October….it’s the time of year we’re dragging the kids to the neighborhood pumpkin patch, decorating the house for fall and for some of us, already thinking about all of the yummy pumpkin recipes we want to make. From pumpkin soup, to pumpkin pie and everything in between, we’ve got a wine that will pair with it! Here are some tips for pairing wines with your favorite pumpkin dishes.
Rosé all day. Yes way rosé. Stop
and smell the rosé. You’ve probably heard them all, or seen them while
scrolling through your Instagram feed, usually accompanied by gorgeous pics of
glasses brimming with baby pink liquid being sipped by glamorous folks with
designer shades and trendy outfits. The bottom line is that rosé is on the rise
in a big, big way.
“’Rosé All Day’ is not just a
hashtag, it’s a cultural movement sparked by Instagram,” notes Alpana Singh,
Master Sommelier in Business Insider. And the numbers don’t lie. In 2017 rosé
sales were up 53% in the U.S., according to Nielsen,
while wine sales overall increased by just 4%.
The pink stuff is here to stay,
which is a good thing. Rosé is incredibly versatile, coming in a full spectrum
of hues from barely-kissed blush to deep raspberry and everything in between, as
well varying levels of dryness and a diverse range of flavor profiles from
crisp and clean to luscious and mixed-berry-driven. It’s remarkably food
friendly, a happy in-the-middle option with the ability to pair well with
things that go with whites and reds. It’s also fun. While there seems to
be a distinct rosé season – late Spring to early fall – the increased demand for
drinking pink has opened up rosé for year-round drinking, with many retailers
offering full sections dedicated to dozens of different selections.
We in Southern California feel
right at home sipping rosé any day from January to December. It’s a drink that
marries well with sunny days and a laid back SoCal spirit. Happily, Temecula
Valley Southern California Wine Country produces some truly outstanding bottles
and has been doing so for quite some time. In fact, in 2001, in an article
about the importance of supporting local wineries, the Wall Street Journal described
Temecula Valley’s Hart Winery, saying they “Make one of America’s best rosé.”
When we asked Jim Hart what makes
Temecula Valley rosé so special, he explained that, “It’s because it’s not
produced as an afterthought. It’s produced to be a rosé. That’s why it’s so
good. It doesn’t actually make sense to make rosé in Temecula because our fruit
is too expensive to not go toward making reds. So when we take that high
quality fruit and intentionally make a rosé with it, the result is
amazing.” Jim says they pick their fruit early and then treat and ferment the
wine like a white, which results in deeply expressive, high quality wines.
Here are a few of our favorite
Temecula Valley picks for this rosé season and beyond.
Sangiovese is one of Italy’s flagship wine grapes and shines just as brightly in Temecula Valley. It is also a delight when used to produce rosé. To make this award-winning wine, Hart used a cold pre-soak followed by pressing, and a low-temperature white wine fermentation. The result is a lightly pink, near-dry, delicately scented and flavored rosé, bursting with strawberry and watermelon notes on an elegant, floral backdrop. Excellent with a wide range of foods, and a great summer sipper.
Multi-award-winning and the only
American rosé to earn a Double Gold at this year’s 50 Best rosé tasting, this
wine is made from a blend of two different Iberian Peninsula clonal selections of
Tempranillo (one Spanish and one Portuguese). Some of the fruit was machine
harvested and quickly drained and pressed, while a portion was hand-picked and
whole cluster pressed. The two lots were then blended prior to fermentation. The
result is a wine with beautiful extraction and color, youthful acidity and
great structure, offering ripe strawberry, sweet blackberry and watermelon
notes. It is a wine with focus, finesse and elegance, showing wonderful
varietal characters while remaining fresh and enjoyable.
This is one of those amazingly
quaffable wines that you could drink for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ballet
slipper pink and perfectly dry, this summer sipper is made from 100% Syrah. It
boasts delicate notes of Ranier cherries, fleshy white peach and rose petals
that give way to rich flavors of guava and melon. A delightful aperitif wine,
meant for sipping by the pool or as you stroll Temecula Valley vineyards.
This intensely hued rosé,
packaged in a stand-out, uniquely shaped bottle, is impossible to miss. Made
from Temecula Valley newcomer, Akash Winery, this is a complex rosé that
demands attention. A massive onslaught of aromas burst from the glass,
displaying crushed raspberry, cranberry and strawberry notes, followed by
watermelon Jolly Rancher and kaffir lime leaves. But don’t let the sweet, ripe
bouquet fool you. On the palate, this rosé is completely dry, with a plush,
almost grippy mouthfeel and an endless finish, making it a truly versatile food
wine, capable of standing up to heartier fare and meat-based dishes.
“Pas Doux” translates to “not sweet,” a descriptor
that lets the drinker know this wine, made from old vine Sangiovese, was
intentionally made in a classic, dry, Provençal style. The grapes were harvested
at sunrise rather than in the dawn twilight in order to select the lightest
clusters. The light juice was then full-cluster pressed directly to tank,
and briefly cold-stored in stainless steel to retain and develop the structure
and brightness. The Rhône yeast used for fermentation achieved warmer
temperatures than expected, resulting in a rich, round palate and
ultra-tropical ripeness. In the bottle, this juicy rosé is a dynamic, rich, dry and
complex yet focused wine. The crisp acidity makes it a match for light
fare, poultry, seafood and salad, but it can also stand up to hard, robust
cheese and dried fruits.
We can’t get enough of the soft
peach color of this elegant rosé, made from 100% Barbera, a grape that truly
lends itself to rosé -making thanks to its ability to retain bright acidity. At
only 11.5% alcohol it’s a great poolside or picnic sipper, but equally at home
paired with an elegantly prepared dinner. Notes of ripe pink grapefruit, wet
river stones, key lime and rose petal give way to mouthwatering peach and
nectarine and a dry, lingering finish.
tough to talk about Temecula Valley rosé without mentioning bubbly. This wine, a blend of 52%
Zinfandel 38% Tempranillo and 10% Merlot, captures the seductive fruit aromas
and flavors from the three red varietals used in its creation. The estate grown
grapes were specifically selected for their inherent red berry fruit character
and their ability to work together in a blend. Each lot of fruit was whole
cluster pressed and fermented separately prior to blending and secondary
fermentation. Strawberry, raspberry and cherry rise out of the glass with each
tiny bubble, making this wine a real “Jolly Rancher” treat. Finished as a Brut
style, this wine has a very clean, bright acidity which makes it balanced,
refreshing and inherently drinkable.
Find all of these selections online or get them straight
from the winery. With plenty to do, from wine tastings to concerts, festivals,
hot air ballooning and more, you are sure to find enough to fill several days
in Southern California Wine Country this Summer. Find out more about what’s
going on all season long in the region Wine Enthusiast Magazine named one of
the world’s Top Ten Wine Travel Destinations HERE.
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. Go here to how to play craps information 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!
While the weather this year has taken a little bit longer
than usual to get its act together, and brought lots of rain along with it, the
sun is finally starting to heat things up, shorts are moving from the back of
the dresser drawer to the front, and grape vines are looking green and full.
You know what this means? It’s officially summer wine time.
Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is
certainly known for its rich, full-bodied red wines. However, it’s also home to
some pretty incredible whites, rosés, sparkling wines and lighter-style
reds. Here’s a few of our favorites for sipping out on the patio on a warm
summer afternoon, or while backyard grilling with your friends… or for any
Why we love it: This crisp, clean, bone-dry bubbly is made
in the méthode
Champenoise, AKA how they do it in the most famous sparkling wine region of
the world, Champagne. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, it’s light but remarkably
complex, with golden delicious apple, apple blossom and toasted brioche on the
nose, teensy little bubbles, and a tight, persistent finish. Ring in the 4th
of July with this beautiful bottle, or simply pop it while you celebrate your
own heartbeat all summer long.
Why we love it: Oak Mountain has taken Temecula Valley
Roussanne – one of the Rhône Valley’s signature white grapes – and made it sparkle.
The result is a pleasantly floral, fresh wine that is delightful as an aperitif
or paired with a wide range of cuisines. The beauty of bubbles is they go with
just about everything… including nothing at all but the sun on your face and
the breeze in your hair.
Why we love it: Close your eyes and you are in Italy with
this bright, juicy Vermentino, a grape that is equally at home in Temecula as
it is in Sardinia, Liguria and Tuscany. Notes of ripe, fleshy stone fruit, lime
zest and white flowers give way to a clean, oyster shell finish. The very
definition of “quaffable.”
Why we love it: Viognier shines in Temecula Valley and this
bottling is no exception. While Viognier can at times be heavy, luscious and
slightly oily, Doffo Winery has captured all of the floral aromatics of the
grape variety while maintaining citrusy freshness and a delicate minerality
thanks to fermentation in concrete tanks. The result is a light, clean, elegant
wine that belongs on your summer dinner table.
Why we love it: Don’t let the deep, almost magenta color
fool you – this rosé, made from 100% estate Zinfandel, is light on its feet
and bursting with juicy strawberry, red currant, and watermelon Jolly Rancher
notes giving way to a totally dry, lime zest finish. Pair this with cedar
planked salmon and a sunset.
Why we love it: Sipping this wine, you could be strolling
through Provençal lavender fields with a straw hat and a picnic. We would
argue Temecula Valley is just as pretty, and this wine just as perfect as any
we’ve tried from Provence. Pale, baby pink in color, with notes of warm, ripe
strawberries and raspberries, violet petals and an elegant, wet river stone
finish. This is one we could drink all day and well into the night.
Why we love it: Another example of how well Italian grape
varieties thrive in Temecula Valley. This Montepulciano is surprisingly
light-bodied, with bright red fruit, a touch of baking spice and a soft, warm
finish, like the lingering sunshine as you recline in a hammock with a good
book at the end of a mid-summer day. A wine made that practically begs for food,
you could even try serving this with a very slight chill on it.
Why we love it: If you simply must have a rich, complex red,
even during the hottest summer months, then Baily Winery is your go-to for
highly structured, elegant red wines. Meritage is their flagship bottling, and
they have a library selection that dates back over a decade. A stunning blend
of classic Bordeaux grape varieties, this wine is lean but powerful, with ripe
berry fruit, plum, sweet baking spices and an intriguing tobacco note.
While all of these wines can be purchased online or direct
from the winery, the summer months are a fantastic time to visit Temecula. With
plenty to do, from wine tastings to concerts, festivals, hot air ballooning and
more, you are sure to find enough to fill several days in Southern California
Wine Country. Find out more about what’s going on all summer long in the region
Wine Enthusiast Magazine named one of the world’s Top Ten Wine Travel
Planning a brunch for Mother’s Day? This recipe would be a hit with Mom! Slice this frittata into thin wedges for a passed hors d’oeuvre or serve more generous portions with a tuft of salad as a first course. To dress it up, top wedges with a dollop of crème fraîche and California sturgeon caviar. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Sparkling Wine.
Ingredients ½ pound (250 g) fingerling potatoes 1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil Kosher or sea salt 6 large eggs Freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives ¼ pound fresh Dungeness crabmeat
Directions Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Put the potatoes in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, season with salt, and turn to coat with the oil and salt. Bake until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, then slice into ½-inch (12 mm) pieces. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper, and the dill and chives. Stir in the crabmeat and potatoes, reserving a few larger pieces of crab for placing on the surface of the frittata later.
Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot, add the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to distribute the crab and potato evenly. Cook without stirring for about 2 minutes, until the eggs begin to set, then place the reserved chunks of crabmeat on top. Continue cooking without stirring until the frittata is about two-thirds set, with some patches of liquid egg on the surface. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the surface is firm to the touch, about 6 minutes longer.
Remove from the oven and slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Let rest at least 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped dill, then slice into wedges and serve. The frittata is best warm, not hot.
Happening May 31 and June 1 at Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios. With hundreds of wines, craft brews and spirits on offer, the weekend-long festival is a relaxed, welcoming setting for people to explore the world of wine and more, alongside cool L.A. food trucks, live bands and handcrafted goods. LAWineFest proudly supports local organizations while serving as the Southland’s signature celebration of wine, beer, spirits and food.
Temecula Valley wines will be featured in their very own booth! The region is proudly pouring:
In the third installment of our new blog series “Big Dreamers,” we interview veteran wine experts and longtime partners Mike Rennie and Gary Winder, owners of Leoness Cellars on De Portola Road in Temecula Valley. When Mike and Gary founded their winery in 2003, they chose the name Leoness Cellars, which means “village of dreams” in Gaelic.
Farming citrus and avocados in the region as far back as the 1970’s, Gary teamed with up with fellow farmer and friend Mike to begin their viticulture journey in 1990. They opened the first version of the tasting room in 2003 and the upgraded edition in 2006. Now one of the most beloved and picturesque wineries in Temecula Valley, Leoness focuses on top quality wines, sustainable practices in the vineyards and first-class service in their tasting room and restaurant.
Photo Credit: Touring & Tasting
Check in every month where we feature a new interview with our Temecula Valley winemakers and winery owners. You’ll learn where they’ve come from before settling in Temecula, CA – and what keeps them passionate about the sometimes not-so-glamorous art (and science) of making good wine in California.
Interview with Winery Owner and Winemaker Mike Rennie, Leoness Cellars
1. What were you doing before owning and operating your winery?
Gary Winder and I have been farming in Temecula for many years. We farm not only wine grapes but citrus and avocados. This harvest will be Gary’s 64th.
2. What inspired you to want to buy a winery and what were the circumstances around choosing Temecula Valley, CA?
Most wineries come from farming families. We truly wanted to taste the fruits of our labors so Leoness came about. And we wanted the world to know that Temecula Valley and the South Coastal region are as good as anywhere in the world to farm premium wine grapes.
3. What were your expectations of the winemaker lifestyle at the beginning?
We didn’t have too many allusions of grandeur. As hard working farmers and having been around the industry for decades we knew the back side, so to speak. It all adds up to hard work, quality control and a lot of sweat.
4. People might think winemaking is glamorous. Would you like to set them straight?
There is a glamour side to wine. There is the romance that goes along with fine wine, great food and times with those you love. We love sharing these things with friends and wine club members. It still comes down to working in the dirt and hot sun, and attention to detail to grow the finest premium wine grapes. Great wine starts in the vineyard.
5. What is your least favorite thing about running a winery? What is your most favorite – the reason you get up in the morning?
My least favorite thing is when things don’t go right in our customer service area. We know there is no perfection, but that is what we attain to. When for some reason we miss the mark, it’s disappointing. What makes us the happiest is when we can share the perfect wine experience with our guests.
To learn more about California’s Big Dreamers, click here!
Nestled on the Northeast border of the Temecula Valley, CA sits Doffo Winery. Founded in 1997 by Marcelo Doffo, it is one of a few micro-boutique wineries in the region and the only one built around the former site of a Temecula historic landmark schoolhouse. Situated on 15 acres of rolling vineyards, the winery possesses a unique combination of old world values and warm family charm. It is also home to MotoDoffo, the family’s private collection of over 100 racing and vintage motorcycles.
Famous for handcrafted reds, Doffo is focused on small lot, limited production wines made in the old world style. Reminiscent of their Italian/Argentine heritage, Doffo is the only winery in the region to feature an outdoor, wood-burning oven and grill where they often serve “The Parilla”, a delicious staple of the Argentine table, served with their own Chimichurri sauce and paired with exceptional Doffo wine.
The unique micro-climate of Temecula Valley drives the characteristics of their wines and plays a distinct role in shaping the final result. Their collective experience, family traditions and farming techniques, combine with the terroir to create intensely flavored wines of complex structure, texture and bold, rich fruit.
Their philosophy has always been that good winemaking begins in the vineyard. They start by hand planting each vine and providing careful attention daily. They prune their vines and thin their grape clusters throughout the growing season to maximize fruit concentration and ensure the highest quality in the grapes. They also play classical music in the vineyard to soothe the grapes as they develop and mature.
Doffo Winery’s motto, “Enter as a stranger… leave as a friend,” starts the moment you enter their intimate tasting room, filled with warm-colored hues, vintage Ducati motorcycles, stylish art prints and hospitable staff. The Doffo family greets you with a warm welcome and are always excited to share their passion for great wine and vintage motorcycles with their guests.
Doffo winery’s tasting room is open daily from 10am-5pm and offers two tasting options. Standard Wine Tasting is $10 and includes 6 wines. Premium Tasting includes 5 of their premium wines; prices vary on availability, so check with the staff to see what premium selections are being offered for the day.
Doffo offers a variety of vineyard and winery tours to suit your taste and budget. Enjoy one or all of them; either way you’re sure to have a wonderful experience.
SIP AND TOUR
Take a vineyard tour aboard the Doffo Winery “Malbec Express” – an eco-friendly, Ferrari-style Bus. You will learn all about Doffo’s unique farming methods, why they play music in the vineyard, the different varietals, and visit Marcelo’s incredible motorcycle collection. The tour concludes with a Premium Tasting and cheese plate in the Moto-Barrel Room.
Weekdays: 11am and 2pm
Weekends: 10am / 12pm / 2pm / 4pm
Tours are approximately 1 1/2 hours
SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOUR
Visit Doffo and stroll the grounds of their beautiful boutique vineyard. This self-guided tour begins in their tasting room where you can pick up a tour brochure. It includes interesting facts and places on the Doffo property. There is no cost; just a few limitations and restrictions.
Hours: 10am – 5pm
MOTODOFFO MOTORCYCLE COLLECTION VIEWING
Visit Doffo for their wines, but stay for a tour of their vintage motorcycle and scooters. There is no cost for this tour. Simply check in at the tasting room and stroll to the MotoBarrel Room to view the MotoDoffo collection.
Hours: Thursday and Sunday 10am – Noon
For information on any of these tours, please call ahead to 866-469-8466 or ask for more details in the tasting room.
Celebrate with Doffo
Whatever time of year or occasion, Doffo would be pleased to welcome you and your guests for private events in any or all of their four unique spaces. Their staff is ready to bring your event to life with music, the finest cuisine, great wine and tailor-made packages with options including traditional Tango Dancers and Argentinian Gauchos serving up a special feast.
Please visit their events page or contact them for more information about planning your special event with Doffo at 866.469.8466.
Your favorite Southern California wine region is getting busier by the year. What’s a loyal visitor to do? Here are 5 great reasons to visit Temecula Valley wine country on a weekday:
1. 10% Off Your Lunch.
Temecula wine country is home to 12 delicious eateries (and counting) and most of these restaurant spots are hot come Saturday & Sunday. Reservations are required and tables are at a premium. Why not dine Monday-Friday and take advantage of the region’s coupon page which offers 10% off your al fresco favorites; including Meritage at Callaway, Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek, Cafe Champagne at Thornton and many more. Bon appetit!
Cafe Thornton, Thornton Winery
2. No Lines. Anywhere.
Weekday visitors don’t miss waiting in line for anything in wine country. Forget lines to get into (or out of) the parking lot, waiting for the tasting room staff to come back with your next pour, putting your name in for a table or even the cue for the bathroom. Hello, weekday – goodbye, lines.
Miramonte Winery Patio
3. One-on-One Attention in the Tasting Rooms.
Weekends in any California wine country is always the most popular time to taste. But wine lovers come to the vineyards to experience what they can’t at home in their dining room: a personal, one-on-one experience. When the pace is slower at Temecula Valleys’ wineries, it’s common to strike up a conversation with the tasting room manager who ends up pulling in the winemaker from the barrel room to answer your random question about oak vs. stainless steel aging. On slower afternoons, your server might call the chef out of the kitchen to let you know what local farm your chicken came from. And there’s more time to bond in the tasting room with new friends over your shared love of good vino.
Damian Doffo, Doffo Winery
4. Less Expensive Tastings, 2 for 1 Coupons and Happy Hours.
When it comes to wine tasting, the Monday through Thursday crowd can taste some of the same weekend wine flights for a little less. Alternatyvi medicina, sveikata, bičių duonelė, masažas, dietos, imuniteto stiprinimas, gintaras, alijošius, sveika mityba, nevaisingumo gydymas netradicinemedicina.com Indulge in weekday happy hours at favorites like South Coast, Danza del Sol and Ponte; and don’t forget your weekday 2 for 1 tasting coupons to a whole slew of top Temecula wineries.
5. Great Hotel Rates.
Go ahead and spend the night on a Wednesday. Temecula hotels are eager for your mid-week business and they show it with their low weekday rates. Even though Temecula Valley is conveniently located near all major SoCal cities, after a day of touring and tasting, you’ll be safe and sound knowing your hotel room has already been booked – instead of having to gear up for a late-night drive home.
World of Wines Barrel Tasting Weekend is Temecula Valley’s first regional tasting event of 2014, taking place March 1 & 2.
The “World of Wine” theme demonstrates the fact that the Temecula-South Coast AVA successfully grows varietals from all over the world. The WoW event is passport style, where hundreds of ticket-holders armed with a glass and a map can enjoy a self-guided tour through wine country. Over the course of the weekend, Temecula Valley’s 35 wineries offer special tastes of newly released, unreleased and barrel samplings of great Temecula wines, along with tasty tidbits and live music.
To promote and celebrate sustainability, participating wineries will have fun competing in the Best Winery Cork Art Contest, where the winning winery will receive a $500 donation to their favorite Southern California charity and the winning guest voter will be awarded four tickets to the region’s next big passport event.
2014 World of Wine Event Details
WHAT: 23rd Annual “World of Wine” Winter Barrel Tasting Weekend
WHEN: March 1 – 2, 10am to 4:30pm
WHERE: Temecula Valley wine country; 60-90 mins from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County and Palm Springs
HOW: Self-guided passport event, where guests can visit 35 member wineries at their own pace; winery map and souvenir tasting glass provided for each guests to keep. Plus gourmet food pairings, live music and fun contests!