The wine enthusiasts at Signaturewines.com—a group of professionals from various industries—foster a community for other wine and food lovers to connect and share their oenophile experiences. They regularly notify their members of tours, tastings, and wine-related events at more than 20 Northern California wineries. They also orchestrate special deals that immerse visitors in settings such as the opulent gilded decor of Domenico Winery, the rustic wooden architecture of Guglielmo Winery, and the verdant vineyards and 200-horse stables of Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards.
Keeping abreast of local and national food events,SignatureWines.com also introduces members to regional wine bars, wineries, and restaurants, and provides an online community where members can read reviews and share wine experiences. VIP cards let customers take part in complimentary tastings and avoid standard hassles such as corkage fees and general-admission mosh pits. Proceeds for such events often go to charities involved in various initiatives.
While most 21-year-olds are content to just sit in a bar and drink beer, Mike Johannsen was a bit more active about his newly legal status. As soon as he came of age, he started brewing in his dorm room at CalPoly San Luis Obispo. Over the years, he has explored almost every angle of the business, from equipment maintenance to cellaring, packaging, and quality assurance. In 2013, he founded Schubros Brewery alongside Ian Schuster, a London Business School grad and craft beer aficionado.
In the short time that Schubros has been operational, they have already done a lot to distinguish themselves from other breweries. For starters, all their brews are organic: varietals include Diablo Sunrise, a chocolate-orange imperial stout, and 680 IPA, a mahogany ale with notes of caramel and toffee. Schubros also gives 1% of their profits to various local organizations. Customers can go online to vote on where the money should go each quarter; options include environmental groups, school districts, and fire departments.
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.