Archive for October, 2012

TripAdvisor Awards Temecula Valley #7 Spot in Top 10 US Wine Destinations

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012



Millions of Travelers Worldwide Vote Temecula Valley Wine Country into the Top 10!

TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, today announced the winners of its 2012 Travelers’ Choice Wine Destinations awards.  Thirty-two spots across the world were honored, based on millions of valuable traveler reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.

Award winners were determined based on their popularity as wine destinations, taking into account travelers’ reviews and opinions for local wineries, restaurants, attractions and accommodations.

“We’re excited to put a spotlight on some of the best wine regions around the globe,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “Travelers planning a fall harvest getaway can discover amazing vineyards, restaurants and tours at these world-class destinations.”

Travelers’ Choice: Top 10 Wine Destinations in the U.S.

  1. Sonoma County, California
  2. Napa Valley, California
  3. Willamette Valley, Oregon
  4. Finger Lakes, New York
  5. Long Island, New York
  6. Paso Robles, California
  7. Temecula Valley, California
  8. Walla Walla, Washington
  9. Palisade, Colorado
  10. Plymouth, California


Click here for the entire list of the wine winners around the world!














Wine Country Recipes Featured on Snooth.com – Vote for your favorites today!

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Temecula Valley Receives Multiple Nominations for Snooth’s People’s Voice Awards: Epicurean Edition

Congratulations to several Temecula wineries for their nominations in multiple categories on the popular online wine magazine, Snooth.com!

Now through November 30, you have the chance to vote on your favorite food and wine pairings in eight great categories, with each vote entering you in a drawing to win an exceptional set of designer cookware. This $1200 set of gourmet cookware will make your kitchen the envy of all your friends, and all you have to do is click here for the categories.


Nominated Temecula Wineries Include:


*Vote now* through November 30, 2012.  The public votes on their favorite pairings, creating the ultimate menu just in time for the holidays.  The winning menu & wines will be featured on Snooth through the holiday season.

Share your vote with your friends!

  • Share the the link to your voting page (http://snth.me/XW34ey) via social media and email!
  • Tweet it to your followers using our hashtag #SnoothPVAEE!
  • Post it for your Facebook fans and tag us so we can like your post too!



November Winery Events in Temecula Valley Wine Country

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The 22nd Annual Harvest Celebration is this weekendNovember 3 & 4!

For all the details and to buy tickets, click here!  This is the region’s last passport event until March 2013…

Harvest Ticket Prices:

  • $99 Weekend – Saturday & Sunday, 10am-4:30pm
  • $79 Sunday only
  • $69 Sunday only – local resident
  • $59 Designated driver – food only


November Winery Events

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Carol’s Saturday Knights

Live Bands every Saturday night from 5-8pm.  Appetizers, drinks and dinner available.

  • Saturday, November 3: Naomisax-Jazz/Pop/Blues/Latin/Funk/Swing
  • Saturday, November 10: Mark Johnson Trio-Blues/ Rock
  • Saturday November 17: Paradygm Shift-Rock/Progressive Rock
  • Saturday November 24: The Hats-The Hats know how to swing!


Dog Day Sundays

Bring your pooch to wine country.  Every Sunday live music, doggie menu, doggie treats.  Sundays 11:30 to 3:30pm.

Call 951-676-WINE (9463) for more information.


Bel Vino Winery
Complimentary Live Music

Sundays in November; 12p-4p


Cougar Vineyard & Winery

“Black Friday”
Friday, November 23; 11:00a-2:30p
Buy 2 bottles of any red wine and receive the 3rd red (of equal or lesser value) at 50% off
Buy 2 bottles of any white wine and receive the 3rd white (of equal or lesser value) for 1 cent.
(Offer is valid at Winery only and cannot be combined with any other discount, including wine club).

Temecula Turkey Trot
Saturday, November 24
Run or walk off your turkey the Saturday after Thanksgiving with this 5k or 10k.  After the event, participants over 21 can enjoy FREE wine tasting at Cougar Vineyard & Winery and discounted tastings at neighboring wineries.  For more information and to sign up, click here


Danza del Sol Winery

28th Annual Temecula Valley Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour

November 17 & 18

Danza del Sol Winery is pleased to announce that The Club House @ Danza has been selected to participate in the 28th Annual Temecula Valley Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour.  It is the first time a winery has been asked to participate in this Temecula holiday tradition.  The event is open to the public to visit all five of the homes that will be decorated.  Tickets are available for purchase here.


Doffo Winery

Saturday, November 17

Come meet Al Camano, winner of the 2012 SCCA Touring Regional Championship.  His winning car, a Chevrolet Corvette C6T1, will be on display for all to see and photograph.  Italian Wedding soup will be offered.  Doffo Winery is the official sponsor of this racing team.


Europa Village

“Le Semaine du Gout” Musical Wine Dinner
Thursday, November 15; 6:30p-9:00p
Gourmet 4-course French dinner prepared by Europa’s own award-winning Executive Chef Dean Thomas.  Each course paired with Europa Village C’est La Vie wines.  Top it off with performances by Europa’s own singing waiters.

Full list of November events:



Saturday Entertainment – Geoff Ryle 1pm-4pm -FREE admission


Sunday Entertainment – Michael Sierras 1pm-4pm – FREE admission


Monti – Art Class – 760-967-7658 1pm-4pm – Call 760-967-9658 for reservations


Friday Night Entertainment – Alaina Blair 6:30pm-9:30pm – FREE admission


Paint & Palate 6pm-9pm – $35 – Call 760-500-0383 for reservations


Musical Wine Dinner – France 6:30pm-9:00pm – $79 per person (plus service charge & tax) – call 951-216-3380 for more information


Friday Night Entertainment – Mrs. Jones’ Revenge 6:30pm-9:30pm – FREE admission


Antidote to Black Friday – Wine & Shopping event 6pm-8pm – FREE admission – call 951-216-3380 for more information


Monti – Art Class – 760-967-7658 1pm-4pm – Call 760-967-9658 for reservations

To RSVP or for more information, please call 951-506-1818 or e-mail events@europavillage.com


Leoness Cellars

Winemaker Dinner

Sunday, Nov 17; 6:00-9:30pm.  Tickets are $99+ tax.

Now that harvest is winding down our winemaker, Tim Kramer, would like to extend a personal invitation for you to join us for our Annual Winemaker Dinner. This is your chance to meet and interact with our winemaker, enologist, and the owners of Leoness. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and excellent wines.

Wine Club Members: $89 per person (for up to two guests) / General Guests: $99 per person

Make reservations today 951-302-7601 ext 150.

Click here for more information.

Longshadow Ranch Vineyard & Winery

Complimentary sleigh bell carriage rides through the vines

November 18th – thru Dec 23rd.  Sundays only from 2-4pm.  First come, first served; gratuity is appreciated.

Complimentary live music

For more information, please call (951) 587-6221.


Lorimar Winery

  • Mulled Wine willl be available for purchase by the glass at both the Wine Country and Old Town locations. Every Friday-Sunday starting Nov 2 through Christmas.
  • Exclusive Wine Club Only Preview Week on Merchandise and Wine Specials – Mon, Nov 19-Wed Nov 21
  • Black Friday Holiday Shopping Event – Stock up for the holidays with our wine and merchandise sales – sparkling wine, personal shoppers, music, light appetizers – Fri, Nov 23 from 6pm-9pm
  • Lorimar’s Grand Lighting Ceremony Fri, Nov 30 – Live Music 5-8pm: Witness wine country’s most beautiful lighting ceremony.  At 8pm, to the sounds of Christmas Carolers and the smell of spiced mulled wine, Lorimar will illuminate its wine country estate and the 6 themed Christmas trees inside.


Monte De Oro Winery

Wine’d Down Fridays – Complimentary Live Music
5:00p-8:30p every Friday

Friday, November 2 – Master Splinters & the Shredders

Friday, November 9 – David & Olivia

Friday, November 16 – Tim Moyer

Friday, November 23 – PLOW

Friday, November 30 – Fiore & the Bromance


Mount Palomar

Live Music Fridays
6:00p-9:00p every Friday throughout the Fall.

Friday, November 2nd – Big Truth – Classic Rock/80’s/Today

Friday, November 9th  – Finite Wisdom – Dance and Classic Rock

Friday, November 16th – Finite Wisdom – Dance and Classic Rock

Friday, November 23rd – TBD – Lifetime Rocker – Classic Rock

Friday, November 30th – Gino and the Lone Gunman – Rockabilly


South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

November 22Gourmet Thanksgiving Feast….  The Master Chefs and Winemakers of South Coast Winery Resort & Spa are ready to treat you and your entire family to a special gourmet feast this Thanksgiving Day, featuring unique presentations of today’s traditional fare. Specially priced menus are sure to make you stop and give thanks for this special day. Reserve early for preferred seating.  866-994-6379 X 7237 or visit us online at WineResort.com. Reservations required.

November 25Tree Lighting… Let your inner child come out to play; and while you’re at it, bring your entire family.  Come enjoy our popular South Coast Winery Winter Fun in our beautiful Southern California Wine Country sun.  Meet us in the Courtyard at 6 PM as holiday music fills the air and our popular holiday lights get turned on officially to delight and dazzle, making your Season merry and bright!   866-994-6379 X7210 or visit us online at WineResort.com.

November 29Deck the Halls Spa Event…  Be one of the first to enter into the Holiday spirit.  The GrapeSeed Spa at South Coast Winery Resort invites you to their elegant Deck The Halls Event from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.   Offering a vendors showcase, fantastic spa prizes and product giveaways, and complimentary wine whilst shopping at this social extravaganza.  Also be one of the first to sign up for some incredible spa package promotions that can only be enjoyed by attending this event and can be redeemed during the holiday season.  This event is open to Spa Club and Wine Club members only.  RSVP early to avoid disappointment.  866-994-6379 X7210 or visit us online at WineResort.com.


Thornton Winery

Art of Winetasting Workshop
Saturday, November 10th, 5:30p – 6:30p

Red Wine & Chocolate

Inspired by the small family run restaurants in the wine country in Italy, this wine and chocolate class is truly amazing!  You will be guided through the tasting and learn the in’s and out’s of chocolate and wine pairing.

$35 per person / $ 31.50 wine club members
For reservations please call  (951) 699-0099


Cafe Champagne Thanksgiving Buffet
Thursday, November 22nd, 12p- 5p

An elegant buffet of all your favorite Thanksgiving favorites included Champagne & Mimosa cocktails.

$65 plus tax & tip / $19.95 – Children/ Under 5 FREE
For reservations please call  (951) 699-0099


Harvest Cooking Class
Saturday, November 17th, 2:30p

Learn (while you taste) how to make 5 spectacular fall dishes: Roasted Cauliflower & Gruyere Cheese Soup; Butternut Squash Gnocchi; Mustard Tyme Glazed Slamon; Carmalized Sprouts; Chocolate Wine Pached Pear

$70 Per Person Inclusive. For reservations please call  (951) 699-0099


November “Care” Special
November 1st-Dec 25th

Bring 3 cans of non perishable items to the gift shop and and receive a two for one tasting.
For reservations please call  (951) 699-0099





5 Fun Facts About… Cabernet Sauvignon

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Cab is “king of the red wine grapes.  The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows.”  – Snooth.com

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties and is grown in nearly every major wine producing country in the world. Most Temecula Valley wineries are proud to produce several Cabernet options from single varietals to limited reserve bottles to popular Cab blends.

Cabernet grapes, Renzoni Vineyards

Here are five facts about the world’s most popular red wine: 

Facts courtesy of Wikipedia & Snooth
    1. Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety. It’s the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France, most likely in the Bordeaux region.  These origins were a mystery until recent DNA testing.
    2. The 1976 “Judgment of Paris” was a famous blind wine tasting event where esteemed wine experts unknowingly chose a California Cabernet over several French producers, thus catapulting New World Cabs onto the international stage.
    3. For most of the 20th century, Cabernet was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.
    4. Cabernet Sauvignon makes equal appearances as a single varietal and in blends such as Bordeaux (French), Meritage (American), and Super Tuscan (Italian.)
    5. France and California are the well known as ideal places to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. But the grape is grown around the world including Italy, South America, Australia, Washington and Oregon, as well as other regions.


Flavor notes:

Each stage in this ubiquitous grape’s aging process differs wildly from the next. While young Cabernet notes can include black cherries and plums, a mature one might embody the flavors of cedar, cigar boxes, and pencil shavings. An unripe Cabernet Sauvignon tastes herblike – think green bell peppers, with hints of mint and eucalyptus – while an overripe version tastes like jam.  Best pairings include roast lamb, short ribs, a cheeseburger and other rich meaty dishes.


Eager to buy a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon in Temecula Valley?  Check out these delicious selections for fall!


Temecula cabernet & vineyards, courtesy of TheModChik


Temecula Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Hart Family Winery

Friday, October 19th, 2012

The Story

Joe and Nancy Hart of Hart Winery are an inspiration to those who have ever dreamed of owning and operating a winery in Southern California. In 1970, Joe and Nancy discovered the Temecula Valley and in 1974 planted their first grapevines, among the earliest in the region.

In 1980 they built the winery on a corner of their 10-acre vineyard property. Later that same year, the first wines bearing the Hart label were produced, bottled and sold. Today, in keeping with the philosophy that making wine is an art-form engaged in by a passionate winemaker, Joe Hart, along with his son, Jim, produce about 5000 cases of premium wine annually.



The Wines

If you’re interested in tasting more obscure and unique varietals, then Hart Winery is your spot.  Wines currently available for purchase include multiple vintages of the white Roussane, rosé made from Cabernet Franc, and reds like Barbera, Mourvedre, Sangiovese, and Zinfandel.

Hart’s vineyards are also planted with Syrah, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hart family places an emphasis on matching grape varieties with terroir. Numerous Gold medals and Best of Class awards throughout the years attest to recognition by industry peers as well as by the public to the excellence of Hart Winery wines.

Wine Tasting at Hart

Hours: 9am – 4:30pm – 7 days a week
Pricing: 6 tastings with logo glass for $10.00
Winery Contact Information
41300 Avenida Biona
Temecula, CA 92591
Phone: 951- 676-6300
info [at] hartfamilywinery.com

Wine Country Recipes: Perfect Wine & Food Pairings, Part 2

Friday, October 12th, 2012

As promised, here’s Part 2 of this year’s best recipes and pairings from Temecula Valley Wine Country!  We hope you enjoy creating these “perfectly” paired recipes in your own home, while popping the cork on one of our beautiful Temecula Valley wines.


Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Tomato Relish
Courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery


  • 2 Porterhouse steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Grilled Tomato Relish:

  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, julienned
  • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp canola oil Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Halve the tomatoes vertically. Toss the tomato halves in olive oil and 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.

Perfectly paired with:

  • Doffo Winery 2010 Mistura
  • Foot Path Winery 2010 Krazy Foote
  • Leoness Cellars 2008 Melange de Reves
  • Masia de Yabar 2009 Estate Crianza Syrah
  • Vindemia 2008 Zinfandel
  • Wilson Creek Winery 2008 Zinfandel


Robert Renzoni Vineyards Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Recipe Courtesy of Robert Renzoni Vineyards


  • 1 lb dry spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp Robert Renzoni Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss the garlic into the skillet with the pancetta and sauté for another minute, then reduce flame to slow cooking.
Drain pasta and save a little water. Add drained spaghetti to the skillet with pancetta and garlic. At this point, beat the eggs and chopped parsley. You can add some of the pasta water for better consistency.
Serve on a big oval plate, Italian Family Style, and garnish with Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh chopped Italian parsley.

Perfectly paired with:

  • Chapin Family Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Hart Winery 2009 Barbera
  • Lumiere 2009 Daybreak Merlot
  • Lorimar Winery 2008 Duet
  • Monte De Oro 2008 Vigna Vicini
  • Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2008 Sangiovese



Brie Wrapped in Filo Pastry with Honey, Orange & Almonds
Recipe Courtesy of Callaway Vineyard & Winery


  • 1 wheel of Brie (1 kilo)
  • 12 sheets of Filo pastry
  • 6 oz melted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 oranges cut into segments, no seeds
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh lavender

Peel and cut oranges into segments. Place into a bowl and mix with the honey, lavender and pepper.

Separate Filo pastry into two piles of six sheets each, lightly brush top sheet with melted butter. Restack the pastry into one pile; place the brie in the center of the pastry and top brie with orange mixture. Close pastry and gently bunch together to seal.
Paint the outer pastry with more butter.

Next, bake on a non-stick cookie sheet or pan in a 400 degree oven until golden brown. Transfer to a serving plate.  Serve right out of the oven with a baguette or crackers and ripe fresh fruit.  Serves 15-20 people.

Perfectly paired with:

  • Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2008 Winemaker’s Reserve Viognier
  • Cougar Vineyard & Winery 2011 Pinot Grigio
  • Leoness Cellars 2011 Melange de Blanc
  • Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2011 Cantata
  • Thornton Winery NV Brut Reserve Natural
  • Wilson Creek Winery Almond Champagne


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