Lifelong gardener Jim Carter, owner of South Coast Winery, bottles fine wines on 38 picturesque acres in Southern California’s Temecula Valley. South Coast’s grounds house a luxurious spa and seven Mediterranean-esque resort villas, reminiscent of a remote Tuscan village. Jim’s specialty varietals have been recognized time and again in local and national wine competitions. Visiting oenophiles can spend time here unwinding with an open air massage, vacationing in a temporary home equipped with a marble Jacuzzi and sweet plump grapes at arms length, or learning about the winemaking process on a vineyard tour.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
The owners of Corona Pumpkin Farm weren?t setting out to build a business in the fall of 2009. They just wanted to cultivate fresh, healthy produce for their family. So they began sowing seeds in box gardens, nourishing the soil with compost from chickens that also bore fresh eggs, and the occasional golden one. Eventually, the chickens? bounty outgrew the boxed gardens, and the humble family endeavor flourished into Corona Pumpkin Farm, which sits atop more than an acre of land. Now the farmers nurture more than 50 types of pumpkins for eating and carving, as well as a cornucopia of fruits and veggies that includes three types of corn and pick-your-own boysenberries. Along with the produce, they raise chickens and turkeys for meat, gather eggs from the coop, and sometimes barter with neighbors for beef and pork.
To show their respect for Mother Nature and their own health, they prefer to use organic solutions first, avoiding chemicals on their garden grub whenever possible. But visitors don?t flock to the farm just for the fresh, healthy fare; they come to pick their own pumpkins, meander through the 10-foot-high stalks that fill a half-acre corn maze, and enjoy other seasonal activities, such as cuddling baby chicks, zooming down an inflatable slide, painting pumpkins, and crafting personalized trick-or-treat bags.
Sergeant Marcus Cole became a proud member of the US Air Force at 26. But as he approached retirement age in 2009, he began considering other, more grounded careers—like brewing. During his last few years of service, he reported for duty from 9 to 5 every day, then spent nights brewing beer in an industrial space a half-mile from his reserve base.
Though technically a nanobrewery—so named for the small batches it yields—Cole's Kat Daddy Brewery showcases more than 10 original craft beers. His regular, cask, and nitro pours include the thrice-hopped Bald Headed Vulture IPA and a porter made with 100% unsulfured molasses. Besides the Kat Daddy tasting room, open every Friday and Saturday, Marcus sells his brews at locations such as restaurants and hotels and in person at various beer festivals.
Named in homage to Riverside, California's turn-of-the-century citrus packinghouses, this microbrewery handcrafts four year-round beers. The easy-drinking Bell Tower Blonde pairs perfectly with a summer day. The Heritage Pale Ale and the Riley's Red Ale round out the year-round offerings. Besides the core four, the brewery creates an ever-expanding series of IPAs, as well as several specialty and seasonal libations. Inside Packinghouse's tasting room, bartenders pour pints of each day's available brews, which are also available to take home by the bottle and growler.