Archive for November, 2011

December Winery Events

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The smell of pine trees, sound of carolers and taste of gingerbread all signal the holidays, and Temecula wine country has so many ways to help you celebrate, you’ll be reveling all month long! So whip out your calendar, dust off that party dress and get ready to ring in the holidays with any one of these festive events.


Bel Vino Winery (formerly Stuart Cellars)

December 16th- 6-9pm

Jingle & Mingle Holiday Party: Join Bel Vino in the Barrel Room for an evening of holiday cheer with family and friends. Meet & mingle with the new winery owners as they share their visions for the coming year. Enjoy live entertainment and special holiday promotions. Includes tray passed hors
d’oeuvres, one glass of wine and one glass of port served with ice cream.$25 per person, wine club; $30 per person, non members. Limited tickets available-reservations required. Please call 951.676.6414.

Briar Rose Winery

December 3- 5:30-8:30pm

Candlelight Concert: Celebrate the most festive time of the year with a joyful holiday Candlelight Concert with the magnificent violinist, David Wilson. The spirit of the season will fill the air as this romantic concert under the stars kicks off your holidays. The evening will also include a horse
drawn carriage ride through the vineyards in a Cinderella carriage and a candlelight dinner. Proceeds will benefit the Oak Grove Center for the Arts. $75 per person. Reservations are required by calling 951.308.1098. Seating is limited.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

December 3rd- 5-11pm

Rainbows to Wishes Concert Tour, Featuring the 4019’s, THE BASH with special guest Nina Markert: Sophie Lawler, age 4, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing Sarcoma. To ensure she receives the best of treatment, her parents have been by her side constantly. Although privately insured, funds being raised are being used to offset medial, travel and general expenses to give her the best outcome possible for a long life. Proceeds from this event will support Sophie Lawler. Guests may purchase tickets through HeyDay Productions (www.heyday.com)

December 8- 6-9pm

Luck in the New Year’s Cooking Class: Join us as we celebrate winter’s wonderful bounty and delight. Meritage at Callaway’s Executive Chef, Michael Henry, will prepare classic dishes that can be used for your New Year’s Celebrations and get-togethers. $45 per person (plus service charge & tax); $40.50 Legacy Club members (plus service charge & tax). Class is limited to 30 guests. Reservations required. Buy tickets here.

December 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17- doors open at 6pm; play starts at 7pm.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some) – A Holiday Play: Written by Michael Carleton, John Alvarez and Jim Fitzgerald, three actors decide that rather than perform “A Christmas Carol” once again, they’ll retell Every OTHER Christmas Story Ever Told where they take holiday cheer to the extreme with a fast and furious look at the holiday classics and traditions we all remember. From Tiny Tim, Frosty and Rudolph to the Grinch and It’s A Wonderful Life, no holiday icon is spared in this whirlwind tour de farce of hilarious holiday merriment. Doors open at 6:00. Buy tickets here. Special matinee performance on Dec. 17 at 2:30 PM. The Annual Callaway Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is on opening night- Dec 9

December 17- 11am

Austen Tea, Tapas, & Wine: Jane Austen comes to Callaway Winery! In celebration of Jane Austen’s birthday, Christmas, the 200th Anniversary of Pride & Prejudice and the kick off of the opening of The Classical Theater Series Season 2012, Inland Valley Conservatory is pleased to announce the “Regency Period Tea,” We begin at 11:00am with an exhibition by Mission Hills Croquet Club. You can learn to play if you like and watch their top level player demonstrate his amazing tricks. This is not your backyard game folks! Our delightful hosts, Callaway Winery are serving up a Regency inspired menu, paired with their award winning wines. Special Guest Speaker, Doctor Laura Brodian Freas, founder of the Regency Society in San Francisco Bay Area will provide a lecture and rousing session of Regency Ballroom Dance in the beautiful Barrel Room. Dancers of all levels are welcome. There will also be a reproduction of Jane Austen’s Regency clothing as illustrated in the Friendship Book/Album of James Stanier Clarke on display. Shhhh! Unconfirmed rumors suggest that Jane Austen herself may be among the many guests in attendance! Get your tickets at Callaway or Inland Valley Conservatory (951) 696-9800, $45 for the event from 11:00am to 2:00pm (wine is an additional cost).

Following this event there is a special matinee of “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” at 3:00pm. Performance by Shakespeare In the Vines. Tickets are available at SITV.org for the matinee.


Frangipani Estate Winery

December 9, 10, 16 & 17- 7:00p

Forever Plaid – Plaid Tidings: Plaid Tidings…the sequel to Forever Plaid…brings back the 4 Plaids with a new mission of spreading holiday joy through song styling of Perry Como and other great crooners of the late 1950’s. Filled with the classic music and comedy of Forever Plaid, this is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and leave with a smile on your face. $19 per person or $25 per person to include wine tasting. For more information, call (951) 699-8845.

Keyways Winery

Special Tasting Room Hours
November 26th-December 17th
Monday-Thursday 11a-5:30p
Friday & Saturday 11a-8p
Sunday 11a-6p
Saturday evenings; November 26th – December 17th 4p-6p

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides: You’ll be ushered through more than 100,000 twinkling led lights, which transform the vineyards into a Winter Wonderland! Tickets $5; 3 & under free on parents lap
Daily, November 26th until Sold Out- 11a-8p

Christmas Tree Lot: These 6-8’ tall trees are being offered at $65-$75 for Keyways Wine Club Members and $75; $100 for the public.

Leoness Cellars

December 2 – 6-9pm

Shopping Night: Shop, Sip, Dance and Dine: An incredible opportunity for you to shop your heart out while you sip on your favorite wine, enjoy delicious food and live entertainment. $35/person; to RSVP, email eden@leonessecellars.com or natalie@leonessecellars.com or call 951.699.8896 ext 101.

December 18- 2-5pm

3rd Sunday Concert Series –Hosted by the Vineyard Troubadour. Acoustic artist TBD. For more information, call (951) 302-7601.

Ponte Winery

December 1-31

Canned Food Drive: Help us fill the shelves of the local Temecula Community Pantry by bringing in 5 or more canned goods during your next visit to the winery. We’ll be offering discounts in the Tasting Room or Restaurant for anyone who makes a donation.



South Coast Resort Spa & Winery
December 24 & 25, 5-10pm

Ol’ Fashioned Christmas Celebrations: Add a touch of sparkle to this year’s holiday festivities and experience a South Coast Winery Christmas tradition first hand. We’re rolling out the red carpet with special menu creations and phenomenal wine pairings at our resort’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Spirits are sure to soar as you relax and let our staff attend to every detail. Reserve early for best seating: 951-587-9463 Ext. 7237
December 31, 8pm

New York, New York New Year’s Eve Gala: Ring in 2012 East Coast Style with your family and friends at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa! Villa packages are also available. $195 per person; buy tickets here, or call 866-994-6379 ext 1.

Thornton Winery

December 25- 12 – 5pm
Cafe Champagne Christmas Dinner: Enjoy a festive, multi-course dinner to celebrate the holiday.  $49.95 plus tax and tip; 12 and under $19.95 and children under 5 eat free.  For Reservations, please call (951) 699-0088

December 31- 7:30pm- 12:30am

Magical New Year’s Eve Gala: Celebrate with an elegant, three-course meal while being entertained by The Great Raguxi and The Mark Sage Band. $150/person; purchase tickets here.

Wilson Creek Winery

November 30- 7-10pm

Illusions and Laughter in Temecula Wine Country – A Fundraiser for “Friends of Jim Herrman”: Jim was in a dirt motorcycle accident in August and broke his neck and back and has suffered very serious debilitating injuries. His left leg is totally paralyzed and he has no feeling from his belly button to either toe. Comedy and Magic Night will raise money to help fund house modifications. One of their needs is a concrete pad in the parking area so Jim can get in and out of his vehicle and transfer via a wheelchair to the front door. Includes: Top Rated Regional Comedians & Magicians and 2 drink tickets (please bring cash for extra drinks and raffle tickets – no food available)Register before November 15: $50 per person
$60 per person after November 15, $65 per person at the door. 100% of the proceeds to benefit “Friends of Jim Herrmann” fund. To purchase tickets: www.temeculacomedy.com, for Information please contact: Craig Johns at 951.972.2906 www.temeculacomedy.com

Beginning Black Friday, November 25th and every Thursday evening through December 22nd

Sip Savor & Shop: Extended Shopping Hours! Wilson Creek Winery’s tasting room will remain open until 9:00pm

December 1-31:

Holiday Toy Drive: Bring joy to those less fortunate this holiday season. Bring in a brand new, unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more and receive an extra taste with your tasting ticket and a complimentary appetizer with any purchase at Creekside Grille!

December 31- 7pm-12:30am

Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza: Guys and Dolls, get your fedoras and flappers ready as we celebrate the New Year in style. The annual Wilson Creek New Year’s Eve Extravaganza is back with a Roaring 1920’s Speakeasy theme. Kick up your heels and dance the night away to the swingin’ big band sounds of Big Lucky. Enjoy a 3 course dinner, party favors, a midnight champagne toast and much, much more. An unforgettable theme for an unforgettable evening! $160 per person; $145 per person for wine club members. For reservations call 951.699.9463 or purchase online at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com



Event: REI Temecula Wine Country Bicycle Tour

Friday, November 18th, 2011

We’re just a few days away from one of the biggest eating holidays of the year- Thanksgiving! Do you find yourself dreading the post-holiday weight gain? Don’t fear- REI has the perfect way to burn off those extra calories while experiencing beautiful Temecula Valley wine country: a bike tour!

Happening on December 10, the Temecula Wine Country Bicycle Tour leads you on a trip through the back roads of Temecula by mountain bike so you can see the gorgeous vineyards and lush surroundings up close. In between riding there will be stops at three wineries where riders will take a break for specialty food and wine pairings, ending the day with a gourmet lunch. This trip is one for all the senses- smell the cool breezes, taste the wonderful wines and culinary offerings, and feel the excitement  of Temecula wine country.

All you have to do is show up- the cost covers the tour, food/wine tastings, lunch, transportation to and from the meeting point in San Diego, Novara bikes, helmets and professionally trained cycling instructors. Want to pick up a few bottles along the way? Van support is provided throughout the tour so you don’t have to worry about carrying anything back.

If you’re interested in a fun, new way to see Temecula wine country, sign up for this ride today!

Date: December 10, 2011

Cost: $170 for non-members of REI Outdoor School, $150 for members

Meeting place: 9:00am at REI San Diego, or 10:15am at Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards

End time: 3:00pm

Items to bring (required): Energy bars, water bottle bike shorts/pants

Items to bring (optional): Your own bike, spare tubes

Gear provided by REI: Mountain bike, helmet, van support

Register online: http://www.rei.com/class/30164/market/163/01022012



Winermaker’s Roundtable: Five Facts About…Beaujolais Nouveau, + Baily Winery To Release 2011 Cabernet Nouveau

Friday, November 11th, 2011

November 17th marks the third Thursday in November, which is Beaujolais Nouveau Day all around the world. Here’s five facts you may or may have not known about this young wine:

  1. Beaujolais is a red wine made from Gamay grapes- the only grape permitted for this wine- in the Beaujolais region, south of Burgundy, in France.
  2. Beaujolais Nouveau is the new vintage, usually fermented for just six weeks before shipping.
  3. It is generally recommended that Beaujolais Nouveau be drunk no later than the following May after its release, although certain vintages that are considered to be excellent (2009, for example) can be saved much longer.
  4. It is mandated that all of the grapes in the Beaujolais region be picked by hand.
  5. This wine is always released on the third Thursday in November no matter how short the harvest.

Speaking of “nouveau,” Baily Vineyard & Winery celebrates 25 years of producing wine with the release of its 2011 Cabernet Nouveau on the weekend of November 18,19 and 20. The wine will be raced from the bottling line to the Baily Tasting Room at La Serena Way and Rancho California and then on to Front Street Bar & Grill in Old Town Temecula where it will first be introduced to the public.

The wine was made using the carbonic maceration process in which whole bunches of grapes gently placed in the fermenters without crushing. The result is a highly aromatic lighter style red that is meant to be consumed in the first few months after bottling. This method is commonly used in the Beaujolais area of France where the first wines of each year are traditionally raced to Paris each November and released to much fanfare and revelry.

Like Beaujolais Nouveau, Baily’s Cabernet Nouveau is well suited for your Thanksgiving meal, so don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate this brand new wine and stock up for the holidays.



Wine Country Recipe: Wilson Creek’s Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Grilled Tomato Relish

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Sometimes, all you need is a nice cut of good ‘ol American beef and a big glass of red wine. Luckily for us (and you!), the good folks at Wilson Creek Winery sent over this recipe, complete with wine pairing, that fit that bill nicely. Admit it- you’re hungry already, right? Surprise someone special tonight with this gorgeous meal.

Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Grilled Tomato Relish
(pair with Wilson Creek Winery ’08 Zinfandel)
2 porterhouse steaks
kosher salt
fresh black pepper

Grilled tomato relish:

4 Roma tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 yellow onion, julienned
¼ cup basil chiffonade (thin strips)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
kosher salt
fresh black pepper

Halve the tomatoes vertically. Toss the tomato halves in olive oil
with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatoes skin side up on a charcoal
or gas grill, rotating once to create crosshatch marks. Remove the
tomatoes from the grill and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
Add the onions to the pan and sauté until they are translucent. Add
the tomatoes, garlic and basil and sauté for about a minute. Add the
Balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two. Season with
salt and pepper.

Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Grill to desired
doneness. Top the steaks with the warm tomato relish to serve.


Winery Spotlight: Get To Know…Masia de Yabar Winery

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

One of Temecula Valley’s younger wineries, Masia de Yabar invites guests into their tasting room as one would invite friends into their home- after all, “La Masia,” roughly translated,  means “manor house!”

The story:

Owner Wilmer Yabar is a native of Peru with ancestors in Spain, and knew wine was in his blood from an early age. When his brother married an Argentinian woman, the brothers decided to purchase land in San Juan, Argentina’s second largest wine region, but being a resident of Riverside, Wilmer felt he needed something closer to fulfill his wine making desire. He and his wife, Sylvia purchased land in Temecula wine country in 2008, and Masia de Yabar Winery was born.

The wines:

Masia de Yabar Winery is the only winery on the De Portola Wine Trail that specializes in Spanish wines. The winery offers a new line of wines from their property in Argentina called “Viñas de Yabar”- 2010 Torrontes, 2010 Malbec and 2010 Malbec Rose. Wines made in Temecula include the 2008 Viognier, Cabernet Sauvingnon, Tempranillo and Zinfandel, with some of the wines being made from grapes imported from Argentina.


The Masia de Yabar tasting room is open Sunday-Friday from 11:00am-5:00pm; Saturdays from 11:00am-6:00pm. The winery also offers live music – Latin jazz, Spanish guitar- and Spanish sangria in addition to their usual tasting offerings every weekend from 1:30pm-4:30pm.

Masia de Yabar Winery
39788 Camino Arroyo Seco
Temecula, CA 92592


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