Uncorking a three-day weekend of the finest sights, sounds and tastes the Temecula Valley offers, the 33rd Annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival flies high May 20-22 with top rock, alternative rock, and country bands in concert, a spectrum of iridescent colorful hot air balloons during dawn launches and evening balloon glows, and tasty sensations for the most persnickety palate.
Held at Lake Skinner Recreational Area, the Festival highlights Southern California’s fine wine region with wine tasting, food and wine pairings with gourmet cuisine. Not to be outdone, the local growing microbrew industry offers microbrew and craft brews, while food and beer pairings teach guests to cook with beer as an ingredient.
Wine Tasting at the Festival is one of the best ways to discover a new winery for your collection. With 15 wineries from which to choose, guests finding picking one winery to taste difficult. Understanding the lay of the land helps. All wineries pour a red wine and a white. Some will have more choices and varietals. Others may only pour one red and white. This choice is theirs.
Southern California Wine Country is known for their blends and Tuscan wines. White wines were once the only wine produced by one of Temecula’s largest wineries. Now, with Pinot Grigio and Viognier wine grapes flourishing in Temecula Wine Country, wine tasters will find a variety including Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Red wines and blends will include Cabernets, Sangiovese, Petite Verdots, Merlots, and Barberas. Ask the winemakers to name the one wine they make out of a passion for the grape. Often you will find their best wine. When you find a wine you like, you can order the wine by the glass, but write the name down or bookmark the winery as a favorite on the Festival’s mobile app.
If you prefer reserve wines and winemaker’s specials, upgrade your wine tasting experience with a Reserve Wine Tasting package. This also includes eight tastes and are served in a larger bowled souvenir wine glass.
Main Stage Concerts at the Festival include Phil Vassar and Parmalee on Friday night, Jimmy Eat World, Neon Trees and Chalk FarM on Saturday and Rodney Atkins and Kristian Bush on Sunday.
The Wine Garden stage features local bands that competed on I-Heart Radio’s Local Rising Stars contest for a spot at the Festival, and other regional acts. Los Angeles Dance Party DJs Pasho and Orion create the party atmosphere after Friday and Saturday night’s balloon glows. Sunday in the Wine Gardens features a tribute to The Eagles by the band Hotel California.
Vassar‘s musical career includes eight albums, two ASCAP Songwriter of the Year trophies, Billboard Country Songwriter of the Year, countless hits as a singer and songwriter and a mantle full of awards. Known for the hits “Carlene,” “Last Day of My Life, ” “American Child, ” Vassar topped the charts with “In A Real Love” and the perennial favorite “Just Another Day in Paradise.”
Parmalee, a Country Rock band hailing from North Carolina, took their name from the tiny, southern town of Parmele, NC. The band’s debut single, “Musta Had A Good Time,” was #1 for four-consecutive weeks on SiriusXM’s The Highway “Hot 30 LIVE” countdown. Their album “Feels Like Carolina,” earned critical praise from “People Magazine,” “USA Today,” and “Billboard.” Parmalee made recording history when “Carolina” became the longest climbing single by a duo or group in the 24-year history of the Billboard Country Airplay Chart.
Cosmic Cosplay spices up the ever-popular Friday evening Balloon Glow. A 30-minute show* (illuminated, and anchored), these hot air balloons glow to the musical beats of “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and beyond. This is an interactive event where the crowd cheers and pleas for the “glow” while balloons appear to dance to the beat. Cosplay characters will be dressed in everything from Storm Troopers to Klingons, and Ewoks to Aliens. Up to 200 pre-registered Cosplay participants are expected. Los Angeles Deejay Pasha packs high energy into the dance party after the “glow” using his own blend of party tune mixes.
Saturday and Sunday mornings feature the mass hot air balloon launch from the Festival.* Get there by 6 a.m. to see these graceful giants ascend as hot air balloons can only fly in the early mornings, with low winds and high visibility.
The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is produced by a non-profit association in the heart of Temecula Valley Wine Country. Sponsored by the City of Temecula, Economic Development Agency of Riverside, and Riverside County Parks, the Festival offers guests the opportunity to sample from up to 20 Southern California Wine Country wineries while experiencing the splendor of blue skies, gentle breezes and the beauty of Lake Skinner which is surrounded by a multi-species reserve.
For information and schedules visit www.tvbwf.com or call (951) 676-6713. *Hot air balloon flights, tethers and evening glows are weather permitting only. Wine tasting is additional.