Imbibers don't just sniff, swirl, and sip their wine at Vintner's Cellar Custom Winery—they make it themselves. During this unique process, Vintner's experienced staffers guide customers through the first steps of the fermentation process. After six to eight weeks, aspiring winemakers pour their batch into between 24 and 30 bottles, which they then emblazon with custom-designed labels or tribal-themed temporary tattoos.
Vintner's Tuscan-style whites, reds, and dessert wines are also available by the glass, bottle, and half-bottle during regular tastings. A trim food menu brims with cheese platters and chocolate-wine truffles that pair perfectly with wines made from California's most well-adjusted grapes. Winemaking and pairing are taught in a Blend-it-Up Experience, during which customers create unusual flavor profiles by mixing different wines together.
A bounty of firearms supplies bolsters Ammo Depot’s roster of gun training and safety courses. During the Handguns 101 course, first-timers learn how to operate a firearm by reviewing ammunition and firearm fundamentals, shooting positions, and handgun-cleaning techniques before testing out their newfound skills at the range. Instructors also enlighten pupils with a trio of NRA courses, which include the Basic Pistol course, Personal Protection Inside the Home, and Personal Protection Outside the Home courses. Back in the shop, ammunition comes by the box or in bulk, and visitors can peruse a selection of targets, ear and eye protection, or basic firearm accessories.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.
Few careers date as far back as the jeweler. From Egyptian headdresses to the wedding charms that decorated Henry VIII's bracelets, jewelry has been a sign of opulence and beauty that transcends generations. At the California Institute of Jewelry Training, instructors teach classes for all skill levels in a variety of disciplines. The institute's classes cover the skills needed to become a jewelry designer, gemologist, or stone setter or to forge a different professional track. For casual students and hobbyists, instructors lead one-day workshops that touch on specific facets of jewelry making ranging from wire wrapping to enameling to blacksmithing.
Brownie specialist Debbie Whiteside’s narrow focus gives her the freedom to experiment with heretofore unheard of flavor combinations at her bakery, Bombshell Brownies. While her simplest brownies nail the classic formula with pure cane sugar and gourmet semisweet chocolate, her 15 signature flavors expand upon the chocolaty palette with swirls of cream cheese, caramel, or fresh raspberry purée. Debbie also creates a kid's collection with brownies made with vegetable puree for extra nutritional value.