The American Hot Shots Extreme Run puts the average 5K to shame. Held on a 10,000 acre ranch, the course stretches more than 10 miles, and it challenges racers with 24 obstacles sprinkled across muddy terrain. Luckily, conquering the rope climbs, monkey bars, and other challenges brings ample rewards. Beyond the finish line waits a celebration complete with food vendors, wine, and beer from two of California's best breweries. Live bands also play to set the mood and help drum up support for a good cause. All profits from the event go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Wildland Firefighter Foundation, organizations that benefit the families of firefighters killed or injured while serving.
From its perch overlooking the Santa Maria Valley, Toretti Family Vineyard yields 500 cases of Pinot Noir ever year. That's been the standard since 2000, when winemaker Robert Torres first planted pinot grapes into his five-acre land. Today, his pinots treat palates to a blend of complex, fruity flavors, including sugar-glazed strawberries and toasted oak. Though the valley's wind, soil, and fog are an especially apt match for pinot, syrah, chardonnay, and a handful of other wines likewise bear the Toretti Family Vineyards label. Samples abound inside the estate's tasting room, at wine events throughout the year, and whenever you feel like using up a genie wish.
Located in the heart of Los Olivos, J Ludlow Vineyard's sunny tasting room beckons visitors inside. There, staffers wield bottles behind the bar, pouring generous tastings of pinot grigio, ros?, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon. J Ludlow Vineyard offers an array of award-winning, locally produced Bordeaux style wines that tasters may also purchase and enjoy by the bottle or glass.