A bird of prey’s unparalleled eyesight allows it to spot animal movement miles away, browse a library’s fine-print collection, and win duels against gambling optometrists. Elegantly appreciate specialized skills with today's Groupon: for $22, you get a live raptor flight demonstration and wine tasting for two at The Raptors at Church & State, part of Church & State Wines in Brentwood Bay (a $44 value). Flight demonstrations begin at 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. daily.
The Raptors at Church & State thrills guests with the midair acrobatics of owls, falcons, and hawks during three daily demonstrations over Brentwood Bay’s 11 acres of rolling vineyards. Raptor specialists brief guests on the behavior and personalities of each bird as they set them loose in 45-minute displays of flight, natural hunting prowess, and avian turn signals. Guests seated snugly in hillside bleachers watch leather-glove-armed holders release their feathery allies. Before or after each bird buoyancy test, visitors taste any four of the winery’s premium wines or three of the super-premium pours. Sip from piquant selections, such as the 2008 chardonnay, 2007 meritage, and the 2010 cabernet blanc, all fermented from grapes roaming free in the winery’s vineyard.
Guests may also purchase wines to drink during the flight demonstration at an additional cost ($8–$10). The Raptors at Church & State highlights Church & State Wines’ environmental vineyard management program, which utilizes raptors for bird pest control instead of netting, propane, or packs of screaming boy-band fans.