurant we ate at was the original Bank Restaurant back in 1997. The original Bank building opened in 1914 and it still contains the original vault safe that you can view while dining. In that vault was a picture of young lady that worked in the bank during its early era. It must have been our lucky day because that same lady, but in her very late senior years, happened to be eating with a family member when we were there! Such a special memory that I carry with me to this day. It is my 25th year living in this wonderful town. I’ve watched it grow from a sleepy town with a population of 45,000 into a major thriving wine destination community that now has well over 100,000 people that call it home. I truly feel blessed to call Temecula Valley my home.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

CD: So many things but mostly the people in our industry that I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. I also love the rich history of our wine country and the amazing pioneers that saw the potential of this region.  Our wine country will always hold a special place in my heart.

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

CD: I still remember my first winery that I visited when I moved to Temecula Valley. It was Maurice Car’rie Winery and I bought their Heather’s Mist – a white blend. I knew nothing about the world of wine back then, but I just knew I liked it! My current go-tos are Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Rosé, Albariño and Vermentino for the white varietals and Syrah and big red blends for our red varietals.  These grape varieties grow so well in our region and so many of our wineries produce them beautifully. So many wines, so little time.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

CD: My first job in wine country was at Callaway Vineyard & Winery in 1997. One of the stand-out memories I have was meeting Mr. Ely Callaway. He was known as a man that made everything that he touched turn into gold. I was intrigued! He and John Moramarco were the original dynamic duo pioneers. Callaway Vineyard & Winery exists today due to their chance meeting back in 1967. What a story and visionaries those two were. It was my privilege to have met and worked with John Moramarco and I’m grateful to have known them both.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

CD: My husband and I like to explore new cities and look forward to traveling more. We also like to hike and be one with nature. I’m increasingly becoming a crazy bird lady! I dabble in watercolor painting (I’m still learning), and I love hanging out with my cool grown-up kids!

Devin Parr, Brand Marketing Partner

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

DP: I moved to Temecula in 2015. I was living in Los Angeles, and at a crossroads in my career after the wine media company I was working for was sold. I realized I could either stay in the wine business but I would need to move to Northern California; or, I could stay in Southern California – where I wanted to be – but I would likely need to move away from wine and focus more on the PR and marketing side of my work as there weren’t very many opportunities in wine in Southern California. And then a role came up in Temecula Valley that allowed me to not only stay in wine but stay in SoCal… so I jumped at it! Seven years later, I am more in love with this wine region than ever, and so grateful I am able to do what I love, where I love.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

DP: The diversity of wines and offerings! There are literally thousands of different grape varieties around the world, and yet the ones most available to consumers are the usuals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay… While traditional varieties are produced in Temecula Valley, the region is home to dozens of really interesting, offbeat grape varieties produced in a whole range of styles – like bone-dry Albariño, bright and juicy Falanghina, luscious and aromatic Viognier, dark and brooding Aglianico, cheerful sparkling Syrah, and more. There is something new to discover every day – which is a wine lover’s dream!

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

DP: I’m crazy about the stunning, traditional method sparkling wines we are producing out here. I could also drink Temecula Valley Sangiovese every day – sometimes I do!

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

DP: This may not be my best memory, but it has certainly stuck out in my mind – and presumably a few other people’s minds as well!

When I first started working in the region, one of the very first times I went tasting out in Temecula Valley was at Robert Renzoni Vineyards. I was tasting with Robert himself, as well as Olivia Bue, their ultra-talented winemaker. Suddenly I noticed there was somewhat of a commotion happening around me – the winery staff kept coming in and asking if anyone was the owner of a black Acura. I didn’t think anything of it because I don’t drive an Acura. They then started announcing over the winery speakers that they were looking for the driver of a black Acura. This went on for about 30 minutes, with increasing urgency. I just kept on tasting away, thinking to myself how irresponsible it was of someone to just park their car somewhere and not be present to claim it. Finally, the announcement changed. They had gotten the car make wrong – turns out it was MY car! I had parked right in front of the driveway to the production facility and hadn’t realized it, which had caused this massive scene as the winery crew wasn’t able to get in… and it was harvest! Talk about making a first impression! I was MORTIFIED.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

DP: I took up Shorin Ryu Karate at the tender age of 40 and fell absolutely in love with the sport. So, when I’m not out there discovering new wines and telling their stories, or hanging out with my husband, two little boys and two dogs, I’m in the dojo working toward my black belt.

Bianca Castillo, Member Relations & Programs Manager

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

BC: I’ve been here since 2010 when I was only a junior in high school. We were originally living in Oceanside but my parents took a trip to Temecula one day and thought it was beautiful. Fast forward 12 years, and we are all still living in Temecula.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

BC: The scenery! It’s so pretty when the vines are all green and vibrant.  

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

BC: I love the Viognier and Syrah from Sweet Oaks Winery.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

BC: My best memory in wine country was when I went to a brunch at Sweet Oaks Winery and met a bunch of fabulous moms and then we carried over and made a pit stop at Wilson Creek for a bit. Then  my newfound friend Corina and I ended the night at Maurice Car’rie eating their delicious brie bread! So good.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

BC: I love spending time with my family. My kids have a blast at their grandparents’ house. My parents have the whole set up (trampoline, bounce house, a water bounce house) for my kids and they beg all the time to go over.

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