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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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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
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Winery Spotlight: Get To Know…Longshadow Ranch Winery & Vineyard

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

The story:

Longshadow Ranch Winery & Vineyard has been a favorite of Temecula Valley wine country visitors for a decade.  This family-owned operation offers fine wines, live entertainment on weekends, carriage rides through the vineyards, and friendly service with a smile.  The winery is solely operated by the Brodersen family comprised of John, Susan and their three young children – along with great help from their excellent staff.

This winery offers some unique activities like a horse-drawn carriage that takes guests on wine tasting trips through the vineyards, led by their team of massive Belgian Draft Horses.  Folks are welcome to come down to the ranch and visit the horses in their petting zoo.  The winery also features a concert stage and expansive lawn where visitors can catch national acts throughout the summer and live music on on any given weekend.  Wine club members can attend many of these events free of charge.

The wines:

Longshadow Winery proudly offers a variety of friendly and accessible reds and whites.  Check out the Outlaw Red Gunslinger’s Reserve, the 2008 Estate Vineyard Syrah, and the 2009 White Feather Chardonnay.  They also offer Italian and Spanish varietals like the 2008 Estate Sangiovese and 2008 Tempranillo, plus popular dessert wines such as their Ponderosa Port, perfect for special occasions.  Longshadow wines are available for purchase at the winery and through their online wine shop.

Tastings:

Wine flights are $15 each, includes 5 premium wines and logo glass
Tasting room hours: Mon – Thur 11 am – 5; Fri 12 – 5 pm; Sat & Sun 10 am – 5 pm

39847 Calle Contento, Temecula CA 92591; (951) 587-6221

 

 

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Member Spotlight: Get To Know … Danza del Sol Winery

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Danza del Sol Winery is a thirty-five acre estate winery located in Southern California’s Wine Country. The winery has an Italian country-side feel and a lovely pet-friendly patio.  The charming tasting room is open daily from 11am-6pm.

As a boutique winery, Danza del Sol serves an incredible selection of both white and red as well as Methode Champenois champagne, which is an extremely popular bottle for taking home.  Danza’s twenty-five acres are planted with varietal favorites such as Gewurztraminer, Sauivignon Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cab Franc, Tempranillo, Petite Verdot and Merlot.

Danza’s passionate winemaker, Mike Tingley, says he’s looking forward to producing wines that cannot be found anywhere else.

*This month’s Featured Wine: 2009 Savignon Blanc – 2 bottles for $24.95

*Saturdays feature live music throughout the summer – check here for upcoming event dates.

ON THE PATIO THIS SATURDAY – IAN KAUFMAN

Join the good folks at Danza this Saturday, July 23rd ON THE PATIO as classical guitarist Ian Kaufman returns to Danza del Sol! Grab your friends, family and join us from 1 – 5pm. No reservation required!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Event!  July 31: “Secret Ingredient Recipe Cook-off” presented by Temecula Night Out and Temecula Catering super-star Michael Cragg. Click here to purchase tickets! Have Questions? Info@TemeculaNightOut.com

Danza del Sol Winery is located at 39050 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA; (951) 302-6363

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Tour Cougar Vineyards in Temecula Valley Wine Country

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Meet Rick and Jennifer Buffington, owners/winemakers of Cougar Vineyard & Winery. Their loyal fan club and fun Italian varietals makes Cougar a standout winery to visit in Temecula Valley Wine Country!

Gift shop and gourmet deli; live music on Saturday & Sunday from 2-5pm.  Tasting room open daily, 11am-6pm

Wine club, special events, group tours, private & group tastings, picnic area; weddings facilities coming soon.

(951) 491-0825; 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, 92592


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