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Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association (TVWA) hosted the fourth annual CRUSH event at the newly renovated grounds of Callaway winery Saturday evening.
CRUSH is the only event in Temecula where all 35 wine-making members of the TVWA gather in one spot to pour their wines to the public. There were seventeen restaurants present with Chefs trying to outdo one another in their culinary creations.
The event started promptly at 7 p.m. on a beautiful summer night. Though the massing crowd of 600 guests seemed to promptly appear at 6:45. Indeed the lines resembled a rock concert more than an elegant wine event, handled deftly by the staff of Callaway Winery.
The Callaway Winery staff dealt with this wave of humanity in a very quick, efficient and pleasant manner, guaranteeing a great start to the evening. Within minutes the entire crowd had a drink in hand and set up to mingle, or scope out their favorite winery or chef.
Callaway’s renovated grounds were the perfect forum for this event, indeed there are probably no other wineries that could easily accommodate over 50 booths, with space remaining in their restaurant and large tasting room.
The event started just as the sun was setting over the distant hills, casting everything in a beautiful glow. All staff were in buoyant moods, and it added to the fun and excitement of the evening.
Guests were able to meet with the many of the owners, winemakers and chefs from Temecula wineries.
Indeed, at least one winemaker in attendance was under orders from the winery owner to leave his fermenting grapes, and get out there and mingle.
The event can be logistically challenging for all the wineries in attendance, as it does happen in the middle of the annual crush, where both winery and hospitality operations are in full-swing. However most welcome the respite from the pressures of harvest.
Live music was provided by Michael LeClerc and local musicians, and provided the perfect backdrop to the evening’s festivities.
As in years past the event was sold out well in advance. Advice to readers who would like to attend next year’s event; purchase your tickets the day the event is posted on the TVWA web site.
Media was out in full force, ranging from Los Angeles to San Diego, with nearly every local reporter of prominence in attendance.
If you are planning a visit to Temecula
The TVWA represents the interests of the 35 member wineries in Temecula, and their website is a great resource to locate information on all of their members wine and amenities. All told there are 64 licensed wineries in operating in Temecula, ranging from virtual wineries and tiny boutiques to very large operations selling their products nationally.
The brewing culture has also swept the region with seven breweries currently operating with several more in development. Lodging has also been substantially upgraded with two new hotels in wine country and several upscale bed and breakfasts recently undergoing comprehensive renovations.
–Crispin Courtenay is a regular contributor and photographer for Temecula Grapevine.