At 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one might expect to find sprawling views of the ocean and surrounding forest and not flourishing vineyards. Yet there are more than 70 wineries dappling the hills at various altitudes, privy to the dewy, cooling breezes of the sea and the richness of the rocky soil. The San Francisco Chronicle speaks to their scattered presence, deeming them "less a cohesive wine region than a patchwork of vineyards." Still, this characteristic isolation has resulted in "a perfect laboratory for winemaking not held hostage to fashion"—no one style dominates in this rustic setting.
Pinot noirs and chardonnays populate the western front, and the east yields cabernets, merlots, and zinfandels. The majority of the vineyards are small and family owned—a fact reflected in their meticulously bottled libations and the matching sweaters of their holiday photos—but though they exist in chosen hermitage, many of them welcome visitors to their scenic sites. They host weddings, festivals, and open events such as Pathway to Pinot Paradise, a self-guided tour of the pinot noir hotspots.
Baker's Chem-Dry's carpet-cleaning solution has been formulated to specifically exclude one thing: harsh chemicals. Instead of chemical solvents, Baker's Chem-Dry's cleaning process relies entirely on the grime-loosening powers of microscopic bubbles, much like cleaning a shirt stain with sloshes of club soda or Dom Pérignon. When combined with hot water, the bubbles help loosen dirt embedded deep within fibers before being sucked away in the vortex of the company's PowerHead unit. Because no soaps or detergents touch the carpet, it leaves no residue, requires no extra rinsing, and dries to a foot-pampering finish within six hours.
With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $8.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $1.99 a pop, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine ($30 a day to rent).
Mister Chimney’s modern-day chimney sweeps aren’t just creating cleaner fireplaces with their arsenal of poles, brushes, and scrapers—they’re saving lives. Citing a 2006 report by the Department of Homeland Security, Mister Chimney reports that 73% of heating fires and 25% of residential blazes come from a buildup of creosote, a flammable tar formation formed from billowing smoke and smoldering resentment of the furnace. To augment its work on chimneys and wood stoves, to which its workers bring 25 years of experience, the company offers supplementary services that include repairs, construction, waterproofing, and vent cleaning.