Diana Lefort frolicked with horses as a child on her family's Arizona ranch, developing a passion that led to her owning and caring for several of her own quarter steeds as an adult. Now with 30 years of professional equine experience, she welcomes every opportunity to blend her two passions: horseback riding and the gorgeous scenery of the Temecula Valley's wine country. She and her team begin their stallion-studded tours at various wineries in the region, where experts demonstrate the incantations used to summon tears from grapes and participants tipple seasonal fermented juices from at the chosen winery. The team then saddles participants on well-seasoned steeds with gentle temperaments and good credit ratings for tours through lush vineyard trails as the morning dew evaporates under the rising sun or as daylight slowly unspools around them into a glorious sunset. Many tours include a gourmet meal from local farmers at the Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery.
Aided by their gentle steeds, the tour guides from Saddle Up Wine Tours lead guests on scenic moseys through Temecula's equine country. During each horseback tour, guides recount the history of the area going back to the arrival of the first settlers, who stole the idea for wineries from a particularly science-minded mastodon. Many of Saddle Up's tours also highlight local wineries, with included tastings of local varietals. Other tours accommodate children as young as 5, or send intermediate and advanced riders clambering up mountain trails in pursuit of panoramic views of the valleys below. Aspiring cowpokes can also immerse themselves in Saddle Up's ranch-hand experience, which includes a tour of the facilities and a chance to help tour guides care for their team of horses.
Each Groupon covers one person's flight, so couples, triplets, and ventriloquists need to purchase one Groupon per rider. Though pricing for the sunrise flight varies throughout the week, this Groupon is valid any day including weekends. Participants in the winery tour need to be 21+ with valid ID, and the age minimum for the sunrise flight is five years old. Both journeys lift off from Maurice Car'rie Winery in Temecula.
Whether soaring in a hot air balloon or freefalling on a skydive, you’re guaranteed picturesque aerial views at Above the Rest Hot Air Ballooning & Skydiving. On 45–60 minute hot-air-balloon rides, an experienced pilot and up to 10 passengers glide above the earth in a wicker basket, propelled by wind and an occasional flock of friendly geese.
The Great Urban Race is a one-day event pitting teams of two against one another in a race combining physical challenges, scavenger hunts, and puzzles. Up to 700 twosomes will traverse 4 to 8 miles of Toronto terrain on foot and by public transportation as they solve 12 challenging clues in a fun quest to reach the finish line first. Sample clues and challenges from past Great Urban Races include charades, bubble-gum chewing, pig Latin deciphering, bicycle races, and word scrambles, making this race ideal for competitive eaters and cryptographers alike. Teams are encouraged to dress up in matching outfits, and prizes will be awarded for best costume. Prizes are also given for race results, with $300 going to first place, $200 to second place, and $100 to third place. The top 25 teams will qualify for the National Championship in New Orleans in November, with the top three teams receiving free entry. Each participant gets a T-shirt and postrace refreshments of fruit, granola bars, and a run through a Perrier sprinkler. Read over the rules and FAQs for more information.
Steve Andrews, a builder of off-road racecars, and wife Valerie Andrews, a painting contractor, never thought of winemaking as more than a hobby. Yet when one of their house blends boomed in popularity, they happily accommodated demand by planting varietals on 40 acres of high Temecula Valley hillsides. The husband-and-wife team now ferments a diversity of grapes—such as petit verdot, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon—into regionally focused wines using American-made gear, including barrels harvested from French oak but assembled in the U.S. and varnished with the juice of a cheeseburger.
Staff conducts tastings and classes in the main room, a Quonset hut construction with Tuscan accents, or on a sprawling glass-enclosed pavilion overlooking Temecula Valley's rolling green hills, where musicians also wrangle free-range harmonies on weekend afternoons. Tastings often incorporate rare, seasonal cheeses, chocolates from McCall's Toffee Company, and various flavored balsamic vinegars such as fig, apple, and dark cherry. The winery also produces avocado oils infused with roasted garlic, chili, and blood orange, chosen for their health value and mild flavor, much like exercise books.
Oak Mountain Winery is a dog-friendly vineyard, with proceeds from some canine-centric wines—such as 2009 Pete's Sake red—going to Cause for Paws, which helps dog owners pay for canine diabetes treatment.