Horses and humans have worked together for centuries, transporting goods, fording rivers, and sharing the blame for the fall of Troy. Bond with the noblest of creatures with today's Groupon: for $139, you get a guided horseback trail ride and wine tastings for two at Green Acres Ranch in Temecula (a $300 value).
Rides are offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. through April, and at 9:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. from May to September. Riders must make reservations in advance and weigh no more than 240 pounds.
The experienced staff and gentle horses at Green Acres Ranch transport guests through Temecula's scenic wine country during guided trail rides. Riders are paired with an appropriate steed before attending a safety lesson where they learn equine-taming essentials, such as what to do when a horse's tires go flat. Riders then head to the trails for the 75-minute excursion, gazing at the rolling foothills, sun-drenched valleys, and wine-stained clouds. Upon return, visitors can explore Green Acres Ranch's 50-acre grounds, where more animals dwell and skilled trainers prepare horses for shows and saddle-modeling contests.
After savoring the sight of rolling vineyards from atop their mount, explorers can head to nearby Leoness Cellars and Robert Renzoni Vineyards, both a short drive from the ranch. In Leoness's spacious tasting room, pairs will savor five varietals each, discussing the citrus notes of the 2009 melange de blanc or beating high scores in Pac-Man with cherry hints from the 2007 zinfandel. Six glasses await guests at Renzoni Vineyards to tickle palates with a spread of blends from their crops of cabernet sauvignon, pinot grigio, and brunello sangiovese grapes.
Green Acres Ranch
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.