The Fairy Tale Of Briar Rose Winery
Welcome to The Land of Enchantment — Briar Rose Winery in the rolling hills of Temecula.
The fairy tale begins in the 1970s, when Beldon Fields purchased the land where the winery now resides. Beldon worked for Walt Disney and was one of the artists who built Disneyland’s Fantasy Land and Toon Town.
When he purchased the land, he performed a whimsical act of true love for his wife; he built her replicas of Snow White’s cottage on the property.
Fast forward to the early 1990s, when current owners Les and Dorian Linkogle purchased the fairy tale estate from Beldon Fields with a promise to leave the cottages unchanged.
The Linkogle’s move to Temecula was prompted by the desire to find open space for their son, Larry “Link” Linkogle, to ride his motorcycle. Today, Larry is regarded as one of the pioneers of freestyle motocross and, among numerous other accomplishments and awards, he’s even served as a stunt double for Vin Diesel in the movie Triple X and is one of the founders of Metal Mulisha.
What the Linkogle family did not know when moving to the property was that the estate location was the perfect place to grow intensely flavored grapes which would produce handcrafted, artisan wines.
Viognier, Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling vines were planted and soon, the family began selling their grapes to local wineries. After the Linkogles started winning awards, they were encouraged by Carl Key, owner of Keyways Winery, to begin their own winery.
And, in 2007, Briar Rose was born.
“The grapes grow like magic here,” Dorian says with a smile, “it’s that Disney magic.”
Stepping foot onto the property is like stepping foot into the real life world of Snow White — but in the form of a micro-winery. There’s a massive orchid tree out front, a bounty of rose bushes, the sweet scent of citrus blossoms, and an olive tree said to be one of the largest and oldest in all of California.
Butterflies flutter and on a hot spring day in Temecula, there’s an unexpected breeze on the shaded patio.
We sample the Viognier, which Les and Dorian point out tastes like nectar, with its aroma of white peach and flowers — The Estate Zinfandel, with its notes of blackberry, boysenberry and black cherry — and the Temecula One, with white pepper, dried cherry, ripe plum, cedar, sage and vanilla aromas. And then, there’s the famous Sacrament — a historic and rare Mission wine made from century-old mission vine clippings, originally planted by Father Junipero Serra as he established the California missions.
There’s an incredible smoothness and depth to the wines brought on by the artistry and the meticulous details Les gives to his craft.
“When it’s time for harvest, there’s an energy in the vineyard,” Dorian says, “Les can sense when the grapes are ready.”
In the barreling room, the entire family — Les and Dorian’s grandson included — gather together for a family affair of labeling and bottling.
Today, the winery is becoming more recognized as one of Temecula’s most premiere wine experiences and has taken home a wide array of awards from local, national and international wine competitions.
Their son Larry has even started putting the grapes to use in a new creative venture: boxedwine.com — a subscription based craft boxed-wine service (fancy purse wines included).
There’s a peacefulness to the property — an appreciation for the soil — a hint of Disney magic — and an uplifting feeling brought on by knowing how the family came together to make their wine-inspired dreams come true.
Like Walt Disney said, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.”
To learn more about Briar Rose Winery, make a reservation at the tasting room or take a peek at their website http://www.briarrosewinery.com.