Many years ago before developers discovered Temecula, the valley was dotted with small family owned farms, orchards and vineyards. In the 1970’s, Beldon Fields purchased land in Temecula and built replicas of Snow White’s cottage for his wife. Beldon worked for Walt Disney and was one of many artisans who built Disneyland’s Fantasyland and Toon Town. The fairy tale cottage was celebrated as the first home showcased on the Temecula Valley Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour in 1984. There is an old olive tree in front of the cottage that was a gift to Beldon Fields from veteran viticulturist John Moramarco. The olive tree relocated from the Calloway Winery – is one of the largest and oldest olive trees in Temecula, if not in the entire State of California.
In the early 1990’s, Les and Dorian Linkogle purchased the beautiful estate from Beldon Fields with the promise to not change the architecture of the cottages. The initial reason for the Linkogles to move to Temecula was to provide open space for their son Larry “Link” Linkogle to ride his motorcycle. For motocross fans, the name Larry Linkogle should sound familiar. Larry is regarded as one of the pioneers of the freestyle motocross sport. He has competed in numerous contests, including the Freeride Motocross Championship, Zero Gravity Festival, NBC Gravity Games and the ESPN X Games. His life story was featured in documentary “Mind of a Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story” which was voted “Best Documentary” at the Slamdance Film Festival and voted best “Jury International Documentary” at the Bel-Air Film Festival. Fast forward to today and you’ll see that Larry is known as the most influential name in the extreme motocross industry. He was voted the most popular extreme natural terrain rider in the world by Fox Sports Blue Torch TV during the 2002 Moto Survival Tour. Larry also set the world’s Long Distance Jump record on his stock 250cc motorcycle and was Vin Diesel’s stunt double in the movie Triple XXX. In 2006, the winery hosted the first freestyle motorcycle biker build-off produced by the Discovery Channel between Larry Linkogle and Mike Metzger.
It turned out that the estate location was perfect for growing grapes. So, in the late 1990’s Viognier grapes were planted along with Merlot, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. Soon, the Linkogles began selling some of their grapes to local wineries. When the resulting wines started winning awards, the family considered opening a winery of their own. In 2002, Carl Key, owner of the Keyways Winery, convinced Les Linkogle to open his own winery, which he did. From 2002 until 2007, the family worked towards making their lifelong dream a reality. While completing various permitting processes and inspections, the Linkogles worked diligently on perfecting their wines and preparing a first class estate winery. Since their grand opening in 2007, the winery has charmed all who visit. “We welcome everyone from the wine novice to the wine connoisseur seeking premium estate wines. As a family owned and operated business we go out of our way to make everyone feel pampered”, says Dorian.
As the first and reservation-only tasting room in the Temecula Wine Country, Briar Rose Winery marks a return to those early idyllic times. In a sense, the Linkogles and Briar Rose Winery have come full circle and want to celebrate a return to the past while embracing the present.
Briar Rose is often thought of as Temecula’s best kept secret and the area’s “First Cult Winery”. Recently, celebrating its two-year anniversary in June 2009, the winery continues to gain popularity among locals and visitors to the Temecula Valley alike. Briar Rose wines may be one of the Temecula wine countries newest additions, but their popularity has already reached such famous places as the White House and the Playboy Mansion, as well as having won numerous international gold, silver and bronze medals in just a short year’s time.
Briar Rose Winery features a wide array of varietals, including world class Cabernet Sauvignons, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Francs, a Super Tuscan Blend, Sangiovese, Viognier, and Fume Blanc. Just released is a deliciously sweet and bubbly wine lager called “Talking Frog”. Briar Rose is located at 41720 Calle Cabrillo in Temecula California. For more information call (951) 308-1098. Reservations are required for wine tastings.