A Family Affair At A Local Winery

Earlier this summer, I wrote about a lovely experience I had while spending the day with the family…The Thornton Family that is. The Thornton Winery in our beautiful Temecula Valley offers a Champagne Jazz Concert Series that features a special musical artist and a specially prepared dinner just about every weekend during the summer and early Fall.

I had the privilege of helping them kick off their 24th season, along with smooth jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair.  As usual, the Thornton family made me feel right at home as they greeted me and thanked me for joining them. They mingled with all the guests and made time for everyone like they were part of the family. They really do know how to show their appreciation for the local support here in our friendly community. Even Mindi brought her Mom and Dad to help celebrate their anniversary

I had such a great time that I went back for another family day with the Thorntons, this time joined by Jonathan Butler, Warren Hill, and Maysa for their Soul of Summer show. I took my son with me for this event. Being a jazz saxophonist himself, I felt it only natural I share this with him.  Since it is such a small venue, there is a lot of interaction between the artists and the guests…kind of up close and personal. That is just more of what makes it feel like a family affair.  Jonathan Butler shared a little about himself, his family, and his upcoming South African Safari that he is sponsoring.  He even brought some family members with him to the show including his beautiful little grand daughter.

Warren Hill told stories about the two loves of his life, his wife and daughter, and spoke of some special songs he has written just for them. Maysa told us more about her heartbreak and her ongoing search for the right man. She is never giving up on love no matter how old she is. She sings with this passion in all of her songs. So you can understand when I say, by the end of the night we were all family.

Another member of the Thornton Family, Chef Steve Pickell, once again provided the perfect menu accompaniment for the show and the weather. It was a lighter, informal offering of either a “Jazz Burger”, Fish Tacos, or a Shrimp and Chorizo Salad. As simple as that might sound, you can rest assured that anything that comes out of Chef Pickell’s kitchen has his very own special touches that make it fabulous. I chose the fish tacos which consisted of fresh sea bass, topped with cabbage, avocado cream, mango salsa, queso fresco, and fire roasted salsa all on either a flour or corn tortilla. It was just amazing and went very well with my wine choice for the evening, a 2010 Viognier with flavors of pear and honesuckle. It was light and refreshing and perfect for the warm afternoon of jazz music with the family…The Thornton Family that is.

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