It’s Friday night at Miramonte Winery. Outside on the brand new terrace, couples mingle at private tables or on cozy couches and sip soulful Syrah or a crisp Pinot Gris, watching Mount Palomar turn purple in mountain majesty.
Inside, the band is doing sound checks on the stage. And at the busy wine bar, a crowd of wine and music lovers wait for the live music to start.
Miramonte Winery has offered live music weekends since 2001, and is sure to continue pleasing its guests with a growing list of bands.
“We like to keep it fresh and creative,” said Miramonte owner/vintner Cane Vanderhoof. “We are always looking for bands who take their music seriously, with artistic integrity and a sense of performance — people who will take control of the stage, and (are) soulful and passionate, regardless of their genre of music.”
Vanderhoof, who oversees every aspect of Miramonte’s business, has taken a special interest in entertainment.
“We’re a boutique winery, and acts like Missy really show what we’re about. She’s jazzy, sultry, and soulful, and great for any crowd. Other bands have come and had a harder, late-90s edge, playing covers of Metallica and Stone Temple Pilots. We mix it up to push the limits, and expose a broader clientele to what Miramonte has to offer. We’re looking beyond just local, and reaching to get newer sounds than you might be used to, fresh and original in wine country,” Vanderhoof said.
Livening up the music scene isn’t all Miramonte’s been about.
The new expansion of the outdoor patio, improved parking area and lighting have increased the amount of space the winery has to serve its clientele.
“We have triple the staff here than we had before the expansion, and still we’re slamming,” Vanderhoof said, with a nod to the improving economy in wine country. “People are coming out, and we have great relationships with most of the transportation and tour companies.”
Now that the outdoor expansion is complete, Vanderhoof is turning his attention to the interiors. Plans include completion of the bridal suites, widening the tasting room floor, and adding an artisan restaurant, with a semi-open kitchen for guests to view the delicacies being prepared inside.
“We’re shaping a creative space, where it’ll really be a showpiece for visitors to enjoy the tasting room. By 2013, the inside will be totally revamped,” Vanderhoof said.
One thing that will not change is Vanderhoof’s attention to detail and dedication to maintaining a creative, boutique winery with one foot in tradition.
“We live in the greatest place on earth, and that’s what Miramonte will always represent. Pure Southern California.”
Miramonte Winery is located at 33410 Rancho California Road in Temecula.
To learn more, www.miramontewinery.com or call 951-506-5500.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.