Lifelong gardener Jim Carter, owner of South Coast Winery, bottles fine wines on 38 picturesque acres in Southern California’s Temecula Valley. South Coast’s grounds house a luxurious spa and seven Mediterranean-esque resort villas, reminiscent of a remote Tuscan village. Jim’s specialty varietals have been recognized time and again in local and national wine competitions. Visiting oenophiles can spend time here unwinding with an open air massage, vacationing in a temporary home equipped with a marble Jacuzzi and sweet plump grapes at arms length, or learning about the winemaking process on a vineyard tour.
The sounds of conversation and laughter compete with the clinking of glasses in The Wine Artist?s lofty venue. The space sprawls over 2,500 square feet, with plenty of room to host private parties, bridal events, corporate events, and private cooking classes. Events at The Wine Artist feature unique wines, gourmet catering, and experiences such as wine bottling and team building activities.
The "secret" in Bacchus' Secret Cellar is gas. Argon gas, to be exact, which powers the bar's preservation system and ensures that the wines within stay fresh for long periods of time. There are about 50 wines—mostly reds—on tap at the counter, as well as 8 sparkling wines, 5 dessert wines, and 12 microbrews. The library of options encourages guests to sample several, so it's wise to order a flight: you can get a signature array of 2.5-ounce glasses, or you can compose your own for a unique harmony of tastes.
The bar is just the beginning of the cellar's wine selection. On the shelves that span the walls, more than 350 labels beckon to be uncorked. A bistro menu provides gourmet food to complement sips, from starters of oven-roasted dates to lamb burgers and prosciutto flatbreads, made by dropping a regular loaf of bread into a printing press by accident. There's also a full menu of cheeseboards, with goat, cow, and sheep cheeses from the United States and abroad.
When Andy, Brad, and Ed decided that they wanted to start their own brewery, many of the pieces were already in place. Andy and Brad had been home brewing for years, their experiments in alcoholic alchemy resulting in such special recipes as White Chocolate Raspberry Stout and S'mores Porter. Ed had a background in business and a love for craft beer himself. What the team didn't have, however, was money. Since loans were hard to come by due to the economy, the three raised the cash in the only way they knew how: a swap meet. Dan Marino collectibles, sports cards, and even a massage table were sold to the bargain hunters, and the three got the cash they needed to start their brewery.
Though Brew Rebellion's origins are humble, the beers are not. Brewed in batches of only thirty to fifty gallons at a time, the menu is always populated with new, fresh creations. Though mainstays such as the Peach Honey Wheat are typically available, the chalkboard's erasers are choked with the wiped-away remnants of limited-time offerings. Local ingredients go into the beer whenever they're available, sometimes even including jalapenos picked from the brewer's own garden.
After an afternoon of flying, Ben Cook looked forward to meeting his fellow pilots in hangar 24 at the Redlands Municipal Airport and swapping stories, listening to music, and sharing a few bottles of his latest homebrewed beer. These afternoons served as the inspiration for Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, which Ben founded directly across from the airport as a place where friends could unwind and enjoy a few pints of locally inspired microbrews.
Hangar 24 Craft Brewery on...
The Beer Selection
Hangar 24 Craft Brewery offers seven staples year-round?including the Orange Wheat and Double IPA?although it regularly updates its tap list as new brews become available. This list can feature seasonally inspired creations, selections from the Local Fields series of beers brewed with locally sourced ingredients, and limited-edition, barrel-aged releases. Not content to limit the focus of their selection, the brewers craft everything from German-style lagers and Belgian-style dubbels to family-friendly, non-alcoholic root beer and ginger beer.
Steve Dunkerken and Owen Williams began making beer together in Dunkerken's garage. Their new operation is a little bigger?23,000 square feet, to be precise, including a 30-barrel brewhouse. They didn't make the jump from home brewing to production brewing blindly, however. When the two met, Williams was the first-ever Director of Brewing Operations for BJ?s Brewhouse, and a little skeptical about the homebrew scene.
But Dunkerken's creativity won him over. The brewery they founded, Ritual, produces complex, interesting potions such as the Big Deluxe Imperial Oat Stout?"so dark it actually absorbs light," as the brewers put it?and the Extra Red Ale, made with eight different malts and a massive helping of hops.
Most of Ritual's beers are destined for bars, restaurants, and the swimming pools of millionaires, but there's also a taproom tucked away inside the brewery. There, live music often adds to the festive environment, and knowledgeable beer guides lead tours and share facts about the brewery's design, including tables crafted from 1960s-era bowling lanes.