Briar Rose Winery presents Disney Magic, world class wine, and a behind the scenes tour of the magical winery in Temecula Valley
R. Briar Rose Winery Owners Les and Dorian Linkogle (c) Crispin Courtenay
Drive and passion led Briar Rose Boutique Winery Owners Les and Dorian Linkogle to the most unusual and magical winery in Temecula, and they are used to making magic happen. After all, it’s what led them to purchase the unique property in Temecula. “We were really looking for land where our son, Larry, could ride his motorcycle.” Dorian Linkogle said. “Our realator called us while we were up north and told us to get down to Temecula right away. They had the perfect property for us.” Out of town at the time, the Linkogle’s drove all night to be the first ones to see the property. And when they saw it, they fell in love.
Even the doorlocks at Briar Rose fit with the Walt Disney Snow White feeling (c) Crispin Courtenay
“We couldn’t even get inside, as our Realtor didn’t have keys!” Dorian said, taking The Grapevine on tour of the property, “so we just peered in the stained glass windows, fell in love, and made an offer on the spot.”
The main house still has the cement thatch roof, doorways, and unique touches making you feel like you’ve stepped into a glen and found Briar Rose’s or Snow White’s cottage. The stained glass windows, natural rock fireplace, and even copper sink and sink faucet all wind visitors into the Walt Disney magic.
Briar Rose Winery Front Entrance (c) Crispin Courtenay
Initially described to the Linkogles as a beautiful and unusual property, what the Linkogle family found was perfection for all of their needs. A picturesque straight out of Fantasyland farm house, outbuildings, and plenty of land for their son to build his motorcycle jumps and ride to his heart’s content.
Inside the main house with stone fireplace, Briar Rose Winery (c) Crispin Courtenay
“We lived in Orange County at the time, so we stuck around Temecula all day, went to Old Town for dinner. Later, we came back in hopes someone would be home to show us inside.” The caretaker, who showed them around the property, showed them every nook and cranny of the buildings, and educated on the man who constructed the dream for his wife. That caretaker was actually the owner, Walt Disney Imagineer Beldon Fields–one of the artists responsible for the design of Southern California’s Disneyland Fantasyland, Toon Town, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.
The wicked queen from original Snow White Animated Feature at Briar Rose Winery (c) Crispin Courtenay
Beldon Fields decided the Linkogles would stay true to his vision, and accepted their offer. The rest, is history.
The unique design sprang from Fields’ desire to build a replica of Snow White’s cottage for his wife. The construction is filled with both whimsy and Disney magic that remains to this day.
Whimsical kitchen copper sink and faucets at Beldon Fields Snow White Cottage now Briar Rose Winery in Temecula (c) Crispin Courtenay
According to the Briar Rose Web site, the fairy tale cottage was the first home showcased on the Temecula Valley Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour in 1984.
Entry of main room, with photo, bottle, and presidential award given to Les Linkogle’s Briar Rose Wine (c) Crispin Courtenay
On the property, Dorian Linkogle points out a gate from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a fountain from Indiana Jones, and even hand-prints among the whisk broom swirls in the plaster walls, put there by Beldon Fields himself. As for the Linkogle’s dreams, and those of their 18-year-old son, much land around the property was given up toward building ramps for super cross.
Presidential Award to Briar Rose Winery (c) Crispin Courtenay
According to Dorian, the vines were planted to offset the water cost of creating the freestyle landscape that would lead Larry Linkogle (and later his Metal Militia) to develop the art of Freestyle Motorcycle Riding. “We needed quite a bit of water for all those jumps my husband and son created,” Dorian continued, “and ultimately the vineyard was planted here. It was years later that our tasting room opened.”
Award winning, world class Briar Rose wine bottles (c) Crispin Courtenay
Les Linkogle, who grew up in the vineyards of Napa (Los gatos Mountain Winery owned by his uncle), wine-making was in the blood. Now, Dorian proclaims, “My husband saw Briar Rose as a unique place to create a distinctive wine. We are all about the culture of wine. Educating people, and taking wine tasting to the next level, providing world class wine, served by educated staff, all by appointment, only.”
Briar Rose wine tasting room shelves stocked (c) Crispin Courtenay
With the vineyard came the wine, and the waiting. That initial wine sat in barrels for five years, and ultimately, is what the Linkogle’s attribute to their success as boutique winery owners. “The wine was incredible. Award winning, and set a precedent for all of our wines that have followed.” Dorian said as she walked through the property. “We also promised Beldon Fields that we would maintain the property to its original standards, and stay true to his vision, always. Even with the improvements we made to have it become a tasting room and wine education experience.” Plus, there are touches of Disney everywhere.
Inside the curio cabinet, nods to the Snow White Cottage abound at Briar Rose Winery in Temecula (c) Crispin Courtenay
This unique property continues to be a draw, and a place frequented by the Disney Princes and Princesses (both in and out of costume). “We’ve met many of the characters who come to see the property and taste our world class wines,” Dorian said.
A little Briar Rose Fairy Magic in curio display at Briar Rose Winery in Temecula (c) Crispin Courtenay
On the flip side of that coin, the property was recently the backdrop for Larry Linkogle’s Metal Mulisha motorcross team, who stars in a recent Suicidal Tendencies music video on site. “Smash It” by Suicidal Tendencies, filmed at Metal Mulisha co-founder Larry Linkogle’s FMX compound on site of the winery grounds. The video was released on Tuesday as the band began its U.S. tour.
“Every day it seems we have something different and exciting going on up here. Our winery fans truly love the wine, and come as often as they can. Ultimately, that’s why we don’t live on site anymore. Hard to host Thanksgiving dinner when people are dropping in to taste wine!” Dorian said.
Infamous Talking Frog Lager at Briar Rose Winery (c) Crispin Courtenay
The barrel room was added, and pays tribute to all the things that the Linkogle family have brought to the property. Both with wine, and with son Larry’s achievements in the Freestyle world. His bikes are suspended from the ceiling, mounted on walls, lovingly referred to as “The Cockroach” and the bike Larry used on the set of XXX, where he worked as stunt-double for Vin Diesel. The tasting room maintains a mural dedicated to the German valley where the Grimm fairy tales were originally penned.
Briar Rose Winery Tasting Room — a unique, sit down tasting and wine education experience (c) Crispin Courtenay
It isn’t unusual for the Linkogles to field requests for photo shoots on the property with the whole array of Walt Disney Royalty.
Sitting at the base of the oldest olive tree in Temecula Valley Wine Country, the gnome lays in wait for the next group of wine tasters at Briar Rose Winery (c) Crispin Courtenay
“Just a few weeks ago, we had all of the princesses up here for a shoot in front of the main house. Their costumes were glorious, and all of them so lovely.” Said Dorian. As an aside, she has a special place in her heart for all things Disney. “I was in Disneyland on opening day in 1955. Just an Orange County girl, and never imagined that my husband and I would end up with a Disney artist like Beldon Fields adopted into our family.”
World class wines at Briar Rose Winery in Temecula (c) Crispin Courtenay
Last summer, Briar Rose opened their doors to the Shakespeare in the Vines troupe and their 200th celebration of Pride and Prejudice in the Vines. “It was a wonderful show, and so many came to see the production, and enjoy our world class wines.” Dorian said. “We look forward to hosting another Shakespeare in the Vines event, in the future.”
Though Fields is now gone, the Linkogles maintain their promise to this day. No amendments to the property will change the heart that built it. Dorian smiles, together with husband, Les, who agrees. “This place is truly special.”
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