Posts Tagged ‘Hart Winery’

Wine & The Super Bowl? You Bet!

Thursday, January 28th, 2016


Sure, wine may not be the first image that comes to mind when planning your Super Bowl celebration, but we’d bet that we can convince you that it should be!  Of course, when it comes to wine, we sure have a hard time imagining any celebration without it.

Here are some game day staples and some of our wine pairing recommendations:

Hot Wings ~ Riesling makes a good choice here….it will temper some of the heat of the wings!
We’d suggest: Baily Winery 2011 Riesling,  Danza del Sol Winery 2014 Riesling or Mount Palomar Winery’s 2013 Riesling

Pizza ~ Mmmm….pizza!  How about trying a Barbera with that?
We’d suggest: Europa Village 2013 Estate BarberaHart Winery 2012 Barbera or Ponte Family Estate Winery’s 2013 Barbera.

7 Layer Dip ~ Our favorite pairing for foods with Mexican flavors?  Malbec!
We’d suggest: Carter Estate 2011 MalbecDoffo Winery 2013 Malbec or Foot Path Winery’s 2012 Malbec,

Burgers ~ Those of us in Southern California are lucky enough to be able to grill on most Super Bowl Sundays.  If you get that lucky, why not grill up a burger and enjoy with a hearty glass of Chardonnay?
We’d suggest: Oak Mountain Winery 2014 Chardonnay, Thornton Winery 2013 Chardonnay or Wilson Creek Winery’s  2014 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay

So, as you can see, wine and Super Bowl fare really are a match made in football heaven!


Wine Country Recipe: California Style Clam Bake

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Here in the Temecula Valley, we’re lucky enough to be just 20 miles (as the crow flies) from the Pacific Ocean and some of the most beautiful beaches in California. But, no matter where you are in the world, this garlic-infused California-style clambake recipe will bring the California beach to you. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or other crisp white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 pounds mussels
2 pounds clams
1 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute or until the vegetables are slightly browned.

Add the wine and chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the mussels and clams and steam for 7 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, shake the pot several times. Remove from heat and pour mussels and clams into a large serving dish.

Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately, accompanied by a fresh, rustic-style bread.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

Suggested Pairings:
Briar Rose Winery ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Aromas of white peach, nectarine, white flowers and vanilla pave the way to the palate laced with ripe stone fruits, and a creamy toast.
Falkner Winery ~ 2013 Irresistable Rosato – Rosé Table Wine – This vibrant bright pink wine is bursting with sensual notes of strawberry and cranberry flavors.
Hart Winery ~ 2014 Sauvingnon Blanc – With citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.
Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, beautiful melon and peach mid-palate, and long finish of rose petals, sugar-dusted citrus.


Garlic Prawns with Warm Cucumber and Ginger Salad

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

APRIL_GARLIC_PRAWNS_1_FINAL_p_c-California-Wine-InstituteRed pepper flakes add a hint of heat to this light and zesty salad. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.


2 cups salad greens
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound medium prawns, shelled and deveined
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cucumbers peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-rounds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges


Put the salad greens in a large bowl and drizzle with the sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to mix. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt.

Scrape the shrimp and garlic into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same skillet, heat the 1 remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ginger; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the cucumber and soy sauce and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top each with a quarter of the cucumbers, followed by a quarter of the shrimp. Squeeze the juice of one lime wedge over each salad and garnish with a second lime wedge.

Serves 4

Suggested Pairings:

Cougar Vineyard & Winery ~ 2014 Pinot Grigio – Nice mid-palate balance with a short, clean finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2014 Pinot Grigio “Julia’s Vineyard” – Fragrant and mildly floral with subtle notes of green apple, lemon and pear, with a crisp refreshing finish.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – A cornucopia of flavors and aromas: sweet kiwi and lime, gooseberries, pears, passion fruit and wild flowers.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


May 5th is Cinco de Vino Day!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

cinco de mayoOh me, oh my, oh!  It’s Cinco de Vino!  Okay, so it’s really Cinco de Mayo, but come on!  Loving all things wine, what else are we gonna’ talk about?

Mexican food with wine, you say?  If you’ve never ventured into pairing wine with your favorite Mexican food, trust us.  It’s as fun as it is easy!

Let’s start with a little hint: alcohol intensifies the heat of chiles, and chiles intensify the alcohol, so choosing lower alcohol wines is the first step.  The second step is to choose those that are crisp with acidity.  They’re best suited to complement the complex flavors and spices of great Mexican cuisine.  And thirdly, always pair the wine with the sauce, not the protein. i.e., consider the ingredients in your dishes.  In general, red wines will work best with earthy chipotle, pasilla or adobo chile sauces – or if it’s all about that cheese!  White wines will work better with lime, citrus, tomatillo and cilantro or herbal sauces. Cinchy, huh?

Some particularly good white varietals to consider might include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, an Albarino – or even a dry Riesling.

Red wine lovers should try Tempranillo, Sangiovese or Malbec, a luscious Zinfandel or even a supple Syrah.

But, like we always say, wine guidelines and suggested pairings are just that – suggestions. The right wine for you is the one you like best!  We just recommend that if you’re entertaining, play it safe and have a couple of different options available.

There’s a Temecula Valley wine out there that will make your Mexican fiesta excelente and take your meal from tasty to sabroso!

Some Temecula Valley white wines to try:

Hart Winery “Two Vineyard Blend” Sauvignon Blanc
Cougar Winery 100% Pinot Grigio
Baily Winery dry Riesling
or Danza del Sol “Sabroso”, a Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc – perfect for dessert!

If you prefer reds, try:

Longshadow Ranch Estate Tempranillo
Frangipani Winery’s Estate Sangiovese
one of Doffo Winery’s many Malbecs
Lorenzi Winery “Zin City” Zinfandel
Falkner Winery “Rock Creek” Syrah


Wine Country Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Compote in Red Wine Syrup

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015


Infusing red wine with warm spices and herbs creates a fragrant syrup for the distinctive ruby-hued compote. Serve over ice cream, pound cake, or with almond biscotti, and garnish with mint.


1 cup of your favorite Temecula Valley dry red wine *
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 (2 1/2-inch) orange rind strips
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries


Combine first 6 ingredients in a small non-aluminum saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Drain wine mixture in a colander over a large bowl; discard solids. Add berries; toss to coat. Serve warm or chill up to 2 hours.

* Wine Suggestions:

Doffo Winery ~ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – A dark rich garnet color entices the senses.  The pallet boasts dark red cherries and cassis.  The lingering finish on the this silky Cabernet Sauvignon shows a hint of smoke and cacao.

Falkner Winery ~ 2012 Syrah – This wonderfully rich wine has deep flavors of ripe plum and black cherry and is very true to the varietal. Enjoy the delicious depth of flavors, and smooth, round, lingering finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2012 Syrah –  Grown in the granitic soils with the abundant sunshine and caressing cool ocean breezes of the region, our old-vine Syrah displays rich fruit, great depth and color, and a long, lingering finish.

Lorimar Winery ~ 2012 Allegro – Merlot – Rich and full bodied, with black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors with hints of rose petals.


Wine For The Holidays

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

holiday table
Grandma’s stuffing, Aunt Susie’s cranberry sauce and your sister’s sweet potatoes.  Menu: done!  But what about the wine?  Choosing a bottle (or two!) of wine to bring to the holiday table can be tricky.  Appealing to not only your menu, but to a cross-section of practiced palates and novice wine drinkers may seem challenging.  But don’t stress out over one of the simplest tasks of the holiday season. Make it simple.  Any wine you enjoy is a good wine!

One certainly doesn’t need to look to others to rate, score or direct you to make a particular wine choice.  Bring a wine you’re familiar with to the table.  Chances are it’ll be just fine – and maybe even sublime!

First and foremost, don’t worry about pairing with the herbaceous, the tart or the sweet accompaniments to your turkey, ham or prime rib.  It’s much simpler to match the wine to the main protein dish.  Here’s a few tried and true varietal selections for some classic holiday main dishes:

Wines to Serve with Ham
Ham just begs for a something lightly sweet.  Look for wines with a touch of residual sugar like a Baily Vineyard & Winery Riesling or a Maurice Car’rie Winery Gewurztraminer.  Both are lighter in style, a bit lower in alcohol and still offer plenty of food-friendly acidity and crowd-pleasing palate appeal.  If you’re looking for an easy to pair red, go for a lighter style like Tempranillo.  Great examples can be found at both Miramonte Winery and at Danza del Sol Winery.

Wines to Serve with Turkey
Although an array of whites work perfectly well, Sauvignon Blanc is an all-time, hands-down favorite pick that holds up well to turkey – and all it’s side dishes. Temecula Valley provides the perfect playground for growing this varietal, so you’ll find many great examples of it here.  Beautifully aromatic offerings from the musqué clone can be found at Hart Winery and at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. Soft red varietals like Syrah also make suitable partners; you can find some fabulous ones at Falkner Winery and Leoness Cellars.

Wines to Serve with Prime Rib
White wines will have a hard time keeping up with the likes of Prime Rib, but there are so many reds to choose from that make impressive cohorts, you’re sure to find one you’ll all enjoy.  Choose an affable Cabernet Sauvignon from Callaway Vineyard & Winery, a food friendly Italian varietal like Montepulciano or Sangiovese from Cougar Vineyard & Winery or an amazing Super Tuscan blend, Due Rossi, from Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery.

Happy Holidays!


Two Temecula Winemakers Make the Top 100 in US

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

Exciting news! Two of Temecula Valley’s most prolific winemakers have been included in the “Top 100 Most Influential U.S. Winemakers” list, recently compiled by

Here are the highlights on the celebrated Temecula Valley winemakers, Joe Hart (Hart Winery) and Jon McPherson (South Coast Winery)by Michael Cervin

80-Joe Hart. Quiet and unassuming, Hart Winery is an earlier pioneer of the Temecula Valley, outside of San Diego, and Hart was only the fourth person to start a winery here. He has spent over 30 years as a champion for the Temecula wine region. Hart Winery capitalizes on the soils and climate at 1,500 feet above sea level to produce the premium varietals like Merlot, Fume´ Blanc, Viognier, Grenache Rose´, Syrah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.”

67-Jon McPherson of South Coast Winery in Temecula oversees a dizzying portfolio of red, white, sweet and sparkling wines, helping to elevate the image of the Temecula wine region and Southern California. Named California Winery of the Year for three years by the California State Fair, he has affected the perception of Southern California winemaking, and in the process has become one of the regions most awarded, and popular wineries in Temecula.

Check out’s full list of Top 100 Most Influential US Winemakers here.

About the list – “This list is all about winemakers, those currently making wine here in America – not the great ones who have come before, but folks who make wines you can find now. There are some 7,000 bonded wineries in the U.S., and there’s a lot of forgettable wine being made. And in a world of homogenization of wine styles and a sense that our domestic wine industry is not legitimate without a French or Italian flair, we desire to promote regional flavor profiles of all American wine craftspeople. There are names here you’ll know and recognize, and names you never heard of but everyone on this list is influencing the public, fellow winemakers and the media in large and small ways.” – Michael Cervin, wine writer is a comprehensive site for the wine enthusiast, with sections on wine regions, varietals, wine recommendations, wine storage, wine & food pairings and much more.

















Pictures sourced from John Hunneman, Press-Enterprise:



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]

5 Facts About…Wine Bottles

Friday, March 16th, 2012

This month’s “5 Facts About…” post isn’t about a varietal, but about what our favorite wines come in–the glass bottle! Although many of us may not think much about these vessels, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association’s Enology Committee, led by Nicholas Palumbo and Jim Hart, make sure all the winegrowers in our region continue learning about every aspect of the wine making process to ensure we’re producing the best wine possible. Keeping up with changes, trends and improvements in the global glass industry is just one of the many topics discussed during their monthly Enological Roundtable, so we thought we’d share a few interesting facts about what an important role the bottle plays in the world of wine.

  1. The cavity at the base of a wine bottle helps out with aging sediment.
  2. Many wine producers are moving to make lighter bottles to help save glass.
  3. The color of wine bottles isn’t the only thing that’s green: California has one of the highest percentages of glass bottle recycling, reaching nearly 80%.
  4. All glass, including wine bottles, can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality.
  5. “Boxed wine” has gotten a bad rap, thanks to decades of the “cheap stuff” being sold in bland cardboard containers. But these days, sommeliers and wine geeks are touting the advantages of The Box as an alternative storage vessel. Eco-types love it because it’s lighter and easier to recycle, wine pros like it because the bag inside the box collapses as you drink, keeping oxygen from spoiling the rest of the wine–and we like it because you can fit several bottles worth of wine in one box! Alas, nothing beats glass for romance and aesthetic appeal, so Temecula wineries won’t be making the switch any time soon.



Values And Splurges: Wines For Every Thanksgiving Table

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

We’re officially past the halfway mark in October, which means Halloween will be here and gone in a flash. Before you can say “turkey,” you’ll find yourself staring face to face with the biggest food holiday of the year- Thanksgiving! There’s no need to panic- we’ve got the perfect wine pairings to go with each dish on your Thanksgiving table so you’ll be way ahead of the curve. Just follow this simple guide and your friends and family will be thanking YOU for making their holiday meal extra special no matter what your budget.

Light appetizers:

Value: Stuart Cellars 2008 Pinot Grigio– $16.00

Splurge: Briar Rose Winery 2010 Estate Viognier- $25.00

These bright yet mellow whites pair well with light dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. A salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts or a lemony crab salad in endive leaves would be complimented by the white peach and floral notes of both wines.

Herbacious side dishes:

Value: Mount Palomar 2006 Sangiovese– $26.00

Splurge: Doffo Vineyards 2009 Syrah– $46.00

The bold, black fruit flavors of these reds pair especially well with stuffings and gravies featuring herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary. Having an all-vegetarian Thanksgiving? Both wines are perfect for earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes as well.

Poultry, meats and heat

Value: Hart Family Winery 2007 Driveway Red– $20.00

Mid-range: Monte De Oro Winery 2007 Merlot- $28.00

Splurge: Weins 2008 Reserve Tempranillo-Petite Sirah- $49.00

Putting a Southwestern spin on your turkey this year? The dark fruit-spice in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your chile rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef- all three are bold enough to stand up to richer meat courses.


Value: Keyways Vineyard Winery 2010 Muscat Canelli– $19.00

Splurge: Oak Mountain Winery 2005 Vintners Reserve Port– $28.00

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine -at least we feel that way! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with Keyways’ Muscat Canelli, in which red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones. Oak Mountain’s port has a nutty honeyed flavor to perfectly compliment the nutmeg and allspice flavors of pumpkin pie.

One Meal, One Wine:

Maurice Car’rie 2010 Chenin Blanc– $12.95

Palumbo Family Vineywards & Winery 2009 Rosato Secco Rose– $18.00

Falkner Winery 2009 Sauvignon Blanc– $18.95

South Coast Winery Ruby Cuvee– $22.00

You’ve spent the better part of Thanksgiving cooking, setting the table and cleaning the house for guests, so perhaps you’re looking to simplify and serve one wine from start to finish.  Any of these four, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink with appetizers all the way to dessert.



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