Temecula Valley Winery Owners Tell All! Their “Family Favorites.”
Have you ever wondered which wine is a “family favorite” at your favorite Temecula Valley winery? We have too…so, we decided to ask a few of our winery owners which of their wines is their favorite….and, why. Of course, we knew that asking them this question would be much like asking parents of multiple children which is their favorite, but we thought we’d give it a whirl!
Nick Palumbo, owner of Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery says that he and wife Cindy’s fave is the “Tre Fratelli” Meritage blend. As Nick tells it, not only is this wine consistently very good, but it’s got sentimental value for the Palumbo Family as well. It is one of the first blended wines they produced in 2002 when Palumbo Winery opened and takes its name “three brothers” from the 3 boys of the Palumbo Family. The current release 2012, is a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc.
The Lin Family, owners of Callaway Vineyard & Winery, have a brand new favorite wine. They challenged their winemaker, Craig Larson, to pull out all the stops and “do whatever it took, with no cost restrictions” to create a Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects their dedication and passion to bring the best quality wine in all of Temecula Valley and California. What came of this challenge is the OPR, the Owner’s Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which the Lins believe has captured the very essence of everything they envisioned.
Over at Oak Mountain Winery, owners Steve and Valerie Andrews’ favorite is their Tenacious. This wine is a Syrah-heavy Rhone blend named after Valerie’s mother who passed away over 25 years ago. Val says “my mother, Arlene was tenacious in everything she did, and she did plenty. Her license plate on her car was Ten8shs. Whether she was working in the family liquor store, volunteering at the hospital, battling cancer or just being a great mom and friend, she was tenacious. My parents introduced the wine industry to Steve and I, and look what happened! Sorry to say, the wine is so good we drank it all…but a new vintage is coming soon.”
Monte De Oro Winery’s Ken Zignorski is passionate about their Syrah. For him, it’s all about how well it pairs with food. Ken says “I like pairing the Syrah with a nice ribeye steak or tri-tip on the grill. It’s got a full-bodied, mellow and a nice, lasting finish for me. And, I think that Syrah is one of those grapes that really demonstrates Temecula Valley’s capabilities as a wine region.”
Rick & Jennifer Buffington, owners of Cougar Vineyard & Winery, lists Aglianico as their family favorite. A black grape grown in the southern regions of Italy, it originated in Greece and was brought to the south of Italy by Greek settlers. Although it’s not a popular wine amongst the Temecula wineries, it is one that the Buffington family is proud to offer since it isn’t widely available and is very unique. They appreciate the wine’s complexity, high acidity, firm tannins, rich flavor and its ability to pair well with food. Plus….it only gets better with age!
At Briar Rose Winery, owners Les & Dorian Linkogle didn’t hesitate when it came to their favorite wine. Sacrament is a rare and historic Mission Wine. The Mission Wine is made from the Mission Grape planted by Father Junipero Serra to use for the Sacrament of Communion as he established 9 California missions from 1769-1782. These Mission Grapes, also known as the Heritage Grape of the State of California, were planted along the El Camino Real by the Founder of California Missions.
Well, it’s safe to say that our owners love their Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends! So, what is your favorite Temecula Valley wine….and why??