Ron and Olha Dolin didn’t discover their shared passion for wine and spirits until after they were married. Together they use Ron’s Ph.D. in engineering and Olha’s generational knowledge of producing vodka and brandy in Eastern Europe to craft handmade wines and fine spirits. Their wines include the specialty Emotion series, which includes cherry sherry, apple ice wine, and a wine made from rose petals. The two also distill spirits ranging from blue corn vodka and bourbon to gin made from New Mexico juniper, pinon, chamisa, sage, and rose hips.
In the historic landscape of El Camino Real, the Black Mesa's vines produce the purple foodstuffs formed and fermented into award-winning wines. Partakers can sit indoors or out on Black Mesa's gazeboed patio while wetting their whistles on a wealth of varietals, including chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, and zinfandel. Tickle tongues' taste receptors with six of Black Mesa's wines and six New Mexican cheeses, earthier alternatives to showy moon gouda. Guests are gifted with two souvenir wine glasses and $20 towards a bottle of their choice, including Black Mesa's award-winning blends, such as Coyote, Antelope, and Black Beauty (prices range from $12.45-$34.50), ensuring at-home sips are enjoyed in more appropriate receptacles than plastic cups or "World's Best Cousin" mugs.
At the Santa Fe School of Cooking, students master the craft of cooking under a team of experienced, James Beard Award-winning chefs from a diverse range of culinary backgrounds, including training in Native American, French, New Mexican, and northern Italian cuisine. Through private events, demonstrations, and hands-on group classes, pupils learn how to create mouthwatering regional and international meals in their own kitchens. When not in class, an attached market offers a variety of cookware, cookbooks, and other products available for purchase.
The spoke-tightening gurus at Santa Fe Mountain Sports guarantee safe travels by helping to maintain snow- and terrain-traversing gear with snowboard- and ski-waxing sessions and bicycle tune-ups. Riders can bring home a new snowboard from Atomic, a new two-wheeled steed from Kona or Intense Cycles, or rent outdoor equipment and camp out in the backyard while their home’s crocodile infestation is being taken care of. In addition to transportation devices, a large selection of mountain-scaling apparel and accessories from Roxy, Armada, and Eurosocks equips adventurers for alfresco treks.
On a leisurely drive through Santa Barbara, Ron Midgett glimpsed cymbidium orchids growing in people’s yards. The cluster of star-shaped blooms, the vibrant hues, and the way the petals seemed to collapse into themselves all had Ron hooked.
Four decades later, he has taken his love of orchids far beyond the realms of adoration. He has grown orchids across the United States, bred his own blooms, and assessed hybrid blossoms as an accredited judge for the American Orchid Society. And at New Earth Orchids, he introduces gardeners to dozens of orchid breeds, earning a slew of positive press and love letters from bumblebees. Additionally, he strives to make orchid growing accessible to novice gardeners by providing growing tips, stocking proper supplies, and offering free workshops.
Bead Fest Santa Fe unites do-it-yourselfers and arts-and-crafters during a four-day celebration of beads, jewelry—and for good measure—some more beads. More than 150 booths and tables set up shop for the event, each ready to restock repertoires with gems, stones, and a hodgepodge of other supplies.
In between exploring the sea of exhibitors, attendees learn about the latest techniques, tricks, and tools at nearly 100 all-inclusive workshops (not included with the price of admission). There, artists from around the country provide education on specific topics in classes such as Intro to Metalsmithing and Wire Weaving, where guests learn the craftiest way to escape prison. Free demonstrations, book signings, and other attractions round out the fest's collection of creative attractions.