At the Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery everything starts with the wine before preparing what food to put onto the menu.
All of the wines are very food friendly.
Why? “Because we started as a winery,” said Ray Falkner, one of the owners of the winery.
The winery recently announced Gianni Ciciliot as their new executive chef.
“He knows what our wines are, and he definitely tries to come up with food that pairs well with our wines,” Falkner said.
Falkner tastes the dish with the pairing of a wine.
“If I think there is something that is not quite right with it, we change the dish,” he said.
All of the food on the menu is Mediterranean-style, but they also offer gluten-free and vegan options for guests. Falkner said one of the main reasons why Mediterranean-style food was chosen is that it’s healthier for people. One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the Lobster Mac and Cheese, prepared in a four cheese sauce with lobster and prosciutto, priced at $17.
“If you haven’t tried it, it’s very delicious,” Falkner said, people come all over to try it.
They have also made it simple to pair the right wine with the right dish by placing the recommended wine next to it on the menu.
A new fall menu starts Friday, Oct. 25. The new menu includes the Mixed Seafood Salad; it includes romaine lettuce, artichokes, bell peppers, oranges, as well as marinated swordfish, jumbo shrimp and octopus.
This delicious dish is very Mediterranean and unique, said Falkner, and it pairs well with their chardonnay.
The restaurant is open for lunch hours, 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
So much focus is placed on the quality of the wine that they enter all of their wines in various wine competitions. Eighty percent of the wines that are served in the tasting room have won gold or silver medals.
“We want third parties to verify that the wines are good,” Falkner said.
Falkner and his wife are at the winery five days a week.
“We do our best to meet and greet and talk to our customers,” he said.
One of things that they enjoy most about having a winery is that they’re set on producing high quality wine, as well as producing high quality food.
Falkner said they are also dedicated to providing guests a fun time.
“Whether they came here to eat or drink, the goal is to make it very enjoyable for them,” he said. “They will walk away and say, ‘that was so great, I want to come back again.’”
He also said the winery is very much focused on the experience of being at the winery.
This means being on a hilltop and being able to see the views, while drinking wine and enjoying the delicious food, he said.
Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery is located at 40620 Calle Contento in Temecula.
They can be reached at (951) 676-8231.
Written by: Bevi Edlund
Valley News Staff Writer