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.
Judas Priest, the influential English rock band that helped define heavy-metal culture, crescendos a globetrotting career on its farewell Epitaph tour. After nearly four decades of shaking Hades's chandeliers with defibrillating beats, jackhammer guitars, and vocals that earn restraining orders from glass, the crew of Judas Priest is revving through one last career-encompassing victory lap, leaving no head unbanged before hanging up its chaps. Singer Rob Halford hits and holds nearly unattainable notes in anthems that may include "Breaking the Law," "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," or "Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Gracing the stage in the open air of the amphitheater, legendary ax-grinder Zakk Wylde leads Black Label Society through a parade of questionable lullabies, and the boisterous lads of Thin Lizzy pump out hits that encourage inter-office dating at classic-rock stations.
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.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks. UltraStar Play it Again Cinemas also offers a selection of Hollywood hits for patrons to enjoy in high-back reclining chairs alongside snacks from the concession stand.
The cozy confines of this 721-seat theater welcomes two shows to its recently renovated stage. Musically induce mind travel with a listen to Swingin' the Benny Goodman Songbook, a revue of 1930s jazz standards made famous by the King of Swing. Starring jazz vocalist Terry Blaine, pianist Mark Shane, and clarinetist Allan Vaché, the classic tunes may induce jumping, jiving, and surprise visits from bootlegging ghosts.
Cafe Sevilla executive chef Paul Bauer's three favorite foods are sweetbreads, bone marrow, and oxtail. His adventurous palate informs the Spanish-inspired tapas menu at Cafe Sevilla, from paellas made with bomba rice to vanilla-lacquered pork belly with smoked apples. His signature chicken-and-waffles-esque dish pairs sliced duck breast with thin, wafer-like duck fat gaufrettes, accented by a neat line of brandied cherries. The chefs make everything they can from locally grown produce, natural meats, and sustainably farmed seafood, also sending their used oil to be turned into BioDiesel.
Patrons also flock to Cafe Sevilla for Saturday night Flamenco dinner shows, as well as nightly live music and salsa dancing in the locations' nightclubs. Each location's dining room décor matches the Spanish influence of the menu, from vaulted ceilings soaring over murals of a city street to a canopy of fairy lights casting their glow over vintage posters plastered to the walls.