Give your wine the perfect pairing with woodfired pizza! Serving pizzas, salads, & appetizers, all inspired by authentic Italian cuisine.
On property Friday-Sunday from 12 pm-5 pm daily.
Appellation: Temecula Valley
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Oak: Not Oaked
13% Pinot Grigio
Tasting Notes: Our 2021 Albariño has aromas of Honeysuckle, and Jasmine, with Green Apple and Nectarine on the palate, and Bright Acidity on the finish.
Winemaker’s Notes: This Iberian variety is very well suited for our Mediterranean climate, which makes it an obvious choice for us to utilize. Albariño tends to get richly honeyed if over ripe, so we harvest ours a little earlier. We also blended in some crisp Pinot Grigio to further lighten the wine. While the floral, honey notes are still present and appreciated, they are balanced nicely with grassy, herbal notes, and a light, crisp finish.
Food Pairing Ideas: Grilled Salmon, Cioppino, or light salads with chicken breast
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Composition: 59% Viognier, 41% Chardonnay
Fresh breezes of lychee, white peach and limestone rise from the glass in our 2021 Solace, broadened on the palate with a hint of honey and pear with ample crisp acidity to assure a refreshingly clean finish.
Our 2021 Solace is a blend of Chardonnay and Viognier The Chardonnay adds notes of citrus and cream, balanced perfectly with tropical and stone fruit notes from the Viognier. This wine is unoaked, keeping it crisp, clean, and refreshing.
Food Pairing Ideas:
Grilled Fish Tacos, Margarita Pizza, Buttered Popcorn
Appellation: Temecula Valley
Residual Sugar: 0.2%
Composition: 96% Temecula Vermentino, 4% California Muscat
Aromas of pear and lemon zest enchant the senses before pink grapefruit and almond enrich the palate, with a touch of minerality completing the picture on this hand crafted, stylish Italian varietal.
The 2021 Vermentino is a wonderful example of how well this Italian variety does in Temecula, with a nice balance of crisp, refreshing acidity, and light fruit aromas. This vintage was blended with 4% Muscat to further accentuate the floral, honey notes, giving this wine a little more complexity.
Food Pairing Ideas:
Linguine with clams, raw oysters, light cheese and charcuterie
There are a number of factors used to price a wine, but the main ones in order of importance are overall quality, availability, and production cost. If you’re wondering why the wine’s age wasn’t mentioned as a pricing factor, that’s because a wine’s age only contributes very slightly to price, and that small contribution is mostly related to scarcity, not age itself. You can’t age a mediocre wine into goodness – it just does not happen that way.
In general, high quality and therefore high priced wine is recognized very early in the winemaking and aging process. We usually can tell even before grapes are harvested from a particular vineyard whether the wine made from that fruit will be great or not. What indicates quality? Small berries, deep color, a well-managed low-vigor vine canopy, absence of disease, and taste/tannins of the pre-harvest fruit all pretty much tell us what we’re going to get in the finished wine.
Do we get surprised sometimes? Yes, but for the most part we know early how good the vintage will be. Most certainly after about three months into a new wine’s life, it’s already shown its potential. How can we justify charging a very high price for a wine only two or three years old? Because its quality is set and we can predict from experience how it will age. Unless we for some unusual reason think it will fall apart with age, we’re generally confident that a great young big red will be a great mature one.
As a wine begins its journey through the sales life cycle, when first released there is usually abundance, so quality (as our tasting panel sees it from pre-release discussion) determines price. Sometimes, our internal winery judgement of quality differs slightly from our customer base, so we adjust the price down if our sales numbers are cold. With very fast sales compared to other wines on our list, the price may be increased. These variations in demand drive the price to line up with wine quality in the eyes of our customers – you ultimately as a group determine or at least strongly influence price.
Later in the cycle when supply gets low, price tends to increase – classic supply/demand price impact. This same influence comes into play if a winery has a “cult” wine that boasts status everybody wants. In this case, the higher price is driven by high demand instead of low supply. Sometimes a winery can charge several times the initial release price of a wine when it reaches “last-drop” status.
The emotional demand for an individual bottle can become astronomical if you can’t get it! Same effect as scarcity, just on the opposite side of the equation. On the other hand, if every winery up and down the street has the same wine variety with similar quality, prices are depressed due to high supply and competition. Don’t you just love capitalism?
The third most important driver of wine price, production cost, has some effect but less than you might think. For our direct-to-consumer winery model (wine sold mostly through tasting room & wine clubs, the Temecula standard) it costs us much more to create and run the retail environment than the cost of producing the wine. Among the production inputs to make a bottle, fruit cost is the highest contributor. We spend a huge amount every year to ensure we grow the best fruit, which makes the best wine, which allows us to charge a premium price. Still, if you think about it, even this factor goes back as a contributor to quality, the overwhelmingly main factor in price.
So, bottom line – don’t become obsessed with a wine’s age to decide what you want to pay for it. Seek out quality. Taste it! If you like it, trust your senses and trust that if it’s a good young big red it will age gracefully. Drink the lighter ones earlier, the bigger ones later. Great wines start great and finish the same way!
Doug Wiens, Director of Winemaking
Yes! Here at Wiens our winemaking team uses many different winemaking techniques and practices. One thing we are well known for is our blends. We blend throughout all stages of the winemaking process–whether it is in the vineyard while picking “a field blend,” combining two press loads after fermentation, or using two or more wines that were aged separately in French and American oak prior to bottling.
Something that we have done from time to time over the years is a practice known as a co-fermentation. A co-fermentation is when two or more grape varietals are crushed together into the same fermentation vessel and fermented together. This is commonly done in the north of Rhone and known as a “Cote-Rhotie” where they use Viognier and Syrah grapes. When blended together, the white grapes can enhance aromatics and soften tannins.
Sometimes we like to ferment Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah together. By fermenting our Pinot Noir with Petite Sirah, we can build stronger color chains and increase the color stability of the delicate Pinot Noir. The advantage to this is that you will get stronger, darker color and gain tannins, which will extend how the wine will age. Blending this early on makes it so that the flavors of the different grapes can develop and create a more complex wine and become one.
If this all sounds good and makes for better wine, why doesn’t everyone do it? This is becuase there are some disadvantages to blending this early, such as locking yourself into a certain blend at the start of fermentation that may limit your possibilities for blending after fermentation. There are also certain restrictions on what and how much you can use depending on how a wine is labeled. If you want to label a wine by the grape varietal you used, then it would have to contain at least 75% of that varietal. Another thing to consider is where the grapes come from–are they from different appellations (Temecula or Lodi)? The predominate appellation (85%) will determine where the grapes are from on the label of the bottle. If you making a blend based on a certain style like a Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Fanc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot) or a Rhone style GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) this will also determine what you can blend together.
Something some people consider as a simple question: “will these grapes actually work together?” is easier said than done, right? Blending is definitely a Reflection (pun intended) of the artistic side that a winemaker masters over years through trials and errors. Salud!
Brian Marquez, Assistant Winemaker
First things first, I am not a doctor and cannot be quoted for medical advice. This is just one man’s take on how these popular conceptions relate to wine.
Throughout my years in the wine industry I have heard many different people making statements about how they cannot drink a certain wine because they have some sort of allergy. These have run the gamut from nut allergies, to various types of fruit allergies, and the “I don’t drink sweet wine because I have a sulfite allergy,” to various diet restrictions and myths. So, here are a few myths I would like to shed some light on.
Grapes are the only fruit we use to make wine. The descriptions you see on a wine label or on tasting notes are subjective descriptions of flavors and aromas. There are never any pineapples, coffee, or toasted nuts added to the wine. A winemaker will use these descriptors as a guide for you, the taster, to get a glimpse of what a particular wine is like. The flavors and aromas in the wine come from the grape variety itself, oak ageing, and winemaking practices such as fermenting at different temperatures to produce thiols or esters.
For those looking for a low carbohydrate wine and/or “Keto” wine: Most wines are relatively low-carb compared to other alcoholic beverages. Wine is typically fermented to relative dryness, so almost all the sugars have been converted to alcohol. If a wine is sweeter and has any residual sugar, then there will likely be more carbohydrates in the wine. *A note from Johnny Science: Take the residual sugar level in grams per liter (g/L) x 0.15 = grams of carbs per 150 ml serving.
“I only drink dry wines.” This is one of my favorites. Occasionally I will over hear someone talk about how he or she only drinks dry wine, and then rave on about a wine that has noticeable amount of RS (residual sugar). Wine is never 100% dry. Even a bold dry red wine can have 0.2% RS. A little bit of RS can balance an acidic wine or smooth out a tannic wine and make it more drinkable. RS in wine is not detectible under 0.8% to most people. Being masters of the dark arts, winemakers may use a touch of RS to balance a wine while the sweetness goes undetected. So thank you, Professor Snape.
And finally on to sulfite allergies. I often hear, “sulfites give me headaches, is this wine sulfite free?” Sulfites are a naturally occurring characteristic in fermented beverages, including wine, so no wine is completely sulfite free. By law, wines. with over 10ppm (parts per million) must state “contains sulfites” on the label, so even wines with no added sulfites may be labeled “contains sulfite.” Winemakers use sulfites because they slow chemical reactions that cause wine to go bad.
A wine that has a high pH and low acid will require more sulfite than a wine with a low pH and higher acid. White wines are typically in the range of 10-40ppm, and red wines are in a range of 40-75ppm. Typically, the younger a wine is the more likely it is to have a higher sulfite level. As wine ages the sulfite will dissipate. There are other products in our day to day life that contain sulfites at much higher levels. Orange juice may contain close to 300+ppm, and dried fruits can have upwards of 1700ppm. While a small percentage of the population has sulfite allergies or sensitivities, this may not be the
culprit behind your red wine headache. Histamines may actually be the cause. Foods that have been fermented or aged may have higher levels of histamines such as tofu, tempeh, champagne, red wine, ketchup, and aged meats. Histamines can cause inflammatory flushing and wakefulness at night. A good thing to remember is that you are drinking alcohol, and this can lead to dehydration and headaches, so drink plenty of water when imbibing. And if you do happen to have sulfite sensitivity, it might be worth trying a beautifully aged wine as opposed to a young one.
I hope this debunks a few things for my fellow wine enthusiasts and opens you up to trying a few new wines.
Brian Marquez, Assistant Winemaker
Hey there newbies! It’s getting to be that time of year again where parties fill up your weekends & you see your family more than the average amount. You know what that means: Alcohol! Plus, you don’t want to walk in empty-handed, right? Good thing we have a variety of options on our menu right now. Let me walk you through 8 different holiday wines you’re sure to impress with! Don’t worry, I’ll give you the run-down on each one so you don’t walk in empty-headed either!
An annual holiday favorite, our 2020 Merrytage pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes. This vintage is exceptionally yummy with a fuller body, smooth tannins, & notes of holiday spices, cranberry, with a silky finish. Being that it’s a more complex wine, it will allude to your wine intelligence, but also allow for easy drinking (Score!). It has many characteristics that present themselves as you continue to drink, making it a great conversation starter, as well. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
Winemaker’s Notes: We create this special blend annually with the goal of appealing to a broad range of wine palates. Medium bodied, fruity, and pleasantly textured, our 2020 Merrytage will pair nicely with a wide variety of dishes at your holiday table.
Our 2018 Refugio Malbec is another beautiful red to put on your holiday table this year. Again, with velvety tannins, this wine will showcase a lot of depth while still being approachable. Nonetheless, a beautiful wine for both beginning & seasoned wine drinkers. Beginning with notes reminiscent of a freshly baked blackberry pie, this wine opens up to reveal notes of cedar & pine, while also offering notes of brown spice & chocolate covered strawberries, with supple tannins. It pairs best with hearty beef dishes & rich sauces. If you’ve got a red wine lover in the group, bring it!
Winemaker’s Notes: While our 2018 Refugio Malbec isn’t as intensely tannic as some vintages, it shines with alluring complexity. With the body, and tannin restrained, the nuances of spice and forest from the oak get more of the spotlight. Our Elk Grove and Montfort Malbec provide the support for this vintage, which is enhanced with Waxman Malbec, adding more blue fruit and black pepper notes.
There’s a reason Pinot Noir is a crowd favorite: It has something for everybody. This red wine is a favorite for even the white wine drinker. Bring it to the next function if you don’t believe me. Truly, the perfect Thanksgiving wine— Of course, it can pair with other holiday dishes, as well. Pinot Noir is often thought of as a lighter wine, & compared to our bolder reds that may be true, however this vintage presents complexity in its own way, while still promising easy drinking. Offering notes of red cherry, fig, & cinnamon bark, this Pinot Noir will have everyone doing the happy dance!
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2019 Pinot Noir is 100% Pinot Noir making this a unique vintage that show cases the true typicity of the varietal. This wine is soft and elegant with simplicity, a delicate tannin structure highlighting the red fruit and spice from a partial stem included in fermentation.
*Also, offered in a holiday pack with our Pinot Grigio starting Nov. 16!
Buttery & delicious—Just like that turkey you’ll be having next week. This oaked chardonnay screams holiday with its elegant characteristics & authentic flavors. Even red wine drinkers will enjoy this one for its subtle complexity. Aged for 6 months in French Oak, this wine offers notes of vanilla amongst crisp apple, honey & pear. The balance of flavors pairs wonderfully with salmon, chicken marsala, & fettucine carbonara—A beautiful wine to bring to the party.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Chardonnay is unique in that we age on oak, while suppressing the secondary fermentation. This allows us to accentuate the natural flavors in the wine with oak, rather than the buttery notes present in a “ML” chardonnay. The French oak used lends some creamy vanilla notes, that balance nicely against crisp, green apple notes, making our Chardonnay a little lighter bodied than most California Chardonnays, while retaining good typicity.
A white with a bit of a bite… Of minerality that is. Our 2020 Pinot Grigio is a wine with a variety of characteristics. Notes of lemongrass, nectarine, & pear explode on your tastebuds, with a crisp acidity on the finish. This wine gives you a great wine to pair with your appetizers! Adding charcuterie boards, white fish & shellfish, will make you the savior of cocktail hour. Naturally, it can pair well with the main course, as well. Regardless of when you drink it, rest assured: Your palate will thank you.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Pinot Grigio is crafted as an homage to its home country, Italy. We harvest early, when there is still plenty of acidity in the grape, to produce a wine with lower alcohol, and crisp acidity. We ferment in stainless steel at low temperatures to bring out the delicate fruit, and mineral notes. Finally, we bottle soon after fermentation to make sure we capture those flavors and aromas before they “flash off”.
*Also, offered in a holiday pack with our Pinot Noir starting Nov. 16!
Floral on the nose & strawberry on the palate— Another wine that pairs well with your meal before the meal. A lighter choice to begin with, but that’s how it should be anyways, right? Barbera is the perfect fruit to make a rosé with because of its bright acidity, making this crisp wine a great pairing with margherita pizza or light seafood. Bringing this to the pre-party will make both a wine drinker & a wine hater happy—Trust.
Winemaker’s Notes: Barbera makes an excellent candidate for rosé, as it retains its acidity better than any other red variety in our warm Temecula climate. This gives the finished rose a crisp, refreshing finish that pairs nicely with our warmer days.
Could it BE any more obvious? I don’t really need to convince you, do I? The perfect sparkling wine for any occasion, but especially the holidays. The beauty of this wine is its ability to pair with any time of day. Have it with appetizers, the main course, or even after with dessert! Either way, your fellow guests will love you for it.
Winemaker’s Notes: Amour De L’Orange Sparkling Wine is an ambrosial delight for those of you who enjoy Champagne with a fun twist. Starting with the finest Chardonnay cuvee loaded with fruity aromas including pear, coconut, and pineapple, our winemaker added just a hint of natural orange flavoring. If you love mimosas, our Amour De L’Orange is sure to be a hit at your party, wedding, or Sunday brunch!
Alright, I know I put two in one here, but choosing one of these really has everything to do with your desserts, so it’s unlikely you’ll bring both. Each are excellent choices at the end of the night. White Port pairs well with desserts like apple pie & cheesecake, & our Ruby Port complements rich chocolate dishes. Sounds delicious, right? It is! If you haven’t tried a port before, be warned: It is a distilled wine with much more alcohol than your typical table wine. Nevertheless, exploding with flavor & a great addition to any dessert. Highly recommend.
Winemaker’s Notes: The 2020 batch of White Port brings back an old familiar classic. Blending classic and aromatic varietals aged in light toast barrels for a wine that is a pleasant night cap.
Winemaker’s Notes: Our Ruby Port is a blend of vintages, aged to allow the fresh red fruit notes to be tempered by nutty, caramel flavors and aromas brought forth by extended aging. Enjoy our Ruby Port with any rich chocolate desserts or as a decadent stand-alone digestif.
So, there they are! A variety of choices for your next dinner party this holiday season, straight off our tasting menu. I know I said you can’t go wrong with the Merrytage (still true), but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Each one would bring a little something special to your holiday evening in their own unique way, guaranteed. That’s the beauty of wine! It can be a drink, a conversation, a memory, the start to a friendship—& Especially during the holidays.
Let’s raise a glass to what it can create this season! Cheers!
Bailey Morris, Marketing/Gift Shop
Squeezing all nine siblings in their Volkswagen Van to cruise the town was adventure enough for these kids, still their blueprints as a Wiens always made room for more creativity. A family full of artists, inventors, musicians, visionaries & more— It came from their father. “He didn’t like to work for anybody,” recall several Wiens family members when remembering their dad, Gary. Becoming an architectural delineator gave him that freedom of creativity & determination; Showing people the full prospect before it became reality. Ask any Wiens where they get their ambition from, they’ll say their dad. They all had that same zeal & they all grew closer because of it. In fact, they often say that their decision to start the winery was a way to rally together & bond after his sudden passing in 1995. That inherited tenacity was the driving force behind so many of their important life decisions, but especially the one each of them made to build Wiens Family Cellars into what it is today.
A special thing happens when they remember the last 20 years together; Their sentences begin with “we” rather than “I.” Their memories remain together rather than apart & their love for each other remains constant through their journey in winemaking, but truthfully, it’s just the beginning.
In retrospect, Doug Wiens’ humble aspirations were the true beginnings to what we now call Wiens Family Cellars. Residing in the state of Colorado during his teenage years where the growing season rarely lasted for more than three months, Doug’s rooted interest in agriculture wasn’t able to blossom until his college years moving back to California. Following his graduation from Cal State San Luis Obispo with a Masters in Agriculture, Doug set out for a career in the food & beverage industry over the next several years in the Northern California region. Starting as a Production Manager for a major food manufacturer, then bouncing to Quality Control Manager in other similar companies & finally becoming a Business Systems Analyst at Gallo, Doug’s experience in the food & beverage industry was now extent—to say the least. It was here that he actually became inspired to begin growing his own vineyard. So, having abundant knowledge in agriculture as a whole, he began his journey into viticulture.
Learning that their brother had bought some land up north, the remaining Wiens siblings volunteered their time to help plant, maintain & harvest the original vines for a few summers in the mid 90’s—Truly making it a family venture from the very beginning. Due to their increasing popularity at the time, the first varietals they planted were Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel & Chardonnay. Initially, the small 14-acre plot of land that he bought in Herald was intended for grape growth & resale. However, after some time selling to local wineries, the profits were just not there. He had years of experience in the food industry, extensive knowledge in agriculture & knew the basic chemistry behind wine… So, why not take it a step further? Purely on an experimental trial, Doug began making wine from the grapes he grew in his own vineyard. His garage was now the chemistry lab & his family became the test subjects. To their surprise & frankly, Doug’s as well, the wine was well balanced & very enjoyable…
Talk about marching to the beat of your own drum. Following his high school graduation, Jeff Wiens followed his aspirations in music. In fact, he was a professional drummer for ten years! Years in & out of schooling, working different odd jobs & touring with bands was just the prologue for this dreamer. Like all good eras though, they must eventually come to an end. So, after hanging up his drumsticks for a degree in Electronics, Jeff began his engineering journey. Working as an Engineering Technician while in school offered Jeff many opportunities to grow in his field while still gaining his education. After graduation, he worked his way up to Engineering Manager. Then, over the next several years & various companies later, he became a Senior Industrial Engineer. Always having a gumptious drive, it was during this stage in his career that he decided to start his own business.
He discussed these aspirations in technology around the same time that his brother, Doug was entering his journey into wine. Realizing these similar paths in mind, Doug suggested they go in on a winery together. With Jeff’s experience in management & business, he added just what the future winery needed to get up & running. Shortly after, talks with their oldest brother, George, started making this dream a reality. His background in architecture seemed to be another missing piece to the puzzle. It was on a ritual skiing trip up to Lake Tahoe in 2001 that these three began to get excited about the possibility of this venture. By the end of the trip, they decided to start their own winery…
Wiens Family Cellars was established on April 6, 2001; A winery based on family bonds & similar purpose. To convey that idea, they needed a visual symbol of their goal. After toying around with a few of his own ideas, Doug enlisted help from his son, Joe, on their way back from a football game. They doodled around, then finally stopped for food & sketched it out on the back of a McDonald’s napkin. The Wiens seal displaying the words Quality, Family, Integrity, is the same one from that original sketch… Well, maybe spruced up a little bit. Next, they needed a place.
They found a Co-Op up in Lockeford that used to be an old alcohol distillation plant. Back in the 1950s, this property had actually been a winery, then in the 1970s it became a production site for gasohol. Needless to say, it had all the equipment to produce wine. Each room was a tank (previously used to make bulk wine), & each tank had holes cut in their sides to create doorways. They rented three tanks: One for tasting & two for storage. This gave them a whopping 16 x 48 ft space to introduce their name to the market up in Lodi. For five years, they did. Of course, they also had their secret weapon: Mary.
For quite some time, their mother Mary was the only Tasting Room employee. She didn’t particularly enjoy wine, but she loved being around family, so she joined in on the fun. In her free-time, she sat reading her romance novels & interacted with the customers. “Everyone loved her,” remembers her grandson, Joe Wiens. Later on, the Dulce Maria blend would be curated as an ode to her sweet taste & manner. However, even with Mary’s excellent customer service, the small tasting room wasn’t enough to compete with the big-name wine brands in the Lodi area.
Although the market up in Lodi proved to be abundant, a small boutique winery was not necessarily the most lucrative design at the time. Regardless, their business was growing & needed more space. So, they set out to look for a new property. First, they planned on staying up in Northern California near the foothills. Then, upon George & Jeff’s research, they discovered Temecula; A hidden gem, the wine country of Southern California. At the time, very few wineries populated the area as they do now. The climate was ideal for grape growing & the market for direct-to-consumer wineries was more than promising– It was hard to pass up. A substantial move, but one they were willing to take. After having their eye on some real estate, they finally bought some property in 2003 & started their journey down South in 2005…
Becoming a licensed General Contractor with an A & B license granted Dave Wiens the ability to build nearly anything in the state of California. For many years, he did. In fact, he worked for major national homebuilders for close to 25 years. During that time, constantly travelling around the country for work gave him an incredible resume. Still, he had that will to pioneer just like his father before him & his siblings after that. So, about one year after the three brothers began the winery, Dave decided to put some of his own money into the new business.
While still working his contracting job, he began building bars for the original Tasting Room in Lockeford out of his garage, then hauling them up North in his Tahoe truck. Then, he started using all of his vacation time & weekends to help with the business. He even took his vacation during Thanksgiving to help bottle! He describes his first few years as more hands on, even working the Tasting Room on weekends. For years, he commuted back & forth between jobs & sacrificed his leisure time for the future of the business, but it was well worth it. Finally, in 2009, he came to work full-time at the winery in Sales & Marketing…
Being a registered CPA with roughly twelve years in public accounting gave Sandy (Wiens) Williams her fair share of practice in the business world. Mostly working with small businesses getting their books & taxes set up, she became another perfect addition to the family business. At first, they simply needed help, & she lent it. So much so, that for the first six years of their operations, she was receiving accounting work off-site in Kentucky while she worked her two other jobs as well. At least once a year, their family would try to make it out during their fall break, which usually ended up being during harvest. Consequently, their time would be spent cleaning barrels, moving barrels, harvesting vineyards & helping with crush. After becoming part owner along with her brothers & sister, she continued helping with the business for quite a while. She helped interview & train the first Bookkeeper, set up accounting policies & general ledger accounts, even helped auditing when they decided to move their business. However, once the company took off, working 30-hour weekends on top of her job in Kentucky became too much for anyone to handle. So, she stepped down from the accounting portion & still held her ownership while cheering them on from the South…
In 2005, they secured their spot in Temecula, beginning a new era for Wiens Family Cellars. This blank canvas was uniquely their own— Ready to be sculpted to their vision. To ensure their desired plan came to fruition, while still preventing lost time, they set up a modular building in the parking lot. On December 23, 2005, they opened it for business. This temporary Tasting Room became their new home base for about a year while they built the permanent establishment right outside its front door. These “Trailer Days” as they call them, were the foundation upon which they built so many relationships with Club Members they still have today. A time they hold so dear in their hearts, with people they attribute their ongoing success to. Still, the future was so much brighter.
Dave & George ran the lead on building the new winery. Their background in architecture & construction allowed them to fabricate their ideas in a way that no outside hire could. However, all were involved in the decision making. Each brick & concrete slab was planned uniquely for this family pursuit. Dave thought up the idea for the Cellar Room that now houses our Select Tastings, down to the final sketches. Special features went in to every detail. Additionally, the Barrel Room was placed in the back to focus your attention on the winemaking & the warm colors used were intended to invite you in, like home. Ultimately, the layout, design & presentation all had one thing in common: Intention.
In true Wiens family fashion, they all came down to prepare for the Grand Opening once construction was finished. From big jobs to small, they began building office furniture by hand, decorating the tasting room, setting up POS systems & tying up all other loose ends to prepare for opening day. Finally on October 14, 2006, they cut the ribbon & opened their doors. Following the excitement, their time in Temecula continually proved that they were exactly where they needed to be…
With his parents working in the restaurant business, Joe Wiens grew up knowing two things: Food & Wine. He says having killer gardens was the norm & helping out with menu options eventually became his job. Later on in life, he actually became a wine buyer for his mom’s restaurant in Sacramento. He also spent a great amount of time learning about winemaking from his father, Doug Wiens. Naturally, he grew up during the assembly of Wiens Family Cellars. So, his involvement in the other activities of planting, growing, harvesting & maintaining, the original vineyards up North was immense. In fact, he even created the labels for all of the 2002 vintages! However, wanting to spread his wings at 18, he moved away from the family business.
In 2005, he joined the venture again to work in the vineyard & production, then eventually became Tasting Room Manager. After a few years, he again left the business to do his own thing. Due to his upbringing in viticulture, his dream was to open up his own wine shop in Davis, where he lived in his 20’s. However, as life changes, so do passions. Joe’s intentions with wine changed when he came back down in 2010 to get more involved in the winemaking process…
Previously a high school band instructor, limited exposure to wine & no intention of becoming a winemaker prior to being hired; In 2007, Brian Marquez was immediately hired to be an Event Bartender. He proved to be a hard worker, but his future with us was so much more than we imagined. Sequentially, working events was followed by gaining extra hours working in the vineyard, then eventually helping out with production, & finally getting hired on full-time in that department. Brian quickly became involved in the world of wine. Back when the business was mostly family, he had the opportunity of working closely with Danny, Andrew & Luke Wiens. His honorary family membership swiftly developed. However, his work ethic proved to be even more impressive. After becoming Production Lead, Production Manager a year later, then Cellar Master the following year, he finally earned the position of Assistant Winemaker on his 10-year Anniversary of working here…
It’s here where our stories all connect. From the beginning, each sibling has been involved in one form or another, but over the years, there have been a few changes to the business. When Joe returned in 2010, his dad had already begun to start his next adventure in the wine world. So, he started training Joe to officially take the reins. By 2012, Joe became Head Winemaker— Like father, like son. Doug’s involvement since then has changed. He’s still involved in winemaking, holds stake in the company & weighs in on important decisions, but also now owns two other winery restaurants that need his attention as well. Jeff has stayed General Manager & Dave became our Director of Business Development, taking over the Sales & Marketing side of things. Once the business moved down to Temecula, Sandy followed a few years later & joined the business once again. We call her our “fireman;” putting out all of the daily fires around here. The two oldest siblings, Beth & George still hold part ownership & pop in often, although their children are the ones more involved on a daily basis now. Currently, George’s son, Gabe is our Outside Sales Representative, Beth’s son, John is our Vineyard Manager & his wife, Alma heads up our Accounting & HR. Still, after 20 years, we have said goodbye to many family members wanting to begin their own journeys & welcomed many non-family employees as well… Too many to count!
When asked what they see for the future of Wiens, the response was unanimously the same: “Who knows.” The truth is, Wiens Family Cellars began on an unknown & it will most likely continue the same way— always evolving. The recent pandemic proved to them they could adapt to changing times & shift their perspective on the market; It made them stronger. So, they’re hopeful for what the future may bring. The next generation of Wiens’ have always been in & out— making them unsure of the legacy they’ll leave as well. However, their individual successes have proved to be inspiration enough for a promising future. In the end, that big question mark is not a formidable existence— it’s freedom; Freedom to stay the same or to change in any direction they choose. Although, one thing is for certain: They’ll do it together, with Quality, Family & Integrity.
Bailey Morris, Marketing/ Gift Shop