Drink in the nostalgic vistas and taste the grape at the De Portola Wine Trail Harvest Festival

The De Portola Wine Trail is a picturesque side of Southern California Wine Country with its expansive hillside views overlooking sprawling vineyards and thoroughbred horse ranches. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Indulge in a wine tasting experience reminiscent of Southern California’s nostalgic past during the De Portola Wine Trail Harvest Fest, Sunday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The De Portola Wine Trail is a picturesque side of Southern California Wine Country with its expansive hillside views overlooking sprawling vineyards and thoroughbred horse ranches. Known as Temecula’s road less traveled, the trail passes through Valle de Los Caballos – the Valley of the Horses, where the pace is slower.

The Harvest Fest celebration features 10 wineries, with three varietals and cuisine produced by their local artisan chefs. These gourmet samples are paired with the perfect wine selected by the winemaker from their top-quality wines from the new vintage releases. Some wineries will be sneaking a few samples from the barrels or tanks. Don’t be surprised if the winery owner greets the guests or the chef stops in to say “Hi.”

Participating wineries include Somerset Vineyard and Winery, Fazeli Cellars, Robert Renzoni Vineyards,  Gershon Bachus Vintners, Oak Mountain Winery – the Cave Winery, Leoness Cellars, Danza del Sol, Frangipani Winery, Cougar Winery and Masia de la Vinya.

Wake up those taste buds with a sampling of what the De Portola Harvest Fest wineries have planned.

At Cougar Winery their famous spicy arrabbiata red-sauced meatball is served with a garlic-rubbed crostini and Parmesan.  The wine in the arrabbiata sauce is the 2017 Barbera. Their featured wines include 2019 Estate Falanghina – tank taste, 2017 Circolo di Amici – a blend of pinot grigio and chardonnay – and 2017 Barbera.

Danza del Sol Winery offers strawberry, blue cheese, filet mignon bruschetta with a pipette of vanilla bean balsamic drizzle paired with Danza del Sol 2015 Meritage; Butternut squash soup shot topped with pomegranate seeds, thyme and a ginger cream paired with Danza del Sol  2017 Pinot Grigio; barrel sample 2017 Tempranillo.

At Fazeli Cellars try their sliced chicken terrain gyro over lavash bread and panar, topped with shirazi salad and lemon juice aioli; paired with 2015 Boland Rooz, 2014 Mehregan and barrel pour of 2015 Shiraz.

Frangipani Winery will have chicken cacciatore – chicken breast simmered in red wine sauce with peppers and onions, paired with 2019 Nouveau Grenache; additional wines 2016 Sangiovese and barrel sample 2017 Cabernet Franc.

At Gershon Bachus Vintners, taste the air-fried turkey dogs served on a bun with a side of potato salad with an assortment of condiments paired with 2014 Hesperus Estate Grenache; also taste 2013 Zephyrus Estate Zinfandel and 2010 Fides Dessert Wine.

Leoness Cellars offers zinfandel braised chicken “coq au vin” with smoked bacon and mushrooms; served atop creamy Parmesan risotto, paired with 2015 CS Meritage, also pouring 2016 CS Syrah, and 2017 VS Hui Vineyard Zinfandel.

Oak  Mountain Winery’s Chef Kevin Grant from the Cave Café will prepare eggplant osso buco with creamy polenta, herb gremolata, paired by winemaker Steve Andrews with 2015 Syrah, 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon tank sample – strawberry sparkling.

Masia de la Vinya will have Brussels sprout sliders with Brie, fig, caramelized onions and crisp bacon, paired with  Masia de la Vinya Magrana, which is a sparkling pomegranate wine; lamb albondigas in a tomatillo sauce with a plantain chip,  paired with Masia de la Vinaya 2015 Syrah; barrel sample – 2017 Syrah.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards will serve R&R cavatappi. This dish is a pasta version their Mama Rosa’s Trattoria R&R pizza. Cavatappi pasta smothered in a rich truffle cream sauce, with parmesan artichoke sausage from local butcher The Naughty Pig, portabella mushrooms, fresh grated herbs, topped with crumbled asiago, paired with 2017 Chardonnay, 2016 Tempranillo  and barrel sample – Vecchio Frate, Lagrein.

Cost is $69.99 per person until Oct. 15, and $79.99 after. There is also a designated driver ticket for $29 which includes all cuisine. Tickets can be purchased at www.deportolawinetrail.com/festivals-and-events.

Grapeline Wine Tours offer deluxe all-day transportation during the event, visiting about eight or nine of the wineries and will depart from area hotels. Cost is $149 per person before Oct. 15 and includes the Harvest Fest tasting package. Visit https://gogrape.com/temecula/harvest-celebration-tour.

Submitted by De Portola Wine Trail.