Wilson Creek Blog
Events, News, Recipes & more!

Announcing the new Variant Series

Posted on August 16, 2015 in Wine Musings

Actually…it’s not “new.” Our popular White Cabernet and Duet have a fresh new look!

Variant: ‘verēant/noun:  1.  A form or version of something that differs in some respect from other forms of the same thing or from a standard.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the world’s best traveled red wine varietal, whose regional names span from Bidure to Vidure, attest to the adaptability and variability in wine making styles of this nobel grape. The Variant Series showcases the amazing array of possibilities when a craft winery can control all aspects of creating a wine from vine to bottle. The Variant Series Cabernet is similar in style to our Duet blend of lightly oaked, soft tannin and fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Zinfandel to support the fruit and give a zip of spice. This is the red wine for those who thought they did not like reds. All the complexity and layers of a rich Cabernet but softer on the palate and can be chilled.

The poster-child for variant behavior is our White Cabernet Sauvignon which is now appropriately in the Variant Series. The White Cabernet Sauvignon is an extreme example of the possibilities of vineyard and cellar influence on a wine, turning a traditionally rich, tannic, dark red wine into a white wine with aromas of fruit and melon, yet still retaining the rich mouthfeel of a classic Cabernet Sauvignon. The “White Cab” still resides in its classic cobalt blue bottle but now with a clean silk-screened label and shares this new look with its fellow rebel, the Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaker, Gus Vizgirda and team member, Mikayla, bottling the Variant Series White Cabernet.

Formerly known as Duet, the new Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon is being bottled.

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Explore With Us

Posted on July 27, 2015 in Wine Musings

We, as wine enthusiasts, have a certain passion for life.  A passion for having unique experiences, making discoveries and then introducing and sharing those discoveries with our friends and family.

We in the wine business are a lucky bunch. We have the delightful responsibility of keeping abreast of trends in the industry. This often requires us to travel to different regions visiting vineyards, meeting with fellow winegrowers and tasting wines. Small wineries like to help each other by sharing what we’ve learned.

We really don’t see each other as competition, but rather brothers in arms trying to battle against Mother Nature in the vineyards and tame the mysteries of biology in the cellar. We know that there’s plenty of space in the world for great wines from different places. We all share the common bond of trying to emphasize the uniqueness of a particular varietal, grown in a particular place.

It’s this last idea, a particular varietal, grown in a particular place that is the cornerstone of a new series of wines we’re bringing exclusively to our Wine Club members. As part of our education we’ll blind taste five wines from five regions. For example we’ll taste Chardonnay from our estate, from wineries in Santa Barbara, Monterey, Napa and Sonoma.

What we’ve learned over the years is that there is no single best Chardonnay. There can be many best Chardonnays, just from different regions. Each is a unique expression of Chardonnay because of the terroir from the place it’s grown and the way that the winemaker chooses to emphasize that terroir.

A vineyard view of the Santa Rita Hills.

Our new Explorer Series of wines will give our Wine Club members the same chance we at the winery have had to examine wines that are grown in other regions. Behind the scenes we’ve been partnering with growers and a custom crush winery up North to grow grapes and produce wines to our specifications. We’ve been making these wines at the highest quality level to deliver to you archetypal examples of a particular varietal, grown in a particular place. Each wine will be only be available for a limited time in limited quantities and then we’ll move on to another varietal from another place.

Vineyard Manager Greg sifts sediment with his hands during a coastal wine country trip.

You will have fun comparing and contrasting the wine with a wine we already make here from our estate, like Chardonnay. In your special release July shipment you’ll get our 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay which is an archetypal cool climate Chardonnay. This wine will be exciting to compare to our brand new barrel fermented 2014 Family Reserve Chardonnay from our estate. We bottled both of these wines this past May and we think they’re both going to blow you away!

Wilson Creek’s Winemaker, Gus, sampling wine during a recent trip to the coastal wine country.

In other cases we’ll share with you a wine we don’t, or can’t, grow here at Wilson Creek – like Pinot Noir. Our Mediterranean climate isn’t well suited to growing Pinot fruit, so we’ve sourced some of the best stuff out there from Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara. The cult wines from this region are some of the most highly rated and you’re going to love our 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir.

It’s taken us some time to get these wines together and you’ll see more of them in the fall. Without giving away all our secrets, get excited to taste things like intense and powerful Petite Sirah from the Sierra Foothills, crisp and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara, Sparkling Shiraz just in time for the holidays, and even an Oakville Cabernet around a year from now.  We hope you join us on this journey of exploring great wines from great places!

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How to survive Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 12, 2015 in Wine Musings

With only a couple days left til February 14th, I hope you’re not fretting about what to do. If you do happen to find yourself in that situation just remember one thing, KISS.
That’s right, KISS – keep it stupid simple!
Don’t know what I mean? Ok, let’s try this…

Beautiful day? CHECK! (if you happen to live in sunny SoCal you’re in luck, otherwise this one can be modified)

Large blanket? CHECK!

Mood music? – CHECK! Whatever floats your boat, or hers for that matter. (Long gone are the days of carrying around a boombox. Now we flip out our phones or tablets and VOILA!)

Basket? – CHECK! Filled with goodies of course. (baguette, crackers, cheese, grapes, strawberries, chocolate truffles)

2 stemmed glasses? CHECK!

Bottle of wine? CHECK! (or two)

Not sure what wine to get? No problem! These suggestions will help…
For white wine fans try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek 2013 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay – afterall it is Valentine’s Day, “Yes Dear!!…”

For those who enjoy the sweeter side of life try,
a beautiful, chilled blue bottle of Wilson Creek 2014 White Cabernet Sauvignon

For those who are red hot at heart try,
a bottle of Wilson Creek Family Reserve 2012 Syrah

Fans of bubbles should try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek’s new Sparkling Rose – she’ll be tickled pink!

and finally, if you enjoy the rich, luxe life try this extravagance in a bottle,
NV Late Harvest Chardonnay – a sipping delight!

There you have it. Valentine’s Day done right. Just remember, KISS!
1 happy lady? CHECK!
1 lucky man? CHECK! (Well, maybe, the rest is up to you)

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Life’s Little Instructions: Mind Your “Manors”

Posted on December 15, 2014 in Wine Musings

It seems that when we get busy we tend to forget about what’s most important to us. We forget to smile, to appreciate and enjoy the world around us. So here are some simple “instructions” to help you get that little kick back in your step. And always, always Mind Your Manors!

Sing in the shower. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated. Watch a sunrise at least once a year. Leave the toilet seat in the down position. Never refuse homemade brownies. Strive for excellence not perfection. Plant a tree on your birthday. Learn three clean jokes. Return borrowed vehicles with a full tank of gas. Compliment three people every day. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Keep it simple. Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. Floss your teeth. Ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it. Be forgiving of yourself and others. Over-tip breakfast waitresses. Say “Thank you” a lot. Say “please” a lot. Avoid negative people. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards. Wear polished shoes. Remember other people’s birthdays. Commit yourself to constant improvement. Carry jumper cables in your trunk. Have a firm handshake. Send lots of valentine cards and sign them, “someone who thinks you’re terrific.” Look people in the eye. Be the first to say “hello.” Use the good silver. Return all things you borrow. Make new friends but cherish the old ones. Keep secrets. Sing in a choir. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Wave to kids on a school bus as they pass by. Be there when people need you. Plant flowers every Spring. Have a dog. Always accept an outstretched hand. Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter. Don’t expect life to be fair. Never underestimate the power of love.  Drink champagne for no reason at all. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake.” Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Compliment even small improvements. Keep your promises (no matter what). Marry only for love. Rekindle old friendships. Count your blessings. Call the Manor to make a reservation…951.699.9463

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Farm to Table for Your Tummy

Posted on June 19, 2014 in About
The Creekside Grille is committed to providing nothing but the best for their customers. The Grille is a dedicated ‘farm to table’ restaurant. Farm to table refers to the elimination of processed, unhealthy foods and bringing a focus back to healthy, fresh, creative, simple yet tasty dishes. Partnering with local companies allows the Grille to place emphasis on using locally-sourced, sustainably produced, seasonal ingredients to bring you the best in healthy, tasty, environmentally-friendly dining. Browse the menu and you may notice the names of companies next to produce or other ingredient. These are the companies that we work with to provide a true farm to table experience for you.
 
Crows Pass Farms supplies the Grille with the highest quality organic produce, hitting your plate within 24 hours from being pulled from the ground. It also helps that this farm is as local as you can get. It’s located right here in Temecula Wine Country.
 
Wings Shadow Hacienda is part of a local Community Supported Agriculture program. They also supply the Grille with high-quality organic produce.
 
Sage Mountain Farms – Unlike most cattle, Sage Mountain beef steers are “green fed.” They get to feast on an organic salad bar buffet of fresh watermelon, eggplant, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash plants, alfalfa, wheat grasses and other forages.
The result is beef that is healthy and nutritious with a flavor that can’t be matched by any other cattle grower.
 
Harris Ranch provides the Grille with a true, organic, no-hormone product. Harris Ranch has a uniquely integrated beef production system where cattle are sourced, fed and humanely processed exclusively by Harris Ranch. Few, if any beef companies (other than Harris Ranch), can claim they control all aspects of production.
 
Shelton Farms supplies the Grille with high quality, free-range, and hormone-free chicken. They will only distribute their produce to restaurants or companies within a 200-mile radius.
 
Cook Pigs Ranch is not a large commercial farming/ranching business. Located in neighboring Julian, they maintain a small, boutique ranching operation, which allows their pigs to be free range and grow slowly in a beautiful and humane environment. Their pigs feed freely on grass, roots, natural herbs, acorns and nuts. No hormones or non-natural supplements are used to speed up the growth process.
 
Chef Steve Stawinski is a true farm to table chef. By using extremely fresh, local, natural ingredients, he creates dishes that are not only savory and good for you, but good for the planet, too.
Join us for brunch or lunch and see for yourself!

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