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Archive for August, 2016

Roots Run Deep in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country

Friday, August 19th, 2016

IMG_7797_Family-1024x683In Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, the family that wines together, stays together. At least that’s what it seems like given the number of family owned and operated wineries that populate the region.

What started out as Marcelo Doffo’s retirement project slowly evolved into a full-fledged, family-owned and operated winery, Doffo Winery, known for producing small-lot, hand-crafted reds. Upon his official retirement on January 1, 2016, Marcello turned the business over to his three children to run it. Son Damian serves as acting CEO and winemaker, and daughters Samantha and Brigitte serve as event coordinator and tasting room manager respectively.

“Our family bond has never been stronger, and we all share the same vision and goal, and the direction in which we are heading with our winery,” said Damian. “In all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way and I think we all share that same sentiment.”

The Doffo family shares many things, but most importantly, they are unified in their belief that quality winemaking starts in the vineyard. To this end, they hand-plant vines, meticulously prune and even play classical music for their vineyards to “soothe the grapes.” They also share a love of motorcycles. The Winery is home to MotoDoffo, the family’s private collection of over 100 racing and vintage bikes.

The Wilson Family opened Wilson Creek Winery because they all wanted to be together after parents Gerry and Rosie Wilson retired. Originally from Minnesota, the Wilsons had no experience as vintners other than making dandelion and rhubarb wine in their basement in the 1960s. Today, Wilson Creek is one of largest and most widely recognized wineries in Temecula Valley, and still run by family. Bill Wilson is CEO; Mick Wilson is COO; Deanna Wilson works in sales and distribution and Jennifer Wilson works in merchandising. The family can regularly be found on the grounds, meeting customers and working closely with winery staff. All would say Gerry and Rosie are the glue that holds everything together.

Some wineries are a union of not one but two families. Gary Winder started Stage Ranch Farm Management Inc. (parent company of Temecula Valley Winery Management) in the early 1970s. He was joined by Mike Rennie in the 1990s and together they focused on growing their vineyard operations, ultimately founding Leoness Cellars in 2002. Leoness is largely run by their families, including Rebaux and Jesse Steyn, Gary’s daughter and son-in-law. The staff describe the team as “more of a family group” than a traditional collection of employees, which they attribute to their unique family dynamic.

Lorimar Winery is owned by brothers-in-law Lawrie Lipton and Mark Manfield– the name is actually a hybrid of Mark and Lawrie. Lawrie’s daughter and son-in-law couldn’t escape the family business, both working there as well. And, one can’t visit Wiens Family Cellars without running into one of the Wiens– a whopping 19 family members are involved with the winery and brewery. “We are a tight-knit family and have always done things as a group,” said Jeff Wiens, owner and general manager. “So having a family business seemed a natural fit.”

Be sure to visit these and other Temecula Valley Southern California wineries this September, during California Wine Month. For more information, visit www.winemonth.org.

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Celebrate California Wine Month, Temecula style!

Friday, August 19th, 2016

california_wine_month_300x250Throughout September, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country will be celebrating California Wine Month, as well as the people, personalities and passion that go into making the great wines our region produces year after year. California Wine Month was created by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers and proclaimed by Governor Jerry Brown to highlight the state’s rich wine history and all that its vintners and growers add to the lifestyle and economy of the Golden State.  This year, we’re celebrating in a big way! Here’s a sampling of the exciting events and promotions taking place in September:

SIP Temecula Wine Tasting Passport
Monday-Friday throughout September
We’ve created this exclusive weekday passport to provide our guests the opportunity to taste award-winning wines produced in Temecula Valley Wine Country. On your self-guided tour, you will visit many family owned wineries throughout the rolling vineyards in our valley. You choose when, and which wineries to visit out of the 19 participating wineries listed on your passport. Visit during September’s wine month and receive a complimentary commemorative wine glass with your SIP Passport.

“Crush on Temecula Wines” Restaurant Month for Wine
Throughout September
Tom & Jerry, bread & butter, Barnes & Noble… Food & wine. Some matches are made in heaven. Whether you live here or are visiting, come get a crush on Temecula Valley wines at participating restaurants throughout September. This “restaurant month for wine” gives food and wine lovers the chance to explore Temecula Valley wines in special tasting flights being featured at the Temecula’s favorite restaurants. Revisit old favorites and discover new ones, all while enjoying the culinary creations of the region.

CRUSH ~ A Wine & Culinary Showcase 
Saturday, September 17 – 7:30-10:00p
The expansive lawn at Wiens Family Cellars provides the perfect venue for guests to meet and mingle with our winemakers, winery owners, chefs and other guests for an enchanted evening under the stars. THE Wine and Culinary showcase event of the year features 100 plus wines poured by over 30 Temecula Valley wineries. And they’re all in one place! Food samplings will be supplied by winery restaurants, local restaurants, and caterers.

People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards Celebration
Thursday, September 29 – 10:00a-10:00p
Come be part of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country history at the first annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards! Let your palate guide you through dozens of Temecula Valley’s best wines. Rate them and help crown the region’s favorites at an elegant wine dinner and celebration. Never been to a blind tasting? Rest assured you won’t be blindfolded. You will simply not know which wines you are tasting until they are revealed after the event, allowing for total objectivity in your tasting.

For more information or to join in on the celebration, please visit www.winemonth.org.

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Late-Summer Salads with Wine Pairings

Friday, August 19th, 2016

LPL5U4N1TJ (1)Cool and refreshing late-summer salads make dining in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country another great reason to visit during the month of August. Temecula Valley wine country chefs use garden fresh ingredients to make irresistible entrée salads with some surprising pairings of Temecula Valley’s finest wines. (Hint: Not all salads pair best with white wines.)

1. The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars favors the sensational figs now in season with their Fig & Goat Cheese Summer Salad. Dive into delight with this seasonal selection of mixed baby greens, julienne of carrot and cucumber, sliced red onion, baby tomatoes, house made candied nuts, with white balsamic dressing and fried prosciutto garnish. This salad pairs wonderfully with Leoness Cellars’ 2015 Viognier.

2. Meritage at Callaway Vineyard & Winery offers a unique twist on the traditional California fruit with their Beer-Battered Avocado Salad. This summer salad includes locally-grown wild arugula, Gorgonzola, and whole cloves of roasted garlic. These ingredients are tossed with a crisp house made vinaigrette dressing and are then plated with large pieces of beer battered avocado. A surprising wine to pair with this plate is Callaway’s 2012 Special Selection Mourvedre.

3. Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery has created a juicy and refreshing selection of locally-grown ingredients for their Heirloom Tomato and Harry’s Berries Salad. The new menu feature includes a perfect balance of makes this salad paradise on a plate. South Coast Winery’s 2011 Grenache is an ideal pair for this lovely salad.

4. Annata Bistro at Mount Palomar Winery welcomes a warm afternoon with a strikingly colorful display of refreshing produce in the perfect seasonal Citrus Salad. This exquisite summer selection contains fresh and creamy Burrata cheese, blood orange, naval orange, grapefruit, purple and green kale, striped beets, extra virgin olive oil, and a white balsamic reduction. This particular summer creation is only available on the weekday menu (Monday-Thursday). This salad pairs incredibly with the slightly sweet 2013 Cinsaut Blush.

5. Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery serves a light and imaginative Cucumber, Melon, and Heirloom Tomato Salad. The leaf crown lettuce head is topped with local, organic cucumber, melon, tomato, sweet onion, and feta cheese with a homemade raspberry vinaigrette. Wilson Creek’s Sparkling Rose is the predictable yet sensational recommended pairing.

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August Winery Events

Monday, August 1st, 2016

shutterstock_152965781Avensole Winery
Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / All free and open to the public

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio Saturday 1p-4p and Sunday 2p-5p / All free and open to the public

Baily Vineyard & Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents Two Gentlemen of Verona / August 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 & 27 / Showtime starts at 7pm at Baily’s outdoor stage / Tickets: General Seating: Regular $22, Seniors 55+, Students, Military $17, Season Ticket $20. Royal Table Seating: Regular $30, Season Ticket $27 / Baily Winery maintains booth serving wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks / For ticket information please log on to www.shakespeareinthevines.com

Dog Day Sundays / Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Live acoustic music on the patio

Bel Vino Winery
Karaoke Night / Every Friday 6p-9p / Free admission / Karaoke every Friday night at Bel Vino Winery in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; select Bel Vino Bistro menu offered from 6p to 8:30pm / No outside food or drinks allowed.

Live Band every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm to 4pm / Admission is always free / Bands play on our Hilltop Terrace Stage

Briar Rose
Sip Into the Sunset / First Friday of each month until August / Open until 10pm / Live music from 6p-9m and wine under the stars in our enchanted garden or tasting room / Purchase a glass of wine or a bottle / Outside food allowed at these events only / Reservations required; call 951.308.1098

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Prix Fixe Friday at Meritage and Live Music / 5pm to 9pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Reservations are not necessary. For menu information call 951.587.8889
Brunch Specials every Sunday at Meritage / 11am / Cost is $25 / Includes a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice, entrée and dessert.
*All food from Meritage is farm-to-table, either grown on property in restaurant garden or locally outsourced.

Callaway Winery Tours offered daily / 11am and 1pm / Tour only, $10 per person. Tour with tasting, $25 – tour includes 1 tank sample, 1 barrel sample and 4 additional tastes at the Tasting Bar / Reservations not necessary. For more information call 951.676.4001

Live Music at the Courtyard Patio / Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Sunday Live Music / 2:00-5:00pm / Free to the public /

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Free to attend / Happy Hour 2 for 1 glasses of wine from 7-8pm / Industry and Wine Club benefits honored / Deli is open until 7pm

Danza del Sol Winery
Live Music on the Patio / 1:00-5:00pm / Every Saturday / Grab your friends and head over to Danza del Sol for a Saturday afternoon of wine and great music

Doffo Winery
SambaDá Concert / August 13 / 6:30p / We are so excited to welcome SambaDá for a special concert at Doffo Winery! SambaDá brings together elements of Afro, Samba, funk and reggae for a powerful musical and dance experience unlike any other. Accompanying the musician are Samba dancers with influences from Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that combines dance and acrobatics / Tickets $25 / Wine, beer and food will available for purchase during the concert / Tickets on sale at doffowines.com

Live Music on the Patio / Every Saturday in July / 1p-4p / Free to the public

Europa Village
Movies in the Vines / August 18 / 7:30p – 9:30p / Outdoor movie presentation of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (PG-13) / Popcorn, candy and food truck available for purchase / Free admission with online RSVP

Murder Mystery Dinner – Murder by the Book / August 27 & 28 / 6:30pm-8:30pm / Performance to take place during a gourmet dinner prepared by Europa’s Executive Chef, Dean Thomas Saturday performance: $80 pp, Sunday $75 pp /Tickets may be purchased online www.europavillage.com or by calling 951.695.71715

Friday Night Entertainment / 6:00-9:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / 8/4 Crimson Crow / 8/12 JD Priest / 8/19 Blue Fish / 8/26 Salsa Night with Ruben V.

Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / 8/7 Dustin Jake / 8/14 Jimmy Patton / 8/21 Vivien Gaines Duo / 8/28 Joe Baldino

Falkner Winery
Lobster Fest Begins in the Pinnacle Restaurant / Every Friday – Sunday for the month of August / 11:30a – 3:30pm / Enjoy Fresh Live Maine Lobster Event / For reservations and additional menu information please call 951.676.8231 option 4

Wine Appreciation Class / August 20 / 10a-12:30p / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45 per person, $40 Connoisseur, $20 VIP. $70 per person with lunch option / RSVP required at 951.676.8231 ext. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Funday, Sunday in the Yard Garden / Every Sunday in August / 12:00-3:00pm / Game Competition starts at 1pm as well as other limited availability lawn games. Taco bar, carafes of sangria, and beer will be available for purchase / Must be present to register prior to 1:00 pm for the game competition

Leoness Cellars
Live Music in The Restaurant at Leoness every Friday 5pm-8pm & Saturday 5-8pm / Free and open to the public.
Live Music in the Barrel Room Sunday 1pm-4pm / Free and open to the public.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Dueling Pianos / August 18 / 6:30 pm / Dueling Pianos is back at Lorimar Winery! Tickets include a glass of sangria / Pre-sale Tickets Only. Please purchase online at www.lorimarwinery.com

Movie in the Vines / August 29 / Starts at Sunset / Movie to be announced / Free admission / For more information please visit www.lorimarwinery.com

Live Music Friday & Saturday / 6p-9p / Free to the public

Live Music Sunday / 2p-5pm / Free to the public

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Live Music on the Patio / 12:00-4:00pm / Free to the public

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Let’s Dance! / August 6 / 7p-10p / Come join the fun and celebrate our 30 year anniversary! Dance with the amazing Guilty Conscience! This diverse mix of talented musicians and singers is guaranteed to please audiences of all tastes with their extensive and diverse collection of material! Local artists will also join us to display their incredible photography and paintings / Food and award-winning Maurice Car’rie wines will available for purchase / No cover charge for the public / For additional information call 951.676.1711 or visit www.mauricecarriewinery.com

Let’s Dance! / August 20 / 7p-10p / Come join the fun and celebrate our 30 year anniversary! BIG TRUTH – a dynamic 5 piece variety, dance and party cover band that has performed over 350 shows in the 4 years they have played together. They offer versatility by covering a huge mix of music from classic and new rock favorites / Local artists will also join us to display their incredible photography and paintings / Food and award-winning Maurice Car’rie wines will available for purchase / No cover charge for the public / For additional information call 951.676.1711 or visit www.mauricecarriewinery.com

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7p-10p / Every Sunday 4p-7p / August 5- Nathan James /August 6 – Indica Roots / August 7 – Rhonda Parish & Vince Mendoza / August 12 – Ruben V / August 13 Bluefish / August 19 – Mickie Arnett / August 20 – Missy Andersen / August 26 – Big Truth Band / August 27 – Midnight Satellites / August 28 – Twofish / Free to the public / No reservations required. For more information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
Sounds of Sunday / 1:00-5:00pm / Come, relax and end the weekend with a glass of wine and a Bistro entrée. Live music program every Sunday on our outdoor patio / For additional information please visit us at www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite – “Screw It” / August 7 / 1:00pm-3:00pm / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!) / Tickets $45, includes supplies / More online at MountPalomarWinery.com/Upcoming-Events

Pyromania: A Tribute to Def Leppard / August 19 / 6:00pm- 10:00pm / Live at Mount Palomar Winery and Playing all the hits such as: Rock Of Ages • Photograph • Hysteria • Bringing On The Heartache • Pour Some Sugar On Me • Love Bites • Animal • Foolin’ …and so many more! / Tickets $25, $30 at the door / Tickets at Heyday.com, contact heyday@heyday.com 760-716-6295

Paint Nite – “Owl Day Long” / August 21 / 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!)/ Tickets $45, includes supplies / More online at MountPalomarWinery.com/Upcoming-Events

Murder…Without a Clue / August 26 / 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM / Catch a killer over cocktails in the Mount Palomar Winery barrel room! This interactive murder mystery event is hosted by the talented performers from Dainty Dames Events and includes a delectable 3 course meal, a glass of champagne, and a mystery to solve. Previous showings of this event sold out, so get your tickets while you can!
Tickets are $120++, $110++ for wine club members
Tickets and more online at MountPalomarWinery.com/MurderMysteryDinner

Annual Grape Stomp Harvest Festival / August 28 / 11:00am – 5:00pm / It’s that time of year again, so find your best grape stomping costume and bring your friends to Mount Palomar Winery to see who can smash the fastest! The Grape Stomp Festival celebrates our annual harvest season with a grape stomping competition. Sign up in teams of two and compete for the grand prize, tickets include a glass of wine and a t-shirt / Tickets are $45, $40 for wine club members / Registration and more information online at MountPalomarWinery.com/GrapeStomp

Oak Mountain Winery
Monte Carlo Night Benefitting Cause Fur Paws / August 12 / 6pm-9pm / / $50 donation includes play money and 1 glass wine. Food, wine and beer available for purchase / 100% of the money earned goes towards our furry friends’ diabetes treatments! / For tickets: 951.699.9102 or email val1@causefurpaws.org

Ponte Winery
Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar open late every day, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn. The Cellar offers live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend / Visit www.pontevineyardinn.com for an entertainment schedule.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-7pm Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour for specials on craft beer, flatbreads, wine and more!

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $40pp; $35pp Wine Club Member / Because you’ve got good taste…Get up close and personal as you learn more about our spectacular Southern California winery with a behind-the-scenes tour. From vineyards to crush pad, each tour concludes with a specially prepared wine and food pairing. Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Must be over 21 years of age to attend. Call 800-539-1375 Ext. 350 to reserve your spot today.

Chef’s Four Course Wine Down Wednesday Dinner / August 31 / 7pm / Vineyard Rose Restaurant’s Executive Chef Jason Rivas presents this exciting four-course, locally-sourced dining experience, with ultimate award-winning wine pairing with each course. Space is available for 40 people only and the first seating will begin promptly at 7 PM / Cost: 90++ per person / Reservation Information: Call 800.617.2819. All Sales are final. Chef reserves the right to substitute any item of like value without advance notice.

Music Entertainment at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge / Friday & Saturday evenings through August 31st / 6pm-9pm / Join us for live music entertainment in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge / Cost: FREE / No reservations required. Please check out our events calendar on SouthCoastWinery.com for more details.

Why Limit Happy to an Hour? / Happy Hours at Vineyard Rose Restaurant Monday-Friday 3:00p-5:30p / Join us in the Vineyard Rose Lounge for reduced priced selected appetizers, award winning select glasses of South Coast wines and local drafts. PLUS corkage fees are waived for any South Coast Winery wine bottles brought in to the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and consumed while dining on Wednesdays too! / Visit www.WineResort.com to view menus and find out more.

GrapeSeed Stretch / Yoga at the GrapeSeed Spa / Saturdays: 8am Harmonizing Hatha / Sundays: 8am Hot Yoga / Resorts Guests $10 / Non-guests $20 / Spa Members: Complimentary / Call to reserve at 951.587.9463 ext. 3513

Happy Hour at the GrapeSeed Spa / Available Wednesday & Thursday through August 31 /2pm to 6pm / Gather your girlfriends and head to the GrapeSeed Spa on Wednesdays and Thursdays for their Wine & Dandy Happy Hour, starting at 2pm, and indulge in a 50-minute body-massage cocktail, which includes a powerhouse collection of vegetable and fruit actives. This total body recovery and hydration happy hour isn’t served anywhere else! Get even happier with an award winning glass of wine and spa access / Cost: $99 / Reservation Information: Call 951-587-9463 Ext. 3513 to make your reservations today.

Thornton Winery
Friday Live Music / 6pm-9pm / Free to public / 8/5 Huey Lewis Tribute Band / 8/12 Crimson Crow / 8/19 Big Truth / 8/26 Black Hat Patsy / Call (951) 699-0099 to reserve a table!

Jazz Concert Series
Michael McDonald / August 6 / 7pm / $90 Gen. Adm.; $170 GSP
Georg Benson / August 27 / 7pm / $95 Gen. Adm.; GSP –Sold Out
For reservations call 951.699.0099 ext. 3127 or ext. 129

Wilson Creek Winery
Eli Young Band Wine Country Concert / August 11 / Doors open at 6pm / Somewhere in the midst of 10,000 towns, along a lonely highway between packing clubs in their native Texas years ago and more recently performing stadiums on one of the country music’s hottest tours, the Eli Young Band became more than a band. They became a brotherhood. Camaraderie and creativity fused into an intoxicating cocktail that has propelled the talented foursome to the vanguard of contemporary country music. With Three No. 1 hits under their belt as well as a Grammy nomination and an Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year for their hit “Crazy Girl,” the Eli Young Band approached their second Republic Nashville album, 10,000 towns, with a sense of confidence and purpose / Orchestra – Sold Out; Reserver $80 (wine club $72); General $60 (wine club $54) / To purchase tickets please go online at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

Wine Academy – Terroir Tasting / August 14 / 1pm- 3pm / Instructor Winemaker Gus Vizgirda / $45 General (wine club $30) / Reservations required. Please phone 951.699.9463

Live Entertainment / 12pm -4pm / FREE to public / 8/6 – JD Priest / 8/7 Astra Kelly / 8/13 – Smoothie Jones / 8/14 Tim Walsh / 8/20 Funk Shui Planet / 8/27 Michael LeClerc

Harvest New Zealand / August 20 / 3pm – 5pm / 11 night pure Maori style wine tour. Travel the untouched Maori land and experience the culture on this one of a kind wine tour. Special Presentation to learn more about this trip – FREE / Reservations required: 951.699.9463

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