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, rosé, 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.
Helmed by photo instructor Hal “Bull” Schmitt, Light Photographic Workshops simplify Adobe programs with single-day, eight-hour sessions designed to turn Photoshop neophytes into pic-enhancing masters. The course will delve into Lightroom’s powerful, easy-to-use sliders, tools, and basic editing functions for removing apparitional pic crashers. Though not required, students are welcome to bring their Lightroom 3–equipped laptop to the class to follow along with the lesson plan or a notepad and quill pen to take notes. Upon completing the course, each student takes home an instructional DVD with more than 8 hours of material for multimedia reminders of the class’s subject matter and a 40 percent discount on their first fine art, photo, or fine-art gallery canvas wrap print order through Light Workshops. Students are encouraged to bring either a bagged lunch or lunch money to save personal computers and fellow students from accidental ingestions.