As temperatures have soared, the “other side of the hill” has lured Southwest Riverside residents with ocean breezes and cooler days.
Now Temecula Valley “Big Red” wine lovers have another reason to visit Newport Beach — Orange Coast Winery.
Acquired by Doug and Debbie Wiens in 2011, Orange Coast is quickly establishing itself as a favorite among locals and longtime Wiens wine fans.
“Doug is the winemaker and one of the founding members of Wiens Family Cellars in Temecula,” said Debbie. “But, being hopelessly romantic, we wanted a ‘baby’ of our own and fell in love with this location.”
The Urban Micro-Winery is located a few blocks from the beach and features Food Truck Fridays every week for the after-work crowd.
“The first Friday of each month we have Chomp Chomp Nation, a wildly popular Asian fusion food truck,” said Debbie. “Their food pairs beautifully with our wines and all of Orange County keeps an eye on their tweets to see where they will be next. We are thrilled.”
In addition to Food Truck Fridays, Orange Coast offers a variety of signature flat breads for guests to enjoy with their wine anytime.
Orange Coast Wine Club offers members a 20 percent discount on wine and merchandise, a free tasting for the member and a guest and access to special events. All guests are welcome to participate in the Preferred Restaurant Partners program.
“Our partner restaurants offer our tasting room guests free corkage when they bring in a bottle of Orange Coast Winery wine,” said Debbie. “Our guests appreciate the added perk.”
Although a selection of Wiens Family Cellars wines are available at Orange Coast, it is a full production winery with a complete line up of its own wines.
“Our most popular wines at the moment are the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, a fresh, grassy white that is a perfect summer sipper and the 2008 Beach Blend Reserve, a rich, inky blend that is dominated by the blackberry and black plum flavors of Petit Syrah,” said Debbie.
Doug Wiens, voted Winemaker of the Year by Inland Empire Magazine, splits time between the two wineries and enjoys the challenges that each provide.
“Wiens Family Cellars is a high-production winery and we are very proud of our reputation there,” said Doug. “I believe that it is possible to bring that same quality to this micro-winery environment: small and special.”
For Doug and Debbie, special wines do not require a stuffy environment.
“Our guests love the casual, breezy feel of our winery,” said Debbie. “They can come relax after work or stop by in their flip flops on their way to the beach.”
For winery location and business hours, please visit: www.orangecoastwinery.com.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.