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Temecula Wine Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, November 1st, 2019

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) 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 a viognier 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 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery, 2017 Pinot Grigio; $30.00

Briar Rose Winery 2017 Estate Viognier; $28.00

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 2014 Castelleto Sangiovese; $40.00

Leoness Cellars 2016 Cellar Selection Zinfandel; $42.00

Doffo Vineyards 2016 Syrah; $62.00

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, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40.00

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Merlot; $32.00

Wiens 2017 Reserve Tempranillo; $65.00

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 a sweet moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones.

Somerset Winery 2018 Muscat; $23.00

South Coast Winery Black Jack Port; 18.00

Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2017 Moscato; $22

One Meal, One Wine
On a wine-buying budget? Or just 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 2017 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2018 Rosé; $28.00

Falkner Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc; $27.95

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery 2014 “50/50” Blend; 45.00

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SEARED DUCK BREASTS WITH PORT AND CHERRY SAUCE

Friday, November 1st, 2019

Seared Duck Breasts with Port and Sherry Sauce

Cooking duck breasts slowly, skin side down, helps eliminate almost every speck of fat. After about 20 minutes, the skin will be crisp and the flesh as rosy and tender as a fine steak. A silky port and cherry sauce makes this a restaurant-caliber dish. Serve with wild rice and your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Serves 4

Ingredients
Seasoning Rub:
8 juniper berries
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 boneless duck breasts, about 1⁄2 pound (250 g) each

Sauce:
1 cup (250 ml) Zinfandel Port or Ruby Port
1 shallot, minced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 strip orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
24 cherries, pitted and halved
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) strong chicken broth, reduced from 1 cup (250 ml)
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions
Make the seasoning rub: Put the juniper berries, thyme, salt, and peppercorns in a mortar or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Duck breasts vary tremendously in size; scale up the spice rub if the breasts you buy are considerably larger.

Slash the skin of each breast in a crosshatch pattern, stopping short of the flesh. (The slashes help render the fat.) Sprinkle the seasoning rub evenly onto both sides of each breast. Put the breasts on a flat rack and set the rack inside a tray. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Choose a heavy frying pan large enough to accommodate all the duck breasts comfortably. (If necessary to avoid crowding, use two frying pans.) Put the breasts, skin side down, in the unheated frying pan and set over medium-low heat. Cook until the skin is well browned and crisp, about 15 minutes, frequently pouring off the fat until the skin no longer renders much. (Reserve the fat for frying potatoes, if you like.)

Turn the duck breasts and continue cooking flesh side down, turning the breasts with tongs to sear all the exposed flesh, until the internal temperature registers 125°F (52°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

While the duck cooks, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the port, shallot, thyme, orange zest, vinegar, and half of the cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until reduced to 3∕4 cup (180 ml). Add the broth and sugar and simmer until the liquid has again reduced to 3∕4 cup (180 ml). Remove from the heat and, with tongs, lift out the thyme sprigs and orange zest and discard.

Puree the sauce in a blender. Set a very fine-mesh sieve over the saucepan and pass the sauce through the sieve, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula. Return to medium heat, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until reduced to 1∕2 cup (125 ml). Stir in the remaining cherries and remove from the heat. Add the butter and swirl the saucepan until the butter melts.

Slice the duck on the diagonal. Spoon some of the sauce on each of four dinner plates, dividing it evenly. Top with the sliced duck. Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.

Leoness Cellars 2016 Cellar Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – Bursting with aromas of black currant, blackberry and boysenberry fruit layered with subtle notes of vanilla, black licorice and sweet oak.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery – Van Roekel Estate 2014 Merlot – Brings cherry, clove and cinnamon on the nose, with subtle hints of orange blossom.

Thornton Winery 2014 Merlot – Cherry, black berry currant and blueberry notes along with a fruit-driven entry that is complemented by oak barrels from France, Eastern Europe and North America.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


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November Winery Events

Friday, November 1st, 2019

Friends enjoying wine on a fall day

There’s a chill in the air now and suddenly we’re planning holiday meals!  Whether your holiday plans keep you close to home or off visiting relatives, plan to sneak in a trip to Temecula Valley Wine Country to stock up on your favorite wine, pick up holiday gifts at one of the wineries’ shopping nights or attend one of the great events going on in wine country!

Akash Winery
Yoga + Wine / November 24 / 9:00-10:00am / $25 pp / The best way to spend your Sunday morning! Class is offered the last Sunday of every month! Includes a glass of wine on the day of the yoga session / Please visit www.akashwinery.com to reserve your spot.

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.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $40 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 $30 / 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 2pm / 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

Annual Wine Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration! / December 13 / 6:00 to 9:00pm / You’re invited to join us for our Annual Wine Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration! Bring the kids to meet Santa and enjoy cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, Christmas carolers, discounts on wine, gifts and so much more! Experience a wine country Christmas with us! Complimentary admission; please R.S.V.P. to info@callawaywinery.com or (951) 676-4001

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Wine & Chocolate Pairing / Every Friday of the month / 3:00pm / $45 Per Person ($40 Wine Club) / Your guided pairing experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with 5 custom chocolates from local chocolate shoppe, SugarPlum Farm. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning wines are made and learn how Carter Estate wines compliment and bring out the unique flavors of chocolate. Our Wine & Chocolate Pairing is approximately 90 minutes & has limited availability to provide a more intimate experience for our guests. Make your reservation today! Must be 21 or older. Reservation Information: Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com  

Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / Your guided experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with perfectly matched culinary bites from our Chef. Learn about the history of our beautiful Temecula Valley & get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning Sparkling wines are made. Our Wine & Food Pairings are approximately 90 minutes & limited to eight guests.  Make your reservation today!  Must be 21 or older / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Falkner Winery
Wine Appreciation Class / November 16 / 10am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge; $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $80/person with lunch option.  RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x.109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Vertical Syrah Tasting Class with George Myers / November 23 / 10:30am-12pm / Only $45 per person/Wine Club Members $40. Includes 5 years of our amazing Syrah!  Rated 90 + points by Wine Enthusiast and all Gold Medal winners! Space is limited and Reservations required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or email to wineclub@falknerwinery.com   

Fazeli Cellars
Annual Haunted Masquerade Ball / November 1 / Doors Open at 7pm / Don’t Miss Our Annual Haunted Masquerade Ball! Tickets Sell Out FAST, Get Yours NOW! / $28 Members | $35 Non-Members Includes Entrance and a Glass of Spooky Sparkling Wine / Drinks & food available for purchase | DJ & Dancing! Masks Desired but Not Required! To purchase your tickets please visit http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-391245/Haunted-Masquerade-Ball-2019.html

Lorimar Winery
The Killer Dueling Pianos / November 14 / 6 pm- 9 pm / $20 per person / $18 per wine club member /The Killer Dueling Pianos are back at Lorimar Winery for a night of wine, live music and dancing! 21+ only event / Purchase Tickets – lorimarwinery.com

Academie Du Vin: Wine & Cheese / November 21 / 6pm – 8 pm / $55 per person / $49.50 per wine club member / Explore the worlds of Wine & Cheese with Certified Sommelier Penny Delgado and local Cheese Monger Stasha. New! Includes five wine and cheese pairings along with two surprise tastings! 21+ only event / Purchase Tickets – lorimarwinery.com

Tree Lighting / December 1 / 5pm- 8pm / Join us to kick off the holiday season at our annual Tree Lighting with Santa, Complimentary Cookie Decorating, Hot Cocoa, Spiced Wine, Wine Sales, Special Food Menu, and more! / Please RSVP at lorimarwinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery

Chicago Tribute Band / November 1 / 7pm-10pm / $35 Public; $31.50 Wine Club / Join us for the continuation of our Fall Concert Series! Next up: Kenny Cetera’s Chicago Experience, the ultimate tribute to Chicago. Gather your friends and family for an evening of food, fun and fabulous entertainment at Mount Palomar! / For reservations please visit bit.ly/chicagotributeband

Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band / November 2 / 7pm-10pm / $35 Public; $31.50 Wine Club /Join us for the continuation of our Fall Concert Series! Next up: Garratt Wilkin and the Parrotheads, a tribute to Jimmy Buffett. Gather your friends and family for an evening of food, fun and fabulous entertainment at Mount Palomar! / For reservations please bit.ly/jimmybuffett_tributeband

Ponte Winery
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
Behind the Scene Wine Tour / Available daily / 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
Cooking Class Series: What to do with Thanksgiving left-overs / November 17 / 1pm-3pm / $75 inclusive / For more information and reservations please visit www.thorntonwine.com

Thanksgiving Dinner at Cafe Champagne / November 28 / 12p-5p / Cost: $64.95 ++ Adults, Children 6-12 years $19.95++ Under 5 years free / For more information and reservations please visit www.thorntonwine.com

Vindemia Vineyards & Estate Winery
Harvest Celebration with Special Guest Chef Drew Deckman / November 2 / 4:30pm- 8:00pm / $75 for Wine Club Members and $95 for non-members We are overjoyed to host Super Chef Drew Deckman here in Temecula Valley! Chef Deckman is the head chef at his restaurant, Deckmans’s in Ensenada and is known for his superb dishes in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Our November 2 event includes a four-course meal grilled by Deckman himself, paired with unreleased Vindemia wines, live music and more! / Please RSVP to wineclub@vindemia.com by October 18 – spots are limited!

Wilson Creek Winery
Wine Academy Blind Tasting / November 2 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / Cost: $20-$35 / Wine Club Members $20 (limit 4 guests $35) / Come join us for an educational journey through wine. Our top-notch instructors will make your wine experience interactive and interesting. Enjoy wine education while tasting different wines with light appetizers. Reserve Members are complimentary with Wine Passes / Reserve at WilsonCreekWinery.com or call 951-252-8523.

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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MAC AND CHEESE WITH FRESH PEAS, CAULIFLOWER AND TOASTED GARLIC BREADCRUMBS

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Mac & Cheese with Fresh Peas, Cauliflower and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

You know it’s the start of fall when you start to crave warm comfort food! This mac & cheese recipe is creamy and comes with a few surprising additions—and a crispy garlicky topping. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Merlot.

Serves 6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons (30ml) all purpose flour
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
1 cup (240ml) half-and-half
1¼ cup (143g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup (56g) grated Gruyere cheese
6 cups cooked macaroni (made from 10 ounces/284g dry macaroni)
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) sea salt
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 cups (200g) cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
½ cup (80g) fresh or frozen peas

For the topping:
2 cups (128g) fine dry breadcrumbs (preferably Panko)
½ cup (56g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons (10ml) minced garlic
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) sea salt
1 teaspoon (2.5ml) freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)

Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed, saucepan over medium heat, until sizzling. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Gradually stir in the milk and half-and-half, and continue to stir until the sauce thickens and begins to simmer.

Turn off heat, stir in the grated cheddar and the Gruyere until smooth. Fold in the macaroni and ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the cauliflower and cook and stir until lightly browned. Stir in the peas and cook for 2 more minutes.

Mix the cauliflower and peas with the macaroni and spread in a buttered 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish.

To make the topping, mix the breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.

Suggested Pairings:
Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay ~ This light, crisp Chardonnay opens with aromas of leafy pineapple and citrus fruits. The palate is lush with fresh tropical fruits, golden delicious apple with a tangy pineapple finish.

Falkner Winery 2016 Merlot ~ Enjoy the added dimension of black cherry, blueberry, and slight plum flavors with a smooth finish that provides for a delicious wine.

Leoness Cellars 2015 Signature Selection Merlot ~ This wine is bursting with black cherry and blackberry flavors framed by subtle hints of licorice, tobacco and cedar leading the way to a soft, lengthy finish.

Oak Mountain Winery 2018 Chardonnay ~ This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, creme brulee and caramel.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California.





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October Winery Events

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Happy Hallowine

October is peak harvest season and the vineyards are in full wine production and we’ve got some exciting and unique October winery events! Come experience Halloween bashes, grape stomps, concerts, fall wine tours and tastings — and much more!

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
Doggie Costume Contest / October 27 / Join us for our Dog Day Sundays at Carol’s Restaurant located at Baily Winery. Doggie Costume judging at 1:30pm – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes! Don’t forget to bring your camera! / Carol’s Restaurant is open for lunch 11:30am – 3pm. Reservations recommended by calling 951-676-9243

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
Oktoberfest / October 18 / 6:00-10:00pm / $5pp pre-paid tickets on our website or $10pp at the door / German Band, German Contests, Biergarten, Brat Bar, Dress Contest, Funnel Cakes / For reservations please visit https://www.belvinowinery.com/product/oktoberfest/

Sushi Wine Down / October 23 / 6:00-9:00pm / $50 pp / Featuring: Live Music from Jeff Brinkman. Price includes a Sushi Station featuring fresh premium grade fish such as Hawaiian Bigeye Tuna, JPN’s Yellowtail, Scottish Salmon and others. Prepared with natural and organic ingredients and fresh wasabi (root) / To purchase your tickets please visit https://www.hideawaycuisine.com/events

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Sip, Stomp & Play / October 5 / 6pm to 9pm / $72 pp, $64.80 wine club, $32 for kids ages 4-11; 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! We are 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! Tickets include: Admission to the event, one glass of Callaway wine, dinner, dancing, wine specials and grape stomping! / Purchase your tickets online at www.callawaywinery.com or at the winery.

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $40 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 $30 / 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 2pm / 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
Wine & Chocolate Pairing / Every Friday of the month / 3:00pm / $45 Per Person ($40 Wine Club) / Your guided pairing experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with 5 custom chocolates from local chocolate shoppe, SugarPlum Farm. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning wines are made and learn how Carter Estate wines compliment and bring out the unique flavors of chocolate. Our Wine & Chocolate Pairing is approximately 90 minutes & has limited availability to provide a more intimate experience for our guests. Make your reservation today! Must be 21 or older. Reservation Information: Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com.

Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / Your guided experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with perfectly matched culinary bites from our Chef. Learn about the history of our beautiful Temecula Valley & get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning Sparkling wines are made. Our Wine & Food Pairings are approximately 90 minutes & limited to eight guests.  Make your reservation today!  Must be 21 or older / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Europa Village
Festa! featuring Ruben V / October 19 / 5:30-8:30pm / Enjoy wine, food and live music by Ruben V, benefiting Michelle’s Place! Food Tickets: $18; free admission / please visit www.europavillage.com for additional information.

Falkner Winery
Harvest Paint N Sip / October 13 / 12:00-2:00pm / Open to the Public! $45 per person / Ticket price includes all painting supplies and a glass of “Hot Lips” or Sangria / tickets available online https://store.falknerwinery.com/harvest-sip-n-paint-p199.aspx

Night of Witches n Ghouls Party / October 24 / 7:00-10:00pm / Cover charge $20 per person includes glass of Ghoulish Sangria or Zombie Hot Lips. Wine by the glass and bottle. (Industry and Wine Club discounts applicable) Karaoke by Sing It Like you Mean It, D.J. Lillian Thomas. Food available for purchase And don’t forget about our awesome Costume Contests!

Dia De Los Muertos Festival (Day of the Dead) / October 27 / 12:00-4:00pm Open to the public. Face painter, vendors, games, wine, sangria, and Hot Lips by glass or bottle. (Member discounts applicable) Food and Drink packages available. Picnic menu also available. No need to RSVP!

Fazeli Cellars
Annual Haunted Masquerade Ball / November 1 / Doors Open at 7pm / Don’t Miss Our Annual Haunted Masquerade Ball! Tickets Sell Out FAST, Get Yours NOW! / $28 Members | $35 Non-Members Includes Entrance and a Glass of Spooky Sparkling Wine / Drinks & food available for purchase | DJ & Dancing! Masks Desired but Not Required! To purchase your tickets please visit http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-391245/Haunted-Masquerade-Ball-2019.html

Frangipani Winery
Harvest Grape Stomp Party
/ October 13 / 2pm-5pm / Frangipani Estate Winery Wine club members $20 per person and General Guests $25 per person / Grape Stomping, Corn-Hole, & Bocce Ball tournaments with prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place, live music and food / RSVP by October 10 to 951-699-8845 or email frangipaniwine@yahoo.com

Lorimar Winery
Night of the Living Wine-O’s
/ October 25 / 7:00-10:00pm / $20 per person; $18 Wine Club / Lorimar’s annual Halloween bash is back and it’s going to be better than ever! Join us for wine specials, live music by Mrs. Jones Revenge, Costume Contest, DJ, candy, and more! / Tickets are pre-sale only and include a glass of Spooky Sangria. (event is 21+, tax is not included) / Purchase Tickets – https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-410159/Night-Of-The-Living-Wineos.html

Movie in the Vines – Hotel Transylvania 2 / October 28 / Doors open at 6pm / Bring the whole family for a scary good time to see HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 on the Sunset Patio! /Pairings Food Truck opens at 6 pm; movie begins at sunset / Complimentary popcorn! Costume contest for the kids! Candy, Soda, & Snacks will also be available for purchase! (No outside food or drinks)/ Please RSVP – https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-409598/Movie-In-The-Vines-Hotel-Transylvania-2.html

Ponte Winery
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

Somerset Vineyard & Winery
70’s Disco Party / October 5 / 6:00-10:00pm / $95 per person; $76 for members / Enjoy a live musical production by the FUNKY HIPPEEZ, food provided by Southfork catering, contest & prizes for Best Dressed and Best Dance Moves! / Space is limited so reserve early! Please visit our website www.somersetvineyard.com or call 951-365-5522 to purchase your tickets today!

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Country Concert featuring Eric Paslay
/ October 24 / Doors Open at 6:30pm; Show 7:00-9:00pm / Tickets start at only $35! / Join us among the vines and stars as South Coast Winery Resort & Spa presents an evening with country singer/songwriter Eric Paslay. This Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even if it Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jack Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “Friday Night” his smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. Enjoy great wine, local food trucks and this GRAMMY® nominee, hit songwriter for the wine COUNTRY night event of the year / For reservations please visit https://www.southcoastwinery.com/concerts/october-24-2019-country-concert

Behind the Scene Wine Tour / Available daily / 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
Brian Culbertson / October 5 / 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $95, Gourmet Supper Package: $180

West Coast Jams / October 12 / 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $85, Gourmet Supper Package: $170

Jeffrey Osborne / October 20 / 4:00pmCost: General Admission: $85, Gourmet Supper Package: $170

To order your jazz tickets, please visit our website: www.thorntonwine.com or Call (951) 699-0099 EXT. 3127 to make reservations.

Friday Live Music – B.I.G. / October 11 / 6:00-9:00pm / General Admission $15 in advance; $20 at the door. VIP $40 for the first six rows. No food service / Dinner tables available. *All guests at table must order dinner! / Must order tickets on our website: www.thorntonwine.com

Friday Live Music – Bon Jovi Tribute
/ October 25 / 6:00-9:00pm / General Admission $25 in advance; $30 at the door. VIP $40 for the first six rows. No food service / Dinner tables available. *All guests at table must order dinner! / Must order tickets on our website: www.thorntonwine.com

Cooking Class / October 27 / 1:00pm -3:00pm / Theme is Scary Desserts & Appetizers / For more information and reservations please visit  www.thorntonwine.com

Vindemia Vineyards & Estate Winery
Harvest Celebration with Special Guest Chef Drew Deckman / November 2 / 4:30pm- 8:00pm / $75 for Wine Club Members and $95 for non-members We are overjoyed to host Super Chef Drew Deckman here in Temecula Valley! Chef Deckman is the head chef at his restaurant, Deckmans’s in Ensenada and is known for his superb dishes in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. Our November 2 event includes a four-course meal grilled by Deckman himself, paired with unreleased Vindemia wines, live music and more! / Please RSVP to wineclub@vindemia.com by October 18 – spots are limited!

Wiens Family Cellars
Refugio Vertical Pairing Dinner / October 27 / 7:00pm-10:00pm / $100 regular; $80 Wine Club Member / A Cabernet lover’s delight! Join us for our Refugio Wine Dinner! At this event we’ll showcase four vintages of our flagship Refugio Cabernet Sauvignon paired with a wonderful dish! / Advance reservation can be made by visiting https://www.wienscellars.com/res-415408/Refugio-Vertical-Pairing-Dinner-2019.html

Wilson Creek Winery
Wine Academy – Wine 101 / October 5 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / General $20-$35; Wine Club Members $20 (limit 4 guests $35) / Come join us for an educational journey through wine. Our top-notch instructors will make your wine experience interactive and interesting. Enjoy wine education while tasting different wines with light appetizers. Reserve Members are complimentary with Wine Passes – Call 951-252-8523 to reserve. ONLY 10 SPOTS AVAILABLE!

Lauren Alaina Country Concert / October 11 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / General Admission $60; Wine Club Members $54 / Join us under the stars in the heart of wine country for an amazing up close and personal show with LAUREN ALAINA and Opening Band Honey County! / For reservations please visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

Harvest Festival – Grape Stomp / October 18 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / General Admission $75; Wine Club Members $67.50 / Fall is a time to gather! Join us for our Harvest Festival! Buffet Style Dinner, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Grape Stomping, & Live Music! Enjoy all of these fun activities included with your ticket. LIVE ENTERTAINERS: Kodi Lee & Midnight Satellites /  For reservations please visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

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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September Winery Events

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

It’s September – and you know what that means? California Wine Month – and it’s time to celebrate, Temecula Style! From CRUSH to grape stomps and harvest celebrations, it’s always a busy time in Temecula Valley Wine Country!

Grape Stomp Fun!

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 Comedy of Errors / September 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 / Doors open at 6:30pm. Show starts 7:30 (ends around 10p) /Outdoor stage at Baily Winery / Tickets: $22 / To purchase your tickets please visit http://www.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. Please note that library tasting will not be available on these specific dates only June 6 or 7.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Sip, Stomp & Play / October 5 / 6pm to 9pm / $72 pp, $64.80 wine club, $32 for kids ages 4-11; 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! We are 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! Tickets include: Admission to the event, one glass of Callaway wine, dinner, dancing, wine specials and grape stomping! Purchase your tickets online at www.callawaywinery.com or at the winery.

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $40 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 $30 / 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 2pm / 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
Wine & Chocolate Pairing / Every Friday of the month / 3:00pm / $45 Per Person ($40 Wine Club) / Your guided pairing experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with 5 custom chocolates from local chocolate shoppe, SugarPlum Farm. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning wines are made and learn how Carter Estate wines compliment and bring out the unique flavors of chocolate. Our Wine & Chocolate Pairing is approximately 90 minutes & has limited availability to provide a more intimate experience for our guests. Make your reservation today! Must be 21 or older. Reservation Information: Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / Your guided experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with perfectly matched culinary bites from our Chef. Learn about the history of our beautiful Temecula Valley & get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning Sparkling wines are made. Our Wine & Food Pairings are approximately 90 minutes & limited to eight guests.  Make your reservation today!  Must be 21 or older / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Churon Inn Winery
Variety Act – Live Music, Comedy, Magician / September 14 / 6:00-10:00pm / Guests $28; Wine Club $25; meal included alcohol available for purchase / For all our events please visit our website www.innatchuronwinery.com / To purchase tickets at http://shop.innatchuronwinery.com/reservation-events

Ruben V. & The Latin Sounds Havana Night / September 28 / 6:00-10:00pm / Guests $10 / Live band, Brazilian dancers and salsa dance Lessons / Guest musician, wood dance floor, food and alcohol available for purchase / For all our events please visit our website www.innatchuronwinery.com / To purchase tickets at http://shop.innatchuronwinery.com/reservation-events

Cougar Vineyards
Cougar Craft Night / September 22 / 3:30-5:30p / Wine club $45pp, Non-wine club $50pp / We’re making Reversible Blocks or Scarecrow crafts.  Samples displayed at the winery. All materials needed to create your Blocks or scarecrow will be provided plus expert help from the Craft Barrel Ladies! Craft and sip the afternoon away! / For reservations please call the winery 951.491.0825 or visit www.cougarvineyards.com

Wine and Dogs / September 12 / 3:00-6:00pm / Come and join in on the fun picnic area at Cougar winery!  Dog sitters, doggy day care, dog boarding, groomers, pet nutrition, specialty pet treats, pet safe toys, dog trainers, dog friendly dining, local rescues, specialists in care and health of your dog and so much more…no cost to attend. Those in attendance can purchase two-for-one tastings during the event / For more information please visit www.cougarvineyards.com

Europa Village
Festa! Big Truth / September 20 / 5:30p-8:30p / Free admission; Food tickets $19 / Enjoy wine, food and live music by Big Truth, benefiting Jacob’s House! / For reservations and information please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Vertical Meritage Tasting Class with George Myer / September 14 / 10:30am -12:30pm / $45 per person, $40 Wine Club Members per person / Rated 90+ points by Wine Enthusiast and all Gold Medal winners! Designed for all levels of wine knowledge; RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night Black and White Party! / September 7 / No partner or experience needed! Doors Open at 6:30 with 45-minute Salsa Lesson / Admission fee is $20 for non-members (+ tax) and $15 (+ tax) for wine club members – Includes a glass of Sangria. Special Food Menu Items! Wine, Beer, Sangria available for purchase! / Tickets sold at front door ONLY!

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

Somerset Vineyards & Winery
First Annual Grape Stomp / September 21 / 4:30-7:00pm; music until 9pm / $35 per person and includes a glass of wine, or $130 for a team of 4 and includes a bottle of your choice / Come participate in our first Grape Stomp Competition! Come as a team of 4, or as an individual and become part of a team. All participants get to stomp. Teams are encouraged to dress – best team costume wins a prize! / Please visit the following site to reserve your spot https://shop.somersetvineyard.com/res-424601/1st-Annual-Grape-Stomp.html

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Jazz Series – Michael Paulo, Blake Aaron, Tateng Katindig & Vocalist Lynne Fiddmont
/ September 1 / 6:00pm – 9:00pm / Join us at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as Rhythm on the Vine® returns with the third of a six-concert jazz series! Featuring Saxophonist Michael Paulo and friends! / Reservation Information: Purchase tickets at SouthCoastWinery.com. Please email marketing@wineresort.com or call (833)366-3112

Jazz Series – Marc Antoine & Brian Simpson Concert / September 29 / 6:00pm – 9:00pm / Join us at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as Rhythm on the Vine® returns with the fourth of a six-concert jazz series! Featuring Guitarist Marc Antoine and Pianist Brian Simpson / Reservation Information: Purchase tickets at SouthCoastWinery.com. Please email marketing@wineresort.com or call (833)366-3112

Grape Stomp 2019 / September 15 / 5:00-9:00pm / It’s that time of the year again! Time to get your stompin’ on! Grab your friends and join us on Sunday, September 15th for South Coast Winery’s annual Grape Stomp. Your ticket includes a glass of wine, live music, sparkling wine toast, harvest blessing, dinner buffet, and of course, grape stomping! Reservation Information: Tickets on sale at SouthCoastWinery.com/stomp

Behind the Scene Wine Tour / Available daily / 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
KEIKO MATSUI & SAX TO THE MAX / September 7 / 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $85, Gourmet Supper Package: $170

DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS SUMMER HORNS / September 14 / 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $95, Gourmet Supper Package: $180 (sold out)

DAVE KOZ & FRIENDS SUMMER HORNS / September 15 / 5:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $90, Gourmet Supper Package: $175

NORMAN BROWN SUMMER STORM / September 21 / 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $85, Gourmet Supper Package: $170

JONATHAN BUTLER & KIRK WHALUM SUMMER GROOVE / September 28 7:00pm
Cost: General Admission: $85, Gourmet Supper Package: $170

To order your jazz tickets, please visit our website: www.thorntonwine.com or Call (951) 699-0099 EXT. 3127 to make reservations.

Friday Live Music – Featuring Killer Dueling Pianos / September 13 / 6:00-9:00pm / Cost: $15 cover fee / Dinner tables available. Please call (951) 699-0099 to make reservations. *All guests at table must order dinner!

Friday Live Music – Rolling Stone Tribute / September 27 / 6:00-9:00pm / Cost: General Admission – $15 in advance.  $20 at the door. VIP $30 / Must order tickets on our website: www.thorntonwine.com

Dinner tables available. Call (951) 699-0099 to make table reservations. *All guests at table must order dinner!

Wilson Creek Winery
Symphony in the Vines Pop Concert / September 15 / 7:00pm – Gates open at 6pm / $35 / Temecula Symphony presents vocalist Jonathan Hawkins & Guest and John Mario, conductor / Music from John Williams, Game of Thrones, Ed Sheeran, The Greatest Showman, Andrea Bocelli, Broadway, Freddy Mercury, Beethoven and more… / Food and beverage available to purchase at the event / For tickets www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

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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Temecula Valley Wine Country Lands in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice as Best Wine Region

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country has been named by USA Today as a 10Best Readers’ Choice for “Best Wine Region.” Out of 20 nominees across the United States, Temecula Valley Wine Country ranked number three in the country by an expert panel and the public.

“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and passion of our winegrowers and winemakers. Our wine region is beginning to get the recognition it deserves for its award wining wines, dining, and experiences,” says Kimberly Adams, President and CEO, Visit Temecula Valley.

“From our talented winemakers to chefs to tasting room staff and everyone in between, Temecula Valley is filled with passionate people who work tirelessly to make the region so special,” said Krista Chaich, Executive Director of the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association. “We are delighted to be counted among so many other great wine regions in this 10Best list, and that visitors everywhere have fallen in love with our community and our world class wines, just as we have.”

Temecula Valley Wine Country is located in the center of Southern California, just 60 minutes from San Diego, Orange Country, and Palm Springs, and 90 minutes south of Los Angeles. There are now nearly 50 wineries in the significant and diverse Temecula Valley AVA, a major AVA in Southern California. The wine region continues to gain recognition for its award-winning, premium varietal and proprietary blended wines.

More than three million travelers visit Temecula Valley to enjoy the region’s welcoming wineries, learning experiences, concerts and signature events, outdoor activities, and exceptional dining. Less-busy weekdays provide potential opportunities to converse with talented winemakers and friendly winery owners. Hotels, resorts, bed and breakfast inns are available among the vineyards, in and near Old Town Temecula, within the canyon, and along hotel row in Uptown.

For more information about Temecula Valley Southern California or to start planning your trip, go to VisitTemeculaValley.com.

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Our Favorite Temecula Valley Grapes for Fall Sipping

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Beautiful Fall Vineyards

As summer winds to an end, and pumpkin spice starts creeping into what seems like literally everything, it’s about that time to turn our palates to Fall flavors, especially when it comes to wine. Harvest is under way and this year’s grape crop is getting picked and processed into a new vintage. As we welcome this change in weather and celebrate the next phase in the life cycle of the grape, we thought we would put together a list of some of our favorite wine grapes for fall. Whether you love the classics or are itching to try something new and unique, you’re bound to find something you like in this lineup.

Grape: Chardonnay

What it’s like: If you’re part of the “Anything but Chardonnay” crowd, you need to think again. Chardonnay is a wonderfully versatile grape that comes in so many different styles, from crisp and clean with notes of green apple and citrus, to rich and buttery, dripping with tropical fruit and caramel, and everything in between.

Why we love it: Although classically linked to the Burgundy region of France, Chardonnay is actually the most-planted white grape in the world, growing in every region wine grapes are planted, including Temecula Valley. Chardonnay is the perfect departure from the light and zingy whites of Summer. It’s got a little more body, and takes on a wide range of dishes depending on the style of the wine.

Some to try:

2017 Robert Renzoni “Barile” Chardonnay, $28

A complex and elegant wine, boasting hints of baked apple, buttered toast and hazelnut.  Aged for 10 months in 40% new French Oak.

2018 Oak Mountain Chardonnay, $24

This Chardonnay is only slightly oaked, imparting delicate flavors of vanilla, butterscotch and caramel, mingled with apple, pineapple, honey and vanilla. A dream paired with roast chicken.

2018 South Coast Winery Chardonnay “Sans Chêne,” $16

Translating to “without oak,” this Chardonnay is bright and clean, with notes of Honeycrisp apple, citrus zest, and jasmine blossom and a long, mouth-watering finish.

Grape: Viognier

What it’s like: Viognier is a red-wine drinker’s white. It’s rich, luscious and full-bodied, with powerful and unmistakable floral aromatics.

Why we love it: Viognier originated in Southern France and the Rhône Valley, and thrives equally well in the soils and climate of Temecula Valley. Like Chardonnay, it tends to have more weight than other whites so can stand up to some of the richer flavors of Fall.

Some to try:

2018 Doffo Winery Concrete Fermented Viognier, $32

This vibrant wine’s aromatics explode with bright floral notes on the nose, delighting the senses as it hits the palate. An elegant backbone of acidity balances out the soft tones of honeysuckle and apricot.

2018 Monte de Oro Viognier, $23

Ripe stone fruit meets tropical aromas and notes of apple blossom in this rich bottling. The luscious and layered palate of this wine makes it a great match for exotic cuisines like spicy Thai and Indian dishes.

2018 Europa Village Viognier, $35

While Viognier is sometimes fermented in oak, this bottling was done in stainless steel in order to let the pure, rich fruit character prevail. Aromas of ripe nectarines, orange blossoms and a hint of fresh herbs flow into a soft and balanced palate with long-lasting, tingling acidity. This wine is perfect for sushi night with family and friends.

Grape: Cinsault (also Cinsaut)

What it’s like: If you like lighter bodied wines like Pinot Noir and Gamay, you will love Cinsault. Hailing from Southern France as well, this grape is capable of producing elegant, complex wines with juicy red fruit and unique savory notes when handled well.

Why we love it: It’s not Winter yet, so if you’re not ready to move to the heavy Syrahs and Zinfandels we crave in cold weather, Cinsault is the perfect pick. It’s juicy, it’s easy-drinking and it’s great with all kinds of dishes. If you’re really not ready for Summer to be over, you can even serve it with a slight chill.

Some to try:

2014 Fazeli Cellars “Phel Phel” Cinsault, $38

A true cherry pie of a wine! Bright red stone fruit with subtle hints black pepper, cigar and spice. Medium bodied with soft but ample tannins.

2016 Wilson Creek Winemaker’s Select Cinsault, $60

This Temecula Valley Cinsault displays lively floral and ripe strawberry aromas on the nose, and a lush, warm palate balanced by an elegant structure. A perfect food wine, pair this with pizza, pasta, cheese and charcuterie.

2016 Leoness Cellars Cellar Selection Cinsaut, $28

This bottling is bursting with aromas of cherry and raspberry with hints of black licorice and spice. The wine is soft, elegant and approachable thanks to the addition of a light touch of Syrah & Grenache and 18 months spent in small French Oak barrels.

The Grape: Cabernet Franc

What it’s like: Cabernet Franc is actually one of Cabernet Sauvignon’s parents (the other being Sauvignon Blanc), and yet it is often overlooked in favor of its more famous offspring. Known for its role in Bordeaux blends, it stands alone quite well, offering savory notes of bell pepper, green herbs, graphite, berry fruit and cedar

Why we love it: Cabernet Franc has the benefit of being both age-worthy and drinkable now. Its medium-bodied structure makes it a great food wine, but it also holds up to serious oak treatment quite well, giving it a wide range of different possible styles depending on how it is handled. 

Some to try:

2016 Baily Winery Cabernet Franc, $35

Baily Winery is known for their traditional, Old World take on winemaking and this Cabernet Franc is no exception. Ripe berry and plum mingle with exotic spice and black pepper and a touch of forest floor. This is a wine to linger over now, or put away for several years to let it develop.

2015 Thornton Cabernet Franc, $41

Notes of crushed raspberries, black currants, violet and graphite are prominent on the nose, backed by a pleasant green bell pepper note. This Cabernet Franc is medium-bodied with well-integrated tannins and a smooth mouthfeel.

2016 Hart Winery Cabernet Franc, $28

A balanced wine with crisp acidity and bright fruit reminiscent of Cabernet Franc wines from France’s Loire Valley. Notes of green olive, clove, raspberry and violet on the nose are followed by tart berry fruit and licorice, backed by firm, elegant tannins on the palate.

Share your favorite Temecula Valley wine picks for Fall! Tag us @temeculawines using the hashtag #DrinkTemecula.

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POTATO FOCACCIA WITH OLIVES AND ROSEMARY

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Potato Focassia with Olives & Rosemary

Welcome guests to your home for dinner with a glass of your favorite Temecula Valley rosé and a slice of warm olive focaccia. If you’ve baked the focaccia hours before, you can reheat it quickly in a hot oven, although it’s plenty tasty at room temperature, too. Pack it on a picnic or a hike with your favorite salami and cheeses. Or adapt the topping to showcase a seasonal fresh vegetable like halved cherry tomatoes or strips of roasted sweet pepper. Adding cooked potato to the dough produces an especially moist and tasty result.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 pound (250 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 3⁄4 cups (465 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons (8 g) kosher or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating and brushing
  • 24 California olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary or dried oregano, finely crumbled

Directions

Put the potatoes in a small saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Do not add salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 minutes or more, depending on size.

Remove from the heat, set aside 1 1∕3 cups (330 ml) of the potato water, and then drain the potatoes. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and pass them through a ricer or food mill fitted with a fine disk into a bowl. If you don’t have a ricer or food mill, mash the potatoes well with a potato masher.

Refrigerate the potato water until it cools to 105° to 115°F (40° to 46°C). Put 1∕3 cup (80 ml) of the cooled potato water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let soften for about 3 minutes, then whisk with a fork to dissolve and let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk to blend.

Add the olive oil, riced potato, and the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) potato water to the proofed yeast. Stir to combine, then add the flour gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Keeping the dough in the bowl, knead it gently by hand until smooth, adding just enough additional flour to keep it from sticking to your hand. You should not need more than 1 to 2 tablespoons. Shape the dough into a ball and coat lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 1∕2 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down. Using 1 tablespoon olive oil, grease the bottom and sides of an 11-by-17-inch (28-by-43 cm) rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. With well-oiled fingers, poke and prod the dough into a rectangle that fits the pan. The dough is elastic and will want to spring back. If it resists your attempts to flatten it enough to cover the pan, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. If it still springs back from the edges, let it rest for 5 minutes longer and try once more. You should be able to flatten it sufficiently after a couple of rests, but don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the pan. Let rise, uncovered, until puffy, about 1 1∕2 hours.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). If you have a pizza stone (or baking tiles), put it in the oven on the middle rack to preheat—ideally for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Arrange the olives, evenly spaced, on the surface of the focaccia, then gently press them into place. Brush the surface of the dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then scatter the rosemary and a little salt on top. Place the pan on the baking stone, if using, and bake until the focaccia is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet back to front halfway through.

Immediately slide a long metal offset spatula under the focaccia to make sure it is not sticking to the baking sheet, then slide the focaccia onto a rack to cool. Slice into desired portions with a bread knife and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one 11-by-17-inch (28 by-43 cm) focaccia

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Plan Your Mid-Week Visit

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Whether you can get away overnight, or just want to take a day trip, a mid-week visit to Temecula Valley Wine Country should prove to be a relaxing and enjoyable break.

There are many advantages to visiting wine country during the week. Much less busy weekdays are the perfect opportunity to allow yourself time to enjoy our 35+ member wineries’ offerings. At a slower pace, you’ll be able to enjoy more one-on-one time with the knowledgeable wine servers (or even the winemakers and/or winery owners themselves if you’re lucky) at each of your stops.

For a less expensive wine tasting experience, take advantage of the weekday SIP Passport. This passport allows you to visit any five wineries (of the 30 participating wineries) of your choice for $45. Visit our website at www.temeculawines.org to purchase your passport.

And, if we haven’t convinced you yet….there’s no waiting in line to dine at our wonderful wine country restaurants that are very busy on the weekends. If you’d like to spend the night you’ll be pleased with the selection of hotels and their reduced mid-week rates. Hotels in the area are generally booked months in advance on the weekends.

While we’d love to see you at any time here in Temecula Valley Wine Country, give us a try on a Wednesday sometime….we think you’ll be glad you did!

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