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Thornton Winery Announces Tonya Wake as New GM

Tonya Wake began her career at Thornton Winery in 1994 as a receptionist. She’s worn several hats in her tenure: she was office administrator working in several different departments, she helped out in accounting and “did any miscellaneous job they needed.” She was eventually put in charge of Thornton’s concert series, now in its 30th year.

Just a few months ago with no fanfare, she was named General Manager of Thornton Winery, working hand in hand with winery president Steve Thornton. “We have done a ton of work” she told me, from taking out the fountain in the courtyard and replacing it with a compass rose to upgrading refrigerators, utensils, ice machines and wine making equipment, not to mention a complete facelift of Café Champagne.

Tonya’s not one to rest on her laurels. I was fortunate enough to catch her on way out of Thornton heading to take care of something else. More changes are planned, but she didn’t tip her hand. I’m confident the Thorntons have made a vey wise decision in making her title an official one. Thornton Winery will continue to prosper under her watchful eye.

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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