In the middle of the Temecula Promenade, a wine oasis appeared! The grand opening of a small permanent vineyard smack dab in the middle of the popular shopping center was introduced with a wine and food pairing as only Temecula can do.
The vineyard is surrounded by shadow boxes, explaining the history and production of wine from local wineries. According to Jeff Kurtz (General Manager for Promenade Temecula), the Wine Walk experience is an authentic reflection of each winery, as grapevines from each winemaker have been planted alongside the correlating shadowboxes, providing shoppers with the added benefit of understanding how these grapes are grown, cultivated, and ultimately transformed into award-winning wines.
The wine and food pairing proved, once again, that Temecula knows what it’s doing. The Briar Rose Winery introduced a “Zinfandel Barbera”, a light red Italian-style wine. Briar Rose is one of the most romantic wineries in Temecula, built to replicate Snow Whites cottage by a builder who worked for Disney. This slightly peppery wine paired nicely with the barbequed smorgasbord provided “Lucilles BBQ”. Beef, pork, chicken, sausage- each with your choice of Lucilles specialty sauces!
Leoness Cellars showed off their 2007 Syrah, a rich Rhone Valley red wine. Leoness Cellars calls their winery “relaxed”, and invites you to try a glass on their outdoor patio overlooking the vineyard. One thing they are not relaxed about is their high standards for their restaurant, recently voted “Best new restaurant in Temecula”. The rich blackberry (and slightly peppery) flavored syrah paired with PF Changs popular Mongolian Beef and Fried Rice. A great pairing any PF Changs fan would be thrilled with.
A little newer to Temeculas Wine Country, but equally impressive is the “South Coast Winery Resort & Spa”. With a green thumb from childhood, and a little inspiration from the vineyards scenes in a “Walk in the Clouds”, owner Jim Carter grew his first crops himself. Although they are now a huge resort, the careful cultivation of grapes to make the best wine is shown by the soft fruity richness of the “Wild Horse Peak Merlot”. Make it a girls lunch and pair it with “California Pizza Kitchens” hearty Waldorf salad, made with candied walnuts, red grapes, apple and gorgonzola cheese.
If you have the family with you, make sure to visit Wilson Creek Winery. From the award winning “Creekside Grill” to the beautiful wine tours, there’s something for everyone. Kids are welcomed and encouraged. Although famous for their “Almond Champagne” we were treated to their dry “2011 Muskat” and sweet “Golden Jubilee”, which paired with sushi from local favorite “Sushi Boat”.
Precision and experience with Italian roots is the only way to describe “Robert Renzoni Vineyards”. Wine making has been in Robert Renzoni’s roots since his Grandfather worked the vineyards in Italy in 1886! Bringing his past to the present we are treated to his award winning 2009 Sangiovese, an Italian wine with a strong cherry/raspberry flavor (and tasty hints of vanilla!). The wine paired nicely with the chicken fettuccini alfredo from the “Lazy Dog Café”, a fun (and nutritious) restaurant popular for both kids and adults.
The dream of sipping wine in an Italian villa on a private hillside is no longer something to do “one day.” Grab your significant other and gape at the views this weekend at “Gershon Bachus Vinters: A Luxury Wine Experience”. Try the 2008 Estate Cabernet Franc, a robustly fruity wine with hints of chocolate and vanilla. At the wine walk this was paired with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factories “Truly, Madly, Sweetly White Top Cupcakes” and chocolate dipped strawberries, but if you try the wine pairing lunch offered by Gershun Bachus you’ll be able to experience additional pairing choices.
The wine walk at the promenade is a welcome addition to both visitors and locals. I hope to see more events at this great location, and can’t wait to visit the wineries! Let me know some of your favorites! email@example.com