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Thornton Winery’s 29th Annual Champagne Jazz Concert Series

It’s hard to believe that this year will mark the 29th year of Champagne Jazz at Temecula’s Thornton Winery. The list of artists who have graced Thornton’s stage is staggering and includes Bobby Caldwell, Dave Koz, Kenny G, Boz Scaggs, America, Al Jarreau, George Benson, Michael McDonald and many others.

As of press time, this year’s lineup had not yet been announced, but concert series manager Tonya Wake says this year is certain to be another stellar one.

Thornton Winery president Steve Thornton and his dad John are gratified when they look back and see what this iconic concert series has evolved into. “Looking back, it seems like yesterday that we launched our Champagne Jazz series,” said Steve. “We never tire of bringing musical legends to our intimate setting.” Roughly 650 people take in each concert and attendees can choose from several different ticket packages, ranging from general admission to the gourmet supper package, which includes a table and a delicious dinner at the newly renovated Café Champagne.

“We love seeing guests who return year after year as well as welcoming first-timers,” added Tonya. The small venue allows guests to feel as if they’re part of a great event. It’s not only locals who come for the shows. There are regulars who come in from Arizona and Nevada just to take in the experience.

Thornton’s Executive Winemaker David Vergari has been crafting Thornton’s wines for more than six years now and says he’s stopped keep track of all the awards. Thornton’s Barbera picked up the sweepstakes award for best red two years ago at the Riverside International Wine Competition, and their Brut Rosé missed the sweepstakes award for best sparkling wine by one vote. “We’ve had a good run.”

The winery sits on 20 acres in Temecula’s rolling wine country. It’s an opportunity to sip on Thornton’s award-winning wines while listening to what Tonya calls “A-list” performers. The 2017 lineup is available on line at Thornton Winery is located at 32575 Rancho California Road in Temecula.

Written by Tom Plant

Why not experience Temecula Wine Country with a guide who knows the area perhaps as well or better than anyone else. You can reach Tom Plant at (951) 907-9701 or via email at

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