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A Blend of Fine Wine and Fine Living in the Heart of Temecula
March  2012

Frank Mangio, TASTE OF WINE - The week of March 11, 2012 |

The intimate world of cultivating fine wine and fine resort living recently crossed paths for me in the rich, country life of Temecula.  It’s a great life when you can experience a memorable occasion on a given day, but when two such experiences present themselves, the stars are in true alignment.

In a personal “hands-on” experience into the world of winemaking, owner and winemaker Nick Palumbo of the Palumbo Family Vineyard and Winery, collaborated  with the nearby Temecula Creek Inn, the pristine golf course inspired 350 acre resort, with upscale dining and woven into the wine country of Temecula. Similar in philosophy, Palumbo is all about quality, handcrafted production that goes into his offerings. Temecula, with its rolling hills and awakening Winter/Spring vines are an especially awe-inspiring sight as winemakers like Palumbo carefully craft the pruning process, setting the table for the fruit of the later months. The management at Temecula Creek Inn,  recently provided this  guest experience in an Inn sponsored “Grape to Glass” first-of-a-series wine tour, complete with a lesson on effective pruning from Nick Palumbo.

Under a brilliant morning sun, Palumbo told us of his simple philosophy for rich, complex wines.  “I produce only what I grow myself,” he asserted.  “I keep my yields low and I enjoy sharing what we do here.  Less is more when it comes to quality.  We have 13 acres under vine and sell 2,500 cases of artisinal wine, farmed without compromise.”  He and his wife Cindy and family live on the property and I was fascinated by his disclosure of how each of the several hills and gullies have their own varietals, microclimates and timetable for pruning during the dormant winter season.  “The low spots are the last to get pruned, to guard against frost,” he said.  “When budding begins, we will see it first in the Cab Franc and Merlot, then the Sangiovese grapes really pop fast. They love  the terrior here.”

Palumbo bought an existing 7 acre vineyard and home in 1998.  He applied his Sicilian ancestry and a 24/7 mentality to learning as much as he could about winemaking, bought more land next door and in 2002 opened the winery.

Here are two Palumbo wines that capture the essence and style of this lovely winery:

The 2009 Sangiovese ($34.) that Palumbo describes as “summertime in a bottle.” Taste light cherry flavors, along with roasted tomato and earthy spices.

The 2008 Tre Fratelli, 3 brothers in Italian ($42.) A traditional blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Taste the class and elegance of toasted vanilla and caramel with black cherry and plum palate-taste.

Temecula Creek Inn and Nick Palumbo are planning the 2nd part of “Wine to Glass” Friday September 28 on Harvesting, and the 3rd part November 9 on Blending.  Call Temecula Creek Inn for details at 877-517-1823
or click here
___Temecula Valley rebounds well from GWSS crisis
September  2011

Christine Thompson, Contributing Writer Western Farm Press - Sep. 27, 2011

Temecula Valley, Calif., wine grape growers joined their counterparts to the north this season, successfully harvesting a crop of promising wine quality amid prospects of improved grape prices.

A decade ago, many growers in the southern Riverside County wine grape enclave were not sure they’d be around in 2011 when the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS) vectored deadly Pierce’s disease throughout the 1,300 acres of wine grapes, killing many of the vines.

However, Temecula growers have rebounded from the devastation of Pierce’s disease in the late 1990s, and vineyards throughout the valley are thriving. New plantings are evident across the region. Wineries are expanding their guest facilities and plans are underway for more growth.

Grower and winemaker Nick Palumbo, who owns Palumbo Family Winery with his wife, Cindy, thinks the Temecula Valley wine grape growing region is poised “for getting the attention and respect that is due” all the hard work that goes into growing superior wine grapes. He’s among a new generation of grower/vintners learning and implementing new growing and management techniques — eager to try new clones and varietals.

“In a way, Pierce’s disease was the best thing that ever happened to us because a lot of vines got kicked out and everybody had to rethink what they were doing,” he said. READ MORE


The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis | September  2011

Nicholas Palumbo, owner/winemaker, Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery along with the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association joins Tom Lykis for a radio interview on Setpember 3, 2011.

Click Here To Listen:

Los Angeles Times | Food | August 2011

Temecula Valley wines a work in progress

Although some wineries are content to please the masses and nothing more, others are producing impressive varietals by taking advantage of a climate similar to Spain, Portugal and southern Italy.

August 26, 2011 - With abundant sunshine, shimmering heat and a diurnal shift in line with many coastal viticultural areas , there is no denying that the Temecula Valley is an authentic California winegrowing region. However, setting aside Pierce's disease and the prevailing party atmosphere, challenges remain. Problems with hygiene, brettanomyces and volatile acidity in particular still taint bottlings from less diligent producers. Farming practices too can be relatively lax, compared with the meticulous care taken by Napa and Sonoma growers. Winemakers I spoke to voiced concern that the growers have little interest in the extra work required to improve quality in the vineyard, especially when the average limo passenger is indifferent.

For all this, the valley is producing solid, at times impressive wines of varietal and regional character. The warm-weather varieties common to Spain, Portugal and southern Italy — Syrah, Mourvedre, Sangiovese and Tempranillo — are showing promise, as well as American varieties Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.

In general, the red wines have plenty of weight, in the way that Spanish wines or Sicilian reds do: big shoulders, good body, plenty of tannic grip. The 2009 Hart Mourvedre is aromatically spot-on with its scents of spiced strawberry and red-fruit flavors marked by a meaty Provencal rusticity, while the 2008 Palumbo Family Sangiovese, with its dusty cherry scents and firm, grippy tannins, is a bit like an amped-up Rosso di Montalcino. I enjoyed the South Coast Vineyards 2008 Lone Boulder Ridge Syrah, with its exotic scents of anise and black pepper and oak-tinged red plum flavors.

Of course, if you want power, the valley can deliver: The Cabernet-based wines of Wiens Family Cellars knock you back on your heels with their intensity — a familiar Temecula profile. Though the wines of Thornton Winery seemed to depart from this paradigm, David Vergari's 2010s are all below 14% alcohol (with a couple under 13%), lean, zippy wines with refreshing acidity and drive; his youthful 2010 Tempranillo, for example, resembled the Joven wines of Rioja in its bright, cheery red fruit. — Patrick Comiskey,0,5385578.story

________________________________________________________________ | April 2011

Forget Napa, Temecula is home to Southern California’s best wineries
Palumbo Family Vineyards and Winery is a must-see and has the most amazing 2009 Viognier that is punch full of crisp and fresh notes of honey and floral hints. Nick and Cindy Palumbo own the 13-acre winery and offer some of the best handcrafted artisanal wines in the area. And not to mention, a breathtaking winery with unparalleled views. _________________________________________________

Inland Empire Magazine | November 2010

Palumbo's Passion
Palumbo wines are big, complex, powerful, age-worthy wines made to stand the test of time. His Viognier, the first harvested fruit this year, is whole cluster pressed. Whole cluster pressing is a much longer, very labor intensive, yet gentler way to make wine. He equates it to the difference between running grapes through a blender to squeezing
the juice out with your hands. Palumbo believes in making his wine in a purist style: bone-dry, with no residual sugar, thus allowing the fruit to speak for itself. When you visit the Palumbo tasting room you will most likely meet Nick or Cindy pouring the wine; they are always happy to share their passion and enthusiasm with visitors. For more information, visit the website at - PATRICK J. BARTLETT

Tasting Panel Magazine | November 2010

No More Apologies
I am genetically programmed for this line of work," says Nick Palumbo, owner/winemaker of the stunning Palumbo Winery. Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, the San Diego native continues to be fascinated with all things culinary. He believes he fortuitously landed in Temecula. "I was at the right place at the right time," he affirms, but he had no idea that the move would steer his career in the direction of winemaking. His small production Bordeaux blends, refined Viognier and Rhône reds are superbly balanced and noteworthy; and, although Palumbo's wines can be found in high end properties in San Diego County, his growing wine club membership and huge sales through his charmingly rustic tasting room keep Palumbo's portfolio a virtual hand-sell. MORE

San Diego Uptown News | August 2010

Bottled Up: Wineries make a case for Temecula vineyards
For Palumbo, whose bottles appear on wine lists at such prestigious San Diego restaurants as A.R. Valentien and Nine-Ten, just making a terrific product isn't enough. "It's easy to say it's good but it's another thing to say, 'Hey, world, you need to drink this wine,' " he said. "We need somebody in the industry like a sommelier or one of the big wine magazines to stick their neck out for us and tell people what they're missing out on here." - Christy Scannell - SDUN Senior Editor - San Diego Uptown News



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