About us

Greeted by the scent of vanilla on the nose, followed closely by pineapple which extends seamlessly onto the palate. Notes of green apple and bartlett pear join in, complimented by delicate threads of caramel and cinnamon on the finish.

Discover
Avensole Winery

To our guests,

When we first saw the property that was to become Avensole, we fell in love with the hilltop location, the views across the valley and the sprawling vineyards. For every adventure there is a discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. This is ours. We hope that our passion for fine wines, excellent food and personalized service inspires an experience as unique as you are.

From our family to yours,

Our Story

Inspired by Sylvia and William “Bill” Lytton, Avensole Winery was born into a family deeply rooted in tradition. The Lyttons had a profound love of music, wine and, above all, family. Throughout the years, Sylvia and Bill, along with their children Sheldon and Maribeth, would often return to Sylvia’s home town of Vienna, Austria to visit extended family. Austria, with its enchanting vineyards and centuries-old winemaking traditions captivated Sylvia and Bill. Vienna in particular was, and still is, the European center of music, wine and food. The fragrant aromas, picturesque landscapes and centuries-old winemaking traditions painted a vivid picture that would influence the family for years to come.

 

Sylvia and Bill’s love for music is what brought them together. Sylvia, a talented pianist, performed throughout Europe in the 1920’s and 30’s often with a partner. Together they became known as, “The Melody Twins”. Bill was an accomplished musician in his own right playing both saxophone and clarinet. During his college years, he formed a band, “The Purple Syncopaters” which performed in both the U.S. and Asia. When Sylvia came to America, they were introduced and formed an immediate bond over their love of music. Their love never wavered throughout their 54-year marriage and now lives on through the generations of their children and grandchildren.

 

Driven by this love and admiration, Sheldon and Maribeth worked tirelessly to follow in their parent’s footsteps. Sheldon, like Bill, became a lawyer and Maribeth became am accomplished concert pianist. But the siblings never forgot their family vacations and longed to capture the essence of their experience by bringing their memories of summers amongst the elegant vineyards to America. In the Temecula Valley, California they found a remarkably similar geography and climate that they experienced in Austria and decided to pay homage to their childhood memories by establishing their winery here.

 

Sylvia’s favorite wine was the Gewurztraminer. She developed a deep affinity for its fragrant aromas and fruity overtones. One of the varietals already planted in the vineyard that was to become Avensole, was Gewurztraminer. Both Sheldon and Maribeth were surprised and delighted that Sylvia’s favorite was there. They felt it was a “sign” that they were “home”. Avensole became part of the Lytton heritage.

 

Fast forward to the current day, Avensole stands as a tribute to both Bill and Sylvia, and to Sheldon who passed away in 2019. With every bottle of wine produced, we honor the Lytton Family’s vision. Our wines embody the harmonious blend of tradition, artistry, and the rich heritage of the vines.

 

We invite you to join us on this extraordinary journey to savor the fruits of Sheldon, Maribeth and the Lytton Family’s labor and be transported to a time of elegance, adventure, and the ever-present magic of music and wine.

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Our Team

MARIBETH LEVINE

CEO / Managing Partner

Drawing on cherished memories of family vacations to Vienna, Austria during her youth, Temecula Valley resonated deeply with Maribeth. These nostalgic recollections of shared moments with her parents and brother encapsulated the essence of familial connection and exploration. It was her brother, Sheldon, who established a legal practice in Murrieta years ago, fostering opportunities for Maribeth to frequent Wine Country during her visits. These experiences etched an enduring affection for the region in their hearts, leading them both to embark on a remarkable journey – the realization of their dream to own a family winery, aptly christened as Avensole.

 

In addition to her contributions to the winery, Maribeth is also a Julliard-trained pianist, exemplifying her commitment to the pursuit of excellence across diverse spheres.

Maribeth Levine

MANDY RAYFIELD

General Manager

Hailing from South Carolina, Mandy’s professional career has been interwoven with a profound commitment to service. Her journey began with a tenure dedicated to the educational sphere, where she worked for the Temecula School District. Within this role, Mandy championed the well-being of foster and homeless youth within our community, cultivating an acute understanding of empathy, support, and the creation of secure havens for those in vulnerable situations.

 

In 2022, Mandy embarked on a new chapter with Avensole Winery, seamlessly transitioning into the role of Operations & Hospitality Manager. Within this capacity, she adeptly oversaw  diverse facets, including property management, maintenance co-ordination, and general operations oversight. Not content with these responsibilities, Mandy also enthusiastically embraced the role of Wine Club Manager – a mantle that empowers her to curate and nourish our community of wine club enthusiasts. Fast forward to 2023, Mandy accepted and stepped into the role of General Manager of Avensole Winery.

 

Mandy’s professional voyage bears testimony to her dedication to enhancing experiences, fostering camaraderie, and nurturing growth within her role. As her journey unfolds, Mandy continues to personify the ethos of service excellence and unwavering commitment to our staff, member, and guest community.

Mandy Rayfield

JESSICA NIELSEN

Director of Weddings & Events

Jessica Nielsen has spent a lifetime coordinating events, planning weddings, and building multiple premier venues ground up in Southern California. Starting at the age of 16 Jessica ran teams with her mother, who shared the lessons of high-level execution learned over 3 decades. Fast forward to 2023 and Jessica was the beautiful mind behind developing one of the most desirable wedding venues & wineries in Southern California, Avensole. From designing the event space during construction to hands-on hiring and training a winery team, Avensole is producing some of the most dynamic experiences in the wine industry. Jessica has mastered customer satisfaction as seen through her long list of accolades achieved in wine country. The most beautiful part of Jessica, other than her magnificent presence, is the care and love shown to all guests visiting Avensole Winery. 

Jessica Nielsen

TAYLOR ISRAELSEN

Executive Chef

Born in Southern California, Chef Taylor found her passion for food through her health and fitness journey, where studying nutrition allowed her to be creative with fresh ingredients. She began her professional journey in Walt Disney World, Florida, where the fast-paced and intense kitchen environment made her fall in love with the industry even more. After returning to California, she worked in different casual restaurants while attending culinary school to hone her craft.

 

For the past six years, she has been a Chef at Avensole Winery, combining her classic French training and love for fresh, natural ingredients to create an enticing and creative menu. Chef Taylor is always inspired when using fresh and seasonal ingredients, and she believes that the team preparing the food is just as important. Taylor finds it essential to cultivate a rewarding work environment for the kitchen staff and allow team growth opportunities.

 

As her career continues, Chef Taylor looks forward to providing an elevated yet comforting dining experience to excite and inspire her customers.

Taylor Israelsen

JENNIFER BEAUDREAU

Restaurant Manager

Jennifer is a distinguished leader and consummate professional whose entry into the hospitality industry coincided with one of the most tumultuous periods in recent financial history. Amidst the turmoil of the 2008 market collapse, which left the mortgage & real estate sector devoid of opportunities, Jennifer showcased her tenacity and adaptability, thus laying the foundation for an extraordinary career in the world of hospitality.

 

Jennifer’s professional journey spans a rich tapestry of roles, including those of tasting room manager, wine sales associate, and bar manager. Each role reflects her unwavering dedication to excellence and her commitment to achieving success. She has adeptly undertaken and triumphed in pivotal positions in both viticulture and hospitality and navigated the highly competitive landscapes of mortgage lending and real estate.

 

Jennifer epitomizes a narrative of resilience, adaptability, and an unflagging devotion to achieving excellence, regardless of any circumstances. Her journey stands as an enduring source of inspiration, and we are indeed fortunate to have her as a valued member of our management team at Avensole Winery.

Jennifer Beaudreau

BRIANNA PEREZ

Wedding & Events Sales Manager

Brianna Perez, Wedding and Events Sales Manager at Avensole Winery maintains a well-polished team in addition to presenting a delightful, warm welcoming to our visiting couples. Her encouragement for guests to be confident with their vision and what their love story portrays, provides a common language for the Wedding and Events Team to achieve the most memorable and quality experiences.

 

Throughout the years, Brianna has acquired a diverse background in hospitality which has granted her the ability to transition and grow in multiple areas of the industry. Opening with Avensole Winery in 2016, the opportunity in accepting her current role has allowed her to immerse herself into all things celebrating love! From wedding day responsibilities to marketing, brand expansion and raising the bar for couples considering wedding venues in Temecula Valley Wine Country, Brianna has been able to witness what true devotion, teamwork and attention to detail can accomplish.

 

With each wedding season, Brianna, alongside her reputable Wedding and Events Team, is able to evolve, focus and initiate higher expectations. Her knowledge of the importance in selecting a venue with a meaningful ambiance and honest communication, provides professional and seamless experiences for all guests celebrating at Avensole Winery.

Brianna Perez

SHARON CANNON

Director of Marketing & Hospitality

Sharon embodies the driving force behind the seamless day-to-day marketing and tasting room operations at Avensole Winery. With a keen focus on marketing and tasting room management, her vibrant enthusiasm ensures meticulous attention to every detail. Hailing from the illustrious Hunter Valley Wine Region in Australia, Sharon finds a natural affinity within the sun-drenched hills of Temecula Valley Wine Country.

 

Her charm is underscored by an enchanting accent and a delightful sense of humor. However, beneath this charm lies an extensive wealth of wine knowledge that should not be underestimated. Sharon’s commitment to continuous education & improvement is evident in her pursuit of the French Wine Scholar certification program and her attainment of Level 2 WSET & OIV Wine Marketing studies from UC Davis. As a true asset to our team, Sharon’s dedication and expertise contribute significantly to the excellence that defines Avensole Winery.

Sharon Cannon

MICHELLE VAZQUEZ 

Assistant Tasting Room Manager & Tours Manager

Michelle, a Southern California native and graduate of CSU Monterey Bay grad in Business Administration, specializing in marketing, brings a wealth of knowledge to the Avensole Team. She holds her WSET 2 and level 1 Cicerone beer certification and is currently studying towards WSET 3. Michelle’s true passion lies in the art of food and wine pairings.

 

In early 2023, Michelle joined the Avensole team as Assistant Tasting Room Manager, where her primary focus is on creating and leading the Tours Department within the winery. With her heart brimming with enthusiasm, she thrives on sharing her expertise with guests, showcasing the incredible journey of wine, from vineyard to the bottle.

Michelle