Sugar Clay owners, vintners, and winemakers Frank and Amy Faust shake up palates with handcrafted pours and other treats during tastings. Visitors can choose from nearly a dozen releases for their two full pours (up to a $10 value) and discounted bottle, such as a clean, pineapple-kissed German-style edelweiss with a light caramel finish, Sugar Clay's most popular white ($16/bottle). The Faust Haus Rosa, a catawba grape nostril-wowwer, starts with a bouquet of strawberries and roses and ends with hints of spices and future honeymoons ($13/bottle). Bandana Red, the winery’s dark star, soothes mouths with a velvety mélange of deChaunac and marechal foch grapes and notes of dried cherries and blackberries ($15/bottle). A tray of gastro-intelligent bites, with ham, salami, cheeses, veggies, and french bread, complements the day’s toasts (an $11 value).
In a style fitting with their sword-and-shield emblem, the King’s Crossing Vineyard & Winery’s yearly renaissance festival harks back to ye olden days with a weekend of days-of-yore-style entertainment. A Scottish band toots the soundtrack to the festivities as visitors hoist flagons of beer and wine and belly dancers enchant viewers with sultry undulations. With multiple opportunities for guests to demonstrate their feats of strength, the fest hosts an archery tournament and dueling matches fought with swords, maces, and enormous turkey legs. The afternoons are filled with informative demonstrations on renaissance life, performed by actors in full period dress.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine-maneuvering and your muscle-making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The 1.5–2-hour event, which starts at 7 p.m. on a Friday of your choosing, takes place in the wine-tasting room. Set in a French Country House, the tastery features Nebraska vintages from sweet to dry, beer, food, and a wine troll. While sipping sips at the special after-hours event, you'll learn wine lessons from the vineyard's owner's daughter, who is studying to be a sommelier. The unintimidating course includes tips on how to rate, taste, and judge a wine, so you'll leave with the ability to determine if a wine has oaky undertones or hints of tire iron.
Wildwood Golf Course’s nine-hole layout spans 2,945 yards of relatively open, parkland terrain cleaved through the shadows of scenic trees. Clubbers can send balls somersaulting into the stratos with their driver or T-shirt cannon, as wide fairways provide generous margins for slightly inaccurate tee shots. The bulk of the course’s difficulty awaits at the end of each hole, where large, undulating greens turn even routine two-putts into testy trials of steady-handed strokes. Golfers in need of new clubs, collared shirts, or other accessories can visit the pro shop, which is patrolled by resident aces who are available to schedule lessons or discuss the science behind recent, closed-door attempts at growing natural spikes out of their feet.
Course at a Glance:
Although it may be open for visitors year-round, the fall is when Union Orchard is at its most vibrant. Morning fog hangs low to the fields, depositing drops of condensation on the ripening apples; apple-cider donuts emerge from the fryer for a dusting in sugar; and tart ciders bring out the flavors of apple varieties grown onsite. A line of wheeled barrels trails behind a rumbling tractor, carting children through the trees and off the premises to perform ancient rituals in the pumpkin patch. The plot, now almost a century old, also gives rise to the makings of fragrant wines, preserves, and fruit butters.