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Posts Tagged ‘Temecula Valley Wine Country’

So, You Want to Be A Winemaker?

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

You sit down to dinner and uncork a beautiful bottle of 2014 Syrah. As you swirl and sip, you start to imagine life as a winemaker. The romance of waking up on a cool September morning, opening your blinds and looking out onto your perfectly manicured vineyards. The satisfaction of tending to your vines, watching them flourish, and ultimately fermenting and bottling the grapes for your family dinner table.

Think you’ve got what it takes?

We sat down with some of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country’s local rockstars – our winemakers – to ask them what really goes into producing the delicious wines that we simply get to open and enjoy. From grueling hours to the infamous “black hands” to strange harvest rituals, they gave us the good, the bad and the ugly on what it takes to be a winemaker during harvest.

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association: What does a typical day during harvest look like?

Greg Pennyroyal, Vineyard Manager, Wilson Creek Winery: It is Monday at 11: 30 PM. My crew shows up in 30 minutes. We will harvest Viognier until dawn because that is what is best for wine quality. Quality of life can wait until next year when this wine will be on my dinner table and hopefully yours. Some may say this is exceptional effort but for those of us who are possessed by the muse of Vitis Vinifera, it is the best way – no, the only way – to bring in the fruit that I have nurtured since last fall. People ask, “Why are you here in the middle of the night?” To which I quote Thoreau, “Why are you not here?”

Dakota Denton, Winemaker, Gershon Bachus Vintners: I wake up, put my boots on, and walk the vineyards in the cool of the morning. Then, it’s off to the cellar or crush pad for pump-overs and to crush more grapes. By the time this is done it is time to pull samples for the lab, a second set of pump overs and a beer to end the day. Then repeat!

Olivia Bue, Winemaker, Robert Renzoni Vineyards: First and foremost, attire: Jeans (even if it’s 100° F out), old t-shirt (stained with the previous vintage’s wine), steel toe boots (always make sure to shake out dirt and grape skins), big harvest hat…Oh, and of course our purple cracked hands.

Then the day consists of early morning vineyard visits to collect grape samples for analysis; hydrometer and temperature readings on all fermenting wines; smelling the top of each fermenting tank to make sure there are no off odors or nutrient deficiencies (making sure to not get too close, lest we get hit with a CO2 bomb); and, most importantly, tasting each lot daily.

Once reds come in the real harvest bootcamp begins! This means pump-overs 3 times daily with at least 3 hours off in between. This involves sanitizing all hoses and pumps before and after each lot, making any necessary adjustments to the wine, and removing fallout seeds to minimize astringency. As the reds approach the end of alcoholic fermentation, it’s time to drain the tank of all its wine, leaving behind skins to get pressed out. To remove skins from the tank, we jump inside to shovel them out into the bins below the tank door. This is always a good workout!

TVWA: What is the hardest part of harvest?

DD: Waking up early.

OB: When my alarm goes off at 3 AM.

Gus Vizgirda, Winemaker, Wilson Creek Winery: The harvest has its many expected effects, such as exhaustion. But one that is seldom talked about is what I like to call the “Black Hand.” This happens when calloused hands come in contact with red grape juice. It is the natural condition of a winemaker during harvest. As much as “Black Hand“ is an honorable winemaking badge, it has disadvantages. My wife thinks it’s disgusting and makes me look dirty; and my grandchildren think that I have some sort of disease, avoiding my hugs. So, if you see me around during this time of the year with my hands in my pockets, understand this: I have “Black Hand.” I’m polite not to show it in public, but – believe me – in the privacy of my home late at night I look at my hands in wonderment and passionate pride, remembering the good times I had this Harvest… and longing for grandchildren’s hugs.

TVWA: What is your favorite part of harvest?

GV: Getting to the winery at 3 AM. I love to work in the morning and see the sunrise as we are pressing the grapes. I enjoy completing most of the work before the heat of the day.

OB: Processing grapes as the sun rises. And, when the last lot is pressed out; not because harvest is over but because I can finally look back and feel proud of all the blood, sweat and tears put into the vintage.

DD: The nonstop craziness from start to finish.

Joseph Wiens, Winemaker, Wiens Family Cellars: The change of pace is welcoming. We are busy bottling non-stop before crush to free up our tank space, so we look forward to getting back into the harvest season. This is also our first look at the new vintage. We’re excited to see the fruit that we’ve been watching mature on the vines finally come in for processing into wine.

TVWA: Do you have any harvest rituals – before, during or after?

DD: Every harvest I stop shaving (not saying I ever started).

OB: Happy hour at 9am.

JW: We have a rule that after our first 8 hours of work for the day, we can start cracking brews to get us through the remainder of the day.

Javier Flores, Winemaker, South Coast Winery & Carter Estate Winery: The Sunday before Harvest, I pray for a good crop and that no one gets hurt. A safe harvest is a good harvest. Then the very first day of Harvest we buy breakfast burritos for all the winemaking team members to celebrate the beginning. The very last day of Harvest we hang a plastic Skeleton with dates marking the start and finish of the harvest. Then the following Friday we have a super lunch at our winery, prepared by winemakers.

GV: I play my bugle at passing hot air balloons and play “Reveille” at sunrise for [Wilson Creek owners] Rosie and Gerry. The balloon passengers are always surprised.

TVWA: What is the craziest/scariest/funniest thing that has happened to you during harvest?

DD: Not knowing that a keg that it was still fermenting, I started to open it. After the second turn of the clamp, there was a loud bang (as if a shotgun had gone off right in front of me), and wine shot up to the ceiling, covering me from head to toe.

JW: A couple of years ago, we got a new press. We overloaded it with Zinfandel that had fallen apart (the skins didn’t hold up, and the whole lot looked more like a grape smoothie than wine). The Zin smoothie clogged up the drain holes in the press, and once the press started pressurizing, the wine had nowhere to go. The seals on the press broke open, and about 4 tons of purple slop poured out onto the crush pad. We frantically started trying to shovel it up, and soon decided it was a lost cause. We were up to our ankles with slop, and one of our workers made a snide remark. I flung a shovel full of slop at them, which devolved into a full-fledged Zin slop fight. It was a huge mess, and a bummer to lose some wine, but we laughed about it in the end, and learned the limitations of our new press!

TVWA: What is the timeline of a bottle of wine, from planting to uncorking it for dinner?

JW: It really depends on the wine. We will actually start bottling our 2018 white wines in early October. These early bottlings (like our dry rosés, Albariño and Pinot Grigio) have light, volatile aromatics that tend to flash off if we wait too long to bottle, so we try to capture that freshness as early as possible. We could be enjoying a nice, crisp rosé of Pinot Noir for dinner while we are still processing reds! Our red wines take anywhere from 1 to 4 years to make it onto our lists, as their aromas and flavors develop slowly with barrel ageing. Typically with newly planted vines, it is the “third leaf,” or third growing season, before we harvest any fruit. So, planting-to-uncorking could be as short as 4 years for our whites, to more than 40 for some of our old vine reds.

DD: Anywhere from 5 to 10 years depending on what kind of wine, and how long you are aging the wine in barrels and bottles.

Special thanks to the Temecula Valley winemakers who shared their harvest stories with us for this article.

Next time you uncork, take a moment to reflect on just what went into making that magical juice in your bottle, and give a toast to your local winemakers.

Happy harvest to winemakers all over the world, and happy California Wine Month to all.

Photo courtesy of Burlile Photography

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California Wine Month ~ Temecula Style!

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

This September marks the 14th consecutive year that California’s governor has proclaimed California Wine Month; in honor of our state’s contribution as the leading wine industry in the United States.

September is the perfect time to visit Temecula Valley Wine Country. Besides the fact that it is our favorite month, we’ve got several events and promotions up our sleeves and we want you to celebrate with us!

Here are the highlights:

SIP Passport Program

When: Valid Monday through Friday the entire month of September (excluding the Labor Day holiday).

What: Passport for a full tasting flight at any five participating Temecula Valley wineries; includes souvenir wine glass. Passport includes discounts on wine purchases, wine club memberships and dining.

Tickets: $45 per person. For more information and tickets, click here.

#DRINKTEMECULA Social Media Challenge
Do you love social media almost as much as you love Temecula wine? Then this challenge is for you! The entire month of September, we’re inviting you to post a picture each day showing how you are celebrating wine month without comment; you nominate a friend to do the same, both of you using the hashtag #drinktemecula

CRUSH ~ A Wine & Culinary Showcase
Although we never need a reason to raise a glass in celebration, we’ll be doing just that at our 9th annual CRUSH event. CRUSH is Temecula Valley Wine Country’s signature event and is The ONE and ONLY event showcasing the wines of 30+ member wineries in one location! Winery and local restaurants will also be on hand to pair small bites with the wine. Mix and mingle with winery owners and winemakers at this most anticipated walk-about tasting!

When: Saturday, September 29 – 7:30p-10:00p
Where: Monte De Oro Winery
Cost: Standard ticket – $89

Click here for more information and tickets

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September Winery Events

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Nothing screams “Harvest Time!” more than a good old-fashioned grape stomp! September is always a busy time in Temecula Valley Wine Country and our wineries are busy planning a few celebrations of their own.

Avensole Winery
Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting /Available on Sunday of each the month / 2pm-3:30pm / For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online at link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Baily Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents: All’s Well That Ends Well / September 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22/ Show starts at 7:00 pm/ Presented by Shakespeare in the Vines and stages at an outdoor venue at beautiful Baily Winery / Tickets: General admission $22; $17 for Seniors 55+, Students and Military / For ticket sales and more information please visit: http://shakespeareinthevines.org

Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Fleetwood Mac Tribute Concert / September 28 / 6pm-10pm / Gen. Adm. $28, Wine Club $25.20 / Rumours takes you back to a time when music was still an unbridled cultural experience and bands weren’t afraid to put on a show. Relive the rock and roll magic with Rumours under the stars at Callaway Winery! For tickets: http://www.callawaywinery.com/res-408138/Rumours.html

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is 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, but for 10 or more highly recommended / For more information call 951.676.4001

Danza del Sol Winery
Havana del Sol / September 8th / 6:30pm-9:30pm / Members $45/ Guests $48 / Held in the Barrel Room, enjoy Dinner, Live Music, Cigars, Uqsha Hats. Adults Only Please. Reservations Required. 951-302-6363 x26

Doffo Winery
Comedy Show / September 22 / 7:00pm / Come enjoy a night of comedy at Doffo Winery. Johnny Herrara is inviting his friends “Mr. Punchline” Scott Wood, Sean Williams, and “The Grandma of Comedy” Miss Anita Milner for some great laughs.  Limited Reserved Seating (includes glass of wine) $25, General Admission $15, Wine Club Member General Admission $12. Food available for purchase. Please no outside food allowed. Wine will be available by bottle or glass. To reserve please shop.doffowines.com

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / 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 seasonal accoutrements. Each pairing lasts approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / Reservations recommended Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Europa Village
Comedy Show / September 1 / 6:00pm / Come out to Europa Village for a fun night of wine and laughter with headliner Amy Ashton and comics from HBO, Netflix and Comedy Central! Tickets: $55 / Société $49.50 / For reservations please visit www.europavillage.com

Bolero Night at Europa Village / September 18 / 6pm-9pm / “Enjoy Bolero music by Ruben V and The Latin Sounds, salsa music and dancing, and a live paella demonstration by Executive Chef Dean Thomas! Tickets: $28 / Société $25.20 / For reservations please visit www.europavillage.com

Oktoberfest / September 18 / 6:00pm – 10:00pm / Tickets: $25 / Société $22.50
Dinner Plate & Admission: $45 / Société $40.50″Celebrate Oktoberfest with us and support a great cause while you’re having fun! Enjoy beer from some of our local breweries, Europa Village Wine, German Food and Live Music! / For reservations please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Labor Day Weekend Celebration / September 1st-3rd / 10am -5pm / Special Weekend Lunch Special for 2 in the Pinnacle $59, Special Wine Sales, Lawn Games, BBQ. Reservations required 951-676-8231 Option 4.

Sip N Paint Class “Fall Day” / September 6 / 6pm -8pm / $35 per person / Includes all materials. Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members receive applicable discounts. Reservations are required online @ Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Wine Appreciation Class / September 15 / 10am -12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge; $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option. RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x.109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Winestock / Friday, September 7 / 5:00pm-9:00pm / Join us for live music at the Barrel Room and the Sunset Patio. We’ve got wine, food, vendors, face painting and more! All ages are welcome / Wristbands for 21+ are $5, with 100% benefiting Temecula Valley High School music department / For tickets please visit www.lorimarwinery.com

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Wine Down Wednesday / August 1 / 5pm-7pm / Join us on the Vintner’s Lounge Patio for a tapas evening featuring Chef’s Pantry. Assorted tapas available for purchase $2.00 – $5.00. Wine by the glass and/or bottle available for purchase. Wine club complimentary glasses & tastings are not included. No reservations required.

Monte De Oro Winery
5th Dimension Concert / September 8 / 6:30pm -10:30pm / Legendary and Multi-Grammy Award Winner 5th Dimension Concert performing their classics Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In; Wedding Bell Blues; One Less Bell to Answer; (Last Night) Didn’t Get to Sleep at All; Up, Up and Away and many more. This concert will benefit Music Therapy for Veterans. Come join us for a Great Evening on our outdoor patio under the stars. Cost and reservation information: VIP Dinner Package/Tickets available – $105 to $115 General Admission Tickets available – $60-$65. To purchase and reserve tickets – visit www.montedeoro.com, go to “Store & Event Tickets”, then click on “Events” in lower left-hand side.

Ponte Winery
Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-6pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Annual Grape Stomp Event / September 16 / 5:00pm – 8:30pm / Cost: GA $55 | GA w/ Stomp $80 | Wine Club $50 | Wine Club w/ Stomp $75 / Join us for South Coast Winery’s Grape Stomp! Enjoy live music, grape stomping, great food & wine and great company! / Purchase tickets through our Online Store at SouthCoastWinery.com. 21+ event.

Wine, Dine & Paint / September 22 / 10:00am -1:00pm / Cost: $75 | $70 Wine Club / Work one-on-one with Jill Roberts, internationally-known, award-winning artist, at one of our all-inclusive Wine, Dine & Paint classes, complete with: A three-hour guided Art+Vino painting class Painting supplies, aprons and canvas, Winemakers lunch at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant with a glass of wine / Purchase tickets through our Online Store at SouthCoastWinery.com or call your Wine Club Concierge at 951.491.8506. Must be 21+ to attend. Weather permitting. Additional wines by the glass or bottle available for purchase. Location subject to change. Due to the limited size of the event, all sales are non-refundable/exchangeable.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today / Due to the limited sizes of each tour, reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Wilson Creek Winery
Symphony in the Vines / September 23 / 7:00-10:00 pm / Enjoy a Symphony in the Vines with Temecula Valley Symphony, Music Director John Mario, and featuring vocalist Jonathan Hawkins and friends! Experience a unique and charming evening filled with fabulous food, wine, and captivating music. Purchase tickets at: www.wilsoncreekwinery.com
General Admission: $50
Beef Dinner & Concert: $90
Vegetarian Dinner & Concert: $90

Lee Brice Concert / October 4 / 5:00-9:00 pm / Join us under the stars in the heart of wine country for an amazing acoustic up close and personal show with Lee Brice! Purchase tickets at: www.wilsoncreekwinery.com
General Admission: $75
Orchestra: $100
VIP: $200

Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 10am-3pm / $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling). Now serving Bloody Mary’s! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Fu Photography and Callaway Vineyard  & Winery

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Baked Striped Bass with Peperonata, Olives, and Saffron Aioli

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Braised sweet peppers, potatoes, and tomato make a succulent foundation for baked fish. Sauced with a garlicky, saffron-scented aioli, the dish needs only some crusty bread to complete it. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Grenache Blanc or Rosé.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, halved and sliced
1 pound (500 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
½ pound (250 g) peeled plum tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 gold or yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley, plus some for garnish
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
Kosher or sea salt
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) white wine
1 dozen black olives, preferably unpitted
4 fillets of striped bass or other firm white fish, 5 to 6 ounces (155 g to 185 g) each

Aioli
1 large clove garlic
Kosher or sea salt
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large, wide Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onion, potatoes, tomato, peppers, parsley, oregano, saffron, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes render their juice and the vegetables begin to soften, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for a couple of minutes to evaporate the alcohol. Cover the pot and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and peppers are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in the olives. Taste for salt.

Season the fish with salt and place the fillets on top of the bed of vegetables. Add ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) water, cover and cook until the fish just flakes, about 10 minutes.

While the fish cooks, make the aioli: In a mortar, pound the garlic and a generous pinch of salt to a paste; alternatively, mince to a paste by hand. Put the egg yolk in a small bowl, add a splash of lukewarm water, and whisk. Begin adding the olive oil gradually—drop by drop at first—whisking constantly. (Recruit a helper to pour while you whisk.) When you have achieved an emulsion, you can add the oil a little faster. When you have incorporated all the oil, whisk in the garlic paste.

When the fish is ready, tilt the cooking pot and draw off about ¼ cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) of the juices. Whisk enough of these flavorful juices into the aioli to make it thin enough to drizzle. Taste for salt.

With a spatula transfer the vegetables and fish to individual shallow bowls or plates. Spoon aioli over the fish. Garnish with more chopped parsley.

Suggested Pairings: 

Chapin Family Vineyards ~ Rosella Rosé – Delicate flavor with a hint of grapefruit and a slightly dry and crisp finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese –  Lightly pink, near-dry, delicately scented and flavored Rose′ wine, very much in the dryer, food-friendly European style.

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery ~ 2016 Grenache Blanc – Green apple and mandarin orange dominate with citrus peel with herbal notes in the mix.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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August Winery Events

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Avensole Winery
Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting /Available on Sunday of each the month / 2pm-3:30pm / For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online at link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Baily Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents: Richard II / August 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 / Show starts at 7:30 pm/ Stage at an outdoor venue at beautiful Baily Winery / Tickets: General admission $22; $17 for Seniors 55+, Students and Military / For ticket sales and more information please visit: http://shakespeareinthevines.org

Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768

Bel Vino Winery
Endeavor Classic Rock Laser Show / August 4 / 6:00pm-10:00pm / $25 General Admission; $15 Wine Club; $150 VIP table that seats 8 people / Tickets can be purchased at belvinowinery.com

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
NO DUH in Concert / August 17 / 6:00pm to 9:00pm / General Admission $28.00, Callaway Wine Club $25.20 / No Duh is not just the best tribute to No Doubt & Gwen Stefani, they’re one of the best tribute acts in the world. It’s not just great music, it’s a complete, high energy, audio-visual explosion! No Duh mixes the experience & energy of a live No Doubt concert with nostalgic visuals, styling’s & props of the No Doubt & Gwen Stefani videos, complete with costume changes & even some humor! Close your eyes or keep them open, you will feel like you are experiencing the real thing. It’s rare to see a tribute act excite an audience like this band! / Tickets can be purchased via phone (951) 676-4001, at the Callaway Tasting Rooms in Temecula and San Diego, or online: www.callawaywinery.com/res-408126/No-Duh.html

SIP, STOMP & PLAY Grape Stomp and Harvest Festival! / August 25 / 6:00pm to 9:00pm / $68.00 per person, Callaway Wine Club $61.20, Kids ages 4-11 $30.00 (price does not include tax) /Grab a bunch of your family and friends and join us for this fun-for-the-entire-family grape stomp and harvest festival! Bring the kids! We’ll have face painting, live music, dinner, dancing, a Lucy look-alike contest and, of course, grape stomping contests! Channel your inner Lucy and dress up for a chance to win prizes! Our executive chef is serving up some hearty cuisine that’s perfect for keeping your energy up while you stomp and dance the night away! Get your tickets while you can, you won’t want to miss this event! Tickets include: Admission to the event, one glass of Callaway wine, dinner, dancing, wine specials and grape stomping! / Tickets can be purchased via phone (951) 676-4001, at the Callaway Tasting Rooms in Temecula and San Diego, or online: www.callawaywinery.com/res-408129/Sip-Stomp-Play-2018.html

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is 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, but for 10 or more highly recommended / For more information call 951.676.4001

Danza del Sol Winery
Laugh Lounge / August 3 / 6pm – 9pm / Join us for a night of laughs as we present Danza del Sol’s Laugh Lounge! Sip on some wine, savor some tasty bites, and grin as three comedians tickle your funny bone! Adults Only Please! / $32 Wine Club Members | $38 Member Guests. VIP Table – Reserved Seating for 4 Guests & a Bottle of Wine for the Table $160 Wine Club Members – VIP Table | $175 Member Guests / Call Kelly at (951) 302-6363 ext. 26

Food Truck Friday featuring Missy Andersen / August 24 / 5:30pm-10pm / Come join us for a night of fun as we celebrate Summer with food, wine, and Missy Andersen! Free admission; VIP tables for 4 available with a bottle of wine beginning at $45 per table for members/$50 for non-members / Call Kelly at (951) 302-6363 ext. 26 to reserve your table!

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / 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 seasonal accoutrements. Each pairing lasts approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / Reservations recommended Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Europa Village
Festa Europa Featuring Big Truth / August 3 / 5:30pm – 8:30pm / Enjoy wine, food and live music by Big Truth, benefiting Navy League of the United States Inland Empire! Tickets: Free Admission; Food Tickets: $18

Italian Cooking Class / August 11 / 12:00pm & 2:00pm / Tickets $58; Société $52.20 / Embark on a culinary adventure to the Piedmont region of Italy, led by Executive Chef and Certified Culinary Educator Dean Thomas. Discover what historical influences shaped the culture and cuisine of this region while savoring a three-course wine paired lunch

Movie in the Vines / August 16 / 6:00pm / Join us for a movie in the vines featuring “Under the Tuscan Sun” rated PG-13. Movie will begin approximately at 7:30 pm / Concession items available for purchase no outside food or drinks allowed

Italian Wine Education Class / August 26 / 12:00pm / Tickets $38; Société $34.20 / Let Europa’s Sommelier, Dr. Doug Garman take you on a journey through Italy, sampling Europa’s Vienza Italian wines, and savor samples of fine food pairings prepared by Executive Chef Dean Thomas

Falkner Winery
Sip N Paint Class “Summer Lanterns” / August 2 / 6:00-8:00 pm / $35 per person / Includes all materials. Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @ Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Wine Appreciation Class / August 18 / 10:00am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge; $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option / RSVP is required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Fundraiser 4 Makayla in the Yard Garden / August 25 / 5:30-10:00pm / $20 donation for entry / All proceeds go to raising funds 4 Makayla for a Wheelchair Accessible Van / Wine and Sangria by the bottle/glass, beer, Food truck, raffles, silent auction / Live Music by The Barstow Prophets

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night / August 11 / Doors Open at 6:30 with a 45-minute Salsa Lesson / Admission fee is $20 for non-members (plus tax) and $15 (plus tax) for Wine Club Members / Includes a glass of Sangria / No partner or experience needed! / Special Food Menu Items! Wine, Beer, Sangria available for purchase! / Purchase Tickets at http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390697/Salsa-Night-72118.html

Foot Path Winery
Food, Wine and Music / August 18 / 6:30pm- 9:00pm / Featuring Tim Cash on guitar / Cost is $30.00 per person which includes the food, music and a glass of wine / For reservations, call the winery at 951-265-9951

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Ladies Night at Lorimar / August 9 / 7:00pm / This one’s for you, ladies! Join us for a night of wine, vendors, karaoke, massages, activities and more. Tickets are $10 and include one glass of wine / Available now at www.lorimarwinery.com or calling us at 951.694.6699

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Wine Down Wednesday / August 1 / 5pm-7pm / Join us on the Vintner’s Lounge Patio for a tapas evening featuring Chef’s Pantry. Assorted tapas available for purchase $2.00 – $5.00. Wine by the glass and/or bottle available for purchase. Wine club complimentary glasses & tastings are not included. No reservations required.

Summer Luncheon featuring Audrey Cilurzo /August 18 / 12:30pm – 2:30pm / Price: $27.00 – $30.00 / Masia De La Vinya is honored to have Audrey Cilurzo speak at our very first luncheon. Audrey Cilurzo has been a part of our beautiful wine country for over 50 years and successfully opened one of Temecula’s first vineyards with her husband in 1967. Come enjoy a delicious lunch while Audrey shares a rich piece of Temecula Wine Country’s history. This is an experience you won’t want to miss!! / Salad, Fresh fruit, 2 sandwiches, assorted desserts with one glass of Masia wine included in ticket price / Members $27 • Non-Member’s $30 / To RSVP email wineclub@masiadelavinya.com or www.masiadelavinya.com/events

Monte De Oro Winery
Polynesian Night & Luau /August 18 / 7:00pm – 10:00pm / $60 Gen. Admission; $50 Wine Club / Mahalo, and welcome to Monte De Oro’s 2nd annual Luau! Join us for an island style evening featuring music, Polynesian Dancers, Tahitian Drummers, 3 Fire Dancers, a delicious spread (including a pig roast!) and Sangria!! / For reservations please visit www.montedeoro.com

Huey Lewis & The News Tribute Concert /August 25 / Doors Open @ 6:30pm / Join us for The Heart of Rock & Roll, A Tribute to Huey Lewis and the News! The Heart of Rock & Roll brings to life all the hits of the 80’s super group Huey Lewis & the News. “The Heart of Rock & Roll”, “I Want a New Drug”, “If This Is It” & “Heart & Soul” are just some of the hits from their 1984 multi-platinum album, Sports. And they’ll forever be remembered for their soundtrack contributions to the blockbuster film Back to the Future, which included the #1 hit, “The Power of Love.” / General Admission: $30 / VIP (Included Reserved Seating & Dinner Service): $65 / General Admission Wine Club: $25 / VIP Wine Club: $60 / For reservations please visit www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / August 5 & 26 / 1:00pm-3:00pm / Tickets $45 / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!). Use the coupon code CREATE30 to save $15! / For tickets: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Appetite for Destruction, the Ultimate Guns N’ Roses Experience / August 8 / 6:00pm-10:00pm / Appetite for Destruction will deliver the definitive Guns N’ Roses Show live at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula! Performing all the hit singles, rock radio stables, and fan favorites, they are the ultimate lookalikes and soundalikes for the legendary band / Tickets: $25 Preorder, $35 day of event / For tickets: https://www.heyday.com/gnr

ESCAPE: The Journey Tribute / August 31/ 6:00pm-10:00pm / ESCAPE: The Journey Tribute faithfully re-captures the thrill generations of Journey fans remember. Like Journey, ESCAPE features 5 top California musicians who have performed live in nearly every state in the nation. Altogether, these five rockers from Los Angeles hold more ammunition to capture the look and sound of Journey beyond all other Journey tribute bands / Tickets: $25 Preorder, $35 day of event / For tickets: https://www.heyday.com/escape

Ponte Winery
Ponte Winery’s 2018 Grape Stomp / August 19 / 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. / We’re celebrating our 15 Year Anniversary at the Grape Stomp this year! Each ticket will include: Admission to the Grape Stomp event & competition (competition optional), 1 Bottle of Our Limited Production 15th Anniversary Red Wine (per guest), Drink Tickets (3 per guest) valid for Ponte wine and/or beer, Gourmet Dinner Buffet. Dinner will include a selection of gourmet hors d’oeuvres, Mediterranean-inspired salads, savory entrées & sides, and delectable desserts. Check-in starts at 3:00 p.m., Hors d’oeuvres & bar open at 4:00 p.m. & the competition begins at 5:00 p.m. / General Admission: $125; Wine Club Price: $112.50 / For reservations please visit https://shop.pontewinery.com/res-408189/Grape-Stomp-2018-15-Year-Anniversary.html

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-6pm Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Wine, Dine & Paint / August 25 / 10:00am – 1:00pm / Cost: $75 | $70 Wine Club /Work one-on-one with Jill Roberts, internationally-known, award-winning artist, at one of our all-inclusive Wine, Dine & Paint classes, complete with: A three-hour guided Art+Vino painting class , Painting supplies, aprons and canvas, Winemakers lunch at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant with a glass of wine / Purchase tickets through our Online Store at SouthCoastWinery.com or call your Wine Club Concierge at 951.491.8506. Must be 21+ to attend. Weather permitting. Additional wines by the glass or bottle available for purchase. Location subject to change. Due to the limited size of the event, all sales are non-refundable/exchangeable.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today / Due to the limited sizes of each tour, reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Thornton Winery
Jazz Concert Series
THE RIPPINGTONS, DAVID BENOIT & MARC ANTOINE / August 4 / 7:00pm /
General Admission $85. Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out

ROBERT CRAY BAND / August 5 / 6:00pm /
General Admission $85; Gourmet Supper Package $160

CHRIS BOTTI / August 11 / 7:00pm /
General Admission $105. Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out

NORMAN BROWN & BOBBY CALDWELL / August 18 / 7:00pm /
General Admission $85. Gourmet Supper Package $160

GEORGE BENSON / August 25 / 7:00pm /
General Admission $105. Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out

To purchase jazz tickets online, please visit www.thorntonwine.com or by calling the winery at 951.699.0099

Friday Live Music / B. I. G. / August 24 / 6:00p-9:00p / $10 Cover Fee / Reservations required for a Table. Call (951) 699-0099 *Must order dinner to reserve a table.
*Seats available for General Admission on first come basis.

Friday Live Music / Neil Diamond Tribute – Jason Lohrke / August 31 / 6:00p-9:00p / $10 Cover Fee Reservations required for a Table. Call (951) 699-0099 *Must order dinner to reserve a table.
*Seats available for General Admission on first come basis.

Wilson Creek Winery
Thompson Square Concert / Sunday August 19th / 6:00-10:00 pm / General Admission $60; Orchestra $100 / Thompson Square is an internationally renowned Country duo created by the husband-and-wife team of Keifer and Shawna Thompson. Since breaking out in 2010 with the 2X-PLATINUM #1 smash “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” the duo has gone on to score two Top 5 albums and romantic #1 hits in the U.S. and Australia. Thompson Square have released their third studio album, MASTERPIECE. Join us for some music & wine in the vines!
Purchase tickets at: https://www.purplepass.com/#173033/Wilson_Creek_Winery-Thompson_Square_-_Country_Concert-Wilson_Creek_Winery_and_Vineyards-August-19-2018.html

Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 10am-3pm / $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling). Now serving Bloody Mary’s! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

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50th Anniversary Commemorative Wine ~ Now Available!

Friday, June 29th, 2018

The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA) today announced the launch of their 50th Anniversary commemorative wine, a blend of Temecula Valley Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre produced and bottled in Temecula Valley by Temecula Valley winemakers.

The collaborative effort was led by TVWA’s enology committee, made up of Jim Hart of Hart Winery, Phil Baily of Baily Winery and Jon McPherson of South Coast Winery and Carter Estate Winery. The team presented numerous possibilities for consideration, including a Bordeaux blend, a “Super Tuscan”-style blend and an offbeat concoction made up of Portuguese and other classic international grapes, before landing on the final product, a blend of 50% Syrah, 26% Grenache and 24% Mourvèdre.

“Temecula Valley’s Mediterranean climate makes it well-suited to grow a lot of different grape varieties, which made this a particularly interesting exercise,” said Jon McPherson, Master Winemaker at South Coast Winery and Carter Estate. “Making this wine allowed us to dig deeper on who we are as a region. What we concluded is that this diversity of offerings is what makes us unique. The 50th Anniversary wine is only one example of a blend of grapes that truly shine in Temecula Valley. The possibilities were actually endless.”

Located just 22 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Temecula Valley is bordered by valleys and coastal mountains ranging from 2,000 to 11,000 feet elevation. This creates a low-pressure area characterized by warm days, afternoon breezes and cool nights. Marine air is pulled into the Valley through two low-elevation points in the mountains – the Rainbow Gap and the Temecula Gorge — which allows wine grapes to develop full ripeness while maintaining desirable acidity levels.

“This wine is the perfect representation of our 50th Anniversary theme – the People, Passion and Perseverance of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country,” said Krista Chaich, TVWA Executive Director. “Our talented winemakers came together to lend their expertise and deep commitment to this Valley in order to craft a wine that is not just delicious now, but that will stand the test of time…as our region has done over the past 50 years and will continue to do for the next 50. We cannot wait to share this wine with consumers.”

Temecula Valley grows over two dozen grape varieties. In addition to the Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre that make up the 50th Anniversary wine, those that especially thrive include common Italian varieties like Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Vermentino and Arneis; classic Bordelaise grapes like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec; other Rhône Varieties like Viognier and Grenache Blanc; Spanish grapes like Tempranillo; and offbeat varieties like the Portuguese Touriga Nacional and Southern Italian Falanghina.

The 50th Anniversary wine will be available for purchase at special events and through Hart Winery. The wine will retail for $50 per 750 ml bottle. Special etched magnums will also be available for purchase.  There are limited quantities available!

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July Winery Events

Friday, June 29th, 2018

Ahhh….summer! 4th of July events, outdoor concerts and an axe throwing contest (yes, you heard that right!) are just a few of the summertime offerings in Temecula Valley’s wine country. Whatever day you choose to visit, you’ll be sure to find something fun to do!

Avensole Winery
Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting /Available on Sunday of each the month / 2pm-3:30pm / For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online at link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Baily Winery
Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768

Shakespeare in the Vines presents: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) July 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28 / Staged from 7:30pm-9:30pm at Baily Vineyard & Winery / Tickets: General admission $22 / For ticket sales and more information please visit: http://shakespeareinthevines.org

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
For the Love of Music and Wine / July 27 / 5:30-9:00pm / Cost $35 / Join us for a night of original music while enjoying award-winning wines under the stars! Featuring Danielle Taylor with special guest Sophie Ray and Jeff Brinkman / For reservations and tickets please visit www.ticketor.com/danielletaylor/eventinfo?EventID=119249

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is 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.

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, but for 10 or more highly recommended / For more information call 951.676.4001

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / 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

Danza del Sol Winery
Laugh Lounge / August 3 / 6:00-9:00pm / Price: $32.00 – $175.00 / Get your tickets early! Join us for a night of laughs as we present Danza del Sol’s Laugh Lounge! Sip on some wine, savor some tasty bites, and grin as THREE comedians tickle your funny bone! Adults Only Please! / For reservations please visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Europa Village
Movie in the Vines / July 19 / Open to the public / Join us for a movie in the vines featuring “A Bugs Life” rated G Movie will begin approximately at 7:30 pm / Concession items available for purchase. No outside food or drinks allowed / Free admission starts at 6pm / For more information please visit www.europavillage.com

Comedy Show / July 20 / Starts at 6pm / Tickets $55; Société $49.50 / Come out to Europa Village for a fun night of wine and laughter featuring Mark Christopher Lawrence and friends! / For tickets please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Wine Appreciation Class / July 21 / 10:00am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45 per person, $40 Connoisseur, $20 VIP; $70 per person with lunch option / RSVP is required; please call 951-676-8231 x. 109 or @falknerwinery.com

Falkner’s 18th Anniversary Celebration! / June 30 – July 4th / 11:00am-5:00pm / Yard Games and Tournaments- Sunday 12-3 Wine raffles every hour! Huge Gift shop sales 50% off wine by the case sales, Restaurant lunch special for 2- $59 / BBQ- Saturday & Sunday 12-3

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night / July 21 / Doors Open at 6:30 with a 45-minute Salsa Lesson / Admission fee is $20 for non-members (plus tax) and $15 (plus tax) for Wine Club Members / Includes a glass of Sangria / No partner or experience needed! / Special Food Menu Items! Wine, Beer, Sangria available for purchase! / Purchase Tickets at http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390697/Salsa-Night-72118.html

Foot Path Winery
Food Wine and Music / July 21 / 6:30pm- 9:00pm / Featuring The Lookouts / Cost is $30.00 per person which includes the food, music and a glass of wine / For reservations, call the winery at 951-265-9951

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Put Your Axe Into It: Axe Throwing in the Vines / July 12 / 5:00-8:00pm in the Barrel Room / Unleash you Inner Lumberjack or Jane and join us for a lesson in axe throwing with SoCal Axe / Tickets are $35 and include one glass of wine or beer / Event is 21+. Pairings Food Truck will be available for dinner / www.lorimarwinery.com for more information or call 951.694.6699

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / July 15 & 29 / 1:00 to 3:00 pm / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!) Use the coupon code CREATE30 to save $15! / Tickets $45 at https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

We Belong: A Tribute to Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo / July 20 / 6:00-10:00pm / ONE NIGHT, UNDER THE STARS playing all the hit songs such as: Heartbreaker • Love Is A Battlefield • You Better Run • All Fired Up • Hell Is For Children • Hit Me With Your Best Shot • Treat Me Right • Promises In The Dark and so many more great songs! / Tickets GA $25, $30 day of the show. 2 for 1 tickets available for a limited time at https://www.heyday.com/webelong

Oak Mountain Winery
Comedy Night / July 21 / 7:00-9:00 pm / A benefit for Cause Fur Paws helping animals with diabetes / Cost is $25 person / Price includes 1 glass of wine or beer. Food is available for purchase from the Cave Cafe / For tickets please visit events@oakmountainwinery.com or call 951-699-9102

Ponte Winery
Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-6pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Wine, Dine & Painting / July 21 /10:00am – 1:00pm / Work one-on-one with Jill Roberts, internationally-known, award-winning artist, at one of our all-inclusive Wine, Dine & Paint classes, complete with a three-hour guided Art+Vino painting class, painting supplies, aprons and canvas/ Winemakers lunch at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant with a glass of wine / Cost: $75 | $70 Wine Club / Purchase tickets through our Online Store at SouthCoastWinery.com or call your Wine Club Concierge at 951.491.8506. Must be 21+ to attend. Weather permitting. Additional wines by the glass or bottle available for purchase. Location subject to change. Due to the limited size of the event, all sales are non-refundable/exchangeable.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today / Due to the limited sizes of each tour, reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Thornton Winery
Jazz Concert Series
CHRIS ISAAK / July 14 / 7:00pm / General Admission $95
Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out

MICHAEL McDONALD / July 15 / 6:00pm / General Admission $95
Gourmet Supper Package is Sold Out
To purchase jazz tickets online, please visit www.thorntonwine.com or by calling the winery at 951.699.0099

Friday Live Music / Graceband (Elvis Presley Tribute) / July 27 / 6:00p-9:00p / $10 Cover Fee / Reservations required for a Table. Call (951) 699-0099 *Must order dinner to reserve a table.

Wiens Family Cellars
The Fixx – Summer Concert Series / July 20 / 6:00-10:00pm / In support of Mt. San Jacinto College Foundation. The Fixx are a British rock and new wave band formed in London in 1979. The band’s hits include “One Thing Leads to Another”, “Saved by Zero”, “Are We Ourselves?” / Tickets $55 Gen. Admission, $99 VIP Admission, $395 VIP table of 4, $950 VIP table of 10 / Event Info Line at Harbour Productions (951)658-2411 / http://www.wienscellars.com/res-409161/The-Fixx-Summer-Concert-Series.html

Wilson Creek Winery
Upper Room Wine Pairing Experience / Thursday-Sunday / 11-3:30pm / For a more exclusive and elevated wine tasting experience, join us on our second-floor overlooking the courtyard and vineyards in our Upper Room. Enjoy a guided tasting of our reserve wines paired with bites exclusively designed by our Executive Chef. Reservations required at http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservations.aspx

Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 10am-3pm / $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling). Now serving Bloody Mary’s! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

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Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Smoky Cherry BBQ Sauce and Red Cabbage Citrus Slaw

Friday, June 29th, 2018

This looks like an amazing dish to serve for your 4th of July BBQ! Fresh cherries round out the smoky heat of a feisty barbecue sauce that glazes tender pork ribs as they crisp on the grill. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound fresh California cherries, pitted, chopped
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons ground chipotle chili pepper (or smoked Hungarian paprika)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rub:
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 racks baby back ribs, each about 2 pounds, membranes removed

Slaw:
1/2 medium head red cabbage, finely shredded, about 4 cups
2 large carrots, coarsely grated
1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely grated with juices, about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Make the sauce:
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeño and garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 to 2 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender, process until smooth and taste for seasoning.

Prepare the ribs:
In a small bowl, combine the rub ingredients. Evenly coat the ribs with the rub. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (about 300°F). Grill the ribs, bone-side down over indirect heat, with the lid closed, until the meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking. During the last 20 to 30 minutes of grilling time, baste the ribs with the glaze every 5 or 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the grill and let rest 5 minutes, then cut into individual ribs for serving.

While the ribs are grilling, make the slaw:
Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Serve the ribs with the remaining sauce for dipping and the slaw.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery ~ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon –  These grapes hail from the oldest vineyards in Temecula, planted in 1968. This wine offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.

Doffo Winery ~2015 Zinfandel – Awarded 1st place at Temecula Valley People’s Choice Blind Tasting!

Leoness Cellars ~ 2015 Cellar Selection Zinfandel – This wine offers beautiful aromas and flavors of sweet blackberry and juicy plum, with hints of clove and black licorice framed by soft tannins and a long, silky finish.

Thornton Winery ~ 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Very classic berry and pepper aromas came forth while subtle herbaeceous notes meld with the warm toasty aromas from the oak.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Wine Institute of California

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5 Facts About Blended Wine

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Blended wines are some of our favorites because they are the most complex and interesting types of wine.  Here are the 5 facts you need to know about blends:

1. Difference between varietals and blends: A standard varietal like Malbec, Chardonnay etc., is made from the same type of grape. Sometimes winemakers will use grapes from different plots of a vineyard or different regions for a varietal, but they are all the same type of grapes. In the U.S. a varietal needs to be 75 percent of one type of grape, while in Europe it’s generally 80 percent and in Argentina it’s 85 percent. It’s possible for wineries to add other grapes to a varietal to enhance the elements and still call it a single varietal wine.

Blends are what their name suggests. They typically consist of at least 40-50 percent of one type of grape and a smaller mix of two or more other grapes.

2. Blending makes wines more complex: Blending is used to maximize the expression of a wine. It can enhance aromas, color, texture, body and finish, making it a more well-rounded and complex wine. If a wine doesn’t have a strong scent, for example, a winemaker can add five percent of a more potent smelling grape and can experiment with different types of varietals coming from other vineyards. They could have been aged in oak barrels, fermented in various kinds of vessels or just harvested in different phases of ripeness.

In Argentina, the heart of most blends is Malbec. Merlot can be used to give the wine a better aroma and make it seem fresher or smoother. Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon are often added for structure or tannin concentration to make a more powerful wine. Creating the perfect blend also depends on the characteristics of the year and the expression of each grape. The possibility for combinations that result in a quality blend are endless.

3. Some single varietals are made for blending: Winemakers will often make a barrel of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or other wines solely for the purpose of blending. As the grapes are being harvested, a winemaker determines what they think will be the best formula for a blend. Allotting specific barrels for blending allows them to experiment in finding the best types of mixtures. The idea is to highlight each grape’s strength and complement the other grapes being used in the blend.

4. The timeline for mixing wines varies: Winemakers mix blends in a steel tank. Lower cost blends are rarely aged in oak and higher cost blends are generally aged in oak. Some winemakers put blended wines into an oak barrel half way through the aging process, while others put the wines together one to two weeks before bottling. Some try letting the wines ferment together from start to finish. Again, the goal is to develop the best of everything in the wines and each winery determines what approach works best for them.

5. Some grapes aren’t used for blending: White wines tend to be pure varietals. However, there are some exceptions, particularly in certain regions in Europe where two or more white grapes are used. Pinot Noir is a type of grape that is rarely blended. That is why when you are having a Burgundy it will likely be a 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Here are some great Temecula Valley blends you won’t want to miss!

Callaway Winery ~ Calliope Red – Blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Petite Sirah

Lorenzi Estate Wines ~ 2013 Rated R Red Blend – Blend of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah

Lorimar Winery ~ 2016 Vineyard Blend –  Blend of Grenache, Viognier and Roussanne

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2015 Cabernet Rosé – Blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

Vindemia Winery ~ 2015 Commonwealth – Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petite Syrah

Copy source: Ross Szabo; The Huffington Post

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Summertime Sipping!

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Barbecues are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate the day with Dad. And all that grillin’ just screams for a good red wine. But if you’re thinking it’s too warm for red, think again! With these few tips, finding the perfect summer sip won’t have to put your love of red on hold.

  • Chill out! Pop your bottle of red wine in the fridge for about 30 mins – or in an ice chest for about half that – and you’ll be amazed at how much more refreshing it will taste.
  • No or Low Oak wines are generally fresher and fruitier.
  • Low to Moderate Alcohol levels usually equate to lower tannin levels for a wine that won’t weigh you down.
  • Light to Medium bodied wines tend to be easy on the palate, bright and light.

So, whether you’re in the backyard or on the beach – serving burgers and brats, or steak and grilled veggies – there’s tons of options for pairing your favorite Temecula Valley wine with whatever you’re serving up.

If the mainstay is red meat, a spicy Zinfandel or Syrah would be perfect. If you’re looking for a more mellow choice, a fruit forward Merlot always works; it’s also great with chicken, pork chops or fish. If your fave is a Cabernet, go ahead and drink what you like. But try not to shortchange your options. Go for a nice red blend for the best of all worlds. And don’t forget about a blush wine; there’s nothing a nice dry rosé can’t do for spicy ribs and coleslaw – or a plate of spicy hot wings!

A few Temecula Valley wine suggestions for your next barbecue:

Baily Winery ~ Rosé of Sangiovese: fun, fruity and full of character

Danza del Sol Winery ~ Grenache: the color is light, but the aromas are bright

Maurice Car’rie Winery ~ Cody’s Crush: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah blend

Oak Mountain Winery ~ Merlot: berry, raspberry, blackberry, plum, and abundant smokey oak

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ Big Fred’s Red: ripe blueberry and black cherry, hints of caramel

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