The Second Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards celebration will be held this fall

Visit Temecula Valley, in coordination with the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association, announced the second annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards, taking place Sunday, Nov. 12. This year’s event will be held at the newly renovated Leoness Cellars, whose restaurant was recently named “America’s Best Winery Restaurant” by USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice for the second year in a row.

The blind tasting and awards event will feature a seated, guided tasting seminar for Grand Reserve pass holders led by Master of Wine Roger Bohmrich, who will also speak at the awards dinner.

“This year, by bringing in a Master of Wine and hosting the awards dinner at Leoness Cellars, we are hoping to elevate the People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards to one of the premier wine and food events in the region,” Devin Parr, Wine Country marketing director for Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, said.

The daylong people’s choice event will kick off with a midmorning walk, blind tasting of the wines Temecula Valley wineries believe to be their “best” bottles. Participants will be asked to submit ratings of each wine, which will be tallied and used exclusively to determine the region’s top three wines overall. Results of the blind tasting will be announced at a wine dinner and awards celebration the same evening, recognizing the winning wines and featuring a five-course tasting menu with local wine pairings.

Tickets to the event are available in three tiers.

The Estate Pass is $40 and includes entrance to the blind tasting, light appetizers and commemorative wineglass.

The Reserve Pass is $175 and includes entrance to the blind tasting and a seat at the people’s choice awards dinner, including 5-course tasting menu and wine pairings.

The Grand Reserve Pass is $225. It is the ultimate wine-lovers package, including a Temecula Valley wine seminar and seated, guided blind tasting led by Bohmrich, followed by an intimate winemaker reception including open wine bar and gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres, as well as a seat at the people’s choice awards dinner. Grand Reserve Pass holders will also receive a VIP gift bag and are welcome to attend the walkaround tasting.

“It has been some time since I visited Temecula Valley, and I’m excited to have this chance to return, meet new winemakers and taste new wines,” Bohmrich said. “Throughout my career, I have traveled the world, uncovering interesting and delicious wines. I hope I can add to the enjoyment of the People’s Choice event by sharing my insights and knowledge with attendees.”

With natural gifts of climate and geography, Temecula Valley is widely recognized for its scenic vineyards, award-winning wines and friendly wineries as Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. The destination includes the Temecula Valley American Viticulture Area as well as Old Town Temecula and Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Visit Temecula Valley is online at www.VisitTemeculaValley.com and can be found as “Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country” on Facebook and as @Visit_Temecula on Twitter. The Temecula Valley Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula on Mercedes Street adjacent the Old Town Parking Garage. For visitor assistance, call (888) 363-2852 or (951) 491-6085.

Temecula Valley is the largest and most commercially successful winegrowing region in the South Coast AVA, the viticulture zone spanning more than 2 million acres from Riverside County to the San Diego border. The Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association has long served as a steward of the Southern California wine community. Comprising 36 wineries and more than 60 winegrowers, the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association is a nonprofit regional organization dedicated to increasing awareness of the quality wines and wine grapes grown in the Temecula Valley and South Coast Appellations. Established in 1984, the Temecula AVA consists of 33,000 acres, of which approximately 1,300 acres are currently planted to commercial vineyards. Known as Southern California’s wine country, the Temecula Valley is located in Riverside County just one hour from San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs and 90 minutes from Los Angeles.

For more information about the People’s Choice Blind Tasting and Awards, visit www.visittemeculavalley.com/wine-month/peoples-choice.

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