True wine tasting aficionados are always looking for an opportunity to enjoy great tasting wines with friends, all while enjoying amazing food created to perfectly pair with the wine being enjoyed. The De Portola Wine Trail’s Big Red Fest is just such an event, and is the perfect opportunity for Temecula Valley locals and guests alike to enjoy some of the best food and wine the valley has to offer.
Big Red Fest will be held Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the various wineries that are a part of the De Portola Wine Trail: Cougar Vineyards, Danza Del Sol Winery, Fazeli Cellars, Frangipani Estate Winery, Gershon Bachus Vintners, Leoness Cellars, Masia De La Vinya Winery, Oak Mountain Winery and Robert Renzoni Vineyards.
Leoness Cellars server Shawn Chidester (left) and Sous Chef Joon Chang swap out a tray of Coq Au Vin during Big Red Fest Sunday, April 24. Big Red Fest features not only wines but noshes from local artisan chefs who each offered up their specialties paired with three red wines from each winery. Kim Harris photo
Susan Davidson pours a glass of Cougar Vineyard & Winery’s 2013 Estate Primitivo for a customer at the 2016 Big Red Fest. Kim Harris photo
Cougar Vineyard & Winery Owners and Winemakers Rick and Jennifer Buffington pose for a photo in front of one of the wine barrels where they offered tastings of their 2014 Estate Sangiovese during the 2016 Big Red Fest on the DePortola Wine Trail.
Frangipani pourer Sergio explains the finer points of red wines to Lisa Jokinen of Valley Center during the 2016 DePortola Wine Trail’s Big Red Fest. Kim Harris photo
Nathan Rivera entertains the crowd at Danza Del Sol during the 2016 Big Red Fest. Rivera played a variety of instruments including guitar and an accordion as well as sang for the crowd’s enjoyment. Kim Harris photo
Dana Wilson with Caterer M-Group puts a dollop of whipped topping on a slice of almond cake with a spicy blackberry glaze at Danza Del Sol during the 2016 Big Red Fest Sunday, April 24. The winery’s sister location Masia De La Vinya will also participate in this year’s event. Kim Harris photo
Valerie Caldera (left) and Tina Carillo from Los Angeles share a plate of Trophy Pasta at Robert Renzoni Winery during the 2016 Big Red Fest Sunday, April 24. The two women rode a bus to Temecula’s DePortola Wine Trail with 12 of their friends. “We all buy a bottle or two to take home with us to enjoy later,” said Caldera. Kim Harris photo
Gershon Bachus Vinters Wine Education Howard Kotliar pours a 2010 Estate Grown Zinfandel with a rich, fruit forward aroma and velvety color during the sixth annual Big Red Fest held on the DePortola Wine Trail, April 24, 2016. Kim Harris photo
Bert Wethers pours a sample of the winery’s 2012 Phel Phel for a waiting customer at Fazeli Cellars during the 2016 Big Red Fest Sunday, April 24. Kim Harris photo
The 5 mile stretch of the De Portola Wine Trail passes through the Valle de los Caballos, also known as the Valley of the Horses. These wineries are located along a quieter part of Temecula’s wine country where winery owners pride themselves on providing an intimate experience, greeting guests at the door at most opportunities. The laidback feeling created by these wineries allows guests to truly feel at home on the winery grounds and help to develop a love for the great flavors offered by the winery.
Each winery will have an artisan chef preparing a specialized dish at the winery, and offer three different red wine tastings that are expertly paired to the dish by the winery. Guests can discuss the flavors of red wines that are poured and experience the best flavors available this year. The experience can be tailored by those in attendance pick whichever winery they want to start at and move from winery to winery at their own leisure. In addition to the tastings and dishes, each guest receives a glass with logo.
This family of wineries appreciates fine wine, great food and good company. Because of this, the Big Red Fest takes their love of the Temecula Valley and wine, celebrating top quality red wines of the new vintage releases.