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Get to Know the Dynamic Women of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

June 1st, 2022

Find out what these gals love most about Temecula, which Temecula wines are their favorites, and what keeps them busy when they’re not helping to keep Wine Country running

There is so much to write about when it comes to Temecula Valley. From fun and engaging events to delicious wines to the blossoming culinary scene to interviews with the dynamic people and personalities of Wine Country and everything in between, we are never short on ideas for great content. But did you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association? There’s actually a dynamic team of Wine Country women who contribute in no small way to keeping the region as a whole running smoothly and helping to tell the incredible stories of Temecula Valley day in and day out. And, it’s about time they got the spotlight!

Read on to find out more about these partners in wine and what makes them the dream team in Temecula Valley.

Krista Chaich, Executive Director

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

KC: I’ve lived in Temecula Valley for 21 years and have worked in Temecula Valley Wine Country for 18 years. Although I’m a native Southern Californian, I moved to Dallas, TX in the early 1990s. My husband and I returned to California in 2001 when his job was transferred to San Diego, and we settled in the Temecula Valley to be near family. 

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

KC: Gosh…it’s gorgeous!!  But, probably my favorite thing about our wine country is the people.  I have never met so many down-to-earth, genuine, passionate, and hardworking people as I have here in the Valley.

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

KC: I love Hart Winery’s Arneis, Baily Winery’s Dry Riesling and Robert Renzoni’s Lyric Rosé.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

KC: Oh, I have A LOT of stories, and I joke that I could write a book about my time in Temecula Valley Wine Country (obviously I would have to change some names to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent), but one particular memory that I’ll never forget is celebrating our wine country’s 50th anniversary.  We brought together winery owners, winemakers, growers and our wine country pioneers to celebrate this milestone at a beautiful dinner surrounded by vineyards. It was a true testament to how hard we’ve worked and how far we’ve come as a wine region, and that night I realized how fortunate I am to be a part of it all.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

KC: Besides drinking wine?  Well, my most favorite thing to do is travel with my daughter and my husband. I also enjoying spending time on my patio where I tend to my succulent garden, which I’m obsessed with!  I’ve finally found a plant I can’t kill.

Cori DeHore, Operations Manager

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

CD: My family came to Temecula in 1997 from San Fernando Valley, which is a suburb of LA county. What drew us to Temecula Valley was the small rural feel, great schools for my kids, and the draw of a unique wine region with fantastic views of vineyards from my backyard! My family loved the area’s clean air, beautiful new communities, and proximity to the major cities within an hour’s drive. Back then, our little town did not even have a mall and was home to only 12 wineries!

We also loved Old Town Temecula and its quaint antique stores that we still see today. The very first restaurant we ate at was the original Bank Restaurant back in 1997. The original Bank building opened in 1914 and it still contains the original vault safe that you can view while dining. In that vault was a picture of young lady that worked in the bank during its early era. It must have been our lucky day because that same lady, but in her very late senior years, happened to be eating with a family member when we were there! Such a special memory that I carry with me to this day. It is my 25th year living in this wonderful town. I’ve watched it grow from a sleepy town with a population of 45,000 into a major thriving wine destination community that now has well over 100,000 people that call it home. I truly feel blessed to call Temecula Valley my home.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

CD: So many things but mostly the people in our industry that I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with. I also love the rich history of our wine country and the amazing pioneers that saw the potential of this region.  Our wine country will always hold a special place in my heart.

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

CD: I still remember my first winery that I visited when I moved to Temecula Valley. It was Maurice Car’rie Winery and I bought their Heather’s Mist – a white blend. I knew nothing about the world of wine back then, but I just knew I liked it! My current go-tos are Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache Rosé, Albariño and Vermentino for the white varietals and Syrah and big red blends for our red varietals.  These grape varieties grow so well in our region and so many of our wineries produce them beautifully. So many wines, so little time.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

CD: My first job in wine country was at Callaway Vineyard & Winery in 1997. One of the stand-out memories I have was meeting Mr. Ely Callaway. He was known as a man that made everything that he touched turn into gold. I was intrigued! He and John Moramarco were the original dynamic duo pioneers. Callaway Vineyard & Winery exists today due to their chance meeting back in 1967. What a story and visionaries those two were. It was my privilege to have met and worked with John Moramarco and I’m grateful to have known them both.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

CD: My husband and I like to explore new cities and look forward to traveling more. We also like to hike and be one with nature. I’m increasingly becoming a crazy bird lady! I dabble in watercolor painting (I’m still learning), and I love hanging out with my cool grown-up kids!

Devin Parr, Brand Marketing Partner

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

DP: I moved to Temecula in 2015. I was living in Los Angeles, and at a crossroads in my career after the wine media company I was working for was sold. I realized I could either stay in the wine business but I would need to move to Northern California; or, I could stay in Southern California – where I wanted to be – but I would likely need to move away from wine and focus more on the PR and marketing side of my work as there weren’t very many opportunities in wine in Southern California. And then a role came up in Temecula Valley that allowed me to not only stay in wine but stay in SoCal… so I jumped at it! Seven years later, I am more in love with this wine region than ever, and so grateful I am able to do what I love, where I love.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

DP: The diversity of wines and offerings! There are literally thousands of different grape varieties around the world, and yet the ones most available to consumers are the usuals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay… While traditional varieties are produced in Temecula Valley, the region is home to dozens of really interesting, offbeat grape varieties produced in a whole range of styles – like bone-dry Albariño, bright and juicy Falanghina, luscious and aromatic Viognier, dark and brooding Aglianico, cheerful sparkling Syrah, and more. There is something new to discover every day – which is a wine lover’s dream!

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

DP: I’m crazy about the stunning, traditional method sparkling wines we are producing out here. I could also drink Temecula Valley Sangiovese every day – sometimes I do!

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

DP: This may not be my best memory, but it has certainly stuck out in my mind – and presumably a few other people’s minds as well!

When I first started working in the region, one of the very first times I went tasting out in Temecula Valley was at Robert Renzoni Vineyards. I was tasting with Robert himself, as well as Olivia Bue, their ultra-talented winemaker. Suddenly I noticed there was somewhat of a commotion happening around me – the winery staff kept coming in and asking if anyone was the owner of a black Acura. I didn’t think anything of it because I don’t drive an Acura. They then started announcing over the winery speakers that they were looking for the driver of a black Acura. This went on for about 30 minutes, with increasing urgency. I just kept on tasting away, thinking to myself how irresponsible it was of someone to just park their car somewhere and not be present to claim it. Finally, the announcement changed. They had gotten the car make wrong – turns out it was MY car! I had parked right in front of the driveway to the production facility and hadn’t realized it, which had caused this massive scene as the winery crew wasn’t able to get in… and it was harvest! Talk about making a first impression! I was MORTIFIED.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

DP: I took up Shorin Ryu Karate at the tender age of 40 and fell absolutely in love with the sport. So, when I’m not out there discovering new wines and telling their stories, or hanging out with my husband, two little boys and two dogs, I’m in the dojo working toward my black belt.

Bianca Castillo, Member Relations & Programs Manager

TVWA: How long have you been in Temecula and what brought you here?

BC: I’ve been here since 2010 when I was only a junior in high school. We were originally living in Oceanside but my parents took a trip to Temecula one day and thought it was beautiful. Fast forward 12 years, and we are all still living in Temecula.

TVWA: What is your favorite thing about Wine Country?

BC: The scenery! It’s so pretty when the vines are all green and vibrant.  

TVWA: What wines do you love to sip from Temecula?

BC: I love the Viognier and Syrah from Sweet Oaks Winery.

TVWA: What is your best memory or funniest story from your time in Wine Country?

BC: My best memory in wine country was when I went to a brunch at Sweet Oaks Winery and met a bunch of fabulous moms and then we carried over and made a pit stop at Wilson Creek for a bit. Then  my newfound friend Corina and I ended the night at Maurice Car’rie eating their delicious brie bread! So good.

TVWA: What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

BC: I love spending time with my family. My kids have a blast at their grandparents’ house. My parents have the whole set up (trampoline, bounce house, a water bounce house) for my kids and they beg all the time to go over.

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