The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand—despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase—is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
The vineyard at Kirigin Cellars, located in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley wine region, has been cultivated since 1916, making it one of California's oldest wineries. Kirigin Cellars is home to several varieties of whites, reds, and sparkling wines. Its most popular grape nectar is the dessert wine Vino de Mocca ($19.90), which is sweetly infused with coffee, chocolate, and a hint of orange to form a tincture that some dub "The Kissing Wine" and others call "The Cootie Spreader." The 2006 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($39.90), like beloved entrepreneur Bruce Wayne, is ultra rich, ultra smooth, and flavored with the finest grapes and oak. The Malvasia Bianca ($17.90) diffuses a flowery and grapey aroma with a slightly sweet flavor that delights the senses and often precipitates auditory hallucinations of tinkling chimes. Cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and zinfandel are painstakingly shepherded from pasture to barrel and combined to form the Estate Red ($14.90).
Bought by brothers Alex and Charlie Larson after an award-winning stint in the restaurant business, Rapazzini Winery tickles tongues with an eclectic collection of wines drawn from California's vineyards. After bottling, most Rapazzini wines rest for an additional one to two years, mellowing tannins, developing fruity bouquets, and finishing majors in art history. Unique wines include the almond champagne, created by Alex Larson using his training at the California Culinary Institute, and the Arpibella, blending sweet wine, apricots, and peach into a delectable aperitif or dessert wine. Guests to the winery can taste 21 of the 22 available wines, guided through the selection by resident grape expert Adam and his airedale, Butters. Behind the beaten copper bar, Adam and the brother Larson can also whip up wine-based cocktails, amusing mouths with more complex flavors.The two-story, open-beamed tasting room lulls guests into placid relaxation while sipping on palate-pleasing pours, whereas a stained-glass window depicting the winery's whimsical mascot reassures eyes that the sun has not been devoured by a dragon-shaped cloud.