Steve Andrews, a builder of off-road racecars, and wife Valerie Andrews, a painting contractor, never thought of winemaking as more than a hobby. Yet when one of their house blends boomed in popularity, they happily accommodated demand by planting varietals on 40 acres of high Temecula Valley hillsides. The husband-and-wife team now ferments a diversity of grapes—such as petit verdot, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon—into regionally focused wines using American-made gear, including barrels harvested from French oak but assembled in the U.S. and varnished with the juice of a cheeseburger.
Staff conducts tastings and classes in the main room, a Quonset hut construction with Tuscan accents, or on a sprawling glass-enclosed pavilion overlooking Temecula Valley's rolling green hills, where musicians also wrangle free-range harmonies on weekend afternoons. Tastings often incorporate rare, seasonal cheeses, chocolates from McCall's Toffee Company, and various flavored balsamic vinegars such as fig, apple, and dark cherry. The winery also produces avocado oils infused with roasted garlic, chili, and blood orange, chosen for their health value and mild flavor, much like exercise books.
Oak Mountain Winery is a dog-friendly vineyard, with proceeds from some canine-centric wines—such as 2009 Pete's Sake red—going to Cause for Paws, which helps dog owners pay for canine diabetes treatment.
Though they loved wine, Les and Dorian Linkogle didn't move to Temecula for the grapes; and even though their land was home to one of the largest, oldest olive trees in the city, they didn't move for the landscape. They moved to give their motocross cyclist son a place to ride his bike, but in time the siren song of the vines got through to them. In the late 1990s they planted acres of grapes—viognier, merlot, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and riesling—to ship to other vintners. However, it wasn't long until the Linkogles began handcrafting small-lot artisanal wines of their own under the banner of Briar Rose Winery.
Soon, Briar Rose Winery's vintages began racking up accolades and awards in international competitions. All of the winery's wines are unfiltered with no sugar added, and many are aged in oak barrels. Guests can literally taste the fruits of these labors at the winery's tasting room, sipping zinfandel, a bordeaux blend, and Talking Frog, a wine lager that becomes a prince when you drink it.
Since 1977, Running Center has attested that no one should have to "break in" new shoes. Staff members endeavor to find pairs that suit sprints immediately, adjusting their picks based on the size, width, and pronation—a joint's habit of rotating past a neutral position—of each client's feet. They haven't learned this science simply by training; the employees are all athletes themselves, and they rely on a common passion for fitness rather than a commission goal as they recommend footwear. They help customers avoid injuries by answering questions on the shop's stock and on running in general, addressing common topics such as gait and how to stave off coffee spills on your morning jog.
Specialty shoes range from trail-running sneakers to racing flats and cross-country spikes. With choices from Nike, New Balance, Asics, and other brands, customers can experiment with different support systems that align with their body and lifestyle.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Green Acres Ranch opened as a private ranch in 1957 where one family bred, trained, and showed arabians. Now, the 50-acre ranch is open to all and can house up to 200 steeds. Experienced instructors train riders during lessons in english, western, and dressage styles and take competitors to regional and national horse shows. They also lead groups through the surrounding wine country's rolling foothills, sun-drenched valleys, and wine-stained clouds during guided trail rides and introduce youngsters to riding through seasonal horse camps, scouting programs, and birthday parties.
Opening the world of riding and animal care to individuals of all abilities, Green Acres' interactive animal therapy program gives kids and individuals with special needs the chance to interact with small animals and ride horses. The fully functioning ranch also trains and boards clients' horses.
Sunrider Wine Tours' knowledgeable guides⎯all of whom are or have been local-winery and vineyard employees⎯cart tourists through Southern California wine country's rural terrain in open-air or covered Jeeps. The guides share information on Temecula's history and first-hand knowledge of vino-making processes while shuttling guests to tastings at local wineries and answering questions, such as what tannins are and who invented grapes.