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Dining In the Vineyards at Welk Resorts and Spa in San Diego

We attended as a guest of the resort

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Before there was Donny and Marie, even before there was Sonny and Cher… there was Lawrence Welk. the legendary host of his own self named variety show, which launched in 1951 and aired for three decades. While best known as an entertainer and big band he also became the owner of what is now Welk Resorts and Spa in the early 80’s.

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Recently, we were invited to dine “under the stars” in the Lawrence Welk Vineyard in Escondido at the Welk Resorts and Spa and celebrate Welk’s new craft beer and wines produced in collaboration with partners Iron Fist Brewing Co. and Belle Marie Winery. A stay at one of the resort’s villas following the tasting was included in the invitation, thankfully!

Join us on a photo tour of his resort and dine with us on a beautiful meal created by Executive Chef Thomas Trevethen and his team.

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We arrived in the late afternoon and checked in to our villa. Ours was a spacious one bedroom in a section known as Ironwood at Villas on the Greens overlooking a golf course. While we were only staying for one evening, with a full kitchen, stackable washer dryer, living room, dining room, a master bedroom with large master bath, and a huge terrace and beautiful view of the mountains, we easily could have been comfortable for a week!

We freshened up quickly and went on a quick tour of the resort which boasts three phases of villas and amenities including:

Two golf courses, one a par three course and one an executive course.

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A fishing hole.

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Two pool areas with splashpads and water slides that will keep kids entertained for hours.

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Five recreation centers. Two of which are kid friendly with pool tables, foosball, and pingpong tables.

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There’s even a recreation center with a media room where kids and their parents can get creative and film their own shows against a green screen and then edit them leaving them with a fun memento from their vacation.

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We were also able to get a quick look at the newest of the three phases, Mountain Villas which include three bedroom with two bath villas that are perfect for families.

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And then it was time for our much anticipated dinner. The setting was gorgeous. With the vineyards directly beside us and the mountains in the background, it could not have been a more perfect place to sip champagne, beer, and wine with a beautifully prepared dinner.

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We started with a few hors d’oeurves paired with two craft beers produced specifically for Welk Resorts in collaboration with Iron Fist Brewing Co.. a local San Diego brewer. These included:

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A cheeseboard filled with a variety of cheeses, cured meats, grapes and tomato mozzarella skewers which were paired with Lawrence Welks signature blond beer, a refreshing creamy light blond with herbal notes.

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Succulent and crunchy coconut shrimp with an exotic mango chutney paired with Lawrence Welk Signature Stout Beer produced in collaboration with local brewer, Iron Fist Brewing Co. This craft beer is dark and creamy, with almost a coffee like taste.  It’s dark chocolate notes with hints of spice and anise along with its  slight sweetness make it a good choice with desserts also… the brewmaster suggest perhaps even on vanilla ice-cream.

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And crispy vegetarian shrimp roll with a sweet tangy plum sauce.

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Our six course dinner followed and was paired with wines produced in collaboration with Belle Marie using grapes from the Welk Vineyards.

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We began with a seared ahi tuna salad served with a stunning mix of radishes, baby carrots, orange supremes, and field greens with a mango purée. This was paired with the Lawrence Welk Almond Sparkling Wine.

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Our light opener was followed by a luscious lobster bisque. Completely smooth and decadently flavorful, this was a seriously condensed lobster broth that was vibrant and rich without the usual over the top cream.

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We were then served a beautifully crusted Chilean seabass with grilled vegetables and a creamy cauliflower purée. This was paired with the Lawrence Welk Sparkling Wine Brut.

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It was time for a break! Our intermezzo was a sweet cleansing bite of lemon sorbet.

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As if we weren’t stuffed enough it was time for a little surf and turf! This filet mignon with garlic poached Maine lobster tail with shrimp and roasted potatoes and vegetables was paired with The Vineyard at Welk Resorts Field Blend. As a fan of red wine, this was my favorite. I made sure to buy a bottle at their gift shop on my way out!

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And what meal would be complete without a trio of irresistible  desserts?

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We lingered around the table as the sun went down, sat under the stars by the vineyard and had another glass of wine and were grateful to be within walking distance of our villa!

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Thanks to Chef Trevethen and his wonderful staff for a beautiful meal and evening.

Welk Resorts and Spa is located in San Diego at 8860 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.
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