“If you fall in love with something, put everything into it.” That’s what Chef Oscar Escatel tells me when I run into him at Pairings, the gourmet food truck parked among the vines at Lorimar Winery in Temecula.
A bit later, he proudly presents his Goat and Fig Flatbread. Crumbled goat cheese, shaved prosciutto, caramelized onions and dried figs finished with creme fraiche and a generous sprinkle of fresh arugula. I take a greedy bite. Delish! Lorimar’s 2012 Chardonnay pairs perfectly, just as Chef Oscar promised it would.
What I am doing is remarkably unusual. In most wine regions, you won’t find restaurants at the wineries. When your tummy starts growling, it’s time to leave vineyards behind and head into town for a bite. Not so in Temecula Valley. Restaurants abound at the wineries,
Wilson Creek Winery’s Creekside Grille serves up a Champagne Brunch every Sunday that’s insanely popular, and deservedly so. I could compose poetry about the Banana Foster Pancakes at South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose. The pastas and pizzas at Robert Renzoni Winery’s Mama Rosa’s Trattoria are ‘molto buona.’