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California Wine Month ~ Temecula Style!

September 2nd, 2021

This September marks the 17th consecutive year that California’s governor has proclaimed California Wine Month; in honor of our state’s contribution as the leading wine industry in the United States.

Cheers to CA Wine Month!

September is the perfect time to visit Temecula Valley Wine Country. Besides the fact that it is our favorite month, we’ve got several events and promotions up our sleeves and we want you to celebrate with us!

Here are the highlights:

SIP Passport Program

When: Valid Monday through Friday the entire month of September (excluding the Labor Day holiday).

What: Passport for a full tasting flight at any five participating Temecula Valley wineries; includes souvenir wine glass. Passport includes discounts on wine purchases, wine club memberships and dining.

Tickets: $50 per person. For more information and tickets, click here.

#DRINKTEMECULA Social Media Challenge
Do you love social media almost as much as you love Temecula wine? Then this challenge is for you! The entire month of September, we’re inviting you to post a picture each day showing how you are celebrating wine month without comment; you nominate a friend to do the same, both of you using the hashtag #drinktemecula

Virtual Happy Hour
On Tuesday, September 21, from 4 – 5 PM Pacific, join us as we toast #CaliforniaWineMonth with a Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country happy hour! We will be sipping some amazing Temecula Valley wine and chatting about how harvest is going at so grab a glass and come hang out with us for a little mid-week wine break! #DrinkTemecula #LiveGlassFull #CaliforniaWines

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Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed California Figs

September 1st, 2021

Figs, blue cheese and walnuts soar in this wine-friendly appetizer. Invite a few friends to drop by, then assemble this super simple hors d’oeuvre with juicy California figs, creamy blue cheese, toasted walnuts and a drizzle of honey. It’s an easy app that’s ready in five minutes, max. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay.

CA Grown Happy Hour at Home: Credit CA Grown

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh California figs, halved  
  • ¼ pound (125 g) blue cheese, such as Point Reyes Farmstead Original Blue or Bay Blue 
  • ½ pound (250 g) walnuts, toasted and chopped 
  • Honey for drizzling 

Directions:

Cut the figs in half. Cut a small slice off the curved side so the figs stay stable. Place the figs on a serving plate and top each fig with a nugget of blue cheese. Sprinkle generously with the walnuts. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.    

Suggested Pairings:

Avensole Winery ~ 2020 Chardonnay – Notes of tropical fruit are balanced with minerality and stone fruits as they greet the palate, followed by a luxurious, creamy vanilla finish.

Chapin Family Vineyards ~ 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – Provides an array of smooth flavors such as blueberry, mocha, plum and vanilla. 

Monte De Oro Winery ~ 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon – Classic black cherry, plums, and craisins come alive when you start drinking it, with brown sugar, black pepper, and fennel rounding out the taste.

Peltzer Winery ~ 2019 Chardonnay – Yellow apple, apricot, and lemon meringue pie.

Recipe and photo courtesy of CA Grown and the Wine Institute of California

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September Winery Events

September 1st, 2021

Nothing screams “Harvest Time!” more than a good old-fashioned grape stomp! Between harvest and California Wine Month, September is always a busy time in Temecula Valley Wine Country and our wineries are busy planning a few celebrations of their own.

Sipping through harvest

Akash Winery 
Comedy Night | September 3rd at 7:30pm | $25 per person | A night of nonstop fun with wine, food, and comedy on our patio. Food truck available onsite. Member discounts apply. | For reservations, please visit www.akashwinery.com/events  

Bel Vino Winery 
Journey Tribute Concert | September 10th 6pm-10pm | ESCAPE is the Ultimate Journey Tribute band that faithfully re-captures the thrill generations of JOURNEY fans remember. Playing all the classics such as: Don’t Stop Believin’, Anyway You Want It, Open Arms and more!!!  Contact heyday.com for your tickets. 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 
Sip, Stomp & Play Annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival | September 11th | Tickets: $125.00 General Public, $112.50 Wine Club Members, $90.00 Kids ages 4-11 | Grape stomping time has officially arrived, and you won’t want to miss out on this epic event! Grab your friends and family for this unforgettable, undeniably fun-filled grape stomp and harvest festival. Featuring: Live music, dinner, dancing, face painting, a Lucy look-alike contest, and, most of all, grape stomping contests! Show up in your most fabulous Lucille Ball costume for a chance to win prizes. Tickets include admission to the event, one glass of Callaway wine, dinner, wine specials and grape stomping. Purchase tickets at our San Diego – Gaslamp and Temecula tasting rooms or online at www.callawaywinery.com  

Danza del Sol Winery 
Small Bites with Chef Jillian | Sept. 4th 10am-12pm | Food Pairing with New Release Wine. Member $15 | Guest $18 | Reservations required please visit our website.  

Summer Send Off BBQ | Sept. 26th 11am-2pm | Live Music and raffle prizes | Members $18; Non-members $22 | Reservations required please visit our website.  

Europa Village Winery & Resorts
Salsa Nights at Bolero |Tuesday Nights September 7 & 21;  7pm-10p | Tickets: $15 Reg.; Members $12. Includes one glass of wine, beer, or Sangria | Calling all hombres and mujeres! Dust off your dancing shoes and join us on La Plaza at Bolero for an exhilarating night of Salsa dancing. Featuring live music by Kimba Light, Salsa lessons, Spanish wines, and tasty tapas | RSVP today – limited tickets available! Guest must be at least 21 years of age and present a valid government issued photo ID at the door. Purchase tickets at https://shop.europavillage.com/Shop/Events/Salsa-Nights

Foot Path Winery  
Food Wine and Music Event | September 18th 6:30 to 9:00pm | $35.00 wine club, $40.00 non-wine club. Includes a glass of wine, food, and live music | Please RSVP to the winery at (951) 265-9951. 

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Harvest Ball | September 11 6:00pm-10:00pm | General Admission $125 per person, $110 Wine Club per person | Enjoy a 4-course dinner with wine pairings, dancing, carriage rides and complimentary professional photos | Reservations required please visit www.lorimarwinery.com to purchase your tickets.

Monte De Oro Winery 
Wine Bingo | Sept. 10th 6:30p-9:00p | It’s time for Bingo, Monte De Oro style! Join us for a night of calling numbers and sipping your favorite MDO wine! Tickets are $40. Tickets includes Bingo Card (6 Bingo Games), Glass of Wine, and 3 Raffle Tickets | To purchase your tickets please visit https://shop.montedeoro.com/res-397911/Wine-Bingo.html  

Signature Food & Wine Series | Sept. 19th 11:30am-1:30pm | Tickets are $70 for Non-WC Members and $65 for WC Members | 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 multi-course showcase featuring Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine | To purchase your tickets please visit https://shop.montedeoro.com/res-397912/Signature-Food-Wine-Series.html  

Oak Mountain Winery 
Country Concert headliner Brent Payne | September 25th 7pm-9pm | Tickets $85 general admission and $75 for members. Ticket price includes one trip to the BBQ buffet | Beer and wine cash bar | Reservations required at https://shop.oakmountainwinery.com/brent-payne-country-concert-guests-p292.aspx 

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa  
Country Concert featuring Coffey Anderson |September 2nd Doors open at 6pm | Join us as we kick off our 20th Anniversary celebration with a live Country performance from Coffey Anderson with opener Kanan Road. Tickets starting as low as $45 | For reservations please visit https://www.southcoastwinery.com/concerts/country-concert-series. More concert and ticket announcements to come! 

Wilson Creek Winery 
Jerrod Neimann Concert | September 12 Doors open at 6pm | General Admission $60; Wine Club $54 | Orchestra Assigned Seating $95; Wine Club $85.50 | Upper Room VIP Wine Club Only $200 (dinner and wine included with your ticket) | Join us under the stars in the heart of wine country for an amazing up close and personal country concert with Jerrod Neimann! Tickets on sale now at https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/res-418860/Jerrod-Niemann-Concert.html   
 

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It’s Official: Harvest is Here!

September 1st, 2021

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at What Goes on in the Vineyard and Winery Before, During, and After Harvest in Temecula Valley

Evening Harvest

Equipment has been washed and sanitized. Bins have been readied. Summer vacations have been enjoyed, bodies rested and refueled for the work to come.

And then it begins. That perfect brix reading on the refractometer, telling winemakers and vineyard managers that the sugars in the grapes are where they want them to be. A quick sampling of a few berries straight off the vine indicate perfect phenolic ripeness – the grape skins have lost unpleasant, bitter flavors and have softened into something that will produce delicious, balanced wine. It’s go-time – the official kick-off of harvest. And it’s all underway in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country right now.

This is a busy time in the vineyard and the winery, and no day is the same. We caught up with a few Temecula Valley winemakers and winery staff to check in on how it’s all going, and what a typical day might look like at the winery during harvest. We also asked them if they have any superstitious, pre-harvest rituals and found out that winemaking isn’t all science and agriculture… it’s also a little bit of magic as well.

THE PREP

For the team at Peltzer Farm & Winery, the days leading up to harvest contain an energy shared by all. “Harvest season is usually an exciting state of limbo,” says Tasting Room Manager Danae Wager. “The grapes tell US when they’re ripe, so we wait on the sidelines in anticipation as the season begins. Typically, farmers wait until dark to pick the fruit, which preserves the sugar and acid levels needed to curate the desired end result that ends up in the bottle.” 

Oak Mountain Winery owner Valerie Andrews paints a picture of the days and weeks leading up to the big moment when harvest officially begins:

“Oak Mountain’s harvest routine is to hurry and bottle everything in the tanks so we will have room for harvest. Next, we wash and test all equipment, as it has been sitting all year. Steve, by this time, has ordered yeasts and supplies so we are ready when Mother Nature says ‘go.’ We check last year’s timing of when we picked grapes and start testing sugar levels, then cross our fingers that we can get pickers to pick when we are ready. Fortunately, it always works out! Now it’s time for a glass of wine.”

Nick Palumbo, owner and winemaker at Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery, compares prepping for harvest to getting ready for a busy night of service at a restaurant.

“[It’s like] Mise en Place,” he explains. “This is a French term often used in professional cooking that roughly translates into ‘Get your act together!’ But what it really means is, before you get started, gather all you will need, do your prep work and make sure everything is in place. The best run restaurants as well as wineries know this well and plan ahead. Harvest is and can be unpredictable, chaotic and fast-paced but if you are ready it can also be smooth and predictable.”

Some pre-harvest rituals are more superstitious. “We bury 11 pennies in the ground on the first day of harvest,” says Sharon Cannon, Director of Operations for Akash Winery. “It’s an Indian good luck tradition that [Co-owner] Mrs. Patel started for the winery.”

Or they’re just plain sensible:

Says Joe Wiens, winemaker at Wiens Family Cellars: “We don’t really have any pre-harvest rituals besides stocking up the fridge with beer!”

THE REAL WORK

So once all of the pieces are in place, what does an actual day of working harvest look like?


Joe Wiens shares a snapshot of what the day-to-day can look like during this exciting time in Wine Country:

“We typically get in at 6 or 7 AM.  One of us will start with turning caps on our fermenting reds, while the other weighs the newly delivered fruit.  We taste the fermenting reds (not the most fun thing in the world at 6am!) and decide if anything is ready for pressing.  The remainder of our workday entails racking settling wines, pressing and processing, and running lab analysis.”

While it’s exhausting work, Joe credits the sense of community and shared responsibility for getting them through it. “Our team has been together for years, and everyone is trained on many of our responsibilities from processing, to preparing yeast additions, to lab analysis and data entry,” he says. “We get the music going early and all work really well together to make the long days feel shorter.”

“Our days here at Palumbo start as early as 2 am and can last well into the night,” shares Nick Palumbo. “Then off to sleep for a few hours before starting again. We are a small, family winery so everyone gets involved. We are in the field sorting leaves out of the bins, then off to the crush pad for processing, fermenting, pressing, and barreling. There is a lot to do but somehow, we get it done each year. As we have always said we don’t have a choice; it will get done somehow.”

“A typical day consists of early morning vineyard visits to collect grape samples for analysis, brix and temperature readings on all fermenting wines, smelling the top of each fermenting tank to make sure there are no ‘off’ odors or nutrient deficiencies, and most importantly, tasting each lot daily,” explains Olivia Bue, Winemaker at Robert Renzoni Vineyards.

“And, once the reds come in, the real harvest bootcamp begins, with pumpovers three times a day, with at least three hours off in between. This involves sanitizing all hoses and pumps before and after each lot. As the reds approach the end of alcoholic fermentation its time press the wine off the skins… Each day consists of a lot of cleaning and scrubbing.”

Olivia says the hardest part of her day is when the alarm goes off at 3 AM. It’s also incredibly rewarding with moments of beauty as well. “[I love] processing the grapes as the sun rises,” she says. “I also love when the last lot is pressed out – not because harvest is over, but because I can look back and feel proud of all the blood, sweat, and tears put into the vintage.”

She also loves the team building that happens over their traditional 9AM happy hours.

Over at Wilson Creek, the day-to-day looks similar. And they get ready for the mammoth task ahead by going out for pizza and beer the Friday before harvest begins.

“We start picking at 10 PM and, depending upon the varietal, we finish with the harvest crew at 3 am,” says Wilson Creek Winery winemaker Gus Vizgirda. “The cellar crew kicks in on the crushpad at 4 AM. Whites are crushed and pressed and put in the tanks. Reds are crushed and put in the tank for two weeks for fermentation.”

With a total of 140 acres to harvest, this goes on for about 2.5 months, with two crews of twenty people working seven days a week. This hard work is recognized and rewarded in two ways. First, Gus arrives every morning at sunrise when the grapes are on the crushpad, and he plays the bugle for everyone – including the grapes.

Head on over to Lorenzi Estate Wines and you will see their crew at 3 AM, planning the day, taking readings, doing pumpovers, and picking crop starting around 4 AM, with the goal of being done by lunchtime so that they can avoid that Southern California midday heat in early Fall.

At Gershon Bachus, the dawn patrol continues, with the picking crew arriving around 3AM as well to pick the fruit and drop it at the winery’s production area.

“Our team arrives by 7AM,” explains Gershon Bachus owner Christina Falik and winemaker Dakota Denton. “For our hillside vineyards, we have a team picking out the leaves and bad clusters as the grapes take a ride on the elevator. The winemaking staff secures the connections to our concrete tanks where the fruit will go through fermentation.  Then the pumpovers begin in order to make sure the must stays wet. This is done twice per day, until fermentation is done. Harvest for us goes fast, and is intense, as the fruit tends to ripen at a similar pace.”

What many people don’t realize is just how physically demanding harvest and winemaking are, requiring long hours, heavy-lifting, and early starts. “On a complicated day you can crush/destem, pump over, press, and move wine into barrels,” continues Christina. “This is not a day for the weary.”

The excitement – and work! – of harvest isn’t limited to those working in the vineyards or cellar. Oftentimes, the experience is shared by everyone at the winery.

“We love to gather and watch or participate in picking the fruit and making memories together,” says Danae at Peltzer. “Seeing the process firsthand and learning exactly how each grape is processed reignites our passion for farming and high-quality winemaking. We typically order pizza and invite the families of our staff to join in the festivities and ask as many questions as possible!” 

THE AFTERMATH

And when it’s all over? At Wilson Creek, once harvest is complete, the team has a huge – and well-deserved – harvest party among the vines.

And they’re not the only ones celebrating a job well done. “Our end-of-harvest ritual is a PARTY,” says Christina. “Since our season is so short, it precedes the holiday season and is just as festive.”

Photo courtesy of Matthew Burlile- Instagram: @temeculaphotography

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Mid-Week Wine Tasting Guide

August 5th, 2021

For many, summer vacation is quickly coming to an end.  But, how about squeezing in one more little get-a-way before the dog days of summer are over?

Summertime Sipping!

Whether you can get away overnight, or just want to take a day trip, a mid-week visit to Temecula Valley Wine Country should prove to be a relaxing and enjoyable break.

There are many advantages to visiting wine country during the week.  Much less busy weekdays are the perfect opportunity to allow yourself time to enjoy our 40+ member wineries’ offerings.  At a slower pace, you’ll be able to enjoy more one-on-one time with the knowledgeable wine servers (or even the winemakers and/or winery owners themselves if you’re lucky) at each of your stops.

In addition, the tasting prices tend to be lower during the week than on the weekends and some wineries even offer additional discounts if you’re tasting during the week.  And, if we haven’t convinced you yet….there’s no waiting in line to dine at our wonderful wine country restaurants that are very busy on the weekends. If you’d like to spend the night you’ll be pleased with the selection of hotels and their reduced mid-week rates.  Hotels in the area are generally booked months in advance on the weekends.

For a really special weekday deal, check out the SIP Passport. This passport allows you to visit any five wineries of your choice for $50.  Click here to purchase your passport.

While we’d love to see you at any time here in Temecula Valley Wine Country, give us a try on a Wednesday sometime….we think you’ll be glad you did!

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Grilled Fish Tacos

August 5th, 2021

You can use any kind of fish for these grilled tacos, or shrimp if you prefer. Pacific halibut is lean, with thick flakes, and easy to grill. Offer the salsa separately so lovers of spicy food can add as much as they like, and others can pass. Of course, pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • Scant ½ teaspoon whole cumin seed or ground cumin 
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt 
  • Scant ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • 1 pound skinless Pacific halibut, preferably in 1 piece 
  • Olive oil 
  • 1 heart of romaine, dark green outer leaves removed 
  • 1/3 cup crema (Mexican-style sour cream) or sour cream 
  • Canned chipotle chile en adobo or chipotle hot sauce, optional 
  • 8 corn tortillas 
  • 16 cherry tomatoes 
  • 1 small avocado, halved, pitted, and sliced lengthwise 
  • Coarsely chopped cilantro 
  • Salsa verde, store-bought or homemade 

Directions:

If using whole cumin seed, toast it in a small dry skillet over medium heat until it darkens and becomes fragrant. Let cool, then pound fine in a mortar or grind in a spice grinder. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, salt, and paprika. Brush the fish all over with olive oil, then season with the spice mix. Refrigerate on a plate for 30 minutes. 

Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill to high. 

Cut the romaine in half lengthwise, then slice thinly crosswise. Set aside. Put the crema in a small bowl. Whisk in enough cold water to make it thin enough to drizzle. If desired, whisk in finely minced chipotle chile or hot sauce to taste. 

Wrap the corn tortillas in aluminum foil or a clean kitchen towel. Bring an inch of water to a boil over high heat in the bottom of a steamer. Put the tortilla package in the steamer basket, cover, and steam for 1 minute. Then turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  

In a small bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with enough olive oil to coat them lightly. Season with salt. Put them on a small heatproof stainless grill tray or other heatproof baking dish and set on the grill directly over the flame. Cook until the tomatoes are sizzling and lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Set aside. 

Place the halibut on the grill rack and grill without turning until the flesh just flakes, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer to a platter and divide the fish into 8 pieces of roughly equal size. 

To assemble the tacos, put 2 hot tortillas on each of 4 plates. Top each tortilla with some of the shredded romaine, then with a piece of fish. Divide the tomatoes and avocado slices among the tacos. Drizzle crema over the fish, top with cilantro and put a lime wedges on each plate. Serve immediately, passing the salsa verde separately. 

Suggested Pairings:

Briar Rose Winery ~ 2019 Rosé Fume

Frangipani Winery ~ 2019 Sauvignon Blanc

Mount Palomar Winery ~ 2017 Sangiovese Rosé

Vindemia Winery ~ 2018 Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe & photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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August Winery Events

August 5th, 2021

August kicks off harvest season in wine country. The fruit is hanging heavy on the vines and visitors can enjoy the stunning views as they take in an exciting variety of summer events including movies in the vines, happy hours and plenty of outdoor live music.

Summertime Events

Bel Vino Winery  
Estate Wine Launch Party | August 12th at 6:00pm | Enjoy Food, Music & Wine. Hosted by winemaker George Bursick and owner Mike Janko. | Tickets are $86. Wine club members receive 10% off. Tickets must be purchased by July 29th. Please email macey@belvinowinery.com.

Elton John Tribute Concert | August 6th at 6:00pm
Madonna Tribute Concert | August 27th at 6:00pm
Tickets may be purchase through at Heyday.com. Ages 16+ only.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Save-the-Date! September 11th – Sip, Stomp & Play Annual Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival. Tickets: $125.00 General Public, $112.50 Wine Club Members, $90.00 Kids ages 4-11. Ticket includes admission to the event, one glass of Callaway wine, dinner, wine specials and grape stomping. Purchase tickets at our San Diego – Gaslamp and Temecula tasting rooms or online at www.callawaywinery.com

Danza del Sol Winery
Paint Your Pet Party 3:00pm | August 1 |Tickets purchased through Shelley Garth @ www.paintyourpetpartyie.com or call 951-288-7536. Member: $50 | Non-member: $55

Foot Path Winery
Food Wine and Music | August 21st  6:30 – 9:00pm | $35 wine club $40 non-wine club. Please call the winery for reservations at 951-265-9951.

Longshadow Ranch Winery
Matchbox Twenty Too Tribute concert at sunset!  August 6th |$10 pre-sale online, $15 ticket at the door, $175 VIP table for up to ten. Purchase online at Longshadowranchwinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
70’s Themed Disco Wine Bingo on the Patio | August 7th Doors open 6:30pm. Bingo starts 7:00pm | Price $40.00 per person – includes 7 Bingo Games, 1 glass of wine and 3 raffle tickets. Wine prizes over $1,200 in retail value. Purchase online at www.montedeoro.com

Signature Food & Wine Pairing Lunch |August 8 – 11:30am | 2-Hour lunch, 4-course wine pairing lunch. Reservations required – $65.00 per person. Please visit www.montedeoro.com

Oak Mountain Winery
Cause Fur Paws Fundraiser | August 21st 6:00 – 9:00pm | Food, wine, blind auctions, best dressed dog prizes and more. | $15 donation for admittance include 1 glass of wine or beer.

Peltzer Family Cellars
Don’t miss Nashville Nights down on the Farm on August 21st from 4-10pm featuring three acts! Tickets range from $30 – $100 and can be purchased at peltzerwinery.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Join us for live Jazz performances on August 1st (Brian Simpson, Steve Oliver & Will Donato) and August 15th (Michael Paulo, Adam Hawley & Darryl Williams) | Shows begin at 7:00pm |Tickets available now starting at $65. https://www.southcoastwinery.com/concerts/jazz-concert-series

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Harvest Season in Temecula Valley is Just Around the Corner: Here’s How to Celebrate

August 5th, 2021

Get in the harvest spirit with these fun Wine Country events and activities

Harvest Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – harvest! Right now, grapes are changing on the vine from hard little berries to ripe, juicy grapes ready for picking and pressing into wine. This is an intense time of year for vineyard and harvest crews as well as winemakers. Once harvest begins, they work for days on-end, picking grapes at night or in the early morning hours to keep them cool. It’s physical work, but the fruits of their labor – delicious bottles of Temecula Valley wine – make it all worth it.

It’s a beautiful time to be out in the vineyards though! The vines are lush with bright green foliage and big bunches of plump, colorful grapes. Local wineries are also gearing up for their annual harvest events, inviting visitors to take part in the festivities. From grape stomps to themed parties, here are a few Temecula Valley events worth checking out this harvest season.

South Coast Winery

Every Friday and Sunday, from September 10 through September 26, South Coast Winery will be holding their Grape Stomp events. Grape Stomps are composed of two-person teams, and the winner of each of these friendly competitions will receive a bottle of the special South Coast Winery 20th Anniversary Blend.

Tickets start at $168 and include a wine flight for each person and a case of wine per two participants as part of the ticket price. Cases can be mixed and matched.

For more information and to reserve your spot, click HERE.

Danza del Sol Winery

Have you ever tasted wine straight from the barrel? It’s an amazing way to see how wine develops with time, and get a sense of its life-cycle before it makes it to the bottle and, ultimately, your glass.

On September 1, Danza del Sol is opening their barrel room up to the public for wine tasting and barrel sampling at their Roll Out the Barrel event. No reservations are required, so pop in for this fun, harvest-themed celebration, and enjoy a true wine-lovers experience, along with live music and food trucks on site.

For more information, click HERE.

Doffo Winery

Aspiring winemakers will want to check out the Doffo Barrel Club, a series of hands-on events that starts with harvest and culminates with you bottling your own wine.

In September, participants will join winemaker Damian Doffo in the early hours of the morning to help harvest, de-stem, and pitch the fermentation of a half-ton of grapes. Once Spring rolls around, participants will be invited back to the winery for a special Barrel Tasting event, where they will get a chance to sample the wine and see how it’s coming along. Lastly, come harvest time in October 2022, Barrel Club members will come together again to bottle their wine. A special edition Doffo Barrel Club wine label will include each member’s name.

Each Barrel Club membership includes access to all three events, ongoing communications from Damian about how their wine is developing in barrel, the opportunity to learn firsthand about the winemaking process, and a case of the wine they had a hand in making.

For more information on the Doffo Barrel Club, click HERE.

Not ready to become a winemaker just yet? Get in the harvest spirit at Doffo’s Renaissance-themed Midsummer Night’s Dream event on August 14, and enjoy live music and performances, games, and a three-course dinner. Costumes enthusiastically welcomed! Purchase your tickets HERE.

Callaway Winery

On Saturday, September 11, grab friends and family for the annual Grape Stomp event at Callaway. This harvest celebration features fun for the whole family, including face-painting, live music, dinner, dancing, and a grape stomping competition. Participants are encouraged to show up in their best Lucille Ball costume for a chance to win prizes in the Lucy lookalike contest.

Tickets are open to the general public (kids welcome!) as well as Wine Club members, and can be purchased at Callaway’s Gaslamp and Temecula tasting rooms or online. Each ticket includes event admission, a glass of Callaway wine, dinner, wine specials, and grape stomping.

For more information and tickets, click HERE.

Want More?

If you’re itching to get really involved in harvest, many wineries offer harvest internships and welcome volunteers to help pick grapes and assist with production. Perhaps you’re a wine student or an enthusiast looking to get some hands-on experience. If this sounds like something you are interested in, don’t be afraid to peruse wine-related job boards for harvest openings, or reach out to your favorite Temecula Valley winery to see if they have any harvest opportunities. You never know – this could be your next big career move!

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Summertime! And the livin’ is easy…

July 2nd, 2021

Barbecues are a great way to enjoy the outdoors! And all that grillin’ just screams for a good red wine. But if you’re thinking it’s too warm for red, think again! With these few tips, finding the perfect summer sip won’t have to put your love of red on hold.

Grillin’ & Sippin’
  • Chill out! Pop your bottle of red wine in the fridge for about 30 mins – or in an ice chest for about half that – and you’ll be amazed at how much more refreshing it will taste.
  • No or Low Oak wines are generally fresher and fruitier.
  • Low to Moderate Alcohol levels usually equate to lower tannin levels for a wine that won’t weigh you down.
  • Light to Medium bodied wines tend to be easy on the palate, bright and light.

So, whether you’re in the backyard or on the beach – serving burgers and brats, or steak and grilled veggies – there’s tons of options for pairing your favorite Temecula Valley wine with whatever you’re serving up.

If the mainstay is red meat, a spicy Zinfandel or Syrah would be perfect. If you’re looking for a more mellow choice, a fruit forward Merlot always works; it’s also great with chicken, pork chops or fish. If your fave is a Cabernet, go ahead and drink what you like. But try not to shortchange your options. Go for a nice red blend for the best of all worlds. And don’t forget about a blush wine; there’s nothing a nice dry rosé can’t do for spicy ribs and coleslaw – or a plate of spicy hot wings!

A few Temecula Valley wine suggestions for your next barbecue:

Baily Winery ~ 2019 Rosé of Sangiovese: fun, fruity and full of character
Miramonte Winery ~ 2019 Rosé: bright strawberry | watermelon flesh | cantaloupe | iris | hibiscus | off-dry
Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2016 Big Fred’s Red: ripe blueberry and black cherry, hints of caramel
Maurice Car’rie Winery ~ Cody’s Crush: cabernet sauvignon, merlot and petite sirah blend
Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2016 Merlot: aromas of black fruits such as black cherry, blackberry and cassis

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July Winery Events

July 2nd, 2021

Summertime is here and we are welcoming you back into wine country! There are so many amazing things to see and do this month; spend your 4th of July sipping with us as many wineries are open for the holiday, or join us for outdoor summer concerts at South Coast and Wilson Creek wineries, live music at Foot Path and Peltzer or join in on the fun at Oak Mountain’s “Murder in Sin City Paramount Casino.”

4th of July Fireworks

Foot Path Winery | Food Wine and Music | July 24; $35 wine club $40 non-wine club. Call the winery for reservations at 951-265-9951.

Oak Mountain Winery | July 16; VIP 5pm, Gen. admission 6pm |Murder in Sin City Paramount Casino is throwing a party of epic proportions with the highest rollers and gutsiest gamblers. Whose secrets will be exposed. Which lies will be uncovered? Who will fall victim? Your bet is ours!” Reserve your spot today!

Peltzer Family Cellars | Join us in the Crush House on July 22nd from 6:00pm-9:30pm for a totally amazing, interactive dueling pianos show with The Killer Dueling Pianos. Tickets are $45 each, include a glass of sangria, and can be purchased at peltzerwinery.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa | Rhythm on the Vine is back with a live Jazz performance on July 18th. Paul Brown & Gregg Karukas take the stage at 7:00pm. Tickets available now starting at $65. https://www.southcoastwinery.com/concerts/jazz-concert-series

Wilson Creek Winery |Save-the-date! Join us under the stars in the heart of wine country for an amazing up close and personal country concert with Jerrod Neimann on September 12! Tickets on sale now at https://www.purplepass.com/#219621/Wilson_Creek_Winery-Jerrod_Neimann_Country_Concert-Wilson_Creek_Winery-September-12-2021.html

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