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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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GRASS-FED BURGER WITH AVOCADO AND CHIPOTLE MAYONNAISE

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Buttery avocados make any sandwich better, and they put this burger over the top. Grass-fed beef can be lean, but the sliced avocado and spicy chipotle mayonnaise ensure that this burger is a luscious, moist, flavor-packed experience. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 1⁄2 pounds (750 g) grass-fed ground beef chuck
  • Scant 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, if using store-bought mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated with a rasp grater or very finely minced
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons very finely minced chipotle chile in adobo, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 1 ripe but firm small avocado
  • 1⁄2 lime
  • About 1⁄2 cup (20 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 large, soft lettuce leaves


Directions:

Make the burgers: Put the beef in a bowl and add the salt, garlic powder, and several grinds of black pepper. Mix quickly with your hands; try not to overwork the mixture. Divide into four equal portions, each 6 ounces (185 g), and shape into balls. Flatten each ball into a round patty about 3∕4 inch (2 cm) thick. Make the patties a little thinner in the center. They shrink a bit when cooked, and this step ensures they will be of even thickness after cooking. Place them on a tray and refrigerate.

Make the mayonnaise: Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl. If it is store-bought, whisk in the olive oil to improve the flavor. Whisk in the garlic and chile. Taste and add more chile if you like. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the broiler. Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the patties and fry until nicely browned and done to your taste, flipping them with a spatula two or three times and adjusting the heat to keep them from getting too crusty on either side. For medium doneness, the total cooking time will be about 10 minutes.

Set the burgers aside on a platter to rest for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the buns, cut side up, under the broiler. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado and slice thinly.

Spread chipotle mayonnaise on both halves of the toasted buns. Top the bottom half of each bun with a burger. Divide the avocado slices evenly among the burgers. Sprinkle the avocado lightly with salt and a squeeze of lime. Top with a tuft of cilantro leaves, then with a lettuce leaf, and finally the top half of the bun. Cut in half with a serrated knife and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery ~ 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – It offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.
Miramonte Winery ~ 2015 Estate Syrah – Dusty boysenberry, wild cherry, fresh violet, sweet french oak, spiced mocha and a long graceful finish.
Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Bold fruit flavors and subtle nuances of toffee, espresso and dark chocolate
Wilson Creek Winery ~ 2015 Family Reserve Syrah -Cedar and spice are prominent in the aroma of the wine whereas cherry and sour plums are revealed on the palate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California.

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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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Riesling-Poached Pear with Caramel Sauce

Monday, July 1st, 2019

Share a silky, wine-poached pear with friends on a hot summer night. Both the pear and the luscious caramel-yogurt sauce can be prepared ahead, so dessert will be ready when you are. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients
1 cup (250 ml) Riesling
1 cup (250 ml) water
6 tablespoons (3 oz/90 g) granulated sugar
½-inch piece of vanilla bean
1 ripe but firm Bartlett or Anjou pear

Caramel Sauce:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, at room temperature
Small chunk of bittersweet chocolate, optional

Directions
In a small saucepan, combine the wine, water, sugar, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Peel the pear with a vegetable peeler, leaving the stem intact. Place the pear on its side in the simmering liquid. Spoon some of the liquid over the exposed pear. Cut a parchment round a little larger in diameter than the saucepan and place it over the pear, tucking the edges under the liquid to hold the parchment in place. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook 10 minutes.

Remove the parchment and use 2 large spoons to gently turn the pear over without damaging the flesh. Recover with parchment, tucking the edges under as before, and continue simmering until the flesh is just tender when pierced, about 10 minutes longer. The pear will continue to cook as it cools. With a slotted spoon, transfer the pear carefully to a lidded container. Remove the vanilla bean from the poaching liquid. Simmer the poaching liquid until reduced to ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml). Cool completely, then pour it over the pear.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day, turning the pear every few hours in the syrup.

Make the caramel sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the sugars and water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer until reduced to 2-1/2 to 3 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Do not reduce further or the caramel will be too sticky. Pour into a measuring cup and let cool 2 minutes. Put the yogurt in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the caramel. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

To serve, cut the pear in half lengthwise. Core both halves with a melon baller. Put the halves, cut side down, on a work surface and thinly slice lengthwise, leaving the slices attached at the stem end. Using a spatula, transfer each pear half to an individual plate, maintaining the shape of the pear half. Press lightly on the slices to fan them. Spoon the caramel sauce alongside and drizzle about 1 teaspoon of the pear poaching syrup over the pear. If desired, use a rasp grater or other fine grater to grate a little bittersweet chocolate over all. Serve immediately.

Pairing Suggestions:

Baily Winery ~ 2017 Riesling – This cool and crisp white wine is perfect on a summer day, enjoy it poolside with friends and family!

Danza Del Sol Winery ~ 2017 Sauvignon Blanc – A mouthwatering balance of fresh fruit and acidity. Opens with aromas of white blossoms that lead to white peach, melon, and ripe citrus. Flavors include crisp apple and lime.

Hart Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.

Mount Palomar Winery ~ NV Riesling – The wine is fragrant with pear, guava, gardenia, and banana.  The taste is full with apricot, peach, tangerine, lychee, star fruit and guava.  

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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March Winery Events

Friday, March 1st, 2019

Spring has sprung in Temecula Valley Wine Country! We’ve seen bud break in many of our vineyards, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of a new season. From St. Patrick’s Day to cooking classes and everything in between, the wineries have something for everyone!

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 Vine Series – “The 39 Steps” / $22 per person / March 21 (Preview), 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 & 30 / 7:00pm (doors open at 6:00pm) / Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps. It’s surely a performance you don’t want to miss! / Showing Thursday-Sunday at Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery / For reservations and tickets, please visit 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

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
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

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
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 / March 16 / 10:00-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $80/person with lunch option / RSVP required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Europa Village
Comedy Show / March 8 / 6:00pm / Tickets: $55; Société $49.50 / Come out to Europa Village for a fun night of wine, food and laugh-out-loud comedy featuring Mark Christopher Lawrence and Andrew Tarr / For tickets please visit www.europavillage.com

Bolero Night / March 22 / 6pm-10pm / Ticket: $3; Société $35.10 / Enjoy Bolero music by Ruben V and The Latin Sounds, salsa music and dancing! Executive Chef Dean Thomas will be preparing a traditional Spanish Paella to enjoy with a glass of sangria! / For tickets please visit www.europavillage.com

Fazeli Winery
Salsa Night! / March 23 / 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! Purchase Tickets Here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390971/Salsa-Night-2819.html

Lorimar Vineyard & Winery
Smoke & Vine: An Evening of Cigars and Wine / March 8 / 7pm-9pm / Tickets are $85 per person/$76.50 per Wine Club Member / Join us at the Winery for a relaxing evening of cigars & wine! Includes a four-course dinner from Chef Jorge, paired with three Casa Lovo cigars and Lorimar’s award-winning wines. Space is limited so get your tickets early! / Purchase tickets at www.lorimarwinery.com. Event is 21+, tax is not included)

The Killer Dueling Pianos / March 21 / 6 pm / $20 Admission; $18 Wine Club (Ticket includes a glass of sangria) / Join us at the Winery for a night of wine, live music and dancing! / Purchase Tickets at www.lorimarwinery.com / Pairings Food Truck will open at 5 pm (event is 21+, tax is not included)

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / March 3, 9 and 16 /1:00p – 3:00p / Use the coupon code CREATE30 to save $15! / 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!). For reservations, please visithttps://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Annual Wedding Showcase / March 2 / 11am-4pm / Enter into the “Old World Romance” of Mount Palomar Winery and you will find everything to make your wedding day extraordinary, including expert advice from the area’s top wedding professionals and *exclusive discounts and raffles from vendors of all kinds! / Admission is complimentary, but RSVP required. Reserve now at www.MountPalomarWinery.com /Wedding-Show *rules and restrictions apply


Peltzer Family Cellars
St. Patrick’s Day Shamrocks & Shenanigans / March 17 / 11am-6pm / Join us at the Crush House for Refuge Brewery craft brews, live music by Shoot 4 Tuesday, a special Irish menu by Mastiff Sausage Company, and Peltzer wine. Wanna REALLY get into the spirit? Break out your kilt because we’re havin’ a kilt contest! Warfighter Made, a local veteran’s charity, will be present and every penny that we earn from bar access wristband sales will go directly to their organization. Support local, y’all / Cost/ Reservation Info: Bar access wristbands are $5 and are considered a direct donation to Warfighter Made. They can be purchased on our events page on Facebook and on www.peltzerwinery.com

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
Bridal Show – Married to Mimosas! / March 24 / 10:00am– 1:00pm / South Coast Winery invites you to our 2019 Bridal Show “Married to Mimosas!”. Your $10 admission fee includes access to top industry vendors, wedding inspiration designs, tray passed appetizers, and mimosas, of course! Vendors from florists to DJ’s to planners will be in attendance to help jump start your wedding planning journey. South Coast Winery will also be offering a 10% day of booking discount and your chance to win our exclusive raffle give away! / Reservation Information: Space is limited. Advanced ticket purchase required, no tickets will be sold at the door. Please visit www.wineresort.com to reserve.

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
Friday Live Music “JOURNEY CAPTURED” / March 29 / 6p-9p / Cost: $15 / A tribute to the band Journey / Call Thornton winery @ (951) 699-0099 to reserve a table. Table reservations require each person to order dinner! Please visit us at www.thorntonwine.com or call 951.699.0099

“Taste of Ireland” Cooking Class / March 10 / 1pm – 3pm / Cost: $75 inclusive / For reservations and class menu, please visit www.thorntonwine.com or call 951.699.0099

Wiens Family Cellars
World of Wine / March 23 / 7pm-10pm / $75 Regular Pricing; $60 Wine Club Pricing / Globetrotters can mix and mingle during a fun tasting event of wine and food pairings. Each guest will be given a passport to travel through wine regions around the globe where we will be pouring 6 wines paired with internationally inspired foods. Instead of a seated dinner, guests will explore the different food/wine stations inside and mingle with other guests outside while serenaded by a Flamenco guitar artist / For reservations please visit http://www.wienscellars.com/res-413232/World-Of-Wine-2019.html

Wilson Creek Winery
JAZZ LOUNGE WITH JULIAN VAUGHN / March 2 / 5 – 7:30 pm / Price: $95 per person / Wine Club $85.50 / Join us for an evening of Jazz featuring the amazing Julian Vaughn! Enjoy sweet music paired with a delicious buffet dinner. Drinks will be available for purchase all night as well.
Purchase tickets: https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/res-416641/Jazz-Lounge-With-Julian-Vaughn.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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The Merry, Merry Month of May!

Monday, April 27th, 2015

May 25 _Natl Wine DayMay has so many national “wine days”, we can eat, drink and be merry all month long!  Along with Chardonnay, a familiar favorite, it’s a great excuse for you to try a couple of the lesser-known varietals like Muscat Canelli and Sauvignon Blanc – all of which grow well here in the Temecula Valley.

First up on the calendar is #MoscatoDay, which falls on May 9th.  The day was introduced here in the US by Gallo Family Vineyards back in 2012 to celebrate the rising popularity and sky-rocketing sales of the varietal.  If you know nothing about Moscato (or Muscat/Muscat Canelli), it originated in the Piedmont region of Italy where it’s a favorite due to its sweetness, lightness and affordability – and is popular as a sparkling wine. You’ll find Moscato table wines in white, red or rosé styles, and they make an especially delicious dessert wine.  With it’s bouquet of peach, honey and citrus, a delicate sweetness and fresh acidity, it’s perfect served with a plate of fresh cheeses.

Try the Muscat Canelli from Leoness Cellars or Lorimar Winery; or the Moscato from Ponte Family Estate Winery.

May 15th is #InternationalSauvignonBlancDay.  Originating in the Bordeaux region of France, the grape is also widely planted throughout New Zealand – and grows with ease here in the Temecula Valley.  An acidic wine that displays a citrus-y, grapefruit-like quality, it’s a pleasing choice for a warm summer day. A very versatile vino, Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with shell fish, grilled vegetables (even asparagus!) and cheeses.  It’s the perfect picnic wine!

A few faves include those from:  Europa Village , Maurice Car’rie Winery or Monte de Oro Winery.

And then there’s the day to pay homage to the old standby, Chardonnay, on #ChardonnayDay, May 21st.  The world’s most planted white wine grape varietal is enjoyed by fans all over the world.  Generally dry to medium-dry with pear, apple, tropical or citrus fruit flavors, Chardonnay is grown in virtually every wine-producing region.  Crisp and fresh with little to no oak aging, or creamy and buttery with extensive oak aging, there’s a Chardonnay out there that will make just about anyone smile!

Can’t live without Chardonnay’s are available at: Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Oak Mountain Winery and Thornton Winery.

Finishing out the month is #NationalWineDay, which is celebrated on May 25.  Not to be confused with National Drink Wine Day which is held in February, National Wine Day is actually just another lame excuse for us wine lovers to drink wine.  Because for wine lovers, everyday is wine day, right?  Cheers!

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