Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival adds Headliner and Foodie Event, Announces 2012 Gold Medal Wines

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The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival kicks off the Summer, June 1-3, as it has for the past 29 years, with wine tasting from Temecula Valley wineries, over 40 hot air balloons in dawn launches, chef demonstrations, food and wine pairing, food and beer pairing, hundreds of vendors featuring arts and crafts and souvenirs, plus concerts on two different stages that include names like Phil Vassar, Chris Cagle, Lifehouse, Gloriana, John Waite and Soul Asylum.

Evening Balloon Glow by Chip Morton

As dusk paints pastels in the sky, the hot air balloons create a vibrant light show into the night.

A visual spectacle that coordinates the "flicker" of the hot air balloon flame, with a musical beat, makes the hot air balloons appear to dance. Staying tethered to the ground, the giant colorful orbs delight young and old.

The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival announced that LIVE’S Ed Kowalczyk has been added to the show and will perform on the main stage at 5:30 pm on Saturday, June 2 performing all the hits including “Lightning Crashes,” “I Alone,” “All Over You,” “Selling The Drama” and more. The weekend lineup includes Lifehouse, Phil Vassar, Chris Cagle, Gloriana, Soul Asylum and John Waite. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Tonic will not be able to perform as part of the Saturday concert lineup.

A three-day showcase of Temecula Valley Wine Country June 1-3, the event shares abundant blue skies, wine tasting from Temecula Valley wineries, mass dawn hot air balloon launches, foodie events, concerts on two stages and arts and crafts.

A new foodie event has been added giving guests tips on cooking with premium beer and how to pair beer with various cuisine. Food pairing events include four courses each paired with a beverage, plus chef demonstrations and recipes, pairing tips. Food and Beer pairing offers cuisine from The American Culinary Federation – Riverside Chapter. Recipes shared during the event are: Palm Sugar Cured Sablefish Nigiri, Citrus Unagi Sauce with Local Micro Cilantro, Shock Top Raspberry Chocolate Mousse, Spring Vegetable Sausage Soup using Beck's Beer, and New Orleans Barbeque Shrimp. Wine and Food Pairing showcases gold and silver medal wines paired with tasty treats from local executive chefs sharing Italian, California Cuisine, and Cajun items plus fine pastry desserts.

Opening night, Friday June 1, 3 p.m. is a crowd-pleaser as families pour into the Festival in anticipation of the evening balloon “Glow” at 8:30 p.m. A visual spectacle that coordinates the "flicker" of the hot air balloon flame, with a musical beat, makes the hot air balloons appear to dance. Staying tethered to the ground, the giant colorful orbs delight young and old. This is repeated Saturday evening, June 2.

Country Friday at the Festival features, Phil Vassar, Chris Cagle, and Gloriana in concert. A prolific songwriter and versatile performer, Vassar has recorded six albums. His debut album, “Phil Vassar," was released in early 2000 and produced five hit singles on the U.S. "Billboard" country singles charts and was certified gold in the United States. Hits include “Carlene,” “Just Another Day in Paradise,” “Six-Pack Summer,” “American Child,” "That’s When I love You,” “In A Real Love,” “I’ll Take That as a Yes (The Hot Tub Song),” “Last Day of My Life,” and “Love is a Beautiful Thing.”

Chris Cagle hit the country charts in 2000 with the hit single “My Love Goes On and On" from his 2001 debut album "Play It Loud." The first album had two more hits "Laredo" and "I Breathe In. I Breathe Out." Since then his hits include “Chicks Dig It,” "What a Beautiful Day," "Miss Me Baby," “What Kinda Gone," and “Got My Country On”.

In 2010, Gloriana won the Academy of Country Music’s Award for Top New Vocal Group and was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for “Choice Country Group.” The best-selling debut country act of 2009, Gloriana debuted at #2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and #3 on the Top 200 chart. The album spawned the hit single “Wild At Heart.” The group has a new album "A Thousand Miles Left Behind" due to be released this summer. The single “(Kissed You) Good Night” from the album is climbing the country charts.

Lifehouse, the L.A. based alternative rock band known most recently for their hit "All-In" will headline the Festival on Saturday, June 2 of the three-day event. The Main Stage is sponsored by Pechanga Resort and Casino.The band hit mainstream prominence in 2001 with the hit single "Hanging by a Moment" from their debut studio album, "No Name Face.” The single won a Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year, beating out Janet Jackson and Alicia Keys for the #1 Single of 2001.

Lifehouse released the album "Smoke & Mirrors" in 2010 which spawned the hit song "Half Way Gone,” "All In" and "Falling In." The album was #2 on the Billboard Rock Album Charts for 2010. Combined album sales are over five-million and Lifehouse singles have sold over three-million copies online including #1 hits "Hanging by a Moment" and "You and Me." Lifehouse singles "First Time,“ “Whatever It Takes," and "Broken" have also achieved major chart and sales success. The band's hits maintain chart positions on iTunes, years after their initial release and their video streams are at 70 million and counting.

The Festival's Rockin' Saturday lineup includes Soul Asylum. Formed in 1983, Soul Asylum has maintained their reputation heartfelt rock from their beginnings through their commercially successful days on A&M and Columbia Records (where they scored a Grammy for the monster hit single "Runaway Train"). The band has persevered through the good times of garnering several platinum albums and accolades including a performance for the Presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton. Soul Asylum will release their first album in six years, "Delayed Reaction" on July 17. Coffey opens the main stage acts at 4 p.m. followed by Kowalczyk and the headliners Soul Asylum and Lifehouse.

John Waite headlines the Wine Garden stage on Sunday, June 3. Waite, an English singer/songwriter first hit Billboard Charts in 1977 as the lead singer of The Babys with the hit "Everytime I Think of You." After a few hits the band broke up launching Waite into a successful solo career. On September 22, 1984, he found himself at number one on the hit parade with “Missing You.” The song topped the international charts. Twenty years on, this classic remains a radio staple around the globe.

Sunday will also feature The Metal Mulisha FMX Show featuring freestyle motocross champions, Metal Mulisha teammates, and an international cast of dare devil riders. Riders who have performed in the past include Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Todd Potter, Taka, Ox-Jeff Cargola, Wes Agee, Ryan Hagy, Australian riders Jackson Strong and Robbie Alberg and Cito Vascas from Brazil. There are always surprise guests at this show. Last year Metal Mulisha founder Brian Deegan came out to support the riders.

The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival Gold Medal Awards were announced this week. 70 wines were presented for judging. This is the fourth year for the Festival awards coordinated by the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association and the Festival.

Winners of the 2012 Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival Gold Medal are: Sparkling: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ Extra Dry (NV), White Table: Single Varietal: South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ "Sans Chen" Chardonnay, 2009, White Table: Blend: Maurice Car'rie Winery ~ "Heather's Mist" (NV), Red Table; Single Varietal: Wilson Creek Winery ~ "Winemaker's Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009, Red Table; Blend: Lorimar Winery ~ Cabernet Sauvignon/Mourvedre, 2008, Blush: Miramonte Winery – Grenache Rose, 2009
Sweet/Dessert: Europa Village- Muscat Canelli, 2011.

The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is sponsored by the County of Riverside and the City of Temecula. For information and tickets visit http://www.tvbwf.com or call (951) 676-6713. For hotel room specials visittemecula.org.

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Melody Brunsting
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