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Big Dreamers: David Bradley, Vindemia Winery

Monday, May 26th, 2014

In the fourth installment of our continuing blog series “Big Dreamers,” we sat down with Temecula Valley veteran David Bradley who knows the vineyard landscape better than anyone else – from the air.  Long-time hot air balloon pilot and talented winemaker, David landed in Temecula Valley in 1985 and operates two successful enterprises on the same property. Learn about his story as a boutique California winemaker and balloon enthusiast below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check in every month where we feature a new interview with our Temecula Valley winemakers and winery owners. You’ll learn where they’ve come from before settling in Temecula, CA – and what keeps them passionate about the sometimes not-so-glamorous art (and science) of making good wine in California.

Interview with Winery Owner and Winemaker David Bradley, Vindemia Winery

1.    What were you doing before owning and operating your winery?

I was introduced to the world of hot air balloons in 1977. In 1985, my wife Gail & I moved to California and started California Dreamin’ Balloon Adventures in the world’s most perfect weather. The next year we began flying in Temecula, CA, over wine country. There were eight wineries and one was for sale. I just didn’t have the money.

2.      What inspired you to want to buy a winery and what were the circumstances around choosing Temecula Valley, CA?

The winery started out just as a vineyard. If we owned a vineyard in a great location we could launch the balloons from the site and bring our guests back to the vineyard for breakfast. One day, I landed at this super-cool Provence-styled villa in the valley and was greeted by the owner. She was very nice and I asked if I could land here and visit again. The second time, I asked if she would ever sell her home. Four years later, I got a call asking if I would be interested in purchasing the house and winery site. That’s how Vindemia started.

3.      What were your expectations of the winemaker lifestyle at the beginning?  Were they way off or right on?

Winemaking is a contagious chess game pitting hopeful players against Mother Nature.  The truth to the myth is, 50 days each fall season with no sleep, 2:00am start times and mumbling pH, TA figures while recounting Brix over and over. You begin to feel like a pawn.

4.      People might think winemaking is glamorous.  Would you like to set them straight?

Winemaking is like all the arts – the project is never perfect. Sometimes it’s what’s not done that best finishes the structure; and the results haunt you, both good and bad.

5.      What is your least favorite thing about running a winery?  What is your most favorite – the reason you get up in the morning?

Least favorite is guests mistaking us as glamorous and missing the invitation to land on the farm and share in the pleasure of the fruit. And, the reason to get up… to see if Mother Nature moved her knight!

To learn more about California’s Big Dreamers, click here!

 

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LAWineFest + Temecula Wines

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

The 9th Annual LAWineFest is this weekend!

Happening May 31 and June 1 at Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios. With hundreds of wines, craft brews and spirits on offer, the weekend-long festival is a relaxed, welcoming setting for people to explore the world of wine and more, alongside cool L.A. food trucks, live bands and handcrafted goods. LAWineFest proudly supports local organizations while serving as the Southland’s signature celebration of wine, beer, spirits and food.

Temecula Valley wines will be featured in their very own booth!  The region is proudly pouring:

REDS
Callaway Vineyard & Winery: Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Miramonte Winery: Tempranillo
Lorimar Winery: Trio – Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Mourvedre
Hart Winery: Syrah

WHITES
Falkner Winery: Sauvignon Blanc
Cougar Vineyard & Winery: Vermentino
Vindemia Vineyard & Estate Winery: Regatta de Blanc

SPARKLING
Wiens Family Cellars: Sparkling Amour De L’Orange
South Coast Winery: Sparkling Pinot Grigio

Be sure to stop by the Temecula Wines booth to sample all your favorites and try something new!

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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Vindemia Vineyard & Winery

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

The Story

Vindemia is a family-owned and operated winery, beautifully nestled on a Temecula hillside with the perfect blend of European style and Southern California casual. Visitors who venture through the valley-less-travelled on Calle Contento will find an estate with  spectacular views, masterful gardens, and a comfortable setting that all combine to create an unparalleled retreat.

Owners David and Gail Bradley have a unique perspective of their vineyard and the Temecula Valley – a view from above. Their company, California Dreamin’ Balloon Adventures, offers a beautiful sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Temecula Wine Country. They also host guests in their bed & breakfast, La Vindemia.

 

The Wines

The winery produces handcrafted wines that comprise some of the best varietals grown in the Temecula Valley. Favorites include Vindemia’s popular “More Cow Bell” Zinfandel blend, as well as their Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux-style blend, Viognier, Rosé, and Syrah. Vindemia also has 100 olive trees, which the Bradley family harvests and presses for fresh, delicious olive oil. The wine and olive oil are available for sale to the public only at Vindemia Estate Winery.

New this month! Vindemia just released their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, priced at $20/bottle, and their 2012 Reggatta de Blanc Viognier Blend, available for $24/bottle.  They will be releasing their much-anticipated 2012 “More Cowbell” Zinfandel in July.

For a list of Vindemia’s current wine selections, click here.

 

Tasting Room

The Vindemia tasting room is open Friday-Sunday from 11am-5pm. This off-the-beaten-path winery is located at 33133 Vista Del Monte Rd. Temecula, CA 92591.

At the top of each hour, visitors are invited to learn more about winemaking by exploring the vineyards or taking a tour with the winemakers.

Contact the winery directly at www.vindemia.com; or call 951-699-0601.

 

Vindemia is excited to share the plans for their new winery building, currently in its initial planning stages.

 

Latest news from Vindemia winery owner, Gail Bradley:

“We recently purchased an awesome new tractor and are running an Instagram/Facebook contest for anyone that wants to come visit our tasting room. We pay tribute to our “More Cowbell” wine on the tractor.  They just need to come by take a picture with the tractor and in the caption explain why they need more cowbell with the hashtags #Vindemia and #MoreCowbell. The winner gets a case of our infamous 2012 More Cowbell.”

 Stop by Vindemia Vineyard & Winery today!

 

 

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Temecula Winemaker Roundtable: Fun Facts About… Red Wine Blends

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Red wine blends are increasingly popular in the US, though they’ve long been the standard for regions as famous as Bordeaux, the Southern Rhone and Tuscany. Why? Because winemakers appreciate the flexibility and control blending allows; they are able fine tune the final wine to bring out the best of each variety and use them to balance each other. Like a meal made with one ingredient or a song that features only one instrument, single variety wines are sometimes less interesting and harmonious than blends.

Red wine blends may be labeled a variety of ways. Some popular blends you may see in Temecula include “Meritage” or “Super Tuscan” wines, but wineries frequently give their blends proprietary names, such as Monte de Oro’s Synergy 65, Callaway’s Calliope Red or Wilson Creek’s Double Dog Red.  This is a fun way of making the wine more identifiable, but it also signifies that the winery has truly created a wine that is theirs and theirs alone, since no two blends are exactly alike!

*See below for more Temecula red blends.

 

Here are five fun facts about red wine blends!

Facts courtesy of The Daily NewsWikipedia, Wine.LoveToKnow
  1. Bordeaux blends: Red Bordeaux blends are generally made from a combination primarily dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot.  They also often include Petit Verdot, Malbec and Carménère.
  2. A red Meritage is a Bordeaux-style wine made in California that is a combination of at least two of six varietals:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot or Carmenère.
  3. A Super Tuscan originally served as reference to an Italian viticulture region. While some Super Tuscans are single varietal, most are blends primarily containing Sangiovese or Merlot, some are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, and some even more unusual blends which might include Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot.
  4. GSM is a classic combination of three grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre) from the southern Rhone Valley.  It is also referred to as a Southern Rhone blend.
  5. Rhone blends from France’s Rhone Valley can contain up to 22 varieties.  As the US has only 12 of those varietals planted, New World wines are most often a combination Syrah and Viognier blended with Mourvèdre, Grenache, Roussanne and Marsanne, and perhaps Counoise, Cinsaut, Grenache Blanc and Petite Sirah.


 

Looking for a great Temecula Valley red wine blend?  Check these wines out!

 

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