Wilson Creek Blog
Events, News, Recipes & more!

Alicante Bouschet?

Posted on July 13, 2017 in Wine Musings

Temecula is relatively a new California wine growing region. The first vineyards were planted in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Wilson Creek Winery is home to some of those early plantings, with a block of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1970. It is difficult to envision this valley before grapes, but prior to the 60’s this valley was home to Vail Ranch and lots and lots of cattle.

Temecula was a tiny little cattle town during the prohibition times, and certainly no grapes were grown here for winemaking. You would need to travel a little north for that, near the town of Wineville to find grapes.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know Wineville, the town changed its name to Mira Loma in 1930 prior to prohibition and the grapes that grew in the area were no longer used for winemaking. As luck would have it, the area grew a fair amount of Alicante Bouschet.

Alicante Bouschet is a very unique grape in that its flesh is also red, an extremely rare trait in wine grapes. 

Other red varietals like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel have red skins but their flesh is white. In addition, Alicante’s skin is very thick and it is very resistant to rot. These features made this grape ideal for train shipments to the east coast, where people of winemaking descent would buy train loads of it for who knows what (wink, wink).

Some of these pre-prohibition grapes survive today in the Rancho Cucamonga, Mira Loma area. The advanced age of these grapes makes for a truly outstanding dessert wine when fortified. The late harvest and fortification process produces a wine with deep plum, chocolate, and black cherry flavors.

Temecula may be a young wine region, but Southern California is certainly not, with history going to pre-prohibition. Who knows, but I’m curious on how the unique wine history of Temecula will develop.

This Alicante Bouschet wine is so special we’ve included it in the special July shipment along with a Moscato D’ Piemonte found in the beautiful and famous region of Piedmont in northwest Italy. We also have the 2015 Petit Verdot, this wine originates from a beautiful and historic grape that is used as one of the red grapes in the prestigious wines of Bordeaux, France. We packaged the Petit Verdot with our Explorer Series from South Africa, the 2015 Pinotage. Pinotage is a crossing of Pinot Noir and Cinsault vines, truly a “foodie wine” made in the old world style. Learn more about these wines by watching the videos with our Winemaker Gus Vizgirda on our YouTube Channel!

Don’t miss out on next years Special Edition Shipment and many other fabulous amenities by joining our Extended Family Wine Club!

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Your Full Weekend In Temecula!

Posted on June 2, 2017 in Wine Musings

What is there to do in Temecula? The real question is, how am I going to fit everything in that this destination has to offer?  When considering Temecula, do you think of a weekend of leisure, physical activity, wine tasting, night life or shopping?  This city truly can turn an originally planned, boring weekend into a very fun and diverse experience for any preferences.

Conveniently located an hour drive away from San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles Counties, the city of Temecula can provide an amazing weekend for any traveler.

All guests traveling to Temecula should plan to arrive Friday afternoon and begin with visiting one of the many wonderful lodging options.  If you’re craving an alternate to traditional hotels, consider the exclusive five-star retreat, Wilson Creek Manor.

This luxury mansion is a Full House Exclusive Retreat.  This beautiful property truly is like a home away from home with the addition of escaping the city feel, all while being immersed in the rich culture of wine county!

If your taste buds are desiring a traditional type of hotel, there are a couple of beautiful hotels in wine country that are sure to not only meet, but exceed your standards. After settling in to your weekend “resort”, it should be time for dinner.  South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant offers an upscale, locally-sourced cuisine in a Tuscan-inspired dining room.  At this point, it’s approximately 7:00 and it’s the perfect time to head over to Miramonte Winery, conveniently located about 1/8 of a mile away. Here, you will come to discover a comfortable setting with spectacular views and live music, which is offered every Friday night from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.  This venue has become popular amongst the locals of Temecula.

Now is when you decide if you want the morning hike to be painful or should you get a good night’s rest?!  If you opt to continue your fun night out, be sure to head right down the street for a night cap at “The Bar Next Door”.  Another local favorite offering unique, progressive cocktail drinks with a low-key vibe and atmosphere that is perfect for winding down.

After hopefully enjoying a wonderful night’s sleep ( or not 😉 ), you get yourselves out of bed by 6:00 AM to be able to start your nature hike at the famous Ecological Reserve, Santa Rosa Plateau (which is located at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains near the city of Murrieta).  This hidden gem offers fascinating glimpses into the history and ecosystems of the area.  The Reserve offers various trails for the individual who wants to enjoy the beautiful views to the avid hiker looking for a great workout. Bring plenty of water, snacks, a hat and sunscreen!  After taking in nature at its best, head back to your resort or hotel for a long, hot shower and maybe a quick power nap by the relaxing pool.

For the second afternoon in the “something for everyone” city, you absolutely don’t want to miss Temecula’s Old Town!  A charming, Old West heritage which has been successfully restored, yet still resembles the historic golden west of the 1880’s.  History buffs can wander the streets viewing rustic buildings, sidewalks and storefronts while exploring the museums, art galleries, antique dealers, exclusive boutiques, unique dining and if you get there early enough (forfeiting your time at the pool), you will be able to experience the weekly Farmer’s Market which features many local growers fresh produce, and more!  You can spend a couple of hours in Old Town or several hours if you decide (and we highly recommend) to create your own “Pub Crawl”.  There are many wine bars, restaurants/bars to entertain you into the night.  Several places offer live music so you can even fit in a little dancing if you wish.

Now it’s Sunday morning. Surely to be one of your highlights of the weekend is the hot air balloon ride!  Temecula is the perfect location for hot air ballooning.  As you’re winding down your weekend, you’ll be able to relax as you float over the SoCal countryside.  Temecula’s cool morning breezes, consistent weather and open land provide guests the best conditions for hot air balloon rides.  From picturesque views of wineries, vineyards and citrus groves to the breathtaking backdrop of mountains covered in snow you are sure to be impressed with the Temecula topography.

Since your balloon ride will end in wine country, you’ll want to make reservations ahead of time for Wilson Creek Winery’s Sunday Bubble Brunch, featuring a wide variety of tasteful entrees, seafood, delectable desserts along with omelet, waffle, and carving stations. The “bubble” title of course means several of our popular sparkling wines!  This truly is arguably the best brunch in town!

Finally, it’s time to wine taste. Of course, you can’t come to wine country and not wine taste!  While at Wilson Creek Winery, before or after your brunch, be sure to check out the tasting room and try the Reserve Wines, they are spectacular!

If you love red wines especially, make your last stop at Doffo Winery.  Known for their family run, Argentine and Italian heritage, you will be highly impressed with their handcrafted style of winemaking.  The low key environment on a quaint 12 acres, will be sure to help bring your Temecula weekend to a peaceful conclusion.

Cheers~ Kim DeAvila- Human Resources Director

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My personal wine journey, the passion of people, and wine

Posted on May 10, 2017 in Wine Musings

Robert Mondavi summed it up best when he said “Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living.”

The beginning of my journey into the World of Wine is not a proud one. It all started at the age of 19, in one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world, Tuscany, Italy.  As a college student, I was too young and broke to drink anything other than the cheapest wine I could find.  For 2000 Lire, roughly $1.75 American dollars a bottle, I indulged myself in several bottles of Italian red that had more similarities to vinegar than a fine Chianti.  When I moved back to the states my wine pallet evolved to the Trader Joe’s new Two Buck Chuck, Cabernet Sauvignon, What a deal!

Starting to learn about grapes…

As a bartender in San Diego I learned the ABCs of wine. I learned the difference between a Cabernet and a Merlot and a Chardonnay and a Muscat… I was armed with just enough information to sell wine to a hungry dinner goer.  Although I loved selling wine, the passion for wine was still in the distant future. At that time, I started understanding the synergy that is created when you brought together good food, good wine and good company.  I could not explain it at the time, but there was an energy that was undeniable with a social practice that goes back in history thousands of years.

All coming together…

When I was hired at Wilson Creek Winery that same synergy I identified several years earlier, B.C. (Before Children), became my new exciting lifestyle and obsession.   I now had the opportunity to taste amazing wine and meet several amazing people daily.

Immediately a Passion, like a fire, was ignited.  I simultaneously opened a door into the world of wine that till this day fascinates me with a road of endless learning.  More importantly the people.  The people in my life had energy and passion, a purpose for family, friends and “the generosity of spirit” that all comes together like music notes played perfectly by an orchestra.

Now my life has wine purpose.  It fills my soul to see first-time wine drinkers drink our White Cabernet with a smile, to cook while drinking our Petite Sirah, my favorite, studying the history of Burgundy France while sipping a Pinot Noir or spending a rare mommy and daddy only weekend in Paso Robles with my wife, to experience new wine while chatting with local winery owners.

I must admit, having four kids should be an automatic acceptance to drinking lots of wine, but wine is more than that to me now…every new wine I drink is like a ticket to a new world, an unknown history, a passion for life, a passion for people.

– Ryan McCormick ~ Hospitality Sales Manager

Check out our Wilson Creek Extended Family Wine Club Video to experience the excitement, energy, friends and family feel that Ryan experiences here at Wilson Creek every single day!

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Are you a “Bridezilla” or “Groomonster”??

Posted on March 27, 2017 in Weddings

Bridezilla/Groomonster (noun) a bride or groom-to-be who focuses so much on the event that she/he becomes difficult and obnoxious

Word Origin 1995; Blend of bride + Godzilla  

 Dictionary.com’s 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC

Okay… So Your big day is coming up and it seems like no one else understands how very important your wedding is to you. After all, you’ve been planning for this since you could remember and this is supposed to be “YOUR DAY.” Obviously, you’ve got to take matters into your own hands, since no one else will, so why not crack the whip and show everyone who’s boss, Right?!

You are no longer the happy, relaxed, and enthusiastic bride or groom-to-be, you have now turned into a raving, crazy, all you can think about is your wedding “Bridezilla/Groomonster!” AHHH!

Now we know there’s a lot of pressure getting married because you want a flawless affair, from the fairytale engagement to the Instagram-worthy reception.

Some people can handle the highest of expectations, while other brides and grooms get buried in tulle-covered fury that their loved ones never thought possible! So Brides and Grooms, here is some Wilson Creek Bride/Groom Guide advice from one of our amazing Events Coordinator Sean Faustina…

“Remember: There is only one thing in this universe that you have absolute and total control over, and that is yourself. You will then be able to breathe easier, relax and trust the professionals who are handling your wedding. By all means, let your family and friends help you so they too can feel involved and valued. Then, let your wedding day happen, and be present in the moment. Your happiness will show in the pictures that you will look at in the years to come and you will always remember your magical, amazing special day!”

Sean Monique Faustina-Smolak

Sale & Event Coordinator

Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards

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Pardon our pixie dust..

Posted on March 3, 2017 in About

We are finally well underway with our Tasting Room Expansion and improvements at Wilson Creek. No, you don’t need a hard hat when you visit, that’s just a fun picture. During the construction, our team will be laser focused on making your visit the best experience possible. We always strive to make you, our guest, feel warm and welcomed, construction or no construction. We are going the extra mile working days and through the night to minimize as much ancillary construction dust and noise as possible. We are proud of what we are doing and can’t wait to have it ready for all of you to enjoy. If you want to see what we are doing as well as keep track of our progress, go on our website, there you will find a 3D video fly through rendering or check it out on our You Tube Channel. It’s pretty cool! Keep up with all of our exciting news, events, sales and more by following us on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and You Tube.

As Always,

Cheers

Bill Wilson

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