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Big Dreamers: Les & Dorian Linkogle, Briar Rose Winery

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

In the second installment of our new blog series “Big Dreamers,” we interview longtime Temecula residents and Briar Rose Winery owners, Les & Dorian Linkogle. Les & Dorian bought their Temecula land in the 1990’s and officially opened Briar Rose Winery in 2007.

Check in every month where we feature a new interview with our Temecula Valley winemakers and winery owners. You’ll learn where they’ve come 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.

Les & Dorian Linkogle, Briar Rose Winery

 

Interview with Winery Owner and Winemaker Les Linkogle 

1.  What were you doing before owning and operating your winery?

I was retired from my career in investment banking and Dorian retired from a career in the insurance industry.

2.  What inspired you to want to buy a winery and what were the circumstances around choosing Temecula Valley, CA?

Over twenty years ago, Dorian and I first moved to Temecula to be able to provide open space for our son Larry “Link” Linkogle to ride his motorcycle. Wineries and motorcycles don’t usually have much in common, unless your son is Larry Linkogle. Larry is known as the most influential name in the extreme motocross industry. We planted grapes to off-set the high cost of water never knowing how ideal the growing conditions were in the Temecula Valley for growing grapes.

We began selling some of our grapes to local wineries – and when their wines started winning awards then our family considered opening a winery of our own. My uncle owned a winery in Napa and I spent many summers and holidays working at that winery where I developed a love for the art and science of wine making.

I made my first wine in 1997. From 2002 until 2007, we worked towards making our dream a reality. In 2007 we opened the Briar Rose Winery, Temecula’s first boutique reservation-only winery.

3.  What were your expectations of the winemaker lifestyle at the beginning?

My expectations were right on. Wine making is my passion. From the first bud break on the vines in spring until the harvest in the fall, I look forward with anticipation to what each vintage year will produce. I knew it would be very hard work. But, when you put your name on that bottle, it’s worth every moment of it. I will say the aspect I did not expect was meeting some of the most wonderful people in the world; and for that I am so thankful.

4.  People might think winemaking is glamorous.  Would you like to set them straight?

In my opinion, in spite of the incredibly hard, back-breaking work in all conditions of the year – I do find winemaking glamorous. I look at each year as a fresh canvas and the wine I make is my art. Wine also has a certain prestige, sort of like royalty. It is precious fruit of the earth; and taking that fruit and turning it into world-class wine is about as glamorous as it gets. Briar Rose wines have taken me into the presence of two Presidents of the United States, an invitation to the home of the Vice President, numerous senators and politicians, movie stars and even the Playboy Mansion.

5.  What is your least favorite thing about running a winery?  What is your most favorite – the reason you get up in the morning?

I enjoy almost every aspect of running the winery… except cleaning the equipment and dealing with all the regulatory paperwork. Winemaking is my passion so that’s absolutely what I enjoy the most; it’s what gets me up in the morning.

Les, can you tell us about your position as Wine Institute Representative for Temecula Valley, CA?

It is an honor to have been elected to District Director of the Wine Institute. The Wine Institute is the voice for California wine representing more than 1,000 wineries from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. As the largest advocacy and public policy association for California wine, and the only group representing the industry at the state, federal and international levels, the Wine Institute’s Officers, Board of Directors and staff work to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. They are the behind the scenes “unsung heros” of our industry – and I’m grateful to be a part of it.

 

To learn more about California’s Big Dreamers, click here!

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July Winery Events in Temecula Valley

Friday, June 28th, 2013

With so much going on in Temecula Valley during July and throughout the summer, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick just one activity to experience.  In the summer, live music echos throughout the valley, giving wine country a lively cultural atmosphere. Enjoy the warm days, cooler nights – and air-conditioned wineries. Take in a summer concert or sign up for a cooking class; attend a live play or see a famous jazz artist.  Temecula Valley is full of special summertime & wine experiences.

See below for July Winery Events in Temecula Valley
 

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Music Knights at Carol’s Every Saturday during dinner / 5:00p-8:00p / Live bands, beer, wine, and dinner or just appetizers.  Check website and Facebook for schedules.

Dog Day Sundays Bring your well mannered pooches for lunch on the patio in wine country.


Briar Rose Winery

Saturday Night Sunset / Saturday, July 20 / 6p-9p / Experience our amazing sunsets and live music by Will Sumner while enjoying fabulous food and wine. Grate Gourmet Pizza Co. will be on-site selling pizzas and other food favorites available for purchase.


Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Women & Wine Wednesdays / Wednesday, July 31 / 6pm to 8pm; Need some wine time with your girlfriends? Join us for “Women & Wine Wednesday”. Visit with old friends, mingle with new ones, sample some of your favorite Callaway wines and enjoy light appetizers. Each gathering
will have a unique theme or craft to make & take home! / July ~ Oil & Vinegar.  At this month’s “Women & Wine” event visit with friends while creating your own olive oil, soap or vinegar bottle dispenser. $32 per person, plus tax.  $30 per person, plus tax; wine club. Reservations and pre-payment are required for these events. Call to RSVP: 951-676-4001.

Live Music Fridays / Every Friday in July; Enjoy wine, tapas, entrees and house-made dessert while swaying to the sounds of singer/songwriter recording artist Vini Contreas as he performs a bit of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, classic rock and some of his own powerful original songs! Menu prices range from $6 to $23.

Fusion: Wine & Music / Every Saturday in July; Live music from 2p-5p.  Wine available by the glass or by the bottle.

Sangria Sunday at Meritage at Callaway / Every Sunday in July; Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views. Chef Michael Henry creates a unique menu every Sunday.  Lounge opens at 4p, with food available at 5p. Live music from local musicians begins at 5:30pm. No reservations required.

 

Europa Village

4th of July Picnic / Thursday, July 4 / 12:00p-5:00p / Entertainment & family fun games / Tickets: $25 adults, $10 children.  For reservations, call 951-216-3380

Friday Night Entertainment / 6:00p-9:00p / Free admission / July 5 – Mrs. Jones’ Revenge / July 12 – Lifetime Rocker / July 19 – Barstow Prophets / July 26 – Finite

Sunday Entertainment / 1:00p-4:00p / Free Admission / July 7 – Matthew Fagan / July 14 – Geoff Ryle  / July 21 – Jimmy Patton / July 28 – Leo Gosselin

Henry IV / Thursdays, July 11, 18, 25 / Saturdays, July 13, 20, 27 / Sundays, July 14, 21 / 7:30p / Tickets: $15-28 / Click here for more information.

Craft Fair – Christmas in July / Friday-Sunday, July 12-14 / 10a-5p / Free Admittance

Magic / Hypnosis Show / Friday, July 26 / 7:30p / Tickets: $15 per person and include a glass of wine.  For reservations, call 951-216-3380.

Paint & Palate Painting Class / Sunday, July 28 / 11a-2p / Tickets: $35 / Enroll here.

 

Falkner Winery

13th Anniversary Event / Friday-Sunday, July 5-7 / 11a-5p / You are invited to a lively weekend that includes Jazz performances Saturday and Sunday, winery tours, huge sales, hourly raffles, outdoor barbeques, lunch specials in the Pinnacle Restaurant and other fun events.  Selected wines will be offered at up to 50% off case prices.  Selected gifts will also be on sale at up to 30% off.  As part of the event, the Pinnacle Restaurant will offer a great “Anniversary Special for 2” lunch.  This special meal provides 2 people a choice of shared appetizer, separate entrees, shared dessert and non-alcoholic beverage for only $55 plux tax and gratuity (glasses of wine with this special available at $5 per glass).

VIP Vertical Tasting Saturday, July 20 / 10:30am to 12:30p / The cost for the tasting is $45/person plus tax; $35/person plus tax for Food & Wine Club members; Falkner Winery is pleased to announce its next VIP Vertical Tasting will be on July 20 and focus on our Meritage-Bordeaux style wines. For those who are not familiar with the term “vertical tasting”, it means tasting multiple vintages of the same wine from the same producer. The next tasting session will focus on eight (8) vintages of the Falkner Meritage blend.

Wine Appreciation Class Saturday, July 13 / 10:30a-2:30p.  This very educational and fun class is all encompassing and conducted by our Assistant Winemaker and in-house sommelier George Myers.  This class is great for both wine novices and experts in a single, 3+ hour class.  The class includes lunch and costs $65 per person, plus tax; Connoisseur Club Members, $60 per person, plus tax and VIP Club Members $20 per person, plus tax.  Class sizes are limited, so register early!  Call the winery at 951-676-8231 xt. 109 for reservations.

 

Frangipani Estate Winery

Happy Hour Saturday, July 13 / 4:00p-7:00p; Special wine cocktail menu and discounted glass of sangria.

 

Keyways Vineyard & Winery

2 1/2 Hour Winemaking Tasting Tour Every Monday and Friday at 12:00p / Saturdays & Sundays at 10:00a & 1:00p / $29 per person; Includes 2 1/2 hours with a wine specialist in our vineyard, production facility and barrel room with at least 12 wine tastings (including tank & barrel tastings) and food and wine pairing with gourmet cheeses and meats. Reservations required by calling the winery at 951-302-7888

 

Lorimar Vineyard & Winery

Live Music Dates and Event Dates

  • July 5, 2013
 | 
Izon Eden
 5-8p
  • July 6, 2013 | 
Mercedes Moore
 5 – 8p
  • July 6, 2013 | Old Town Open House – See the changes!  Come to the newly renovated “Lorimar Loft – Old Town” | 50% all glasses of wine purchases | Small bites | Live music from 6-9pm
  • July 7, 2013
 | John Foltz 
2p- 5p
  • July 10, 2013
 Entertaining and Interactive Cooking Demo: Gazpacho – Join Chef Patrick as he guides you to create a refreshing gazpacho soup! | 4-6p
  • July 12, 2013
 | Mrs. Jones Revenge 
5-8p
  • July 13, 2013
 | JD Priest Band 
5-8p
  • July 13, 2013
 | Painted Daizies 
6-9p
  • July 14, 2013 | JD Priest Band 
2-5p
  • July 15 – 31, 2013 | 
Christimas in July – 
All Christmas merchandise 50% off. Both Weekends during “Christmas in July,” 
we will be featuring *Sangria Snow Cones, local vendors, and much more…* Sangria snow cones are only available on the weekends
  • July 19, 2013 | Michael LeClerc 
5-8p
  • 

July 20, 2013
 | Big Truth 
5-8p
  • 

July 20, 2013 | John Foltz 
6-9p
  • 

July 21, 2013
 | 
Izon Eden 
2-5p
  • 

July 22, 2013
 | 
Movie in the Vines, 8p “Back to the Future”
  • July 25, 2013 | Laugh your Glass Off 7 – 10 pm | General Admission: $25 / $20 Wine Club Members | Join us for an evening of comedy as Lorimar Winery brings you 3 talented comedians
  • July 26, 2013 |
 
Big Truth 
5-8p
  • 
July 27, 2013 | Shoot 4 Tuesday 
5-8p
  • 

July 27, 2013 | 
Michael LeClerc 
6-9p
  • 

July 28, 2013 | 
Izon Eden
 2-5p

 

Leoness Cellars

Ronnie Laws and Friends “In Concert” Saturday, July 20 / 7:00p / VIP Seating with Meet & Greet: $89 per person, plus tax; VIP Seating: $69 per person, plus tax; Open Seating: $49 per person, plus tax. / An original member of Earth Wine and Fire, Ronnie celebrates 50 years of Music Artistry from 1963 with Kenny Rogers to 2013 hosting his “Friends & Wine” concert series.  Ronnie Lawns brings his love for people and music along with special guests for a musical party under the stars! / Reservations: call 951-302-7601 ext. 150 or e-mail reservations@leonesscellars.com.

 

Oak Mountain Winery

BBQ Cooking Class Presented by Pete’s Firehouse BBQ / Friday, July 12 / 6:30p-9:30p / $125 per person / Hands on cooking class will show you techniques to select, prepare, trim, season, cook and serve Baby Back Ribs, Pork Spare Ribs, St. Louis Style Pork Ribs, Beef Tri-Tip, Pork Shoulder and much more.  Enjoy a full BBQ meal with lots of extras.  Two glasses of wine included, compliments of Oak Mountain Winery.  All students will receive 2 bags of Pete’s Firehouse BBQ Spice Rubs and a bottle of Pete’s Firehouse BBQ Sauce.  Students will also receive a booklet with all of our cooking techniques, recipes, etc.  To sign up, call the winery at 951-699-9102.

Cooking Class Friday, July 26 / 6p-9p / $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity / Come to Oak Mountain Winery for a night of wine, food and fun while Temecula Catering’s Chef Michael teaches you how to make a gourmet meal.  His hands-on classes make preparing a new meal fun and easy.  You will learn to make (hands on) and then eat a four course meal paired with Oak Mountain wine.  Bring a group of friends for a Girl’s night out or make it a date night!  Reservations by e-mail to vandrews@oakmountainwinery.com or by calling the winery at 951-699-9102.

 

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Welcome Home Champagne Toast & Dessert with purchase of two entrees; offered daily in July to Active Duty Service Personnel returning from deployments. 
Reservations recommended.

Enjoy Live Entertainment each Thursday evening in July at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant.

Vintage Vantage Menu at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant 
Specially priced lunches for those aged 55 and over
 Mondays-Thursdays in July 11:30-3.  Reservations recommended.



Happy Hour at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant; 
Mondays thru Fridays in July from 4-5:30p.

Prime Rib Dinner Specials at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant
; Fridays thru Sundays in July.  Reservations strongly recommended.

For details and reservations, please call 951-587-9463.

Thornton Winery

Kenny G Saturday, July 6-7 / Kenny G is the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era.  $95 General Admission. Call for reservations: 951-699-0099.

Jazz Gets The Blues Saturday, July 27 at 7 pm / Featuring an all-star lineup of some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz, Jazz Gets the Blues blends blues classics with burnin’ chops, funky grooves and a high-energy performance that also includes new Blues renditions of other chart topping hits. Starring Jeff Golub, Nick Colionne and Brian Simpson. $65 General Admission.

Soul of Summer featuring Jonathan Butler & Elan Trotman $75 General Admission / $150 Gourmet Supper.

Reservations: 951-699-0099.

 

Wiens Family Cellars

Summer Concert Series – The Fixx Saturday, July 20 / 6:00p-10:00p / Tickets start at $45 per person / Concert series at Wiens Cellars outdoor amphitheater.  Live music, food, great wine, tons of fun! Tickets can be purchased here.

 

Wilson Creek Winery

Gloriana – Country Concert Sunday, July 21 /  7:00p-10:00p / General Admission tickets: $45 / Gloriana is a country group composed of brothers Tom and Mike Gossin and Rachel Reinert.  These three lifelong musicians joined together and quickly discovered a true bond and shared passion for crafting songs that featured soaring vocal harmonies.  The band’s breakthrough self-titled album, which featured the hit single “Wild at Heart”, earned the group the American Music Award for Breakthrough Artist in 2009 and the coveted ACM award for Top New Vocal Group in 2010!  A portion of the proceeds will go to PROJECT TOUCH – together our unity conquers homelessness. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.


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Temecula Valley Wine Country Recipe: Zinfandel Cupcakes

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Zinfandel Chocolate Cupcakes

Recipe Courtesy of Briar Rose Winery, Temecula Valley Wine Country

 

Ingredients

Cupcakes

1 box devils food cake mix, such as Betty Crocker

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup Briar Rose 2008 Estate Zinfandel wine

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting

6 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Briar Rose 2008 Estate Zinfandel wine

Garnish with chocolate curls

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).

Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on box, using cake mix, water, 1/2 cup wine, oil and eggs. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about two-thirds full). Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, cocoa and salt with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Beat in 1/2 cup wine. If frosting is too thick, beat in more wine a few drops at a time. Frost cupcakes. Garnish with chocolate curls.

 

Enjoy!

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5 Facts About… Chardonnay

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

This month it’s all about Chardonnay! Most would agree that Chardonnay is the world’s favorite wine – due both to its deliciousness and its versatility. Chardonnay can pair with a wide array of foods depending on the style (oaked/unoaked) and the region (old world/new world), and is equally enjoyable on its own. Great pairings to try include oysters with unoaked styles and oaked or earthy styles with trout, turkey or creamy seafood dishes like lobster mac and cheese.

The grape became a global phenomenon in the 1980′s.  Because of its exploding popularity, many vineyards started planting Chardonnay vines for a guaranteed profit, especially in California.  Thus solidifying it’s permanent place in wine history.

Check out these Five Fact About Chardonnay to learn more about how it became one of the most popular wines of all time!

  1. The Chardonnay grape itself is very neutral.  Many of the flavors commonly associated with the wine are actually derived from its terrior and oak influence.

 

  1. Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne.

 

  1. Chardonnay fruit is easy to cultivate, adaptable to different conditions, and ripens early.

 

  1. Main regions that grow this widespread grape: France, Italy, California, New York, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

 

  1. Contrary to the cheap, boxed versions we’ve seen, Chablis is actually a renowned sub-region in Burgundy, France that produces crisp, unoaked wines made from… you guessed it! Chardonnay.

 

Almost every Temecula Winery offers a great Chardonnay, of course!  Here’s what we’re drinking for summer:

 

 

 

 

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So Cal Wine TV- Tour Briar Rose Winery

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Join Les and Dorian Linkogle, owners of Briar Rose Winery,  for a tour of Temecula Valley’s premier boutique winery. Modeled after Snow White’s cottage, Briar Rose Winery is an enchanted place with handcrafted, small lot, premium and artisan wines made from the most intensely flavored grapes from exquisitely lush vineyards. To learn more, visit Briar Rose Winery.

Briar Rose Tasting Room hours: 11am-5pm daily, Reservations only; (951) 308-1098; 41720 Calle Cabrillo, Temecula, CA 92592

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