For more than 30 years, winemaker Mike Tingley has strolled between trellises on the hills of the Temecula Valley wine country. He scans the nuanced grapes of each season, waiting for just the right moment to pick them and produce varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, tempranillo, and viognier.
At Danza del Sol Winery, Tingley works with owner and wine enthusiast Robert Olson to produce wines that have distinct identities. For example, their 2010 sangiovese mingles scents of red cherries with leather, and the 2010 cabernet franc mixes deeper aromas of black cherry with hints of cranberry and pleather. Their Mediterranean-influenced bottles regularly receive awards in the Southern California Wine Country Wine Competition, and they are available for tasting or purchase at the Spanish-mission-style clubhouse, which overlooks the blushing harvest.
El Cajon Grand has been keeping the tradition of the neighborhood pub alive since 1950, and today it's still a great spot to nurse a drink while watching the big game. Inside the newly remodeled, 3,500-square-foot space, post up near one of nine flat-screen TVs or head outside to the patio for a leisurely game of horseshoe. Nightly specials include deals on appetizer baskets and craft beers and well drinks from the bar.
On the rolling greens of the Empire Polo Club, the Rhythm, Wine, and Brews Fest unfolds for an afternoon of locally crafted libations and priceless rhythm and blues. Guests saunter into the white cabanas of the wine garden with souvenir glasses in hand, partaking in the fruits of local and national wineries, such as Smith & Hook and Fess Parker, underneath the shade of date palms. The scent of hops and barley drifts through the high-peaked tents of the beer-tasting pavilion, where more than 25 breweries, including Shipyard Brewing Company and Lagunitas Brewing, dispense their handcrafted suds. As daycationing denizens sniff, swish, and savor their beverages, the air buzzes with liquid rhythm and blues from a roster of roots artists.
In the Old World, castles were places to live, govern, and seek shelter. Today, there are still places designed to keep the outside world at bay, but rather than standing as bastions of military defense, they serve as oases of relaxation, fitness, and fun. Riviera Country Club and Sports Center is one such getaway. There, members can explore a vast campus of athletic and recreation amenities including indoor and outdoor pools, a full gym, and a spa. Though the club’s organizers leave plenty of time for individuals to play in each space, they also host organized events, including regular group fitness classes such as boot camp, kickboxing, and Latin dance. They maintain a vast array of sports courts, as well, allowing members to feed their competitive sides in basketball, tennis, and racquetball arenas. As adults young and old sweat during their chosen forms of play, staffers help tykes explore their creativity in a play space known as the Sandbox, which combines education, arts and crafts, and computers to produce a secret army of glitter robots.
The Wine Room?a cozy and rustic spot tucked away inside Wolf Creek Resort?invites guests of the resort and wine-drinking visitors to enjoy sips of vino alongside illuminating tips from the staff. Take a tour of the private vineyard, enjoy snacks from the kitchen, or even sip on a craft brew on an easy chair next to a roaring fireplace. Regularly scheduled live entertainment enlivens the space with the sounds of laid-back tunes.
A spacious wood-hewn tasting room and panoramic views of Temecula Valley lend Longshadow Ranch Vineyard and Winery a rustic, romantic aesthetic. Visitors can ride through the vineyards on carriages drawn by belgian draft horses before sipping wines that range from the sweet, floral Muscat of Alexandria to the Ponderosa Port, which is aged inside 50-year-old whiskey barrels. Live entertainment is another draw?singer-songwriters croon during acoustic sets, and classic rock bands perform during Saturday bonfires.