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The Women of Wine Country

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

The Wine Institute of California estimates that between 15-20% of California winemakers are women, which is an increase of 5-10% from the early 1990’s. According to the Gallup Poll’s Annual Consumption Habits Poll, 52% of women consumers say they drink wine more often than any other beverage compared to only 20% of men so it makes sense this historically male dominated field is becoming an appealing option for women. Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is no exception. Talented women like Olivia Bue, winemaker at Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Winery, Valerie Andrews owner of Temecula Hills Winery and Oak Mountain Winery, and Cindy Palumbo owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery achieve success while raising families, giving back to the community, and inspiring other women in the industry.

Olivia Bue, winemaker for Robert Renzoni Vineyards and Winery, first got into wine through family. “I grew up in Encinitas, surrounded by a family who loved wine. Uncorking bottles was always in the equation at every family gathering; wine was our conduit to laughter and love. Around the age of 16, a close family friend who had enrolled at the UC Davis School of Viticulture and Enology told me about the program and experience. The moment I received my acceptance letter I made an easy decision to pack my bags and head up to Davis,” says Bue. She is undaunted by the physical labor and long hours, motivated by those who doubted her or judged her because she is young and female.

Bue advises women interested in entering the winemaking field to taste wine as much a possible, discuss wines with others, take classes and be patient. “Winemaking is such an art,” says Bue. “Yes, there is a lot of heavy manual labor and endless hours during harvest, but taking the time to understand your region’s complexities is something that takes time and a love of the art. Any gender can accomplish that!” Bue is especially passionate about Temecula Valley wines. “The more wines I taste outside of Temecula Valley, the more confident and proud I become of our region’s path. We are going in such a strong direction forward and I continue to be impressed at the quality of wines being made in Temecula Valley.”

Valerie Andrews, co-owner and co-founder of Oak Mountain Winery and Temecula Hills Winery, got her start in Temecula back in 1999 when she and her husband, Steve, moved to a 10-acre ranch just on the edge of Temecula’s wine country. They built Temecula Hills Winery on the property, which opened in 2001, and then Oak Mountain Winery on a separate property which opened in 2005. The vines were hand-planted by Valerie, Steve and their children in 2000. Now in her second decade of her wine career, Valerie is deeply loved by the community and consumers and admired and respected by her colleagues.

In addition to operating the wineries, Valerie’s community involvement runs deep. She balances her time running the day-to-day business operations at both wineries as well as serving on the board for the De Portola Wine Trail and on the hospitality committee for the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. Valerie also founded Cause Fur Paws, a non-profit organization whose mission is assisting animals with diabetes and helping senior citizens with companion pets. Cause Fur Paws Inc., helps low income pet owners pay for 100% of their medical needs. Dog labeled wines and hand crafted cork tiaras can be found at Oak Mountain Winery with proceeds going to help local animals in need. In addition, Oak Mountain is the site of numerous dog events and charity fundraisers throughout the year.

Co-owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery, Cindy Palumbo has been in the valley since 1994. She first started at Callaway and Hart wineries with Joe Hart and John Moramarco. Now co-owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery, a 13 acre, 2500- case-per-year winery, with her husband Nick Palumbo, Cindy is very active in all aspects of the business. They are committed to small-lot, handcrafted wines from varieties grown on the property. She has also been instrumental in implementing sustainable farming and has helped to create more than just a winery but a “whole farm approach” to their agricultural activities believing that a winery should first and foremost be considered an agricultural entity. She is very active in the community and donates both time and money to local charities, including Big Hearts for Little Hearts of Temecula Valley, as well as the proceeds from her children’s books, the Farm Boy Series. The series is a collection of entertaining children’s books that teach about sustainable farming. In addition to working full time at the winery and authoring children’s books, Cindy has been deeply involved with teaching children to farm in a sustainable manner through a local 4-H program.

Whether by virtue of their family wine ties, passion, or drive, Bue, Andrews, and Palumbo are producing some of the valley’s best wines all while serving as pillars of leadership in Temecula Valley’s wine and farming community. These women are paving the way for future women winemakers and winery owners in Temecula Valley.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Herb and Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Cauliflower, Shallots and Carrots

Monday, January 12th, 2015

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Fresh herbs, crunchy pistachio nuts and the slight sweetness of caramelized cauliflower complement this dramatic, crusted rack of lamb. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend.

Ingredients:

3 slices white sandwich style bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
1 rack of lamb with 8 rib bones, Frenched
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard or other brown mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Put the bread, pistachios, parsley, rosemary, thyme and the 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Scrape the mixture on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Slice the carrots at an angle, into ½ -inch pieces, and cut each piece in half lengthwise.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, cauliflower, carrots and shallots. Stir to coat the vegetables, and then cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Stir and turn the vegetables and cook them undisturbed for another 3 minutes. Stir and turn one more time. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.

Cut the lamb rack in half between the fourth and fifth ribs. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and pepper on all three surfaces.

Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lamb, fat side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn both pieces and sear for 1 minute on each of the other two surfaces. Place the lamb on a roasting pan, fat side down, and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and transfer the lamb to a plate. Brush all three surfaces of each piece with the mustard and coat generously with the pistachio mixture. Keep the leftover pistachio mixture on the baking sheet.

Return the lamb to the roasting pan, fat side up, and roast it for 3 minutes or until the coating is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Put the pan with the remaining pistachio mixture in the oven for 3 minutes to toast. Transfer the nuts to a small serving bowl.

Reheat the cauliflower and add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a very sharp knife, cut between the ribs to make 8 lamb chops.

To serve, arrange 2 chops on each plate with a serving of the cauliflower. Pass the toasted nuts for sprinkling.

Suggested Pairings:

Foot Path Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – An inviting wine with rich red berries and subtle tannins on the palate.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2011 VS Cabernet Sauvignon – Soft tannins along with layers of spice and cocoa continue into a rich, velvety finish.

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery ~ 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Sophia’s Vineyard – Bright dark fruit with black currant, raspberry and pepper nose and lingering black cherry.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2011 Sonata – Bouquet of toasted oak, vanilla, and dried cherries, amid layers of cherry, cranberry and spice with a hint of coffee on the finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

 

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November Winery Events

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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There’s a chill in the air and suddenly we’re planning holiday meals!  Whether your holiday plans keep you close to home or off visiting relatives, plan to sneak in a trip to Temecula Valley Wine Country to stock up on your favorite wine, pick up holiday gifts at one of the wineries’ shopping nights or attend one of the great events going on in wine country!

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Sangiovese Saturdays at Carol’s
Saturdays in November; / 11:30a-3:00p / Live music, mulled wine, cheese fondue, 1/2 price Sangiovese

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch!  Live acoustic entertainment.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Thursday-Sunday / 11:00a-2:30p / Tours and vertical tasting of library Meritage.  Sit down with bread and cheese plate; $30 (Reservations required 24 hours in advance) / Bar Tasting; $20.  Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

Briar Rose Winery

Sip Into Sunset
Friday, November 7 / 5:30p-9:00 / Experience amazing sunsets and live music by Buzz Campbell while enjoying fabulous food and wine.  Food items available for purchase.  Call 951-308-1098 to make reservations.  Seating is limited.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Prime Rib Fridays at Meritage at Callaway
Every Friday / 5pm-8:00pm / Three-course Prime Rib dinner for $35 per person!  Choose from soup and salad, a scrumptious Prime rib entree and finish with a house made Crème Brulee for two! Enjoy live music.  No reservations required.

Happiest Hours
Friday and Sunday from 3:00p-6:00p in the lounge at Meritage at Callaway.  20% all tapas, $2 off wine by the glass, 20% off bottles of Callaway wines and available domestic, import and craft beers.

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway
Every Sunday / 4pm-8pm / Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views.  Live music from local musicians begins at 6pm.

Cougar Vineyard & Winery

Sip & Shop Black Friday Event
“Black Friday”, November 28th / 6:00p-8:00p / Vendors selling crafts and live music.  Discounts on wine.

Danza del Sol Winery

Live Music On the Patio
Saturdays in November – November 1 – Fandango / November 8 – JD Priest / November 15 -Nathan Rivera/ November 22 – Two Fish

Get Sauced – Wobble Till You Gobble
Sunday, November 8 / 3:00p-5:30p / Cooking demo, class & small plates.  Wine pairings and recipes to take home. / $55 per person / $49.50 wine club.  All tickets are subject to 8% tax.  Reserve today by calling (951) 302-6363 ext. 26

Sip & Swirl – On Canvas Paint Class
Art + Vino with Jill Roberts / Sunday, November 16 / 1:00p-4:30p / $60 per class for non-members / $54 per class for members.  All tickets are subject to 8% tax.

Black Friday Shopping
Friday, November 28 / 11:00a-8:00p

Europa Village

Live Music
Fridays from 5:30p-8:30p and Sundays from 1:00p-4:00p / November 2 – Jimmy Patton / November 7 – Niteriders / November 9 – Apryle Dalmacio / November 14 – Big Truth & Little Lies / November 16 – Jimmy Patton / November 21 – Missy Andersen / November 23 – Dustin Jake / November 30 – Bryan McManus

Comedy Night
Friday, November 14 / 7:30-8:30p / $15 per person / $13.50 Societe Members / Call for tickets 951-216-3880

Antidote to Black Friday – Vivi Bene
Friday, November 28 / 5:00p-8:00p / Free Admission / Escape the crowds and come to Europa Village for a relaxed shopping experience.  Sip wine while you make your holiday purchases.  Discounts on wine and specials on our retail items.

Falkner Winery

Veterans Day at Falkner Winery
Tuesday, November 11 / 11:00a-5:00p / All active duty and veterans get a FREE, Classic Tasting!  (I.D. is required)

Wine Appreciation Class
Saturday, November 15 / 10:00a-12:30p / $45 per person

Lorimar Winery

Wine Blending Party
Wednesday, November 5 / 4:00p-6:00p / $25 (+tax) per person; $20 (+tax) per person, wine club. You get to be winemaker for a day with a full educational seminar and in depth analysis of key varietals to make the perfect blended wines.  Tickets on sale here or by calling 951-694-6699.

Live Music
Fridays & Saturdays 6p-9p / Sundays 2p-5p / November 1  – Big Truth / November 2 – Master Splinter and the Shredders / November 7 – Missy Anderson / November 8 – Craig Broombaugh / November 9 – Brad Spencer Duo/ November 14 – Michael SG / November 15 – Cougarzz Rock / November 16 – Master Splinter and the Shredders / November 21 – Oceans of Sand / November 22 – Lifetime Rockers / November 23- Missy Anderson / November 28 – Kanan Road / November 29 – Mrs. Jones Revenge / November 30 – Michael LeClerc

Movie in the Vines
Monday, November 24 / 6:00p / Featuring: Amelie  $1 Admission – Includes small bag of popcorn!  Wine Bar and Concession stand will open at 6 pm. Bring your own beach chair or blanket!

Black Friday Sale
November 28-30

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, November 30 /  Begin your holidays with Lorimar Winery at 6:00p.

Miramonte Winery

Live Music
7:00p-10:00p / Complimentary live music; no reservations needed / November 1 – JD Priest / November 7 – Mercedes Moore / November 8 – Billy Watson / November 14 – Blue Fish / November 15 / Missy Andersen / November 21 – Incendio / November 22 – Nathan James / November 28 – TBD / November 29 – Shoot 4 Tuezday

Oak Mountain Winery

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in November / 1:00p-5:00p

After Dark Open
Saturday, November 15 / 5:00p-9:00p / Live music, food truck, beer & wine. / $1.00 reservation per person.

Holiday Open House (Black Friday Sale)
Friday, November 28 / 5:00p-8:00p / live music by Buzz Campbell, wine and specials.

Oak Mountain Winery University
Bubbles 101 – Oak Mountain Winery’s Sparkling Wine Class will have you taste three of our handcrafted sparkling wines made and bottled here in Temecula.

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, while tasting Oak Mountain wines from different areas in the Bordeaux region of France.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards

Black Friday Shopping Day
11:00a-8:00p / 20% off wine & gift shop items, some exclusions apply.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Wine & Dine Chef’s Table at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant
The Vineyard Rose Chefs create a custom five-course menu just for you. Our expert Winemakers then pair each course with our award winning wines to heighten the dining experience to another level. Whether it’s a special celebration or an intimate affair, our Chef’s Table dinner for 2 to 8 guests will define the art of fine cuisine with a memorable evening of food and wine for only $135 per person. Call 951-491-8077 to reserve your table today.

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!   Click here to view menus and find out more.

Wine Wednesdays at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
6:00p-9:00p  / Reserve today for an unforgettable Wednesday evening with fine wines, delicious food and live music between the hours of 6:30p to 9:00p. Call 951.587.9463

Touchdown Sundays
Sundays in November /  Ladies receive half-priced tasting privileges in the Vintner Vault Sundays during football season and the Vineyard Rose Restaurant offers Sunday Funday from 12 noon to 3:30 pm during football season with specially priced appetizers and half-priced Sangria Mimosa’s and select South Coast Wines.   Call 951.587.9463 or visit us online here to find out more.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Divas in D’Vines
We’re making football Sundays a day for the ladies. Join us every Sunday during football season from 12 noon to 3pm in the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Enjoy half priced mimosas, sangria and our signature Spumante Diamante. Reservations Recommended. Call 951-587-9463 x 2

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vintage Vantage Menu
Monday-Thursday 11:30a -3:00p / Specially priced $9.99 lunches at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant for those aged 55 and over. Call 951-587-9463 x 2 for more information or reservations.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Thursday, November 27 / 11:00a-9:00p / The Master Chefs and Winemakers of South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant are ready to treat you and your entire family to a special four-course gourmet feast this Thanksgiving Day. By Reservation only and cost is based on entree selection.  Call now to reserve your place 951.491.8077 or visit us online here to find out more.

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, November 30 / 6:00p / Join Santa as he arrives this evening bringing with him one of his best little elves and a lot of good ol’ fashioned fun for FREE.  In addition to Santa, guests enjoy:  the tree lighting ceremony, holiday movie ELF on big screen, tractor rides through the vineyards, Christmas caroling, and so much more.  Call 951.587.9463 or visit us online at here to find out more.

Be sure to visit us Friday through Sunday evenings, beginning November 30th and enjoy strolling Christmas Carolers dressed up in Vintage attire. 5:30p-9:00p. Free to the public.

 

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Get to Know… Robert Renzoni Vineyards

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Tuscan Villa Rendering - Summer 2013

Robert Renzoni Vineyards has got big news to share!  Their 19th century-style Tuscan Villa estate is slated to break ground on July 1st, 2012.

The Tuscan Villa will offer visitors an authentic Italian experience in wine country. Opening Summer 2013, the property will include a 4500 square-foot outdoor patio with a gourmet pizza kitchen featuring a wood-burning brick oven, 3500 square-room tasting room, an exclusive wine club tasting bar and al fresco area, and an extensive basement for barrel storage. In the center of the property, a 50-foot bell tower will chime at the opening and closing of every day in honor of Robert’s grandfather, Domenic Renzoni.

“We’re thrilled to announce Louis Prima Jr. and his band will be staying and playing during the opening weekend festivities,” says owner Robert Renzoni.

Look to visit the new tasting facility next summer and be sure to check the website and Twitter for the latest updates throughout the year!

In the meantime, The Little Winehouse is a hidden gem in the vineyards. Wine-lovers are welcome to picnic on the grounds among the horse trails and hitching posts. “It’s the perfect spot to bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy a bottle of wine with family,” Robert encourages.

Also new! Robert Renzoni Vineyards offers a guided Vineyard Walking Tour which starts right in the vines. Wine enthusiasts will learn about the agriculture that goes into producing great grapes that make fabulous wines. Vineyard and winery tours are a great introduction to winemaking and the region of Temecula Valley.

The Story

The history of winemaking in the Renzoni family dates to 1886, when Robert’s great-grandfather Federico began working in the vineyards near Fano, a small Italian village on the shores of the Adriatic Sea in Tuscany. While tending the vineyards, Federico and his father began making wine for family and friends – these were the humble beginnings of the long Renzoni family wine history. The Robert Renzoni Winery and Vineyard is a tribute to Robert’s ancestor’s, Federico, Romeo, and Domenic.

 

 

 

 

The Wines

Robert Renzoni Vineyards mainly produces Italian varietals in honor of the winemaking heritage dating back 126 years.

Robert Renzoni wines include unique blends —

  • 2009 Big Fred’s Red (50% Zinfandel, 50% Sangiovese)
  • 2011 Cantata (60% Pinot Grigio, 40% Viognier)
  • 2008 Concerto (66% Zinfandel, 17% Syrah, 17% Merlot)
  • 2007 Vecchio Frate “Old Friar” (90% Lagrein, 10% Merlot)

 

As well as Italian favorites —

  • 2009 Sangiovese
  • 2008 Barbera
  • 2008 Fiore di Fano – Super Tuscan-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc
  • 2011 Pinot Grigio

 

Tasting

The tasting room is open daily from 11am-6pm.  The standard tasting fee is $12 per person; $15 for the premium tasting. Premium tasting includes a crystal souvenir glass. All available Robert Renzoni vintages are limited in quantity, but feel free to inquire with the winery staff if you are interested in a particular vintage.

 

Upcoming Music Events

June 3 ~ S & R Jazz performing live from 2pm – 5pm

June 10 ~ Tim Cash performing live from 2pm – 5pm

June 17 ~ Rachel Stark performing live from 2pm – 5pm

June 24 ~ The Michael Chain Duo performing live from 2pm – 5pm

 

Erik Turner from the famous band “Warrant” will be performing acoustic sets in the tasting room throughout the summer and the rest of the year. Check the website for show times.

Address and Contact Info

37350 De Portola Road
Temecula, CA 92592
Phone 951 302-VINO (8466)
Fax 951 302-8348

 

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Winemaker’s Rountable: Five Facts About… Pinot Grigio

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Sometimes spritzy, always easy, Pinot Grigio is certainly a favorite white wine for spring. With its warm days and cool nights, Temecula is an ideal spot to grow Pinot Grigio, which requires plenty of sunshine to develop the vibrant apple and melon flavors for which it is known. And everyone enjoys drinking it, especially when paired with a chunk of aged Gouda cheese, Marcona almonds and dried apricots, a grilled salmon salad with a healthy squeeze of lemon, or a nice bowl of penne tossed with spring vegetables and butter.

Below are five fun facts on this Old World varietal, plus some suggestions on where to pick up an affordable bottle at one of your local Temecucla Valley wineries.

  1. Pinot Gris (French) and Pinot Grigio (Italian) refer same grape – just different countries and different styles.
  2. Very closely related to the Pinot Noir grape, the grape normally has a grayish-blue skin, accounting for its name – gris meaning “grey” in French; pinot comes from the French word “pine cone,” which could have been given to it because the grapes grow in pine cone-shaped clusters.
  3. The first American Pinot Gris vines were planted in Oregon in 1966 by David Lett from Eyrie Vineyards.
  4. Pinot Gris grows well in the Central and South coastal areas of California. The Pinot Gris from California is often called Pinot Grigio because of its similarity in style to the wine of Italy.
  5. Pinot gris is considered an “early to market wine” – which means it can be bottled and out on the market within 4–12 weeks after fermentation.  This white can be opened and consumed young.


Temecula Valley wine country Pinot Grigios to try:

 

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