Archive for July, 2014

Two Ticket Tuesdays

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

sip_2012_logoIt’s Two Ticket Tuesday – and you could be a winner! Every Tuesday for the entire month of August, we’ll be giving away two (2) free passports to SIP Temecula! in celebration of California Wine Month, which is held every day during the month of September.

To enter to win, LIKE us on Facebook.  It’s that simple!  Weekly winners will be announced each Tuesday during the month of August and will be notified via email.

SIP Temecula! is our way of celebrating California Wine Month, Temecula Style! Guests choose which four of the 30+ wineries of the Temecula Valley they’d like to visit for a complimentary wine tasting.  The offer is only valid during the month of September – and is only offered once a year as our way to honor the California wine industry.  ($40 value per ticket)


Dream Big: Falkner Winery

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Having watched the growth of Temecula Valley wine country for almost 20 years BEFORE buying their property allowed owners Ray and Loretta Falkner to really know what they were getting into…

Check in every month where we feature a new interview with our Temecula Valley winemakers and winery owners. You’ll learn where they came from before settling in Temecula, CA – and what keeps them passionate about the sometimes not-so-glamorous art (and science) of making good wine in California.

Dream Big :  With owners Ray and Loretta Falkner,  Falkner Winery
1.  So… you kept watch for almost 20 years and finally decided to pull the trigger and purchase a winery.  Why Temecula? Well, when we discovered Temecula back in the 1970’s, we weren’t initially ready to make the move from Dallas where we lived and worked.  But we kept coming back and actually visited the valley dozens of times during that time span.  Of course, as lifelong wine lovers, we visited wine regions throughout California and the world, but there was something intriguing about Temecula.  We loved the idea of buying into a relatively small growing area that we felt had enormous potential – and we knew we wanted to end up in Southern California.  And that’s exactly what we did!
2.  Tell us what it’s really like to own a winery: It’s a LOT of work, but we truly enjoy coming to work every day.  There’s not many businesses where you have the opportunity to meet your customers face to face; where you have an opportunity to ask them their opinion about your product. It’s made a lasting impression on us, as owners, to realize that so many of our guests appreciate our commitment to providing a quality product.  They thank us all the time.  That makes all the hard work worth it.
3.  So what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?  What’s the best part? We own a winery!  We control every aspect of our business and are involved in every decision.  We’re both very hands-on, and that takes an enormous amount of personal energy, but it’s the most rewarding thing either of us has ever done.  And every single day is different.  we’re living our dream.
4.  What’s the worst part? The late night calls and never really getting away from it all – even when we try to sneak in a vacation!  But no complaints; there are definitely more pluses than minuses.
5.  So… what’s in your glass?  Hmmmmm, we’re both really enjoying our 2010 Amante right now.  It’s a Super Tuscan blend and it’s tasting magnificent.  We find it’s the little things in life that make us most happy these days.  This is just the best job ever!

To learn more about California’s Big Dreamers, click here! #dreambig http://visitcalifornia.com/dream365 Subscribe to VisitCA channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/VisitCA Like VisitCA on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VisitCA Follow VisitCA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VisitCA



August Winery Events

Thursday, July 24th, 2014


There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Temecula Valley Wine Country this summer.  The grapes love summer and so do we! From grape stomping events, wine making workshops, movies among the vines and evening concerts, we’ve got something for everyone.  Here are just a few events from which to choose.

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Sangiovese Saturdays at Carol’s
Saturdays in August
Live music and wine specials.

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday
Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch!  Live acoustic entertainment.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Tours and vertical tasting of library Boudreaux reds.
Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

Briar Rose Winery

Sip Into Sunset
Friday, August 1
Live music, food & wine.
Call 951-308-1098 to make reservations.  Seating is limited.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Saturday, August 2
$60 per person / $54 per person, Wine Club Members
$30 for children 4-11
Face painting, live music, dancing, grape stomping contests!

Prime Rib Fridays
Every Friday at Meritage at Callaway
Three-course Prime Rib dinner, wine specials & live music
$35 per person!

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway
Every Sunday at Meritage at Callaway
Live music and Watermelon Sangria

Falkner Winery

Sunday Concerts & BBQ
Every Sunday in August
Sangria, BBQ & dancing

Wine Appreciation Class
Saturday, August 16
$45 per person

Leoness Cellars

Live Music
Fridays 5:00p-8:00p in the Restaurant at Leoness
Sundays 1:00p-4:00p on the patio

Painting in the Vines
Wednesday, August 20
$50 per person
Create a painting while enjoying award winning wines, artisan cheese and views.

Harvest Vineyard Tour and Tasting
Tour of winemaking facility and wine tasting
90 minutes
$40 per person
Reservations required

Lorimar Winery

Live Music
Fridays & Saturdays 6:00p-9:00p
Sundays 2:00p-5:00p
August 1  – Shultz & Hamilton
August 2 – Michael LeClerc
August 3 – Annette Da Bomb
August 8 – Guilty Conscience
August 9 – Lance Dieckson
August 10 – Fuzzy Rankin
August 15 – Radical Pie
August 16 – Kepi Payne Project
August 17 – Lance Dieckson
August 22 – Kanan Road Band
August 23- Lifetime Rocker
August 24 – Buzz Campbell
August 29 – Oceans of Sand
August 30 – Master Splinter and the Shredders
August 31 – Michael LeClerc

Epicurean Cooking Demonstration
Wednesday, August 6
$25 (+tax) per person / Wine Club Members – $20 (+tax) per person
Interactive cooking demo preparing Pesto Sauce & Baked Salmon and Lorimar Wine pairing.

Movie in the Vines ~ Featuring: Ratatouille
Monday, August 25
Wine Bar and Concession stand will open at 6 pm.
$1 Admission – Includes small bag of popcorn!
Film begins at Sunset on the Barrel Room Lawn!
Bring your own beach chair or blanket!

2nd Annual Game Night
Tuesday, August 26
Begins at Sunset

Monte De Oro Winery

Fuel – Live in Concert
Saturday, August 23
Doors open at 6:00p
$55 General Admission / $105 VIP Dinner Seating / Wine Club discounts are available

Mount Palomar

Live Music
August 2 – Bodie
August 3 – Shameless
August 9 – Rum Soaked Raisins
August 10 – Harmony Road
August 16 – Bodie
August 23 – Journey Man Band
August 24 – 3 Blind Mice
August 30 – Entouraj
August 31 – Bodie

Bottles “n” Brushes (Painting Class with Wine!)
Wednesday, August 6
2 tickets for $80
Contact Dorothy Hawthorne at 951-302-3088 for more information.

Bottles “n” Brushes (Painting Class with Wine!)
Wednesday, August 20
2 tickets for $80
Contact Dorothy Hawthorne at 951-302-3088 for more information.

ESCAPE a Tribute to: JOURNEY Concert
Friday, August 22
For more information, please call 760-716-6295 or heyday@heyday.com

Oak Mountain Winery

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in August

Live Music & Food Trucks
Saturday, August 23
Live music by American Made and food truck fun!

Oak Mountain Winery University
2014 Spring Semester Classes
$15 per student; $12 for wine club members.  Classes run for one hour.

Bubbles 101 – Taste three of our handcrafted sparkling wines paired with artisanal cheeses.

Blending Reds – Create, bottle and label your very own blend

Wine Tasting for Dummies 101 – Our beginners class for Wine Tasters.

Rhone Wine Class 201 – Our second, more advanced class after taking Wine Tasting 101 is our Rhone Wine Tasting Class 201.

Bordeaux Wine Class 201 – You will learn how these grapes are grown and how they are harvested and processed.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Wine & Dine Chef’s Table at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Custom five-course menu paired with wine
$135 per person.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Divas in D’Vines
Every Sunday during football season
12:00p- 3:00p
Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Enjoy half priced mimosas, sangria and Spumante Diamante.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vintage Vantage Menu
11:30a -3:00p
Specially priced $9.99 lunches at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant for those aged 55 and over.

Marvelous Mondays
Every Monday at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
5:30p to 9:00p
Half-priced bottles of select featured wines with the purchase of 2 entrees.

Behind the Scenes Winery Tour
11:00a and 1:00p
$40 per person; wine club members $35
Walking wine tour culminates
Private, plated wine & cheese pairing
Reservations strongly suggested.

 Thornton Winery

Summer Concert Series
Bobby Caldwell & Keiko Matsui
Saturday, August 2
General Admission $70 per person; Gourmet Supper $145 per person

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave.
Saturday, August 23
General Admission $75; Gourmet Supper SOLD OUT

Al Jarreau & Vincent Ingala
Sunday, August 24
General Admission $70; Gourmet Supper SOLD OUT

Thornton Winery’s Chef’s Counter
Friday, August 29
$125 per person, plus tax and tip
An interactive Chef’s Table in a private kitchen.
Five-course meal prepared right in front of you.
Seating is limited to 10 people, so reservations are a must!

Wiens Family Cellars

The English Beat Summer Concert
Friday, August 15
Doors open at 5:30p

Wilson Creek Winery

Live entertainment
August 2 – JD Priest
August 3 – Mark Norris
August 9 – Smoothie Jones
August 10 – Buzz Campbell
August 16 – Billy Watson
August 17 – Michael Le Clerc
August 24 – Astra Kelly
August 30 – JD Priest

Wine Academy – Summer Wine Pairing Experience
Saturday, August 9
$35 per person; $20 per person, wine club
Enjoy learning more about wine in an informal atmosphere.

Garratt Wilkin & The Parrotheads Concert
Friday, August 15
$35 General Admission; Wine Club $25 (limit 2)
The #1 Jimmy Buffet tribute band is back by popular demand.

Winemaker for a Day – Harvest Edition”
Monday-Thursday, August 18-21 (nightly)
$670 per person
One night stay at the Wilson Creek Manor, pick grapes in the vineyard, making wine in the cellar, delicious food, wine and more!
Space is very limited and reservations required.


Wine Country Recipe: Summertime Sippin’ Sangria

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014


This easy, summer cocktail made with wine, is perfect for big summer parties or an intimate get-together.  Although, as festive and refreshing as Sangria is, it’s always a favorite, so you may consider doubling the recipe!  And remember, the longer your batch of Sangria sits, the better the flavor will be.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


1 Bottle of your favorite Temecula Valley red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel or Syrah)
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 Orange cut into wedges
1 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
Splash of orange juice or lemonade
2 Shots of gin or triple sec (optional)
1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 Cups ginger ale


Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangria is chilled around 24 hours in the refrigerator;  allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

Here are a few Temecula Valley Wine suggestions to use for your Sangria:

Baily Winery ~ 2009 Merlot – Rich balance of fruit, silky tannins and just a touch of spice.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2011 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – Dark fruit aromas of cassis, blackberry and black cherry laced with Madagascar vanilla.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2011 Zinfandel – Flavors of sweet blackberry and plum framed by soft tannins and a long, silky finish.

Thornton Winery ~ 2011 Estate Syrah – Berry and plum aromas, aged in limited new oak.

Recipe adapted from Stacy Slinkard on wine.about.com



Bastille Day

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Bastille Day

Vive le 14 juillet!
Long live the 14th of July!

Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789.  As in the US, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence signaled the start of the American Revolution, in France the invasion of the Bastille began the Great Revolution.  Although the Bastille held only seven prisoners at the time of its capture, the raid was a symbol of liberty and the start of the fight against oppression for all French citizens.  Today, the day is commemorated with much merry making, revelry and of course, wine drinking!

As we Americans tend to do, it seems only appropriate to join in the celebration, which gives us cause to celebrate everything French, oui?  And since almost all of the most famous grape varieties originated in France or became famous through French expression, we think toasting to our fellow red, white and blue’rs should be done in the French spirit, non?

The diversity of French wine is due in large part to the country’s wide range of climates – just like ours in California.  It’s cooler in the north, warm and dry in the Rhone Valley to the south; there’s coastal effects and all sorts of continental and Mediterranean influences throughout the land.  And like us in the Temecula Valley, whether you’re a lover of Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc – or you’re more a devotee of Bourdeaux or Rhone style blended wines, there’s a little something for everyone.

So, we say Santé!  And add a warm merci beaucomp to the French!

Click here for some great French varietals, Temecula Style!

Ponte Family Estate Winery
2013 Pas Doux
Newly released, Pas Doux, means “not sweet” in French.  A full bodied, bone dry rosé wine with a honeysuckle aroma and and wonderful flavors of pear, guava, grapefruit and lemon zest.  A staple of the French table!

Doffo Winery
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark rich garnet in color; opulent flavors of dark red cherries and cassis on the palate.  Soft and subtle with a long, lingering finish with a hint of smoke and cocoa.

Falkner Winery
2010 Meritage ~ Bourdeaux style
A  full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Deep ruby red in color, rich in flavors such as black cherry, blueberry and pepper with well integrated tannins.

Palumbo Family Winery
2011 Meritage “Tre Fratelli”
A traditional blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc; toasted vanilla and caramel nose with black cherry and plum fruit finish.  Oh yeah, and if you happen to stop by Palumbo Family Winery today, it just happens to be Nick’s birthday, too!


Vine Talk: Verasion

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014


Pinot Grigio 7_14

Leoness Cellars Pinot Grigio; July 3, 2014

Vine Talk:  Verasion

“I’ve never seen anything like it!”, says Mike Rennie, owner of Leoness Cellars and a long-time grower and vineyard manager here in the valley.  “Harvest is going to be the earliest I’ve ever seen!  We’re already seeing verasion in all of our white grape varietals – and in some of our red varietals. The sugar level in our Pinot Grigio this morning was 18%.  It’ll probably reach the 22% we look for and be ready for harvesting by mid to late July.  It’s just incredible!”

In vineyard speak, verasion is a term used to describe the changing of color in a grape cluster.  All grapes are green up this point, but as the ripening process evolves, the clusters will begin the process of turning into those recognizable hues of golds, pinks, reds and purples. The grapes at this stage are sour and immature, but during the next few weeks as the fruit matures, astringent malic acids turn into soft tartaric acids and the sugar levels begin to rise rapidly.

There’s lot of action in the vineyard during this time.  The leaf canopies are constantly being pruned to allow just the right amount of sunlight and air to circulate though the vines.  Clusters that are not ripening evenly will be dropped to allow those that are to uniformly mature.  Unlike table grapes, small berry clusters are what we’re looking for as they have a better skin to fruit ratio that ensures enhanced concentrations of flavor and structure.  And that’s a very important aspect for making quality wines!  We’ll be praying for warm and dry weather – at least through the harvest season – to allow for the long, slow ripening process that our winemakers love.

What actually triggers verasion remains a mystery, but we can be sure that Mother Nature holds all the cards!

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