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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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April Winery Events

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Spring has officially arrived and we’ve got bud break in the vineyards! We invite you to come out to wine country and enjoy Easter Brunch, take in a concert or food & wine pairing, or simply wind down with a glass of wine and live music.

Avensole Winery
Sommelier for a Day! / April 17 / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm / Price per person: $42; $33 Wine Club / Sip, Swirl and Savor your wine like a Pro! Let our fabulous Sommelier Jesse Alvarez guide you through the 5 S’s, along with other Sommelier secrets and expert tips! / Tickets must be purchased in advance through our website: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-391738/Wine-Wednesdays-Sommelier-For-A-Day.html

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 Easter Egg Hunt at Carol’s Restaurant / April 21 / 1:00pm / Regular Menu plus Easter Specials. All dogs must be on leashes. Plastic eggs are filled with turkey hotdogs. Owner’s responsible to make sure dogs don’t eat plastic eggs / This is a popular event…Reservations Highly Recommended! Please call in advance at 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

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 sourced.

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

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Cougar Craft Night / April 24 / 4:00pm-6:00pm / Wine club $35pp, Non-wine club $40pp / We’re making a Derby Hat, Fascinator or Tie. Why? We’ll be having a Kentucky Derby Party May 4th with best dressed prizes!! All materials needed to create your item will be provided plus expert help from our Event Team! Craft, sip and nibble the afternoon away! Reserve your spot by calling the winery 951.491.0825 or visiting the tasting room.

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

Europa Village
Easter Lunch / April 21 / 12pm-3pm / Adult Tickets: $54.99 / Société $49.49, Children Tickets, $19 / Société $17.10 / Join us Easter Sunday for a delicious lunch by Chef Dean, Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny, Face Painting, a kids Jolly Jumper and live music by Jimmy Patton! / Please visit us at www.europavillage.com for reservations.

Festa! Featuring Mrs. Jones Revenge / April 19 / 5:30pm -8:30pm / Free Admission; Food Tickets: $19 / Enjoy wine, food and live music by Mrs. Jones Revenge, benefiting Fine Arts Network!
Please visit us at www.europavillage.com for additional information.

Falkner Winery
Wine Appreciation Class / April 20 / 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

Easter Champagne Brunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant / April 21 / 10:00am-3:00pm / For a full menu please visit our website at www.falknerwinery.com. Entertainment provided by Harmony Road Duo / Price: $59.95+/person (Wine Club $54.95+/person) Children (3-10) $26.00+/child (Wine Club $21.00+/child) / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night! / April 20 / 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-391042/Salsa-Night-42019.html

Leoness Cellars
Afternoon Tea At Leoness / Begins April 1st Monday through Thursday / 2pm-5pm / $55pp for Tea; $75pp for Tea & Sparkling Wine; $5pp additional for Terrace seating (upon availability) / Chef Daragh has selected only the finest loose leaf, hand picked first flush teas from around the world. Matching that with his experience, his staff has crafted all of the freshly baked pastries and scones in-house and chosen only the finest condiments from Europe and clotted creams from Devon in Cornwall. With unparalleled views of the Temecula wine country and traditional silver service, Leoness will immerse you in a true Afternoon Tea Experience paralleled to that of the finest teas served in London hotels / By reservations only 951.302.7601 ext. 1. Please allow 24 hour notice upon booking.

Lorimar Vineyard & Winery
Winemaker’s Dinner / April 19 / 6pm – 9pm / $85 per person/$76.50 Wine Club / Enjoy 5 courses paired with Award-Winning Lorimar wines, and an opportunity to engage with Winemaker, Marshall Stuart, and knowledgeable Sommelier’s from the Lorimar team in our Lorimar Winery Barrel Room! / To purchase tickets please visit https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res409376/Winemakers-Dinner.html / Space is limited so get your tickets early! (event is 21+, tax is not included)

Easter Brunch / April 21 / Two seating’s: 11:00am and 1:30pm / Join us for a special Easter Brunch Buffet on the Sunset Patio. Live Music, Wine, Amazing Food, Easter Egg Hunt & more! / $45 pp / $40.50 Wine Club / $22.50 (ages 4-12) / Adult Ticket (21+) includes one mimosa or beer! To purchase your tickets please visit https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-409410/Easter-Brunch.html / * Limit of 2 hr. dining time, cancellations must be made at least 48 hrs. in advance

Laugh Your Glass Off / April 25 / Show starts at 7 pm / $20 pp / $18 Wine Club Members / Doors & Pairings Food Truck opens at 6 pm. Join us for a night of good wine, good comedy and good times! Featuring 3 Talented Comedians! / For tickets please visit https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-409411/Laugh-Your-Glass-Off.html MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY (21+)

Mount Palomar Winery
Rocky’s Comedy Live at Mount Palomar Winery / April 6 / 6:00pm (early show) 8:00pm (late show) / Tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door / Catch your favorite “A-List” and celebrity comics live, on-stage, inside Annata Bistro/Bar. Presenting John Caponera with Special Guest Scott Wood. Last dinner reservations for the bistro will be at 4 PM, snacks and drinks will be available during the show / Please purchase your ticket through https://rockyscomedylive.com/

Rocky’s Comedy Live at Mount Palomar Winery / April 20 / 6:00pm (early show) 8:00pm (late show) / Tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door / Catch your favorite “A-List” and celebrity comics live, on-stage, inside Annata Bistro/Bar. Presenting Karen Rontwoski with Special Johnny Herrera / Last dinner reservations for the bistro will be at 4 PM, snacks and drinks will be available during the show / Please purchase your ticket through https://rockyscomedylive.com/

Wine Country Wiener Fest / April 14 / 11:00am – 4:00pm / The Temecula Valley Dachshund Club proudly presents the 10th Annual Wine Country Wiener Fest at Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula! Featuring family-friendly games, local vendors and services, food, beverages, wine tasting, and races and contests for dachshunds of all sizes, this is the doggy event of the year in Temecula! / For tickets please visit http://www.wienerfest.info/

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery
Down 2 Earth BBQ / April 28 / 3pm / $25 per person / Sip some great wine, bite into tasty BBQ and hear about our involvement in the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program from our winemaker/viticulturist Nicholas Palumbo where he will delve deeper into the word “Sustainable” and what it means to our lives as well as our business. Also learn how you can support local 4H and FFA kids and fill your freezer with locally and ethically raised, healthy, safe meats / Contact Cindy@palumbowines.com for tickets.Very Limited Seating.

Peltzer Family Cellars
Spring Social / April 6 -11am-10pm / April 7 11am-7pm / Roundup the family and join us for Peltzer’s 2nd Annual Spring Social! On April 6th and 7th, break out your boots and kick some dust up at the Farm for a shindig y’all won’t want to miss. This Two-day event features fun for the whole family: pics with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts (for kids and adults), local food trucks, a local maker’s market, craft beer from Refuge Brewery, live music, train rides, face painting, and mini John Deere carts for the kiddos. We will be raising funds for our local charity partner, Kamali’i Foster Family Agency by selling $5 bar access wristbands for those looking to enjoy a nice beverage at the event / Bar access wristbands are $5 and can be pre-purchased on our Facebook event page or through www.peltzerwinery.com

Supercross Watch Party with Road 2 Recovery / April 13 / 5:30pm-9pm / Tickets for entry are $5 / Come watch the Denver Supercross with us on the big screen. We’re teaming up with the Road 2 Recovery Foundation to fundraise for local small business owner and motorcycle enthusiast, John Fonteyn, and his R2R campaign. The evening will include a DJ, raffles to be held during commercial breaks, two local food trucks, Peltzer wine, beer, motorcycles on display, raising money for a deserving individual, and supporting an awesome foundation / Tickets can be purchased online at www.peltzerwinery.com. All entry ticket and raffle ticket proceeds to straight to charity.

Oak Mountain Winery
Farm to Table Dinner / April 12 / 6pm-10pm / $115 Members; $125 Non-members. VIP Upgrade available / Menu will include ingredients from local artisans including the Salt Sisters, Oak Mountain Winery Avocado Oils, Regional honey & locally sourced cheeses. Each course will be introduced by our in-house Chef with a complimentary wine pairing presented by our Winemaker, Steven Andrews / Tickets available by calling 951.699.9102 or visit us online at www.oakmountainwinery.com/events

Ponte Winery
Ponte Earth Week Sustainability Tours / April 22nd – Friday, April 26th / All tours starting at 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. / Price: $5 per person / At Ponte, we don’t only talk the talk; we walk the walk! Starting on April 22nd (Earth Day!) and continuing through April 26th, take a tour through our working winery to see our sustainable practices in action. Join us for a splash of wine before boarding our 10-passenger tour bus and learn about the rigorous standards we uphold to maintain California Certified Winegrowing Certification for our 8th year in a row. To request a tour, please email tastingroom@pontewinery.com. Space is limited; request your tour today!

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
Blessing of the Vines / April 7 / 5:00pm to 8:00pm / $85 for General Admission; $75 for Wine Club Members / Join us in the Courtyard at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa as we bless and celebrate a fruitful growing season! Rev. Msgr. Thomas Burdick will lead blessings over the vines with a sparkling wine toast. Next, guests can partake in four (4) food and wine pairing stations, dinner + dessert buffets, dancing, and cash full bar. Musical entertainment will be provided by the band, Big Truth. All guests receive a bottle of Gold Medal red or white wine per pair of tickets, with additional bottles available for purchase at the event / For more information and to purchase: https://www.southcoastwinery.com/winery/blessing

Easter Brunch Buffet at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant / April 21 / 8:00am– 3:00pm / Buffet: Adults $65.00 | Children $25.00 (13 & under) / Our egg hunt will take place in our courtyard at 10:00am, 12:00pm, and 1:00pm. Special Appearance by the Easter Bunny / Reservation Information: Make your reservations today! | 866.643.8058

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
Easter Brunch / April 21 / 1030am-5:00pm / $64.95; $19.95 Children 12 & under plus tax and gratuity. Under 5yrs. is free / Enjoy an array of brunch menu items and kid station. Face painting, balloon art and the “Easter Bunny” will be handing out treats. For full menu information and reservations, please call 951.699-0099 or visit www.thorntonwine.com

Friday Live Music “B.I.G.” / April 5 / 6p-9p / Cost: $15 in advance ($20 at the door) / 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 for reservations.

Friday Live Music “KILLER DUELING PIANOS” / April 19 / 6p-9p / Cost: $15 in advance ($20 at the door) / 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 for reservations.

Friday Live Music “LED ZEPAGAIN” / April 26 / 6p-9p / General Admission $25 in advance. VIP tickets – $40 (First 6 rows) / Call Thornton winery @ (951) 699-0099 to reserve a table. Table reservations require each person to order dinner. Advance ticket purchase required online only through our website at www.thorntonwine.com

Wilson Creek Winery
Jazz & Dinner Concert with Paulo & Karukas / April 6 / 5 – 7:30 pm / Price: $95 per person / Wine Club $85.50 / Join us for an evening of Jazz featuring the amazing Michael Paulo & Gregg Karukas! 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-416642/Jazz-Dinner-Concert-With-Paulo-And-Karukas.html

Easter Brunch / April 21 / 10-3 pm / Price: $75.95 (with Bubbly) / $65.95 (without Bubbly) / What do Easter & Brunch have in common? Both happen on Sundays! Come enjoy both at Wilson Creek Winery with your loved ones on April 21st! Make Reservations Here: https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/res-416684/Easter-Brunch.html

Dead Man’s Party (Oingo Boingo Tribute) / April 26 / 6-9 pm / Price: $60 per person / Wine Club $54 / Join us for the “Halfway to Halloween” Costume Party with Dead Man’s Party Oingo Boingo Tribute Band! Buffet Dinner included. Purchase tickets: https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/res-416694/Dead-Mans-Party-Concert.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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LITTLE GEM LETTUCES WITH OLIVE OIL-POACHED TUNA

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Serves 4

This dish requires a lot of olive oil for poaching, but you won’t waste a drop. Use some of the flavorful poaching oil in the salad dressing; strain and refrigerate the remainder for cooking greens or for dressing future salads. The strained oil will keep for a month. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients
1 albacore tuna steak, about 10 ounces (315 g) and
3⁄4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick
3⁄4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, halved
6 black peppercorns
1 3⁄4 to 2 cups (430 to 500 ml) extra virgin olive oil
dressing
6 tablespoons (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil (from the tuna baking dish)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 cups (280 g) cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse if canned)
1⁄2 pound (250 g) Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts
1⁄4 pound (125 g) radicchio
1⁄2 red onion, shaved or very thinly sliced
3⁄4 cup (125 g) halved cherry tomatoes
1⁄4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Remove the tuna from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Season the tuna on both sides with the fennel seed and salt. Put the tuna in a deep ovenproof baking dish just large enough to hold it. Add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns. Pour in enough olive oil just to cover the tuna.

Bake until a few white dots (coagulated protein) appear on the surface of the fish and the flesh just begins to flake when probed with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. The tuna should still be slightly rosy inside. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature in the oil.

Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, capers, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chickpeas and let them marinate for 30 minutes.

With a slotted spatula, lift the tuna out of the olive oil and onto a plate.

Put the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Tear the larger outer leaves in half, if desired, but leave the pretty inner leaves whole. Tear the radicchio into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl along with the onion, tomatoes, and parsley.

Using a slotted spoon, add the chickpeas, then add enough of the dressing from the chickpea bowl to coat the salad lightly. By hand, flake the tuna into the bowl.

Toss, taste for salt and vinegar, and serve.

Pairing Suggestions:

Akash Winery ~ 2017 Parlez-Vous Rosé – A bright candied apple appearance matches the aromas on this Zinfandel rosé.

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

Ponte Winery ~ 2018 Pas Doux – Its notes of strawberry and rose with a pleasantly balanced acidity make it a staple for everything from a springtime brunch to the dinner table.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2016 Tempranillo Rosé -Lightly sweet and abundantly fruity, the crisp finish make this Tempranillo Rosé a great warm weather sipper.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute

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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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VALLEY GIRLS: THE WOMEN OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY

Friday, March 1st, 2019

Since our last winemaker Q&A was so popular, we thought it might be time to do another one. For this issue, we caught up with a dynamic group of Temecula Valley rockstars – the women of wine country – to ask them about their inspirations, their aspirations, how they feel about being a woman in a male-dominated industry, and what their day-to-day looks like working in one of the most idyllic places on earth – Southern California.

They are at once businesswomen, multi-taskers, leaders, mothers, daughters, entrepreneurs, creatives, winemakers, farmers, and everything in between, and it’s clear they are ambitious as hell, and very passionate about Temecula Valley.

Here’s what they had to say.

Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA): What or who inspires you on a day to day basis in your job?

Cindy Palumbo, Palumbo Vineyards & Winery

Cindy Palumbo, Owner, Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery: I am inspired daily by my husband [Winemaker, Nick Palumbo]. I rely on his focus to produce the top quality wine that we have. He makes me think about small details, and it has definitely helped our business.

Patricia O’Brien, VP of Sales & Operations, Danza del Sol Winery and Masia de la Vinya Winery: My staff inspires me on a daily basis. Being surrounded by creative people who share your goals and passion for wine is amazing.

Olivia Bue, Winemaker,Robert Renzoni Vineyards: The energy from other Temecula Valley winemakers gives me inspiration and motivation to keep making the best wine possible. We all have a synergy that allows us to be supporters of each others’ successes rather than competitors.

Krista Chaich, Executive Director, TVWA: Since the day I arrived in Temecula Valley Wine Country almost 15 years ago, I’ve been inspired by the people whose passion led to where our wine country is today. But these days, I’m inspired by a wine country pioneer, Phil Baily who continues to produce beautifully crafted wines (with a bit of help from his winery cats); Joe Hart, whose passion for winemaking has extended to his sons, Jim and Mike; and a multitude of “newcomers” who’ve been drawn to our region because of the foundation that has been laid by the generations before them.

Cori DeHore, TVWA

Cori DeHore, Operations Manager, TVWA: Our guests and their enthusiasm in planning their visit with us for the first time.


TVWA: Have you had any mentors in your career?

Cindy: I always looked up to Joe Hart when I was at Hart Winery. I admired his style of winemaking and he made me feel like part of the family. When I was at Callaway I looked up to John Moramarco. He was so patient with me and taught me a lot about farming and the vineyards. John and Joe played an instrumental role in helping to preserve the region’s agricultural roots. They helped me realize that we really want to help maintain integrity in the Valley by farming and producing high quality wines.

Valerie Andrews, Owner & Vice President, Oak Mountain Winery: My Dad was my mentor in the wine business. Growing up he was so enthusiastic about fine wines and always talked about them at the dinner table. During one visit to our house (which is now the Temecula Hills Winery and production facility), he jokingly said, “You have 10 acres. Why don’t you terrace the hills and plant grapes?” Well that year we did. Once the grapes grew, we had wine barrels everywhere – even our bathroom – and decided to start our wine career. We opened Temecula Hills Winery in 2001. I am very proud we were able to make a great Syrah blend which we named after dad – “Ed’s Red” – which got a silver medal. The best part was that dad was still alive to enjoy the notoriety and did a bottle signing for our customers. Of course I still have mine.

Cori: During my teens, my mentor was my high school Home Economics teacher. I was her teacher’s aide and it was the first time I felt someone genuinely have confidence in me. She made me feel like I could do anything for a career.

Oliva Bue, Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery

Olivia: I have worked alongside some incredible winemakers in different regions throughout my young career, but my first mentor in Temecula, Gus Vizgirda, stands out as my foremost influencer.


TVWA: What is the hardest part of your job?

Cindy: The hardest part has been trying to raise our 4 children while building a business. In the early years, the kids were small and didn’t understand that we had to work every weekend. I also had our 4th child after the winery opened. He spent his first few years in a playpen behind the bar.

Patricia O’Brien, Danza del Sol Winery & Masia de la Vinya Winery


Patricia: I’m not going to lie! The hardest part of my job is learning how to take criticism and learn from it. Getting it right is important when you are the one in charge, but listening and learning from your mistakes is just as important.

Krista: My job is to promote the whole region as opposed to wineries individually. It isn’t lost on me that many of them have put everything that they have into their businesses. But representing so many people, with differing business models….that’s pretty tough.

Olivia: The hardest part of being a winemaker is continuing to improve each wine, vintage after vintage. After releasing a wine that our wine club members and customers love, it’s my priority to make that next vintage even better. This can sometimes be challenging when weather causes stress on the vines and fruit quality is impacted, but the challenge of constantly improving is what makes this industry most gratifying.


TVWA: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Cindy: Tasting the final product, and when I hear people in the tasting room enjoying the wines. I also find great satisfaction in raising our own food. Being a totally sustainable vineyard, winery and household, gives me great pride. I love providing food for my family.

Jana Prais, Sales Director, Maurice Car’rie Winery: The satisfaction of introducing Temecula wine to people who had never heard of it, and having them learn that it’s an exceptional product. Most people are unaware of the high quality wines coming out of this part of California. It feels good to witness their surprise.

Krista: Can I say the wine?! I mean, it’s not only the wine, but it’s also that I’ve met so many wonderful people in this business over the years. The wine business is big, yet so small at the same time.

Valerie: The best part of the job is the great people I meet on a daily basis. When customers enjoy the hard work Steve has put into making the wine, the training I have put into our staff and the dream of building the first and only mined wine cave in Southern California, it puts a smile on my face. I see people walking on the grounds, hand in hand for their vacation… They chose to come to us.

Carrie Peltzer, Peltzer Family Cellars

Carrie Peltzer, Owner, Peltzer Family Cellars: I love watching people’s faces when they visit us. Their faces tell the story of how much they love the space and enjoy the wine!

Olivia: By far the most rewarding part of my job is the journey from vine to bottle to table. To be able to capture years of hard work in one single bottle is undeniably the most fulfilling part of my job.


TVWA: Do you feel being a woman has made it harder to be successful in any way? Has it made it easier in any way?

Cindy: It has not made it easier. I wear many hats, being a woman. I am required to run a business, run a household, raise children, raise animals, volunteer in my community, volunteer at the school. I am a chauffeur, a personal shopper and confidant, a tutor and a wife.

Patricia: To be honest, I feel that being a woman in a management position at a winery has made it easier because I’m able to tap into my natural abilities as a mother of three busy children (between the ages of 23 and 7), so I know how to multi-task, while meeting deadlines, collaborate and have fun doing it.

Jana Prais, Maurice Carr’ie Winery

Jana: I’ve observed that women are often great at multi-tasking and can be adaptable to different personalities and situations. I feel these qualities in myself have enabled me to be successful in the job.

Krista: I’ve never measured my successes or failures by my gender. Even though I work in a male dominated field, I’ve never felt challenged by that.

Valerie: When I was 36, after a 19-year marriage my husband died unexpectedly in his sleep. I was left with 2 teenagers, a mortgage, and no real job. I had helped my husband in his painting and home repair business, so I decided to go for a paint contractor’s license and got started on my own business within 6 months. Back then, there were no woman painting contractors. I got involved in a National Women in Construction group, who helped me whenever I got in over my head. For 20 years, I painted schools, restaurants, homes and even a prison. I occasionally butted heads with the good old boys, and had my share of tears on my drive home, but it made me the confident woman I am today.


TVWA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country?

Cindy: I see myself continuing my work for the State of California Agricultural Association. I would like to finish my children’s book series. I would like to continue to teach our children how farm and run a profitable winery.

Patricia: I see myself running a third winery in Temecula Valley, while working to open my own winery consulting firm. In five years, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country will be the “it” wine region to travel to.

Krista Chaich, TVWA

Krista: The future is so bright for Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. I’ve seen it change so much in 15 years. We’ve come from a small, gem of a wine region, to a burgeoning wine destination in a short amount of time. We’ve dealt with many challenges, but I believe that if we are all unified in our vision of becoming a well-known and widely respected wine region, that’s exactly what will happen. And where do I see myself in five years?? Hopefully, leading the charge.

Carrie: In 5 years I hope to be knee deep in our next phase of Peltzer, continuing to tell our story. I have been filing away in my mind all the things that I want to design and share with our Peltzer family customer base. My role at Peltzer will be to communicate the importance of a well-thought-out space, where our customers can come to experience wine country to its fullest, while enjoying the story, the space, the wine, meeting new friends and relaxing with old ones.


TVWA: Tell us one small anecdote that has had an impact on your career – whether important, meaningful, challenging, funny, memorable… something that stands out:

Cindy: The most challenging thing I did in my career was probably while raising 3 small children. I worked the tasting room all day, and then we had a winemaker dinner that night that I was the server for…while 9 months pregnant. Raising children while running a business has always been challenging, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Running a business with my husband out of our home has had challenges. Our kids have learned that the combination of hard work and respect for each other pays off and is the greatest reward.

Krista: I could probably write a book about my experiences in wine country (although I’d have to change some names to protect the “innocent!”), but one experience stands out. I was attending my first Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, CA, and we were pouring wine at the regional tasting. I felt so proud and excited to be there, and the next thing I knew, Jerry Lohr, (the J. Lohr) came up to me and said, “Hmmm, Temecula Valley, huh?” I poured him a taste of wine, he sipped it, asked for another pour, and then got a huge smile on his face. He said, “You know…. that’s really good. That’s when I knew that I was part of something very special. It was only my second week on the job at the Association.

Valerie Andrews, Oak Mountain Winery

Valerie: In the early years, we bought a giant fermenting bag for our Merlot grapes. You pump your must into the bag and, as it ferments and heats, up you run cold water in the outer shell of the bag to keep it from getting too hot. Well, the cold water wasn’t working, so the must keep exploding out of the vent pipe so we added 15 more feet to the pipe. When it was finally ready to pump the wine out of the bag, it wouldn’t come out as it was supposed to. So, Steve cut the top of the bag, and in I went up to my waist in must, and handed him bucket after bucket until it was empty. That wine got a gold medal.

Special thanks to these dynamic women who shared their personal insights with us for this article. Next time you feel you can’t do it all, we hope their stories inspire you.

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CHICKEN-CHIPOTLE POSOLE WITH AVOCADO AND LIME

Friday, March 1st, 2019

A rich broth, moist hand-shredded chicken and smoky chipotle make this posole a standout. And you’ll have some extra poached chicken to enjoy in a salad the following day. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Barbera or Zinfandel.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 pounds (1 kg) chicken legs and thighs
2 quarts (2 l) water
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 dozen black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smacked
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed or ground cumin
1/3 pound (155 g) Mexican-style chorizo
Vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
½ green bell pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large plum tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup (10 g) chopped cilantro, plus some for garnish
1 can (15 oz/470 g) whole hominy, drained and rinsed
Canned chipotle chile en adobo, to taste
Kosher or sea salt.
1 small avocado, halved and pitted, then sliced crosswise
1 lime, quartered

Directions
Put the chicken and water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim any foam that collects on the surface. When the chicken stops producing foam, add the onion, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves. Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook 1 hour. Cool, then strain. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the skin. Refrigerate half the meat for another use. Shred the remaining meat by hand. Set aside 5 cups (1.25 l) of chicken broth and refrigerate or freeze any remaining broth for another use.

Put the whole cumin seed in a small dry skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the skillet often, until the cumin darkens and becomes fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool, then pound fine in a mortar or grind in a spice grinder.

Remove the chorizo from its skin and put it in a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until it has rendered its fat and is fully cooked. Transfer it to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind. Add enough vegetable oil to the pot to make 2 tablespoons fat.

Add the minced onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato, oregano, and cumin and cook about 3 minutes longer to soften the tomato. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the 5 cups (1.25 l) chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the cilantro, hominy, shredded chicken, and chorizo and return to a simmer. Whisk in some of the thick adobo sauce from the canned chipotle chiles, adding as much as you like. Season posole to taste with salt.

Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Top each portion with a few avocado slices and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Pairing Suggestions:

Avensole Winery ~ 2015 Barbera – Dark cherry, strawberry, lavender, vanilla.

Hart Winery ~ 2015 Zinfandel – This fruity, classic Zin has been aged 12 months in premium American oak and blend with a kiss of Petite Sirah.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2015 Barbera – Ripened cherry aromas and flavors, this wine is bursting with berries and bright acidity,along with tart blackberry jam and tobacco on the finish.

Wiens Family Cellars ~ 2015 Reserve Zinfandel – Dried fruit, toasted oak, refined tannins.

Photo and recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Dungeness Crab Frittata

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

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 for the holidays, top wedges with a dollop of crème fraîche and California sturgeon caviar. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Sparkling Wine.

Serves 6

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.

Suggested Pairings: 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Flavors of green apple, tropical fruit and hints of honeysuckle. Floral scents and an oaky finish will leave you longing for more. 

Oak Mountain 2017 Chardonnay ~ This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, creme brulee and caramel.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa Brut Sparkling ~ Crisp acidity and delicate yeastiness are enveloped in a rich tropical fruit aroma. A perfect change of pace!

Wilson Creek Winery Brut Sparkling Wine ~ Light and refreshing, and very fun. Great in Mimosas! A fun party sparkling wine.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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December Winery Events

Friday, November 30th, 2018

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

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

Baily Winery
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
Tree Lighting Celebration / December 14 / 5:00-9:00pm / Our Annual Barrel Tree Lighting Celebration is just around the corner! Bring the kids and family to meet Santa and enjoy cookie decorating, a hot chocolate bar, Christmas Carolers, discounts on wine, gifts and so much more! Come experience the magic of Christmas in wine country at Callaway Winery! /R.S.V.P. to (951) 676-4001. Free Admission.

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 / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with seasonal accoutrements. Each pairing lasts approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

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

Sip N Paint Class “Personalized Ornaments” / December 20 / 6pm-8pm / $35 per person; $30 for members / Includes all materials. Wines available for purchase by glass or bottle.  Members do receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Fazeli Cellars
Salsa Night
/ December 21 / Doors Open at 6:30 with 45-minute Salsa Lesson / No partner or experience needed! Admission fee is $20 for non-members (plus tax) and $15 (plus 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-390887/Salsa-Night-111618.html

New Year’s Eve Party “An Evening in Casablanca” / December 31 /$120 Non-Members | $100 Members / Includes: Champagne Greeting, 3 Course Dinner & Live Music, DJ, Dancing, Casino and a Champagne Toast at Midnight. Wine & Beer Available for purchase / Purchase Tickets Here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390943/New-Years-Eve-2018.html

Leoness Cellars
Winemaker Dinner / December 6 / 6:00pm – 10:00pm / $95 Members; $115 Non-Members, plus tax / VIP seating with owners, Mike and Lisa Rennie, in the Winder Room. $150 plus tax, no discounts. Only 16 seats available Enjoy a four course, wine-paired Winemaker’s Dinner hosted by Leoness Cellars winemaker, Tim Kramer and Executive Chef, Daragh Matheson. Sparkling wine reception under the Oak Tree and dinner following in The Restaurant at Leoness / Seating is limited / Reservations and tickets available by calling (951) 302-7601 ext.2

Lorimar Vineyard & Winery
Tree Lighting / December 2 / 5pm – 8pm / Kick off the holiday season off at Lorimar Winery with Santa, Cookies, and more! Free to enjoy but RSVP is requested by visiting us at https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-408801/Tree-Lighting.html

Smoke & Vine: An Evening of Cigars and Wine / December 7 / 7:00p / Tickets: $85.00 ($76.50 Wine Club) Join us for a relaxing evening on the Vineyard Lawn; including four course dinner from Chef Jorge, paired with cigars from Casa Lovo, and Lorimar award-winning wines / For reservations please go to: https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-408695/Smoke-Vine-An-Evening-Of-Cigars-And-Wine.html

Hanukkah / December 9 / 5pm – 8pm / Celebrate Hanukkah at Lorimar Winery with a Menorah Lighting, Latkes, and more! / Free to enjoy but RSVP is requested by visiting us at https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-408802/Hanukkah.html

Sunday Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 11am –3 pm / $35 Adult / $31.50 WC / $15 (Ages 4-12) / Brunch includes one mimosa or glass of beer for ages 21+ / To Make a Reservation – https://shop.lorimarwinery.com/res-408083/Sunday-Brunch.html

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite at Mount Palomar Winery / December 2, 9, 15 / 1:00p-3:00p / Tickets $45; 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: https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Peltzer Family Cellars
Peltzer Ice Rink / Open daily now through January 6th / 3pm-9pm / Ice Rink Bar Open Friday through Sunday 4-8:40pm / The farm is freezing over, y’all! For the first time ever Peltzer Farms will be featuring a full on Ice Rink! Ice Rink will be closed if it’s raining, for safety reasons. Ice Rink may be closed on specific dates based on private events. Admission (includes a pair of skates) General Admission $15; Kids 5 and under (with paid general admission) $11; Crush Club (wine club) members get $2 off admission prices. Admission (if you bring your own skates) General Admission $13; Kids 5 and under (with paid general admission) $9.

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
Christmas at The Vineyard Rose / December 24th – Tuesday, December 25th / Brunch: 8:00am – 3:30pm | Dinner: 5:00pm – 9:00pm /Celebrate Christmas at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant with Christmas Day brunch and Christmas Eve & Christmas Day dinner / Reservations are required. Make a reservation at SouthCoastWinery.com

Harmonizing Hatha at the Grapeseed Spa / Every Mondays & Wednesdays / 9:00am – 10:00am This unique class enables you to find balance of body and mind. With gentle stretching, focused breathing and meditation, your instructor will take you on a journey through your personal chakras resulting in a mind and body that are more fluid and at ease / 4 people or more | $35 per person, 3 people or less | $65 per person / Spa Members | $16 per person / Reservation Information: Call 877.552.1731 to book your class.

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.

Wiens Family Cellars

New Year’s Eve 2018 Celebration / December 31 / 7pm-12:30am / $125 per guest / Join us this New Year’s Eve for our NYE dinner party! Enjoy a seated dinner followed by hours of DJ dancing to send the year 2018 off in style / For reservations please visit http://www.wienscellars.com/res-411819/New-Years-Eve-Celebration-2018.html

Wilson Creek Winery

New Year’s Eve Party / December 31 / 8 pm – 12:30 am/ Price: $150 / Wine Club $135 / Enjoy a 3-course food and wine-paired dinner with live music, a Dance Party with DJ, and a Late-Night Dessert Bar! Party Favors and an All-Night Bar included! Plan your last night of 2018, today!  / Purchase tickets: https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/RESERVE.AMS

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 Sparkling Wines for the Holidays

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

As the holiday season approaches, wine lovers will be searching for wines that complement holiday dinners and can please a wide array of palates. Whether it’s a small gathering or a large soiree, Temecula Valley sparkling wines offer something for every wine personality. Sparkling wines are ideal for special occasions, and as the holidays approach, we’ve asked our winemakers which are their favorites that will work well for holiday entertaining and gift-giving.

Thornton Non-Vintage Brut

A blend of primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which gives the wine an exciting, crisp fruit character while taking on a clean and straight forward yeast flavor from the lengthy tirage time of 28 months using the méthode champenoise process. The addition of a small amount of Pinot Noir helps to round out the wine, giving it complexity and uniting the white varietals. The Thornton NV Brut has a lot of finesse along with apple, pear and tropical aromas, which meld with toasty yeast flavors, while the finish is long and creamy. $33 Bottle

South Coast Winery Sparkling Pinot Grigio

This sparkling Pinot Grigio is worlds apart from what is normally expected with this style of dry white wine. Finished as a “Brut” this is a Pinot Grigio with wonderful nuances of pears and apples, a touch of tropical fruitiness and crisp acidity. “Whenever toasting a special occasion, serve this wonderful sparkler and let the good times roll!” says winemaker Jon McPherson. $24 Bottle

Carter Estate 2014 Blanc de Blanc Sparkling

This product has been painstakingly nurtured to deliver a sparkling wine with the finesse, flavor and aroma of a fine méthode champenoise sparkling wine. The process included barrel fermentation and barrel aging of approximately 8% of the cuvee prior to the secondary fermentation. Once the Blanc de Blanc had been blended and undergone secondary fermentation, it was aged for an additional fifteen months on the yeast lees. This time on the yeast lees helped to develop the yeasty, toasty aromas, a very fine bubble bead, wonderfully full creamy textures and an extraordinary mousse. The bottle is brimming with fresh apple and delicate floral aromas; a hint of oak shows in the background with a nuance of vanilla, toasty cookie and a rich yeasty character. This wine has a very bright acidity and a refreshingly dry finish. “Definitely our finest sparkling release to date,” states winemaker Jon McPherson. $34 Bottle

Cougar Dolce

100% Estate Malvasia Bianca sparkling wine. Sweet, Muscat-like with notes of apricot, peaches and honey, for the taste buds that like more of a dessert flavor.

Oak Mountain Winery Raspberry Sparkling

This refreshing sparkling wine explodes with a slightly sweet raspberry candy touch.  Great for sipping by the pool or celebrating your special occasion.  Winner of a Silver medal – Orange County Fair Wine Competition.  Pairs well with ham, turkey, prime rib or most any main dish.  $25 Bottle

Though Temecula Valley wines can be ordered through the wineries’ online stores and shipped to most states, what better excuse to visit the destination and try the wines onsite. Temecula Valley is conveniently located in the center of Southern California, just an hour drive from San Diego, Palm Springs and Orange County and 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Many winery restaurants offer special holiday dining menus that pair wonderfully with their holiday wines. Resort, hotel, bed and breakfast inns and vacation rentals offer special packages and pricing for Sunday through Thursday stays.

 

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Pan-Seared Steak with Portobello Mushroom Sauce atop Mascarpone Polenta

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

This classic dish highlights the earthy flavors of Portobello mushrooms, the richness of mascarpone polenta and the elegance of seared, rib eye steak. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Merlot or Syrah.

Ingredients:

3 cups (750ml) water
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
1 cup (160g) course ground polenta
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
3 tablespoons (45g) mascarpone cheese
2 (8-ounce/225g) boneless rib eye steaks, 1½- inches (3.81cm) thick, removed from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking
4 tablespoons (60ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ pound (225g) portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2/3 cup (160ml) Temecula Valley Merlot
2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (15ml) balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Pour the water and the chicken stock into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

When the water begins to simmer, whisk in the polenta and the 1 teaspoon (5ml) salt.

Stir for 5 minutes while the polenta is simmering.

Cover the polenta and turn the heat to low.

Cook for 40 minutes total stirring every 10 minutes making sure to scrape the bottom and corners of the pan.

Remove from the heat and stir in the mascarpone cheese. Cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450° F (230° C).

Sprinkle both sides of the steaks generously with salt and pepper.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the steaks and sear for 2 minutes on each side.

Transfer the steaks to a shallow baking pan. (Set the skillet aside for later use.)

Roast the steaks in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the steaks from the pan and let the steaks rest while you make the mushroom sauce.

Thinly slice the mushroom caps into half moons then slice again crosswise into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons (30ml) of olive oil in the skillet used for the steaks. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook and stir until golden brown. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by half.

Add the cream and balsamic vinegar and the ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and cover.

To serve, spoon desired amount of polenta in the center of each plate. Top polenta with sauce and strips of steak.

Suggested Pairings:

Avensole Winery 2014 Merlot ~ This wine is unique with blackberry and black cherry fruit with subtle hints of black licorice and vanilla, framed by silky tannins and a generous finish.

Carter Estate Winery & Resort 2012 Merlot ~ This Merlot has a very long finish that is silky and firm with a shapely, tart tannic backbone.

Fazeli Cellars 2014 Shiraz ~ Silky black currant and blackberry layered with hints of vanilla, earth and black pepper. Full-bodied with a rich, lingering finish.

Monte De Oro Winery 2014 Syrah ~  Accents of cocoa bean, clove, anise, red and black peppercorns with a long gripping finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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