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.
At Aces Comedy Club, a rotating lineup of local and touring standup comedians flocks to the stage to unpack its bag of funnies. The calendar of upcoming performers includes Patrick Deguire (May 10–13), a vision-impaired jokester who often pokes fun at needing his four kids to help him cross a dangerous intersection in his neighborhood. The freakishly talented Taylor Williamson (May 17–20) is the youngest comic ever to perform on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. He's been featured on NBC's Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, and MTV's TRL––all of which were cancelled soon thereafter, which he wears as a badge of pride. Seasoned funnyman Vince Morris (May 24–27), who has made appearances on HBO's Sex and the City and BET's ComicView, simultaneously splits sides and challenges perceptions with a chuckle-inducing routine packed with social commentary.
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.
Even though Temecula Music Academy's instructors began playing early—from drums at age five to violin at eight—they recognize that virtuosos can start at any age. In small group classes for kids and adults, teachers start off by covering musical fundamentals, including theory and reading notation. From there, they hone in on skills specific to each instrument, such as fingerpicking patterns for guitarists or breath control for singers and dragons. Along with classes throughout the week, the academy's instructors offer private lessons in other instruments, such as banjo and ukulele. All sessions build up to regular recitals, where students showcase their newfound talents for family and friends.