The knowledgeable, friendly staff at the The Fogarty Winery Tasting Room will help amateur ambrosialists and experienced grape sniffers select five vintage fermentations to sample from the wine list. The 2006 Langley Hill Vineyard SCM Estate Chardonnay stays true to its mountainous roots, packing a steely mineral punch, as hints of fruit usher in a soothing, refreshing finish. Only 94 cases of this nectar were produced and bottles are available for $48. Pamper your scarlet palate with a 2005 Lexington Santa Cruz Mountains Meritage. Poor weather patterns and surprise alien crop circles aside, 2005 produced a perfectly ripened yield. This cabernet-merlot blend is apt to drop flavor bombs of black fruit, spice and toasty oak, with lingering chords of cassis, plum, and loam. Only 447 cases were captured in the wild and you can walk your own bottle home for $45.
Peninsula Oktoberfest patrons gather each year in celebration of the quintessential autumnal combination of frothy beer, invigorating live music, and Germany’s timeless epicurean treats. After reflecting upon the brisk fall air or the practicality of lederhosen as business wear, guests can refuel thinking caps with authentic German fare and culinary craftwork by local vendors including Bavarian Pretzel Works, Harry's Hofbrau, and Olde Tyme Kettle Korn. German beer from the Spaten flows cordially into patrons' glasses, whereas local breweries such as Devil's Canyon Brewing Company and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. keep taste buds soaked with seasonal stein stuffers. Triple Voodoo Brewing, Lucky Hand Beer, and Uncommon Brewers also keep patrons supplied with specialty beers and secret handshakes, and musicians such as The Internationals integrate authentic accordion notes and brass harmonies to tempt visitors' ears.
Master beersmith Peter Catizone discovered his passion for brewing while making homebrewed batches of beer in the 1980s. Eventually, he developed his hobby into a craft and his do-it-yourself recipes into a microbrew powerhouse with a mantel full of awards. Today at Faultline Brewing Company’s lively taphouse, the staff pours samples from a smorgasbord of more than 20 beers, ranging from the clear, clean taste of a Rhineland-style kölsch to the malty richness of an inky-black irish stout. Offerings from the lunch and dinner bills of fare complement the local brews with Louisiana-style seafood gumbo, flatiron steak with swiss chard, and generously portioned Angus beef burgers. On Friday and Saturday nights, live musicians serenade guests as they enjoy beer flights and frosty pints on the open-air patio or in the lounge.
In 1955, Dominick Chirichillo’s grandfather began teaching him the family pastime: winemaking. They worked on a wine press in the basement of his New York home, transforming bunches of grapes into nuanced reds and whites. Quickly finding that the hobby of his ancestors was his passion, Dominick entered his creations in amateur competitions around the East Coast. When he felt confident enough to open up his own winery, he moved to northern California, lured by the prospect of living and working right next door to the vineyards that grew his grapes. His winery—named Domenico to honor his Italian heritage—now produces boutique wines that have won more than 300 awards for their rich, complex palates and excellent scores in the swimsuit competition. Some varieties are made in batches of only 100 or 200 cases, allowing his staff to innovate fearlessly. Locals often drop by the winery’s spacious tasting room to sample these limited-edition flavors. Outfitted with a 24-foot mahogany bar and sweeping drapes, the tasting room recalls an elegant Tuscan café, complete with impeccable hospitality. The staff eagerly shares the undertones and flavors of every pour, suggesting potential food pairings or the best glass of red to throw at an offensive suitor.