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Posts Tagged ‘southern california wineries’

Wine Country Recipe ~ Curried Butternut Squash Soup Shots

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

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This modern shot-glass style serving puts a new spin on this traditional smooth and piquant autumn soup. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country Merlot or Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris.

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable stock, warmed
1/3 cup heavy cream (extra for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl toss together the squash, onions, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the squash mixture onto a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprig and pour the mixture into a blender along with the warmed stock and puree until smooth. (Do this in two batches). Pour the pureed soup into a medium saucepan simmer and stir in the remaining curry powder, and cumin.

Simmer the soup for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream until fully combined.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve by pouring soup into 24 small glasses or espresso cups. Garnish with a few drops of heavy cream. Makes 24, 2-ounce shots.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Winery 2015 Special Selection Pinot Gris ~ Pairs with Shellfish; especially Scallops, Lobster and Prawns. Creamy pastas, pasta salad, grilled chicken or pork

Europa Village 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio ~ Aromas of nectarines and spring flowers with a subtle minerality in the background. Soft and gentle on the palate with a zesty and refreshing finish.

Leoness Cellars 2013 Vineyard Selection Merlot ~ Subtle nuances of tobacco and vanilla develop through a long, velvety finish.

Oak Mountain 2012 Merlot ~ Flavors of raspberry, blackberry, and plum with abundant smoky oak.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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September Winery Events

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Grape StompThe kids are back in school, the evenings are getting cooler, but things are just starting to heat up in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country!  September is always a special month in wine country; we’re in the middle of harvest and are celebrating California Wine Month ~ Temecula style.  It’s such a great time to visit! Here are some of the fun events the wineries are hosting this month.

Avensole Winery
Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / All free and open to the public / 9/2 Harmony Road / 9/3 Izon Eden / 9/9 James Wells / 9/10 Danielle Taylor / 9/16 Jim Bianchi / 9/17 Tim Walsh / 9/23 James Wells / 9/24 Tim Cash / 9/30 Seabaz

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio Saturday 1p-4p and Sunday 2p-5p / All free and open to the public / 9/3 Michael LeClerc 1-4p / 9/4 Izon Eden 2-5p / 9/10 Hunter Pea 1-4p / 9/11 Old School Band 2-5p / 9/17 Izon Eden 1-4p / 9/18 Lucky Daze 2-5p / 9/24 Old School band 1-4p / 9/25 Danielle Taylor 2-5p

Baily Vineyard & Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents Equivocation / September 8, 9, 10,11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23 & 24 / 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

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Escape, The Ultimate Tribute to Journey Concert / Sept. 16 / 7pm-10pm / Doors open at 6:30pm / A concert under the stars! Sing and dance the night away with hit songs such as, Anyway You Want It, Separate Ways, Faithfully, Stone in Love and more / Wine, beer and food will be available for purchase / Legacy Wine Club Admission $20 / Regular Admission $25; $30 day of show / Purchase tickets at http://www.heyday.com/#!escape/geln8

Prix Fixe Friday at Meritage and Live Music / 5pm to 8pm / 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
Taco Tuesday / Sept. 20 / 5:30pm-8:30pm / Join us on the Tasting Room Patio for tacos, burritos and more! / Live Music / Admission is Free / Wine and selected beer available for purchase / Wine club discounts apply to bottle purchases only.

Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Sept. 3 – Jeff Johnson / Sept. 10 – Vivien Gaines / Sept. 17 – Sean Wiggins

Doffo Winery
Marcelo’s 65th Birthday Celebration / Sept. 24 / 6pm / Join us in celebrating our founder’s birthday, Marcello Doffo! / Enjoy a southern BBQ dinner by Lucille’s and listen to live performances by Elvis (Pala Casino Elvis) / $65 per person plus the purchase of bottle of wine per couple / For more info and reservation please go to www.doffowines.com.

Live Music by Carlos Naranjo / Sept. 4 / 1pm – 4pm / Free to attend / Enjoy Carlos sing and play his guitar on our patio.

Europa Village
Movie in the Vines –“Lego Movie” / Sept. 8 / 7:00pm-9pm / Outdoor screening of Lego Movie on our lawn area / Free with online RSVP / Food truck, popcorn & candy available for purchase.

Friday Night Entertainment / 6:00-9:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / Sept. 2 – Big Truth / Sept. 9 – Kanan Road / Sept. 16 – Blue Fish / Sept. 23 – Missy Anderson

Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / Sept. 4 – Luis Andre / Sept. 11 – Jimmy Patton / Sept. 18 – Danielle Taylor / Sept. 25 – Joe Baldino

Falkner Winery
Labor Day Weekend Concert / Sept. 2nd – 5th / 10am-5pm / Games, BBQ, and lunch specials. Live Music by Guilty Conscience, Sat., Sept. 3rd. Weekend lunch and Lobster Surf & Turf special in the Pinnacle Restaurant / Reservations requested at 951.676.8231, Option 4.

Wine Appreciation Class / Sept. 17 / 10am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45 per person / $40 Connoisseur / $20 VIP; $70 per person with lunch option / Reservations required 951.676.8231, ext. 109 or email wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Funday, Sunday in the Yard Garden / Every Sunday in September / 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

Fazeli Cellars
Mobarak! Celebrate with Fazeli Cellars / Sept. 24 / 6pm-10pm / Mobarek! English translation is Congratulations! Come celebrate with Fazeli Cellars as we embark on our first harvest at the new winery / Delicious food, great wines and lots of dancing / 6p-7m is cocktail hour with unlimited sparkling wine, Persian fusion tray passed hors d’oeuvres, Persian food buffet and dessert table / Wine, beer, sangria and cocktails are available for purchase / Live entertainment and belly dancer / Hookah or Cigar Bar available in designated area from 8p-10p / Tickets $40 members, $50 non-members. Add $20 for Hookah or Cigar / For reservations visit www.fazelicellars.com

Hart Winery
Girls Night Out / Sept. 15 / 5pm-7pm / Enjoy wine, massages, and light appetizers / Wine Club $5 for a glass of wine, non-members $8 for a glass of wine.

Leoness Cellars
Harvest Celebration at Leoness / Sept. 30 / 6pm-10pm / Harvest is here again! The magical moment in the vineyards when we pick our grapes and celebrate the fruits of our labor! Join us for a celebration of harvest season. Enjoy wine and dinner, live entertainment and lawn games / $95 public / $85 members / For reservation log on to www.leonesscellars.com
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

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

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

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Back to the 80’s / Sept. 9 / 6pm-8:30pm / This fun evening includes your favorite glass of Masia wine, hot grilled hamburgers with side dishes and condiments / 80’s Retro Candy Bar / Best Dressed Contest, games & prizes. DJ Phaded Mike will be spinning the tunes! / Cost $18-$20 / Reservation required. Email Erica for reservations e.jennings@masiadelavinya.com or online at www.masiadelavinya.com/events

Live Music on the Patio / 12:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Enjoy great wine and live music!

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Let’s Dance! / Sept. 3 / 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 / Sept. 2 – Nathan James / Sept. 3 – Indica Roots / Sept. 4 – Alaina Blair / Sept. 9 – Ruben V / Sept. 10 – Bluefish / Sept. 11 – Terry Scheidt / Sept. 16 – Mickie Arnett / Sept. 17 – Missy Andersen / Sept. 18 – Lindsey Carrier / Sept. 23 – JD Priest / Sept. 24 – Midnight Satellites /Sept. 30 – Alaina Blair / Free to the public / No reservations required. For more information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
Hot Havana Nights / Sept. 3 / 6:00pm-10:00pm / Salsa and Latin Dancing on Monte De Oro’s patio under the stars! Salsa instructions, Caribbean dancers, Cuban cuisine and award-winning wines; enjoy music by Ruben V & The Latin Sounds / $15 cover charge includes one glass of wine or sangria / For more information log on to www.montedeoro.com

Celebrating National Linguine Day / Sept. 15 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / Italian family style service with platters of pasta, bowls of Sunday sauce and meatballs, trays of lasagna, and dessert. Come eat with friends and family and meet new ones / $38 ($32 for wine club members), includes a glass of wine / Reservations strongly encouraged at www.montedeoro.com Click on Order Events.

Epicurean Delights Lunch / Sept. 18 / 1:00pm-3:00pm / A hosted three-course plated lunch with 7 wine pairings from Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine collection. Meet Chef William Campbell and learn about food and wine pairing creations he’s developed. Afterwards, enjoy 3 additional wine tastings in Monte De Oro’s tasting room / $50 per person ($42 for wine club members) Cover charge / Reservation only and limited to 40 people / To reserve please visit www.montedeoro.com and click on Order Events.

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

Oak Mountain Winery
Gourmet Winemaker Dinner in The Cave / Sept. 23 / 6pm-9pm / Join owner and winemaker, Steve Andrews, for a five-course dinner paired with wine for each course / For more information please visit www.oakmountainwinery.com events page or email events@oakmountainwinery.com/

Ponte Winery
Grape Stomp Festival / Sept. 25 / 4pm-9pm / Our 2016 harvest season is here, and with that comes our annual Grape Stomp Festival! Help us ring in autumn with the ultimate harvest season celebration. Everything is included for our guests: wine, a spectacular dinner, music, dancing and of course the grape stomp for our competitive guests! Find our more and purchase tickets online / Cost $89 for wine club members, $99 for non-members / Purchase tickets at shop.pontewinery.com

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
Blessing of the Wines Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival / September 18 /4pm – 7pm / This is a fun-for-the-entire family “blessing” you don’t want to miss! Tickets include entrance to the festival, all-you-can-eat buffet, complimentary toast with the blessing, live musical entertainment, unlimited game play, PLUS the chance to win exciting prizes and everybody’s favorite: stomp those grapes. All ages welcome! / Cost: $55 Non Wine Club, $50 Wine Club, $15 Child (ages 4-12) / Reservation Information: Purchase tickets at store.wineresort.com. Separate ticket links to purchase Adult and Child tickets.

Wine, Dine and Painting / September 25th /10am-1pm /Take in the views and tap into your inner artist hosted by Wine + Vino’s Jill Roberts, then enjoy a fantastic lunch at the Vineyard Rose! This exclusive package comes with three-hour instruction and supplies to paint your masterpiece, and follows with a select lunch menu to redeem at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Price includes 1 glass of wine with lunch. Wine can be purchased during painting class by the glass or bottle / Cost: $75 per person, $70 Wine Club / Reservation Information: You can purchase tickets online at SouthCoastWinery.com/shop or call 951-587-9463 Ext. 5250 for more information.

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.

Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / September 11, September 25th / 2pm-5pm /Join us for live music entertainment in our Vintner’s Garden. Featuring live music by David Maldonado / Free to attend / No reservations required.

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 / Sept. 2 –Lifetime Rocker / Sept. 9 – Missy Anderson / Sept. 16 – Big Truth / Sept. 23 – Crimson Crow / Sept. 30 – Illegal Sveeds / Call (951) 699-0099 to reserve a table!

Jazz Concert Series:
Gerald Albright & Jonathan Butler / Sept. 10 / 7pm / $85 Gen. Adm.; $160 GSP
Pat Metheny / Sept. 17 / 7pm / $95 Gen. Adm.; GSP – $170
Keiko Matsui, Kenny Lattimore, Michael Lington / Sept. 24 / 7pm / $75 Gen. Adm.; $150 GSP
For reservations call 951.699.0099 ext. 3127 or ext. 129

Vindemia Winery
Adult Happy Hour / September 2 / 5pm-8pm / Light snacks available but guests are encourage to bring a picnic / Fun ukulele singer, adult comedy / Free to attend / Normal tasting, glass and bottle prices.

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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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Wine Country Recipe ~ Pork Tacos with Garlic Grilled Tortillas and Avocado Cream

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

2016_1_PORK_TACOS_WINEc-California-Wine-InstituteServes 4

These lightly grilled tortillas are topped with spicy, smoky seasoned pork and creamy avocado. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Viognier or Zinfandel.

Ingredients:

Avocado Cream:

1 large avocado, halved and pitted
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped green onion, white parts only
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced serrano (chile) pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt

Pork and tortillas:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 boneless pork loin chops (about 1¼ pounds) 1 inch thick, each cut horizontally into 3 very thin even pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
8 (7-inch) corn tortillas
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage

Directions:

To make the avocado cream, Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor with the sour cream, lime juice, onion, cilantro and serrano pepper, and salt. Process until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare the pork, whisk the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the pork slices and turn them to coat all sides. Set aside.

Add the vegetable oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons garlic and stir just until the garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat, leave in the skillet and set aside (for the tortillas).

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Grill the pork slices for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Stack the pork in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

To warm the tortillas, brush one side of each tortilla with garlic oil. Grill oil-side down for 1 minute or until warmed through. Stack tortillas on a plate, oil-side up.

Cut the pork into strips ¼-inch wide.

To serve, top each tortilla with pork strips, avocado cream, and shredded cabbage.

Suggested Pairings:

Monte De Oro Viognier 2014, $23: Medium-bodied wine offering a nice balance taste of ripe stone fruits (peach, nectarine, apricot), tropical fruits (passion fruit, mango, cantaloupe, pineapple) and white and yellow melons.

Van Roekel Estate Viognier 2014 (Maurice Car’rie Winery), $22: This award-winning, estate-grown Viognier boasts notes of apricot and Asian pear, with hints of citrus blossom.

Callaway Winery Zinfandel 2013, $34: Big notes of jammy wild strawberries and dried cranberry match the deep purple red color of this fragrant Zinfandel.

Danza del Sol Zinfandel 2011, $26: Deep aromas of chocolate, currants, and raisins lead to soft, juicy flavors of black cherry.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Summer Whites for Every Palate

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

people-summer-garden-sitting

There are few better ways to cool off on a sunny summer day than with a cold, crisp glass of white wine. This season, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country invites wine lovers to sip their way through the region’s stunning whites. With so many delectable selections—from those made from lesser-known varieties to unique blends—Temecula Valley vintners offers a refreshing bottle to suit every palate.

Viognier: This darling of the wine world is widely produced in the region, and is a great alternative to Chardonnay because of its traditionally rich, luscious mouth-feel.

South Coast Winery Viognier 2015, $20: An aromatic peach and nectarine bouquet with a rich, velvety finish, from the winery that just was just named the 2016 California Golden State Winery of the Year for the fourth time. No other winery has received the coveted “Golden Bear” four times in the history of the competition.

Van Roekel Estate Viognier 2014 (Maurice Car’rie Winery), $22: This award-winning, estate-grown Viognier boasts notes of apricot and Asian pear, with hints of citrus blossom.

Sauvignon Blanc: Always a warm-weather favorite, this aromatic varietal grows well in Temecula Valley terroir. Many local wineries offer bright, fruit-forward bottlings perfect for picnics and outdoor dining.

Monte De Oro Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $19: Made from 100% estate-grown fruit, this wine was selected as the white dinner wine for the 2016 Daytime Emmy Awards. Citrus and tropical fruits round out this well-balanced summer sipper.

Oak Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $21: Succulent melon and grapefruit mingle together in this medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. A light influence of French Oak adds unexpected complexity.

And now, for something completely different: Temecula Valley has a huge selection of lesser-known French, Italian, Spanish and even Portuguese varieties. Summer is the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and discover a new favorite.

Palumbo Grenache Blanc 2014, $28: Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave it 91 points, describing it as “texturally grippy and tense, with flavors of yellow pear, lemon rinds and ever-so slight stone fruit, with tongue-tingling acidity deep into the finish.”

Ponte Vineyards Vermentino 2015, $31: This native Italian grape finds great expression in Temecula Valley. Notes of passion fruit, pink grapefruit and apricot give way to a crisp, refreshing, food-friendly finish.

A little from column A, a little from column B: Temecula Valley offers not only stellar red blends, but some fantastic proprietary white blends as well.

Mount Palomar Shorty’s Bistro White NV, $19: This unusual, award-winning blend of Palomino (a grape commonly used in making sherry), Cinsaut (a red grape) and Viognier is bright and easy-drinking, with notes of pineapple, peach and honeysuckle.

Robert Renzoni Cantata 2015, $22: This blend of 60% Pinot Grigio and 40% Viognier offers a crisp bouquet of apple and pear on the nose with a hint of pineapple on the finish.

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Summer Wine Pairing Guide

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Wine glasses on picnic table --- Image by © Laura Doss/Corbis

Ah, the sizzle of summer is upon us. Whether you’re spending your hot summer days and long summer nights relaxing at the beach, chowing down at a backyard barbecue, or picnicking in the park under a shady oak tree, these cool and crisp whites, rosés and sparkling wines will please every palate. All of these wines can be purchased online or in the tasting rooms, so choose your favorites this week! Here’s our guide to beating the heat in the most delicious way:

Whites
Lorimar Winery 2014 Chardonnay – Crisp, tart green apple, Bartlett pears and honey suckle with a medium length finish.
Monte de Oro 2014 Pinot Gris –Wine opens up with peach and apricot flavors couples with pears, lemon/lime, guava and kiwi accents.
Briar Rose Winery Citronier– Aromas of exotic fruit with a brilliant lemon flavor. Sure to bring a smile to every summer celebration

Rosés
Oak Mountain Winery 2015 White Merlot – Sweet cherry and raspberry aromas characterize this wine. Soft, round, juicy cherry and berry flavors form structure and a full, rich texture.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2014 La Rosa (Rosé of Sangiovese) –Light strawberry citrus flavors are layered with hints of cranberry, passion & tropical fruit, and a hint of pink grapefruit.
Falkner Winery 2014 Irresistible Rosato –This semi-dry white wine tastes of ripe pear, cinnamon, apple pie, and spice.

Sparklers
Wilson Creek Grand Cuvee Sparkling Wine –Light and refreshing, and very fun. Great in Mimosas! A fun party sparkling wine.
Maurice Car’rie & Van Roekel Winery Pomegranate Sparkling Wine– This lively refreshing California Sparkling Wine is bursting with refreshing flavors of pomegranate – a perfect accompaniment to your summer picnic basket.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa Pinot Grigio Sparkling – Finished as a “Brut” this is a Pinot Grigio with wonderful nuances of pears and apples, a touch of tropical fruitiness and crisp acidity.

Image by © Laura Doss/Corbis

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Temecula Valley Winery named California Winery of the Year!

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

winery-of-the-yearWe were so excited to learn that our very own, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, has once again been named California Winery of the Year for an unprecedented 4th time!

Sacramento has just released the results from the nation’s oldest and most prestigious wine competition, and Southern California Temecula Valley’s South Coast Winery Resort & Spa has been named the 2016 California Golden State Winery of the Year.

Records were broken this year at the California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition as South Coast Winery was the first and only winery in the competition’s history to be presented with a four-time championship, naming it the 2016 California Golden State Winery of the Year. South Coast Winery brought home the first California State Winery of the Year award to its Southern California Temecula Valley home in 2008 and then followed it up with a back-to-back win in 2009. It earned the top title in the California State competition again in 2013 and now celebrates its fourth win for 2016.
South Coast Winery Winery of The Year 2016

Dating back to 1854, the California State Wine Competition premieres only wines made with fruit grown in California; and there were 2,854 wines judged from 750 of the state’s top wineries during this year’s competition.

“South Coast Winery is truly honored to be bringing this recognition to Temecula Valley Wine Country, especially with only 13 years of wine production. This award is a reflection of the dedication and the collaboration between our soil and vines, the vineyard team and our talented winemakers. I’m humbled to be a part of it,” states Jim Carter, the owner/vintner for the Southern California winery resort.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Carter and the entire South Coast Winery team!

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July Winery Events

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

fireworks-independence-day-4th-of-july-independence (1)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. 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.

Avensole Winery
Live Music in the Restaurant and Marketplace
Friday and Saturday from 5p-8p / All free and open to the public / July 1 –Seabaz / July 2 –Danielle Taylor / July 8 –James Wells / July 9 &15 –Harmony Road / July 16 –Tim Walsh / July 22 –James Wells / July 23 –Izon Eden / July 29 –Jim Bianchi / July 30 –Hunter Pea

Live Music on the Tasting Room patio
Saturday 1p-4p and Sunday 2p-5p / All free and open to the public / July 2 & 3 –Izon Eden / July 9 –Old School Band / July 10 –Lucky Daze / July 16 –Michael LeClerc / July 17 –Shultz & Hamilton / July 23 –Lucky Daze / July 24 –Danielle Taylor / July 30 –Old School Band / July 31 –Tim Cash

Baily Vineyard & Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents Hamlet
July 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31 / 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
Red, White & BBQ
Sunday, July 3rd / 12pm to 4pm / Celebrate Independence Day at Bel Vino Winery / Available for purchase will be BBQ entrées that include hamburgers, BBQ ribs and chicken, Brauts, along with two sides, extras and dessert / Please RSVP at 951.676.6414 or email dayna@belvinowinery.com

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 / July 2 –The 80’s Brigade / July 3 – Kanan Road / July –Gin Piston / July 10 –The VIB / July 16 –Soul Fire / July 17 –Bill Watson / July 23 –Nathan James / July 24 –Kanan Road / July 30 –Gin Piston / July 31 –The VIB

Briar Rose
Sip Into the Sunset
First Friday of each month / 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
Live Music at the Courtyard Patio
Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm

Friday Night Delights at Meritage at Callaway
Start your weekend off at Meritage every Friday. We have it all, sunset, live music, sangria, savory bites, good vibes and more. Relax and chill with friends on our Vineyard Terrace with panoramic views of wine country / $15 regular / $10 industry / Price includes a glass of freshly made red or white sangria and choice of two farm-to-table hors d’oeuvres prepared by Chef Diamond / For more information please visit www.callawaywinery.com

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 / 7/3 –James Holland / 7/10 –Don Brennan / 7/17 –Shaula Walko / 7/24 –James Holland / 7/31 –Aaron White

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 / 7/1- Lindsey Carrier / 7/8 –Jeff Brinkman / 7/15 –Joshua Taylor / 7/22 –Jerry Gontang / 7/29 –Frankie and the Invisibles

Danza del Sol Winery
Taco Tuesday
July 12 / 5:30pm -8:30am / Tuesday’s just got tastier! Join us on the Tasting Room Patio for tacos, burritos, and more! Live music and admission is free. Food, wine and selected beer will be available for purchase. Wine club discounts apply to bottle purchases only. Wine Club complimentary glass excluded from this event/ For more details visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Food Truck Friday
July 22 / 6:30pm-10:30pm / $7 -$8 / Join us for a fun night of food, Wine, Rhythm and Blues! Live music featuring Missy Andersen / For more details visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Live Music on the Patio
1:00-5:00pm / Grab your friends and head over to Danza del Sol for a Saturday afternoon of wine and great music / July 2 –Steroflux / July 9 –Hamilton & Shultz / July 16 –Tralian Rox / July 23 –Danielle Taylor / July 30 –Britt Doehring

Doffo Winery
Live Music on the Patio
Every Saturday in July / 1p-4p / Free to the public / July 2 –Martin Mancuso / July 9 –Camille Marsh / July 16 –Lucy Laforge / July 23 –Alex and the Band / July 30 –Tralian Roslyn

Europa Village
Movie in the Vines – Finding Nemo
July 21 / 7:00p – 9:30p / Free to the public / For more information on this event, please visit www.europavillage.com

Friday Night Entertainment
6:00-9:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / July 9 –Kanan Road / July 22 – Boomer McClenn / July 29 –Blue Fish

Live Music every Sunday
1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / July 3 –Astra Kelly / July 10 –Jimmy Patton / July 17 –Danielle Taylor / July 24 –Luis Andre

Falkner Winery
16th Anniversary Celebration
July 2nd – 4th / 11p – 5p / Live music, yard games and tournaments! Wine raffles every hour – 1 ticket per tasting. 50% off case sales, restaurant special baby back ribs, taco bar and bbq.

Wine Appreciation Class
July 16 / 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 June / 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
Annual Wine & Vine Symposium
July 15 / 5p-7pm / Featuring Los Caballos Vineyard. Sip & learn with our expert panel as they take you through a cheese paired tasting of our exceptional Merlots and share insights into the farming and winemaking process. Our panel Gary Winder, Stage Ranch Founder & Leoness Co-Owner, Mike Rennie, Leoness Co-Owner, Tim Kramer, Winemaker, Pete Mousis, Associate Winemaker, Billy Bower, Director of Agriculture, Daragh Matheson, Chef & Directory of Culinary Operations / Pre-purchase tickets at $79, Wine Club Members $69. Limited availability on tickets so reserved now by calling 951.302.7601.

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
Smoke & Vine: A Night of Cigars and Wine
July 24 / 6p – 8p / Tickets are $85 / $76.50 for Wine Club Members / Tickets include three course dinner, two cigars paired with Lorimar wines / Tickets are available in the tasting room or online at 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 / July 2 –Dustin Jake / July 9 –Sean Wiggins / July 16 –Michael SG / July 30 –JD Priest Free to the public

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Let’s Dance!
July 9 / 7p-10p / Come join the fun and celebrate our 30 year anniversary! Dance with the dynamic Live Remedy! Liver Remedy is a Souther California based band who love to play fun and energetic Country and Rock music. They always leave the fans wanting more! 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 / Free to the public / Friday, July 1st, JD Priest / Saturday, July 2nd, DevOcean / Sunday, July 3rd, The Counterfeits / Friday, July 8th, Ruben V- Latin & salsa music / Saturday, July 9th, Bluefish / Sunday, July 10th, Lindsey Carrier / Friday, July 15th, Mickie Arnett / Saturday, July 16th, Indica Roots/ Sunday, July 17th, Rhonda Parish & Vince Mendoza duo / Friday, July 22nd, Nathan James / Saturday, July 23rd, Midnight Satellites / Friday, July 29th, Big Truth Band / Saturday, July 30th, Tricia Freeman / Sunday, July 31st, Twofish / 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
Murder…Without a Clue
July 15 / 7pm – 10pm / 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. Don’t miss it! / Tickets are $120++, $110++ for wine club members / Tickets and more online at www.MountPalomarWinery.com/MurderMysteryDinner

Paint Nite – Coco Caliente
July 17 / 1pm – 3pm / 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 www.MountPalomarWinery.com/Upcoming-Events

Noise Pollution: The AC/DC Experience
July 22 / 6pm – 10pm / Live at Mount Palomar Winery
Playing all the hits such as: Back In Black • Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) • Highway To Hell • Thunderstruck • You Shook Me All Night Long • TNT • Hell’s Bells For Those About To Rock…and so many more! / Tickets $25, $30 at the door / Tickets online at Heyday.com

Ponte Family Estate 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
Chef’s Wine-Down Wednesday Food & Wine Paired Dinner / July 20 / First seating at 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. $90++ per person / Reservations required. Call 951.587.9463 Ext. 7226 /All sales are final.

Wine, Dine & Painting Class
July 24 / 10am-2pm / This exclusive package comes with three-hour instruction and supplies to paint your masterpiece, and follows with a select lunch menu to redeem at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant / $75 per person / $70 Wine Club / Purchase tickets online at SouthCoastwinery.com or call 951.587.9463 Ext. 5250

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.

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

Thornton Winery
Friday Live Music
6pm-9pm / Free to public / July 1 –“ Jason Lohrke as Neil Diamond”- The Early Years / July 8 –Crimson Crow / July 15 – Little Lies Band with Big Truth / July 22 –“Mick Adams & the Stones – Rolling Stones Tribute Band” / July 29 –B.I.G. / Call (951) 699-0099 to reserve a table!

Jazz Concert Series
Al Jarreau / July 16 / 7pm / $85 Gen. Adm.; $160 GSP
Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown / July 23 / 7pm / $85 Gen. Adm.; $160 GSP
For reservations call 951.699.0099 ext. 3127 or ext. 129

Wilson Creek Winery

Doors Tribute Band Concert – Wild Child / July 8 / Doors open at 6pm/ $35 / An Amazing Doors Recreation Live in Temecula Wine Country Live re-creation of a 1960’s Doors concert right here in Temecula Valley Wine Country. With over 20 solid years of world tour experience, Dave Brock’s Doors Experience has flourished in the competitive L.A. Music Scene faithfully re-creating a live Doors Concert on stage. The music and voice is painstakingly reproduced to give the essence of Jim Morrison live on stage / Purchase online at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

Wine Academy – Portugal Wines / July 10 / 1 pm – 3pm / Instructor: Mick Wilson
$45 non members; $30 members / Please call to make reservations: 951-699-9463

Weekend Entertainment / 12p -4p / Free to the public / July 2 – JD Priest / July 3 – Anthony Suraci / July 9 – Smoothie Jones / July 10 – Buzz Campbell / July 16 – Dustin Jake / July 17 – Jeff Tucket / July 23 – Anthony Suraci / July 24 – Justin Bourdreaux / July 30 – Michael LeClerc / July 31 – Lindsey Carrier

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Temecula Valley Winegrowers Hall of Fame

Friday, April 29th, 2016

brushed gold

The Temecula Valley Winegrowers were excited to introduce the first Hall of Fame inductees at the 33rd Annual Grape Day conference on April 21, 2016 at South Coast Winery in Temecula, California. The inductees honored were Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo, and John Moramarco.

“The recent passing of wine country pioneer Vince Cilurzo prompted the TVWA Board of Directors to consider ways we could honor his memory,” stated Phil Baily, TVWA Board member. “In discussing this, we realized that other pioneers should be recognized, most notably Audrey Cilurzo, because Vince and Audrey partnered in their accomplishments. John Moramorco was unquestionably the key leader of our rise in the 1960s and for the following thirty-plus years.”

Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo planted the first commercial wine grape vineyard in the Temecula Valley. They established Cilurzo Vineyard and Winery as one of the first wineries in the Temecula Valley. As husband and wife, they championed the growing of red wine grapes, most notably Petite Sirah. They offered help, encouragement and support to all the wineries that followed them.

John Moramarco planted one of the first commercial wine grape vineyards in the Temecula Valley in 1968 while working for Brookside Winery. In the late 1980s his efforts helped Riverside County create the citrus/vineyard zone which preserved agriculture and laid the foundation for the remarkable growth of wineries over the ensuing years. Moramarco also worked to mobilize Riverside County, the City of Temecula, State and Federal efforts to successfully combat the spread of Pierce’s Disease in Temecula Valley vineyards.

Future inductees will be chosen from submissions that meet specified criteria, which will be announced in the coming months.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Tacos de Carnitas with Salsa Verde

Friday, April 29th, 2016

20100729-carnitas-13-thumb-625xauto-103125

So, are you a traditionalist and think that tacos are best enjoyed with beer or margaritas?  Well, we’re here to tell you that you’d be missing out if you didn’t consider serving them with wine instead! In honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo and our featuring of rosé wine this season, we dare you to try one of Temecula Valley’s dry rosé wines with this yummy Mexican favorite!

Ingredients:
2 medium onions
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 pounds boneless pork butt (shoulder), rind removed, cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt
1 medium orange
6 cloves garlic, split in half
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick, broken into three or four pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 medium tomatillos (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and split in half
2 jalapeño peppers, split in half lengthwise, stem removed
3 limes, cut into wedges
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta
24 corn tortillas

Directions:
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cut one onion into fine dice and combine with cilantro. Refrigerate until needed. Split remaining onion into quarters. Set aside. Season pork chunks with 1 tablespoon salt and place in a 9 by 13 glass casserole dish. The pork should fill the dish with no spaces. Split orange into quarters and squeeze juice over pork. Nestle squeezed orange pieces into casserole. Add 2 onion quarters, 4 cloves garlic, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to casserole. Nestle everything into an even layer. Pour vegetable oil over surface. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook until pork is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Set large fine-meshed strainer 1 quart liquid measure or bowl. Using tongs, remove orange peel, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves from pork. Transfer pork and liquid to strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer pork back to casserole. You should end up with about 1/2 cup liquid and 1/2 cup fat. Using a flat spoon or de-fatter, skim fat from surface and add back to pork. Shred pork into large chunks with fingers or two forks. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer remaining liquid to medium saucepot.

Add tomatillos, remaining 2 onion quarters, remaining 2 garlic cloves, and jalapeños to saucepot with strained pork liquid. Add water until it is about 1-inch below the top of the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all vegetables are completely tender, about 10 minutes. Blend salsa with hand blender or in a stand-up blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve: Place casserole dish with pork 4-inches under a high broiler and broil until brown and crisp on surface, about 6 minutes. Remove pork, stir with a spoon to expose new bits to heat, and broil again for 6 more minutes until crisp. Tent with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat tortillas. Preheat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Working one tortilla at a time, dip tortilla in bowl filled with water. Transfer to hot skillet and cook until water evaporates from first side and tortilla is browned in spots, about 30 seconds. Flip and cook until dry, about 15 seconds longer. Transfer tortilla to a tortilla warmer, or wrap in a clean dish towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

To eat, stack two tortillas on top of each other. Add two to three tablespoons carnitas mixture to center. Top with salsa verde, chopped onions and cilantro, and queso fresco. Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe courtesy of SeriousEats.com; photo courtesy of J. Kenji López-ALT

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