Lifelong gardener Jim Carter, owner of South Coast Winery, bottles fine wines on 38 picturesque acres in Southern California’s Temecula Valley. South Coast’s grounds house a luxurious spa and seven Mediterranean-esque resort villas, reminiscent of a remote Tuscan village. Jim’s specialty varietals have been recognized time and again in local and national wine competitions. Visiting oenophiles can spend time here unwinding with an open air massage, vacationing in a temporary home equipped with a marble Jacuzzi and sweet plump grapes at arms length, or learning about the winemaking process on a vineyard tour.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
The idea for California Fruit Wine was hatched in 2009, when a friend of Alan and Brian Haghighi introduced the twin brothers to small batches of homemade fruit wine. Since those first sips, Alan and Brian have continued to help wine drinkers break free from grape-based conventions, utilizing such fruit as pomegranates, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pumpkins as the foundation for an ever-growing arsenal of flavors. The winery fills glasses with unique bouquets, and?like the microbreweries throughout Vista Business Park?buys its ingredients from vendors up and down the west coast rather than growing them or stealing them from the refrigerators of napping bears. California Fruit Wine's spacious facility, which is stocked with a stage, bar, and pool table, can also be rented out for parties and private events.
When Andy, Brad, and Ed decided that they wanted to start their own brewery, many of the pieces were already in place. Andy and Brad had been home brewing for years, their experiments in alcoholic alchemy resulting in such special recipes as White Chocolate Raspberry Stout and S'mores Porter. Ed had a background in business and a love for craft beer himself. What the team didn't have, however, was money. Since loans were hard to come by due to the economy, the three raised the cash in the only way they knew how: a swap meet. Dan Marino collectibles, sports cards, and even a massage table were sold to the bargain hunters, and the three got the cash they needed to start their brewery.
Though Brew Rebellion's origins are humble, the beers are not. Brewed in batches of only thirty to fifty gallons at a time, the menu is always populated with new, fresh creations. Though mainstays such as the Peach Honey Wheat are typically available, the chalkboard's erasers are choked with the wiped-away remnants of limited-time offerings. Local ingredients go into the beer whenever they're available, sometimes even including jalapenos picked from the brewer's own garden.
Sergeant Marcus Cole became a proud member of the US Air Force at 26. But as he approached retirement age in 2009, he began considering other, more grounded careers—like brewing. During his last few years of service, he reported for duty from 9 to 5 every day, then spent nights brewing beer in an industrial space a half-mile from his reserve base.
Though technically a nanobrewery—so named for the small batches it yields—Cole's Kat Daddy Brewery showcases more than 10 original craft beers. His regular, cask, and nitro pours include the thrice-hopped Bald Headed Vulture IPA and a porter made with 100% unsulfured molasses. Besides the Kat Daddy tasting room, open every Friday and Saturday, Marcus sells his brews at locations such as restaurants and hotels and in person at various beer festivals.