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Sneak peek of at Temecula Valley Wine Country's AutumnFest

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October 06, 2010 is introducing five extraordinary people of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, which is celebrating AutumnFest daily through November 24 and centrally located 60 miles north of San Diego and 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The individuals of this casual, picturesque valley represent the region's three distinctive destinations within minutes of each other: Downtown Old Town Temecula, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Valley Wine Country.

"Extraordinary people who provide and share authentic seasonal experiences, genuine and inspired flavors and tastes, help visitors to know and appreciate the magic of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country," explains Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. "These passionate individuals are a testament to the unique synergy of people and place, and the sunny spirit and inviting nature of Temecula Valley. We are grateful, pleased, and proud to introduce the first five of many."

Joe Hart, Hart Winery

In 1974, Joe, his wife, and sons planted their first vineyards. 1980 saw establishment of Hart Winery and their first crush. Thirty years later, Joe is pleased and amazed. His passion for wine led him to Temecula Valley Wine Country in its early years. Today, Joe's passion and dedication have him widely respected as a bootstrapping pioneer who helped put Temecula Valley on the map.

The thirty-first crush, the most exciting time of year, and Joe, son Jim, and Christine are friendly, down-to-earth, and easy-going about their passion for wine. In the small, charming tasting room, you fully appreciate the Harts' philosophy for remaining a small winery, meticulously handcrafting exceptional wines, only with local grapes, in a food-friendly style.

Joe suggests Hart Syrah or Grenache with Thanksgiving turkey.

Hart Winery: 9am to 4:30pm, year-round except major holidays.

Insight from Joe: Temecula Valley Wine Country has remarkable diversity of wine styles. Almost anyone can find wines they like.

Carol Baily, Carol's Restaurant at Baily Winery

Carol, her husband, and sons established Baily Vineyard & Winery in 1986. Wine release celebrations and Carol's irresistibly good food quickly brought attention; Carol became an early Temecula Valley Wine Country food and wine advocate. The philosophy: "good wine tastes better with food and food tastes better with wine." It's about enjoyment.
Launched in 2000, Carol's Restaurant is praised for excellent presentation, food flavors, and service. The Reuben Sandwich (with a glass of Baily Sangiovese) and Vineyard Chicken Salad (with Dry Riesling) are legendary. You can ‘taste autumn' when this imaginative, hands-on lady describes hearty stews and cassoulets, seeds of pomegranates from Baily trees garnishing salads, and Cabernet grapes from across the way - tiny grapes, sweet and amazing , adorning plates.

Carol's Restaurant: Lunch, Thursday-Sunday; Dinner, Friday-Saturday; year-round except major holidays.

Also Baily family: Baily's Fine Dining, Front Street Bar & Grill - Old Town Temecula.

Nancy Curry, Temecula Olive Oil Company

Co-owner Nancy personifies the graciousness and authenticity of Old Town Temecula's Temecula Olive Oil Company. Founded with pride in 2001, that pride is evident on the welcoming wrap-around porch, throughout the shop, and in the bottles of 100% California, 100% extra-virgin olive oil.

At the tasting bar, you learn from people with real knowledge and passion, and taste the magnificence of exceptionally fresh olive oil the way nature intended. You savor purity and recognize that sustainable growing practices and the old world process make all the difference.

Passionate about health and nutrition, Nancy delights in autumn: Dress fresh greens with Temecula Blood-Orange Olive Oil, Pomegranate Vinegar, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries. For Mashed Potatoes, use Temecula Garlic Olive Oil instead of butter.

Temecula Olive Oil Company: 10am to 6pm everyday, year-round except major holidays.

Executive Chef Salvatore Giuliano, Temet Grill at Temecula Creek Inn

Beside the Rainbow Gap on 300+ acres of secluded beauty, Temecula Creek Inn is embraced by nature. The inviting Temet Grill is perched for views of the golf course and San Jacinto Mountains. Dine here and you know, Chef Sal's cuisine is as genuine and memorable as the surroundings.

From a traditional Sicilian family, Chef Sal inherited culinary genes of amazing cooks. His dishes are inspired by vintages of local, masterful winemakers and rooted in rustic tradition. The flavors you taste are fresh, bold, familiar, inventive.

Chef Sal loves autumn's bounty and aromas; the scent of pumpkin and cinnamon brings joyful memories. On Temet Grill's autumn menu: rich, Kabocha Pumpkin Soup topped with a nutmeg cream.

Temet Grill: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, everyday; Sunday Brunch; Winemaker Dinners.

Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Marie Verhoeven, Pechanga Resort & Casino

Pechanga Resort & Casino is renowned for distinctive, dining options where you may truly anticipate dessert from the first. Born in Belgium, Chef Jean-Marie uses only the finest ingredients, creating unique confections, taking luscious desserts to a new level. You can sense his generosity of spirit: "Baking is my life and life is sweet."

Autumn inspires Chef Jean-Marie to add creams and nuts, and to use apples and cranberries to craft sweet temptations like Ginger Cake with Apple and Calvados Sabayon at the Great Oak Steakhouse and Cranberry Pear Crisp in White Wine with Oat Streusel at Seafood Grotto. Near the casino action at Caffé Cocoa, purchase and enjoy his handmade truffles and delectable desserts to-go.

Great Oak Steakhouse, Dinner every-night; Seafood Grotto, Dinner, Wednesday - Sunday; Caffé Cocoa, 24/7.

To learn more about Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country please go to or call 888/363-2852.

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