The Coast News Group
Taste of Wine

Music is in the wine at Lorimar

Mark Mansfield wants to stimulate your senses. To that end, the ex-Kansas City businessman with a background in the hospitality industry has some good ideas on exactly how to do that with his Temecula Wine Country newcomer Lorimar Vineyards and Winery.
The first time I laid eyes on Lorimar Vineyards, the winery was just revving up for a Kansas City-style barbecue, wine and blues event. With the smokers cooking the tri tips, chicken and pork ribs and the blues band pickin’ BB King, Mansfield was running around making sure everyone was trying the new wines he couldn’t stop raving about.
“What you see around you is everything I love about a winery,” he said. “I love to cook and drink great wine while listening to lively music, surrounded by lovely art…this is the foundation of our winery’s philosophy. You know, we are in the middle of a 150 acre orange grove,” he revealed as he popped open the 2010 Lorimar Riesling that had a distinctive orange blossom aroma and taste to it. “It filters into the wine and gives it that zesty citrus flavor, like candied fruit,” he judged, ($21). 
Mansfield then showed me his plans for a Tuscan style stone two-story building with a high bell tower that will be seen from a distance along the main Temecula Wine Country highway. “Here we’ll have musicians, artists and chefs meeting for memorable gatherings and events…nourishment for the soul,” he murmured. “The patio deck will have a huge state-of-the-art pizza oven with a bridge access from the tasting room. I want fruit-forward wines with an old-world characteristic,” he said as he opened his Lorimar 2010 Sangiovese, an Italian varietal that yielded an intense cherry, raspberry flavor. 
By far the best example of a wine set to music was the 2008 “Fusion” blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah that hit some high notes for me. It was a simpatico symphony, with Old Vine Zin, linked with the always-potent Petite Sirah Late Harvest. An element of pepper laced it all up into Lorimar’s most vibrant wine, ($38).  If you join the “Concerto Club of Lorimar” you can expect 25 percent off the prices shown; more if you purchase a case. See the new website for more at  Or call (951) 240-5177.
There is a tasting room in Old Town Temecula at 42031 Main St. 
New Bubbly & Jazz in the Vines of Wilson Creek
Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards stands tall as one of the greatest success stories in the Temecula Valley. With over 70 acres of pristine vines, both reds and whites do well here.
Under the watchful eye of winemaker Etienne Cooper, Wilson Creek has nurtured recent gold medals for its 2008 Late Harvest Zinfandel and its blend, Golden Medley. The Wilson Family is a story in itself, with an extended family of over 21 active members including the family dogs. Matter of fact, Extended Family is what they call their wine club, one of the most active in this wine country, thanks in part to Wilson Creek Almond Champagne, a gold-medal winner and a huge selling white sparkling wine, naturally fermented with a hint of almond flavor, selling at a budget price. It has lifted the winery to national recognition. Now, the news is out that two new editions of this champagne are ready for an introduction in July: Wilson Creek Peach Bellini and an Orange Mimosa.  Both will have hints of Almond. “People have enjoyed our Almond Champagne since day one ten years ago,” beamed Bill Wilson. “It was Almond Champagne that set us apart from the others.”
The two new wines will be rolled out at a special “Bubble Bash” reception at the winery on Thursday July 7 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with the public invited to attend.
And yes, great Sunset Jazz is returning to Wilson Creek, with the premiere show being Warren Hill July 23 at 7:30 p.m. The acclaimed Canadian Sax man has sold over 1 million CDs and is as smooth as they come. Dinner seating is available.  Other artists include Paul Shilts and Craig Chaquico, and Jeff Golub.  For ticket information call (951) 699-9463, or check out
Wine Bytes
Bacchus Wine Market in the Gaslamp downtown San Diego is pouring Rhone Style Blends July 8 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. and July 9 from 2 to 8:30 p.m.  $15 charge for 7 pours.  Call (619) 236-0005.
A Benefit Taste of le Tour de France is being presented at Tommy V’s in Del Mar July 14 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  It benefits “Do Something Now,” that sends bikes to Third World Countries, currently to South Africa.  Taste fine wines and microbrewery beers, hors d’ouvres, music, auction items.  Cost is $40 in advance, $50 at the door.  For more info, call (760) 940-0880.
The California Wine Festival 2011 is in Santa Barbara with a Sunset Rare & Reserve Wine Tasting July 15 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Pier; and a Beachside Food & Wine Fest July 16 from 1 to 4 p.m. also at the Pier.  Buy tickets at
French Bastille Day is being celebrated at the Westgate Hotel, downtown San Diego, on July 14 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  Famous painter Avendano will showcase his art to live music, French wine and hors d’ ouvres, in the grand lobby.  $15.  RSVP at (619) 238-1818.
Meritage Wine Market in Encinitas has its Napa Valley Vintners Tasting July 16 from 4 to 7 p.m.  Eleven of the hottest wineries pour their latest releases.  $50 per person.  RSVP required. Call (760) 479-2500.