Things sure have changed for rocker Erik Turner, one of the founding members and guitar player for the 80′s hair band Warrant. No longer are his days filled with tour buses, stadium arenas and all the trappings of rock star living — well maybe some of the trappings.
A few years ago while in Napa on a wine tasting trip, the now married Turner participated in a ‘blind tasting’ event at an award winning winery.
Not being a big wine drinker, Turner was floored as were the panelists when he repeatedly chose the top wines out of each collection.
“It was pretty wild,” Turner said.
He added it was a surprise at how spot-on his palate for superb wines proved to be.
Soon after, Turner and Napa winemaker Kristian Story created an award winning wine that went on to inspire Turner to keep pursuing and enjoying his newfound talent.
Fast forward to April of this year, his other band “Sunset Stripped” played a gig at Rusitco’s Ristorante and Pizzeria in Murrieta. There he met South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s CFO Jeff Carter and winemakers Jon McPherson and Javier Flores.
After the performance, the four men sat down and shared stories and ideas about music, business and wine.
Before long they decided to work together to create wines with the band’s and Turner’s namesake.
“We released ‘Rocker Red’ which is a cabernet sauvignon in July and just a few weeks ago we released ‘I Saw Red,’ a syrah,” Turner explained.
Having moved to the Temecula Valley nine years ago, Turner says he is thrilled to be in the wine making business, especially because Temecula’s wine country is in his backyard.
“I love this region and am so proud of the grapes here in Temecula’s wine country,” he said. “It also feels great to be affiliated with a spectacular, award-winning winery.”
He made it clear that he is not the magic behind turning grapes into wine, however, enjoys putting his keen skills to task.
“I love being around the process of making wine, tasting and choosing the right wine to put my name on.”
In addition to making wines, he still actively tours with Warrant and performs locally with his side project “Sunset Stripped.”
“Warrant has played 50 shows so far this year,” Turner said.
Adding to his busy schedule, Turner also creates music for television, most recently for the hit show “Duck Dynasty.”
“I definitely have a busy schedule, but I look forward to continue to release more wines and grow that part of my life.”
Turner will be at South Coast’s tasting room on Friday Oct. 26 from 3:30 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. pouring free samples of his popular red wines.
In a few months a chardonnay will join the two reds on the wine scene.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at email@example.com.