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.
The show features low prices on a plethora of name-brand golfing clubs, equipment, and accessories, as well as a free indoor driving range, goody bags and free giveaways, skills contests, and free lessons from NCPGA pros. Socialize with fellow ball-floggers as you witness new-product demonstrations and improve your skills by trying out brand-new discounted clubs at the indoor driving range. The first 1,000 customers each day receive a free round of golf at Spring Valley Golf Course and a sleeve of balls from Bridgestone Golf.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For their 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favourites takes to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 College Slam Dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest professional basketball player.
The Ives Quartet's musicians—violinists Bettina Mussumeli and Susan Freier, violist Jodi Levitz. and cellist Stephen Harrison—wash two intimate venues with unexpected selections. One of Haydn's famous Prussian quartets opens the program with rich interplay between instruments and instantly accessible melodies before Quincy Porter's String Quartet no. 6 spotlights a 20th-century take on the classical form. To help perform Tchaikovsky's energetic Souvenir of Florence sextet and feed the metronomes during the earlier pieces, violist and co-founder of the Moab Music Festival Leslie Tomkins wields her bow alongside guest cellist Tanya Tomkins of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra.
The López family owns three local liquor stores and a restaurant; Francisco Jacobo manages a local radio station. Together, they join forces for a common interest: tequila. Beginning this year, they are hosting their annual Salinas Tequila and Mezcal Grand Tasting, an event that gathers a variety of aged agaves for the tasting.
Inaugurated in 2012, the Monterey Bay Bacon, Blues & Brews Festival beckons Bay-area residents to take part in an afternoon filled with meat, music, and mead. Local chefs, including restaurant professionals and amateurs, compete to see who can win over the judges with bacon-centric dishes that festivalgoers can sample throughout the day. Although judges determine the grand-prize winner, guests decide the People’s Choice titleholder through a unique voting process. Each festivalgoer is granted nine marbles with which to vote, and at the end of the event, contestants’ marble jars are weighed to crown the winner. As the afternoon endures, a lineup of local and national blues musicians aims its tunes at the open sky, simultaneously entertaining onlookers and emphasizing with the lonely Man in the Moon.
In 1986, Bea Teer and Lori Moore started a modest fundraiser for the Los Altos History Museum. They invited local antique dealers and time-traveling Plymouth Rock pilgrims to display their pieces beneath the oak trees outside the History House. Since then, their show has grown into a biannual affair that sprawls inside the museum's recent multi-million dollar addition, surrounding courtyards, as well as the neighboring Hillview Community Center.
Now in its 27th year, the California Country Antiques Show has leveraged its growth to invite 50 carefully screened dealers from around the United States to share collections that date from the 1600s to the 1940s. Attendees can check the list of dealers for links to more information about what they might be selling—past shows have included everything from quilts and pottery to paintings and furniture. The show was initially inspired by traditional folk art and antique shows on the East Coast, but this year organizers are introducing pieces from California Rancho, Spanish Colonial, and American Indian traditions, as well as other western-inspired styles—perhaps including an 1849 gold miner's gilded pick axe or “Eureka” license plate. To further support the cause, Pinky's Grill will be on hand to sizzle grilled sirloin burgers and cheeseburgers and dish out all-beef hot dogs, then donate the proceeds directly to the museum.