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Temecula Entrepreneurs – Kat Ellis and Tom Plant

Kat Ellis and Tom Plant are long-time friends who share a lot in common. Both love music. Both are avid photographers. They’re both entrepreneurs. Following a series of strange incidents in 2016, they became a couple.

Kat is a native Southern Californian and has lived in the Temecula Valley since the 1980s. Twice widowed, her late husband Roger Ellis was the drummer for local rock band Bluefish. Her photographs are magnificent with her favorite subjects being live music, clouds and nature.

Tom was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to the Temecula Valley in 2002. The son of a hotel man, his dad handed him a camera when he was in his adolescence and he remembers shooting his first roll film at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. There was always good wine around the Plant household. It’s only natural he developed a passion for wine.

Five years ago, Kat came up with an idea for a radio show. Why not pair music with wine, she asked herself. Thus, Chords and Vines was born. Tom joined her as the show’s permanent cohost in 2015. With her partner Shawna Smoot, owner of the Temecula Valley Cheese Company, they launched Sassy Mamas mustards in 2014. They now have more than 20 flavors, including Provocative Apricot Jalapeño, Pompous Pomegranate and Cheeky Cilantro Lime.

In 2009, Tom said farewell to his career in real estate and at a friend’s urging launched WINEormous, a food wine and travel blog. A year later he started offering winery and brewery tours in Temecula Wine Country. This year he received ‘Tour Guide of the Year’ for California from Luxury Travel Guide based in Birmingham, England. It’s the third consecutive year he has received recognition from them.

Both Kat and Tom are passionate about the Temecula Valley and love living here. You can taste her mustards at the Cheese Company in Old Town or call Tom to book one of his tours at (951) 907-9701. Chords and Vines airs every Sunday at 3:00 pm online at