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Posts Tagged ‘Temecula Winemakers’

Dream Big, Temecula Valley Winemakers!

Friday, January 30th, 2015

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This week we’re at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento for a yearly industry event that helps keeps us all “in the know”.  Apart from pouring a sampling of fabulous Temecula Valley wines to some of the 14,000+ attending wine lovers, we caught up with a few of our own to find out what they were dreaming about while walking through the chock full convention center.

Arturo Villareal, winemaker at Danza del Sol was looking for some new barrels.  But what he’s really dreaming about is a new, much larger wine cellar.  Sorry, Art!  I don’t think they actually sell those.

We caught up with Damian and Marcello Doffo who were in the midst of purchasing a water treatment system for Doffo Winery. While it’s a much needed purchase, there’s certainly much more fun things to buy…

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Nick and Cindy Palumbo were looking for some portable stainless steel tanks.  And dreaming of a cold beer! As Nick always says, “it takes a lot of beer to make wine.”

BJ Fazeli, who’s winery is being built as we speak, needs everything for his new winery.  He brought along his wallet and is definitely dreaming BIG.

The Wiens brothers are in the market for a new de-stemmer but are dreaming about a new optical sorter that will separate and remove the less than perfect grapes from the sorting table.  It’s a winemaker thang!

JD Harkey and Chase Drake, of Drake Enterprises are dreaming REALLY big and hoping Ben pops for a machine harvester this year.

Jon McPherson and Javier Flores, the dynamic duo of winemakers at South Coast, were searching out some “state of the art” lab equipment for the new Carter Estate Winery which is scheduled to open in just a few weeks.

All in all, I’d say the Temecula Valley winemakers, while truly dreaming big dreams, were pretty down to earth.  Except for Art and that new cellar…

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Thank a Winemaker Day!

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Thank a Winemaker Day!

Anatomy of Winemaker

Gus Viszgirda, Wilson Creek winemaker

A recent photo shared by Wilson Creek Winery, “The Anatomy of a Winemaker”, created by winemaker, Gus Viszgirda, certainly gave us all a laugh. But it also made us think…

Clearly, making great wine is a hands-on profession. And the picture truly illustrates what our winemakers look like to us on any given work day. Gone is the clean clothed, shiny shoe’d, wine sipping winemakers most of our visitors are accustomed to seeing. Most of the time, they’re rubber boot wearing, wine stained cellar dwellars who are dragging hoses, cleaning tanks and topping barrels – all which are part of a days work. Truth be told, most days you couldn’t slap the smile off their faces.  Winemaking truly is a labor of love!

So, in their honor, we’ve decided to declare today, “Thank A Winemaker” day! Let your favorite winemaker know how much you appreciate all the effort that goes into each bottle. Without their dedication, what would we be drinking???

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World of Wine Preview: Tickets On Sale Now for VIP Winemaker Dinner, Vineyard Tour & Breakfast, Special Overnight & Shuttle Packages

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Temecula Valley’s first passport event of 2013 is just one week away!

WORLD OF WINE WEEKEND IS MARCH 2-3.

Southern California food and wine-lovers who are looking to bundle their event tickets with a special VIP experience, a shuttle service, an overnight stay – or all of the above! – can choose from several World of Wine packages.

*New VIP packages for 2013! Tickets are limited, reserve today.

 

Saturday, March 2: WoW Passport PLUS Thornton Winemaker Dinner
Join veteran winemaker, David Vergari and winery owner Steve Thornton for a scrumptious four-course dinner perfectly paired with Thornton wines.

$179 for World of Wine 2-Day Passport Ticket + Dinner
*  Amuse-bouche; served with NV Thornton Blanc de Noirs
*  Individual tapas plate: fennel salami, garlic shrimp cannellini bean salad, saffron aioli; served with Thornton 2011 Chardonnay
*  Slow-braised boneless beef short ribs, creamy soft white cheddar polenta and spring vegetable ragout with an Estate Syrah demi-glace; served with 2010 Thornton Estate Syrah
*  Old-fashioned strawberry shortcake with a Cherry Caramel Kiss wine reduction; served with a Caramel Cherry Kiss!

Sunday, March 3: WoW Passport PLUS Cougar Winery Vineyard Tour and Breakfast
Join Cougar Winery for a behind the scenes “Ground to Glass” vineyard and winemaking tour with continental breakfast.

$114 for World of Wine 2-Day Passport Ticket + Vineyard Tour and Breakfast
*  Check in time is 8:45am
*  Tour starts promptly at 9am
*  Includes a glass of Cougar bubbly and continental breakfast

 

 

 

World of Wine shuttle and overnight packages

WoW + Ride Transportation Package
    • WoW + Ride packages are from $59-$189.  
    • Event guests can leave the driving to the professionals during World of Wine Weekend! Grapeline Wine Country Shuttle offers several packages, which include: passport event tickets, pick-up / drop-off, shuttle service to 9-10 wineries per day, wine and food samples at each winery stop, map of Temecula Valley and a souvenir glass.
    • Grapeline shuttles pick up at all local hotels and at Pechanga Casino for day-trippers. Guests who book these packages get to skip the check-in process at the TVWA.
    • Got event tickets and just need a ride?  Grapeline offers a 2-day shuttle, Saturday shuttle and Sunday shuttle during WoW weekend
    • World of Wine two-day tickets are $99 per person, so the $199 Weekend Package is a savings of about $10 — plus the added convenience of the friendly shuttle service.
    • Visit TemeculaWines.org/Events or call TVWA at 800.801.9463 to book
WoW + Stay Overnight at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
    • Package offered on Sunday, March 3 only
    • Price: from $289
    • Overnight Stay in Luxury Deluxe Villa
    • Two World of Wine Passport Tickets (Sunday Tickets Only)
    • Complementary Pre-Selected Bottle of South Coast Wine
    • Visit TemeculaWines.org/Events or call TVWA at 800.801.9463 to book
WoW + Stay Overnight at Temecula Creek Inn
  • Package offered on Sunday, March 3 only
  • Price: from $218
  • 1-night stay at Temecula Creek Inn1-day Passport to World of Wine event for two
  • Visit TemeculaWines.org/Events or call TVWA at 800.801.9463 to book

 

Temecula Valley wine country is an idyllic, easily-accessible, year-round wine destination where visitors can experience premium winemaking in a warm, welcoming atmosphere along with fine dining, stunning scenery and exciting events. Temecula Valley is only a 60 – 90 minute drive from all major Southern California cities.

Temecula Valley Wine Country in Southern California

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Meet Your Winemaker: Jon McPherson, Master Winemaker at South Coast Winery, Resort & Spa

Friday, January 27th, 2012

We’re starting a new series here called “Meet Your Winemaker,” so you can get to know the folks behind the wines we all enjoy so much! Temecula Valley Wine Country is made up of so many fascinating, creative and talented people that we felt the need to give you an all-access pass into the stories behind the people behind the wine. So welcome to the inaugural “Meet Your Winemaker” post, highlighting veteran winemaker Jon McPherson of South Coast Winery, Resort & Spa.

Jon has been in the business most of his life, moving out to Southern California from his native Texas in 1985 and carrying on his family’s winemaking tradition. Read about his journey here:

Q: What inspired you to go into wine making? 

I could lie and say, “The moment I had a 1976 Johnson-Turnbull Cabernet.”  Or, “When I saw the harvest in Burgundy.”  Truth be told, as a small child, I was pressed into service by my father (founder and pioneer of the modern Texas wine industry ‘Doc’ McPherson), who had the grand idea that growing grapes in west Texas would be a great occupation/hobby/pursuit of happiness.  He purchased some land in early 1972 and started planting grapes in ’73 and ’74.  Since I was young, and certainly able, I found myself on the end of a post hole digger, shovel, hoe and any other manual labor implement used in the vineyard.

Weekends, summers, vacations, were all spent going to the vineyard with my dad.  As a kid, this was not the idea of a good time- for sure- but my father saw it as a way to keep me off the streets, off of drugs, and away from girls.  I missed a lot of cartoons, and general mischief that my friends all enjoyed, but this all seemed to work out pretty well, and by the late 70’s when my father decided to start Llano Estacado Winery I had enough experience running around grapes that I was drafted into service for a cellar hand.  I worked with several different winemakers that came through Llano in the 80’s, and I saw that the lifestyle and actual work that was part of the winemaker’s life was very much something that I wanted for myself.  Besides, it was a good time.  I grew up in the business, and by the time I was graduated from high school, I had figured out that this was what I wanted to do.

Q: Did you have a wine-making mentor, and if so, can you tell us a bit about him or her?

Certainly my father, who made wine at home in “experimental” batches.  He was a chemistry professor at Texas Tech University, and he was all about wine chemistry and what it took to make a good wine.  Other than that, there was the Australian Terry Belltrame, Joe Norman (formerly of Heitz Cellars)  Bill Ward (Vineyard manager of Chappellet in the 80’s, no longer with us) , Ron McClendon (retired from Allied Domeq), Greg Fowler (Shramsberg, Mumm Napa and Seagrams), Carol Shelton (has her own label of the same name) and Sam Balakian (ASV and SVP wineries) all had a part in what I know and believe to be true of the winemaking industry.  They all have their own story, but I worked with them at various stages and times and I learned what I could from their perspective.

Q: Have you had any “oops” moments during your early days of winemaking? If so, we’d love to hear the story!  

Many years ago (1988) on a rainy February day, I was working on some outdoor tanks and I was moving wine from tank to tank.  It was raining quite heavily, and my eye glasses were all covered in water and I couldn’t see clearly.  I needed a valve for what I was doing, so I grabbed the closest valve that was handy off of what I thought was an empty tank.  I was met with a stream of 35 degree wine, and besides being wet from the rain, I was now soaked with ice cold wine.  After the initial shock, I did manage to compose myself and get the valve back on the tank (a 12,000 gallon tank to boot) but I lost about 200 gallons of wine and swore never to work in the rain again.

On another note, I had an intern that worked for me one harvest (2001) that seemed to screw up everything she touched.  Her first screw up was when she pumped syrah over a cabernet fermentation.  I wanted to fire her.  No, I wanted to kill her. Then fire her. Instead, everyone convinced me that she would never make that mistake again, and would be all the more conscientious in future cellar work. I took the advice, and chilled out. After all, everyone deserves a second chance.  So we tell her not to turn on another pump without direct supervision. Sure enough, when she is suppose to only set up for a move of wine from tank to tank, she takes it upon herself to turn on the pump. She walks away from the pump and doesn’t tell anyone she has started the movement. Well, she forgot to close the racking valve on the tank she was pumping into.  When she returns she finds the wine streaming from the tank and over 1,000 gallons lost.  That sent me up the wall and her out the door.  She resigned on the spot, and I never heard from her again. I don’t think she stayed in the business.

Q: What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as a winemaker?

Bagging not one, but two Golden Bear Awards (an honor presented to the winery that wins the most medals and awards at the California State Fair’s prestigious wine competition). Oh, and back in the day I was the most award winning sparkling winemaker in the country, for four or five years.

Q: Give one piece of advice to aspiring winemakers.

Always be passionate about making wine. Just don’t fall in love with it.  The minute that you fall in love with it you lose all objectiveness and the ability to approach wine in an analytical manner.

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