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Posts Tagged ‘wine tasting temecula valley’

Wine for St. Patrick’s Day!?

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

So, if you’re a wine lover, how do you survive a holiday that is clearly for beer drinkers?  Many of our winemakers tell us that wine drinkers are the best beer drinkers because it takes a lot of good beer to make a good wine.

But, today’s your lucky day!  When good ole’ St. Paddy’s day rolls around, you can wear that cheesy green hat, be forced to eat corned beef and cabbage AND have your wine….yes, wine.

Here are some of our favorite picks to raise a glass and cheer Saint Patrick.

If you’re looking for that “Pot of Gold”, why not stick with bubbly?  Try Monte De Oro’s 2015 Bolle De Oro which took home a Double Gold at the 2016 American Wine Society National Commercial Wine Competition.

If you’re serving corned beef and cabbage, how about trying South Coast Winery’s 2013 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel, or if you really want to get creative, serve Hart Winery’s 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese.

Or, if you feel like standing in solidarity with your beer drinking friends, drink Wiens Family Cellars’ bold 2014 Bare Knuckle Petite Sirah in a beer mug!

Whatever wine you choose to drink on St. Patrick’s Day, have the confidence of a lepercaun!  Those beer drinkers just might start to wonder what they’re missing out on.

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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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Get Chilled in Temecula Valley Wine Country!

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

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Everyone knows that the holidays can be particularly busy, stressful and rushed.  Why not come and join us in Temecula Valley Wine Country on December 15th to “chill” with us!  Several of our wineries are keeping their doors open late so that you can participate in the Temecula Chilled Holiday Shopping Night from 5:00p-7:00p.

Just one trip to your local wine country will get you all the gifts you need to give. Plus, you can sip while you shop! Our winery gift shops offer unique and charming wine-themed gifts, specialty food items, home decor – and of course, delicious wine.

During the Holiday Shopping Night, shop at select tasting rooms and enjoy holiday refreshments, carolers, carriage rides at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa and more!  Participating wineries include: Bel Vino, Callaway, Danza del Sol, Foot Path, Monte De Oro, Mount Palomar, Ponte, South Coast and Wilson Creek.

To learn more about Temecula Chilled and all of the activities planned, please click here.

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Temecula Wine Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Autumn table setting with pumpkins. Thanksgiving dinner and autumn decoration.

In just a few weeks, your tummy will be rumbling and your mouth salivating with the promise of the once-a-year feast that is Thanksgiving. America’s biggest food holiday serves up the chance to do some serious (and seriously fun) wine and food pairing. Here in Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country, we’ve got the perfect wine pairings to go with each Thanksgiving course. No matter what your budget, this simple guide will have your friends and family giving thanks to you for making their holiday meal extra special.

Light Appetizers + Mellow Whites

These bright yet mellow whites pair well with lighter dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. The floral notes of light white wine complement a fall salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts; a selection of fruit and cheeses match nicely with a Chardonnay; and light Pinot Grigio will sing next to your pumpkin soup.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2012 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery 2015 Pinot Grigio; $28.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Nostimo; $23.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Herbacious Side Dishes + Spicy Reds

The spicy notes derived from these unique wine grapes pair especially well with stuffings and gravies seasoned with holiday herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary. Having a vegetarian Thanksgiving? These wines work well with earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes too!

Mount Palomar Shorty’s Bistro Red; $20.00

Avensole 2012 Second Block Zinfandel; $60.95  (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Doffo Winery 2013 Syrah; $58.00

Poultry & Meats + Bold Reds

Whether it’s wine or food, everyone looks forward to the main course. The dark fruit flavors in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your herb-rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef, all three are bold enough to stand up to a rich meat course.

Baily Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; $30.00

Fazeli Cellars 2012 Khayyam; $58.00

Wiens Family Cellars 2014 Bare Knuckle Petite Sirah; $48.00

Dessert + Sweet Wines

Your Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine – at least that’s how we feel! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with Ponte’s sweet moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones. Or try the People’s Choice Blind Tasting award winner, Briar Rose’s Estate Riesling with your fruit tarts or pies.  And for a special treat, buy a bottle of Renzoni port to pair with a fudgy chocolate cake.

Briar Rose 2013 Estate Riesling; $25.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Ponte Winery 2015 Moscato; $28.00

Robert Renzoni Paradiso Port; $49.00

One Meal, One Wine

Looking to simplify your evening by serving one wine from start to finish? Any of these four, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink from appetizers all the way to dessert. Bon appetit!

Maurice Car’rie 2015 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2014 Grenache Blanc; $28.95

Falkner Winery 2015 Sauvignon Blanc; $24.95

South Coast Winery Ruby Cuvee; $22.00

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Welcome Peltzer Family Cellars!

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

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A big wine country welcome to our newest winery here in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country!  Peltzer Family Cellars, located just off Rancho California Rd, opened their cellars doors this week to celebrate a new chapter in the life of a deeply-rooted farming family.

The Peltzer Family has been farming for over a 100 years. It all started in 1913, when winery owner Charlie Peltzer’s great, great grandfather, Charles Peltzer, left Pretty Prairie, Kansas for Southern California to pursue the American Dream. The family put down their roots on a 20 acre citrus and dairy farm in Anaheim, where they cultivated their family business for the next 41 years. In 1954, the farm became a part of history, selling to the one and only, Walt Disney; and just like that, the family farm became the Happiest Place on Earth–Disneyland.

Charles and his son relocated the citrus farm where it not only grew, but flourished. Soon, the 3rd generation entered when Charles II (Charlie’s dad) joined his dad and grandfather to launch Peltzer’s Pine Tree Farm. Still running today, the farm has been bringing families together every holiday season for over 50 years. Following in his father’s footsteps, our very own Charlie (the third!) joined the family business, opening a pumpkin farm on one of his dad’s Pine Tree Farm locations.

Along came Carrie, Charlie’s wife, and the pumpkin business quickly became a family affair. Soon, with the addition of their two boys, (and future-farmers) Charlie (Charles IV) & Max, the Peltzers decided it was time to pursue our dream of raising their boys on their own family farm. In 2004, they moved onto 25 acres here in the Temecula Valley Wine Country and brought Peltzer’s Pumpkin Farm with them, continuing the tradition of bringing families together on the farm.

Now, their journey continues with the building of their dream winery in Temecula Valley, where they’ve been growing grapes for many years.

Come visit The Crush House; their unique tasting room that embodies Charlie’s roots in farming and Carrie’s passion for design. It’s the perfect place to enjoy what you love most: ­­quality time with friends and a great glass of wine!

40275 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591
951.888.2008
www.peltzerwinery.com

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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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Celebrate California Wine Month, Temecula style!

Friday, August 19th, 2016

california_wine_month_300x250Throughout September, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country will be celebrating California Wine Month, as well as the people, personalities and passion that go into making the great wines our region produces year after year. California Wine Month was created by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers and proclaimed by Governor Jerry Brown to highlight the state’s rich wine history and all that its vintners and growers add to the lifestyle and economy of the Golden State.  This year, we’re celebrating in a big way! Here’s a sampling of the exciting events and promotions taking place in September:

SIP Temecula Wine Tasting Passport
Monday-Friday throughout September
We’ve created this exclusive weekday passport to provide our guests the opportunity to taste award-winning wines produced in Temecula Valley Wine Country. On your self-guided tour, you will visit many family owned wineries throughout the rolling vineyards in our valley. You choose when, and which wineries to visit out of the 19 participating wineries listed on your passport. Visit during September’s wine month and receive a complimentary commemorative wine glass with your SIP Passport.

“Crush on Temecula Wines” Restaurant Month for Wine
Throughout September
Tom & Jerry, bread & butter, Barnes & Noble… Food & wine. Some matches are made in heaven. Whether you live here or are visiting, come get a crush on Temecula Valley wines at participating restaurants throughout September. This “restaurant month for wine” gives food and wine lovers the chance to explore Temecula Valley wines in special tasting flights being featured at the Temecula’s favorite restaurants. Revisit old favorites and discover new ones, all while enjoying the culinary creations of the region.

CRUSH ~ A Wine & Culinary Showcase 
Saturday, September 17 – 7:30-10:00p
The expansive lawn at Wiens Family Cellars provides the perfect venue for guests to meet and mingle with our winemakers, winery owners, chefs and other guests for an enchanted evening under the stars. THE Wine and Culinary showcase event of the year features 100 plus wines poured by over 30 Temecula Valley wineries. And they’re all in one place! Food samplings will be supplied by winery restaurants, local restaurants, and caterers.

People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards Celebration
Thursday, September 29 – 10:00a-10:00p
Come be part of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country history at the first annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards! Let your palate guide you through dozens of Temecula Valley’s best wines. Rate them and help crown the region’s favorites at an elegant wine dinner and celebration. Never been to a blind tasting? Rest assured you won’t be blindfolded. You will simply not know which wines you are tasting until they are revealed after the event, allowing for total objectivity in your tasting.

For more information or to join in on the celebration, please 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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