The culinary maestros at The Cattails Bar & Grill banish hunger cries loitering in bellies throughout the lunch and dinner hours. Midday munchers can wrap mitts around a portable delight such as a Reuben ($7) or jalapeño burger ($8), both served with kettle chips, or can enter the chunky chicken salad to get lost in a garden of golden tenders, fresh veggies, and shredded cheese ($7). Kick off sundown festivities with creamy spinach and artichoke dip ($7), or wistfully pluck away at delicate onion petals to determine if your dining partner loves you or ranch-dressing dipping sauce more ($6). The tender meat of Cattails’ famous barbecue ribs falls off of the bone and into hollow legs ($16 for a half-rack), while bacon-wrapped scallops simultaneously sate lovers of land, sea, and dressing in responsible layers ($18).
When woodcarver Kim Bredeson crafted a mantel for an employee of the Robert Mondavi Winery, he received a bottle of Opus One as thanks. For Kim and his wife, Tami, the bottle uncorked a five-year fascination with wine that culminated in the Bredeson's purchase of Carlos Creek Winery. On grounds surrounded by five lakes—Ida, L'Homme Dieux, Miltona, Darling and Carlos—the Bredeson's plant unorthodox grape varieties such as King of the North and Petite Pearl, all of which can withstand temperatures 30 degrees and below. Those grapes eventually yield Carlos Creek Winery's award-winning wines, including the riesling-like Wobegon White and the pinot noir-inspired Marquette, a triple gold medal winner at the sixth annual Mid-American Wine Competition.
As Kim leads tours of the vineyards and complementary tours through Carlos Creek Winery's indoor production area and wine cellar, the staff distributes samples and souvenir tasting glasses in the tasting room. Guests can tap their toes to year-round live music every weekend or explore the winery's expansive grounds, which include bike trails, a 3.5-acre maze, and a giant garden chess set, ideal for convincing Bobby Fischer he's shrinking. Every third weekend of September, Kim and Tami amp up the festivities with their Grape Stomp and Fall Festival, where visitors can stomp grapes, admire blown glass and chainsaw carvings, and laugh along to live comedy shows.