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Temecula Spring Wines and Special Sparklers for Mother’s Day

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

May is a big month for wine and dine celebrations! Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, weddings and spring birthdays… So what Temecula Valley wines perform best in these lovely pre-summer months? And what’s the best seasonal fare to pair them with?

*Reminder tip! Get the most balanced flavor from your bottle by using the simple 15 minute rule for serving all wine: Pull whites and rosés out of the fridge 15 minutes before drinking; put reds in the fridge for 15 minutes before drinking.

 

Spring Whites: Crisp Vermentino and Floral Viognier-Rousanne Blend

Try some unique whites this spring and give your family something to talk about at the next picnic. How about…

Of Spanish-Mediterranean origin, Vermentino is often a grape used in white-wine blending. Relatively low in alcohol with crisp acids, Cougar Winery offers their 100% 2013 Vermentino for $17. Serve this white alongside grilled spring vegetables like asparagus, artichokes and charred green onions.

Palumbo Family Vineyards’ Brezza di Mare Viognier-Rousanne is a Rhone-style blend (meaning in the style of the Rhone wine region in the South of France) which sells for $19.95. Made up of 75% Viognier and 25% Rousanne, this food-friendly white blend has a minerality that goes nicely with fresh seafood (think chilled mussels and shrimp) or a charcuterie platter if you’re having a weekend get-together.

 

Spring Reds: Fruity Merlot and Spicy Tempranillo

Lighten up with some easy-drinking reds, perfect for a spring day or evening. We recommend…

Leoness Cellars focuses on sustainable practices in the vineyards and it shows in their wines. Try the fruit-forward 2010 Vineyard Selection Merlot, $55. This bottle is a great stand-alone drinker and has a high likelihood of being consumed before the food is finished cooking. But if you must pair it with your meal, serve with a medium-rare pork loin with cherry compote or a spring pasta tossed with early-season tomatoes, asparagus and caramelized spring onions.

Miramonte Winery offers an excellent quality 2010 Tempranillo for $38.95. Technically a blend (80% Tempranillo, 10% Grenache, 10% Cinsault), this Spanish red pairs well with cooked meats hot off the grill, like lamb chops and brats served with a side of grilled peppers and onions.

 

Special Wines for Mother’s Day: Sparklers and Spring Three-Packs

Think ahead and pop into one of these Temecula wineries for mom’s perfect brunch beverage. Our favorites…

For special toasts to mom, there’s nothing like a sparkler. But first, some background. What’s the difference between champagne and spumante? Well, it begins with the country of origin. For a sparkling wine to be officially designated as “Champagne” it must be made in the Champagne region of northeast France. Spumante (also known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white wine from the Piedmont region of Italy, made from Muscat Bianco grapes.

Champagne and spumante are crafted differently as well. Unlike Champagne, Asti is not made sparkling through the use of secondary fermentation in the bottle but rather through a single tank fermentation utilizing the Charmat method. While Champagne can land anywhere on the scale between sec (sweet) or brut (dry), Spumante tends to be on the sweeter side; another well-known version is Moscato d’Asti.

Ponte Estate offers two California bubblies: the popular Moscato and the beautiful Rose Spumante. Moscato – by itself or in a Mimosa with fresh OJ or tangerine juice – pairs perfectly with your Sunday Mother’s Day brunch (think Quiche Lorraine and fruit.) Its gentle bubbles will tickle your taste buds with mellow flavors of apricot and nectarine. Even better, pick up Ponte’s Sparkling Wine Trio for $92 (or $69 wine club sale.) You’ll get a bottle of Moscato 2012, Rose Spumante 2012 and Vernaccia Nera 2011.  This sparkling trio will certainly keep glasses filled throughout your Mother’s Day celebrations.

Another top winery choice for that special Mother’s Day bottle is South Coast Winery, which makes a variety of unique California sparkling wines like Pinot Noir Rosé, Pinot Grigio Sparkling and Spumante Diamonte. Pair these with your favorite brunch items – eggs benedict, french toast with strawberries and even a ham & cheese melt topped with powdered sugar (ala Monte Carlo.) And send mom home with a bottle, too.

Last but not least, Leoness Cellars has put together a hand-selected spring three pack for your Mother’s Day picnic: White Merlot, Grenache and Melange de Blanc. The White Merlot is a lovely pink hue, bursting with berry flavors. Melange de Blanc is a Rhone-style white wine blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne and pairs perfectly with seafood, soft french cheese and seasonal fruit like fresh strawberries. The Grenache is a soft and supple medium-bodied red (a warm-climate alternative to Pinot Noir) that matches the flavor of barbecued meats and light pasta salad. Remember to serve all three of these wines cool.

 

Happy Spring & Happy Mother’s Day from Temecula Valley Wine Country!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Ponte Family Estate

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Story

Located in the heart of Temecula Wine Country, Ponte Family Estate offers guests a “day in the country,” with its spacious rustic-style tasting room, al fresco dining, and extensive marketplace gift shop nestled within more than 300 acres of vineyard. The 60-room, mission-style Ponte Vineyard Inn is an ideal wine-country hotel for visitors to enjoy a “stay in the country.” Ponte Family Estate offers an approachable, memorable experience that welcomes both new and experienced wine lovers. Visitors can enjoy tours of the winemaking process, participate in special events like the Annual Grape Stomp Festival, or work with the winery’s event planners to create an exceptional wine country wedding or other special event. With its picturesque setting, approachable wines, farm-fresh cuisine, upscale lodging and array of activities, Ponte Family Estate is one of the most sought-after and complete wine destinations in Southern California.

The Wines

As a boutique California winery producing about 1500 cases a year for each varietal, Ponte focuses on quality rather than quantity. Ponte wines feature crowd-pleasing single varietals like Moscato and Pinot Grigio; plus their friendly signature blends, like Super T, Beverino and “Angry Wife” Red. Popular Ponte white wine blends include the “Isabel” and “Juliet” lines. Plenty of choices for the sweet wine lover, too! Ponte fans love the pretty Rosé Spumante and the many Late Harvest varietals, which pair well with a cheese plate or dessert. For a special holiday host gift, consider giving the Ponte Holiday Magnum or a Zinfandel Port.

To shop the Ponte wine store online, click here.

 

The Tasting Room, Marketplace and Winery Tours

Ponte’s tasting room is open daily from 10am-5pm. Tasting includes 6 wine tastings and a Ponte wine glass.

Mon – Fri $15 per person
Sat – Sun $20 per person

Located in the expansive country-style tasting room, the Ponte Marketplace is one of the best in the valley. Guests love to sip wine while shopping 3,500 square feet of fabulous and unique gifts. There are charming wine accessories, home accents and delicious specialty foods on sale every day.

Ponte Winery offers one-hour vineyard and winery tours seven days a week. Jump on board their new 12-passenger electric bus and tour the 310 acre ranch while learning about Ponte’s grape-growing philosophy. Taste three signature Ponte wines, right next to the vineyards they come from. Visit the winery facilities to learn about the art and science of winemaking. The tour ends with sample tastes from stainless steel tanks and giant oak casks.

Monday – Friday
1:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
11:00 a.m. | 1:00 p.m. | 3:00 p.m.

Vineyard Bus Tours are:
$25 per guest

Have a question? Please call 951-694-8855.


Dining at Ponte: Bouquet, The Cellar Lounge and The Restaurant at Ponte

Ponte offers more dining options than most other Temecula Valley wineries. The Restaurant at Ponte has been voted one of the top 50 best outdoor restaurants by OpenTable. This al fresco lunchtime eatery offers upscale California cuisine with Mediterranean flavors seven days a week. Dinner can enjoy the new Bouquet and The Cellar Lounge located next-door at the Ponte Vineyard Inn.  The chefs at Ponte Estate focus on locally-sourced ingredients and artisan recipes.

Learn more about restaurant choices at Ponte Family Estate here.

 

Ponte Holiday Events and Ponte Vineyard Inn Packages

Cyber Monday Special: Sunday-Thursday bookings at Ponte Vineyard Inn made on Cyber Monday, December 2 will be priced 30% off regular rates. Subject to availability; stay should take place between Cyber Monday and the end of 2014. Blackout dates include all holidays.

Holiday Shopping Sundays: Ponte Winery’s festively decorated Tasting Room and Marketplace offers a carefully curated selection of gourmet delicacies, elegant housewares, cookbooks and wine. Guests are invited to shop while sipping hot cocoa and listening to holiday music under twinkling lights. Wine tastings are available for purchase. Sunday, December 15th and 22nd 10:00am-5:00pm.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Package: The winery’s popular Restaurant at Ponte will be serving their full menu with specials in the winery’s stunning Barrel Room. Reservations accepted from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, on December 31st. For reservations, call (951) 252-1770. In addition, there will be a special seating for dinner at Bouquet Restaurant at Ponte Vineyard Inn with a prix fixe menu and wine pairings. Please contact Ponte Vineyard Inn at 951-587-8855 for tickets. After dinner, guests are invited to take the short walk via a designated path to neighboring Wiens Family Cellars for their vintage Las Vegas-themed New Year’s Eve Celebration, hosted by The King himself, Elvis Presley. Those who book rooms at Ponte Vineyard Inn will enjoy exclusive access to The Cellar Lounge, a complimentary bottle of Ponte Winery Moscato, a complimentary Bloody Mary at Bouquet the next morning and a 1:00pm late check-out.

To book a room at Ponte Vineyard Inn, call (951) 587-6688  or visit www.pontevineyardinn.com. To purchase tickets to the Wiens Family Cellars new Year’s Eve Celebration, please contact the winery at (888) 989-4367.

Ponte Family Estate is located at 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula CA 92591 | www.pontevineyardinn.com | 951-694-8855

 

 

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Temecula Wineries Pour at San Diego Wine and Food Festival (Nov 20-24)

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

10th Annual Classic is November 20-24, 2013

Join the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association at The Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 23 as they pour from some the region’s best wineries, including:

  • Maurice Car’rie Winery
  • Europa Village
  • Wiens Family Cellars

 

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival™ returns November 20-24, 2013, and this year is bigger and better than ever.  Celebrate 10 years in the making with new events, the best wines in the world and some of today’s biggest celebrity chefs and culinary personalities.  Join over 200 wineries (including Temecula’s Falkner, Oak Mountain, Keyways, Ponte, Callaway, Monte de Oro and Wilson Creek,) breweries and spirit purveyors, 70 of San Diego’s best restaurants, and 10,000 wine and food aficionados from across the nation for the biggest birthday bash on the West Coast.

Click here for the list of events and to purchase tickets.

See you there!

 

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