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The Family That Wines Together: Wilson Creek Winery

By Elisha Neubauer

From their first wine-making attempts in a Minnesota basement, the Wilson family managed to acquire a twenty acre vineyard property in Temecula wine country - and nurture it into a successful wine business. Named 2010 Gold Business of the Year, the family estate and winery has since hosted hundreds of weddings and events and won several international wine awards. If you find time to visit the winery, you'll feel the energy and love this family has for their business for yourself.

Since its formation in 1996, the winery has reached over ninety acres of property and produces over 30,000 cases of wine a year. The winery itself receives over one thousand visitors each weekend. Although the winery has grown, the Wilsons are still heavily involved in every aspect. There are always members of the family on the property, eager to answer guests' questions or initiate tastings.

The tasting room is a comfortable setting in which you can enjoy dozens of fine wines, including the winery's signature product: its Almond Sparkling Wine. While at the winery, take a stroll through the garden, which features thousands of flowers and bushes planted by Rosie Wilson herself.

Wilson Creek Winery has more than just pretty flowers to recommend it, though - it has been adding awards to its shelves every year since 2002. The winery has competed and placed in many international festivals and competitions, including the Riverside International Wine Competition, Jerry Mead's New World International Wine, and the Diego International Wine Competition.

So what sets Wilson Creek Winery's wines apart? "Truly great wines that express a sense of place can only come from estate vineyards where wine-making is a seamless continuum from soil to sip," says Wendy Holder, Marketing Director for Wilson Creek Winery. The commonly-held notion that great wines need to "struggle," she says, is only partly true. Great wine, says Holder, "comes from vines that are vibrant, healthy and balanced and then experience temporary stress like controlled deficit irrigation. This is easier to achieve in warmer climates where the vines can be supported most of the year." The Wilson Creek vines have the advantage of arid soil that has not been leached of its nutrients. "The potential for new expressions of grape varietals in these conditions is exciting," says Holder.

At the Wilson Creek Winery, you can spend an entire weekend submerged in the wine culture of the Temecula Valley. While at the winery, you can have dinner onsite at the Creekside Grille or book an overnight at the Wilson Creek Manor. Of course, when at a winery, it is only fitting to end the evening with a great glass of wine. Holder's suggestion? "A complex Petite Sirah as it slowly opens and expresses itself over hours with a relaxed conversation with a loved one."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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