As some of you may know, my husband Tim and I, along with our two-year-old son Russell, live on a small ranch in the rural community of Fallbrook in North San Diego County. When we bought our home last year, we also inherited with it a run-down avocado grove. With a recent record-setting drought and astronomical water prices in our area, the avocado trees had simply become too expensive to keep alive. So, we weighed our options and this Spring we decided to take out the grove and begin the process of planting our own family vineyard, with the infrastructure going in this Fall and the vines being planted in early 2016. We have been struck in recent years by the quality of wines we’ve seen coming out of the San Diego region and are excited to plant what we hope will become a family legacy for Russell and beyond.

So, given our family’s interest in San Diego wines, I was thrilled to learn that renowned winemakers Chris Broomell and Alysha Stehly of Escondido’s Vesper Vineyards were going to be featured at the September 10, 2015 Terroir.0 Winemaker Dinner at Playground 2.0 in downtown Santa Ana and definitely wasn’t going to miss the chance to be there. Named one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s  ‘2014 Winemakers to Watch,’  Chris and Alysha are pushing the boundaries of winemaking in Southern California and, as the Chronicle says, “they are bringing  San Diego County back into the conversation.”


Vesper Vineyards own web site says : “Vesper Vineyards is the result of combining Alysha’s scientific background, Chris’ practical experience, and the love they both have for San Diego County. Alysha and Chris understand that they can work in Napa, Sonoma or Santa Barbara, yet it is only in San Diego that they can create their own world of wine. Here, with no established style of winemaking and no set varietal to define the area, their options are endless. There is great potential for some excellent wine, especially as the county has such diverse microclimates. Vesper Vineyards sources grapes exclusively from these areas to produce their wine. Every bottle brings forth the unique characteristics of the vineyard and its microclimate. So, raise a glass and enjoy the best of San Diego County!”

On Thursday, September 10th, we did just that! Chef Jason Quinn and his team at Playground 2.0 put together a spectacular menu that was designed to highlight the special qualities of each of the five Vesper Vineyards wine pairings we tasted that evening. Below you can view a story-through-photos from the dinner. And if this gets your tastebuds tingling for some world-class wines, then be sure to visit the Vesper Vineyards web site for information on their Tasting Room, Wine Club, and Where-To-Buy listings.

{Follow Anne Watson Photography on Facebook and on Twitter/Instagram @annewatsonphoto. Vesper Vineyards @vineyards. Chef Jason Quinn & The Playground @playgrounddtsa.}

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