Posted: Jan 29, 2013 8:42 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 8:53 AM
With the scenic landscape of our local vineyards, wine tours can be so much more than visits to tasting rooms. And that's especially the case at Ancient Peaks winery in Santa Margarita. Because if you're up for it, your tasting experience can be a real adventure. And more proof There's No Place Like Home.
The Ancient Peaks tasting room sits nestled in the sleepy little town of Santa Margarita, but the terrain where many of the grapes are grown is so spectacular, it seemed a shame to owners that visitors didn't get a chance to take that in as well. "We have a lot of deer, wild turkeys, wild pigs...." says owner Karl Wittstrom, owner of Ancient Peaks. "We have recently seen some pairs of bald eagles, golden eagles, several species of raptors, falcons, quail and dove."
And while tours of the Santa Margarita Ranch have been available for awhile, the newest way to take in all the beauty of this place comes with an adrenaline rush. "You don't get this kind of perspective unless you are in a helicopter." says Yishai Horowitz of All Out Events. He's one of the guides that helps folks running Santa Margarita Adventures.
Before you swirl, sip and savor your favorite varietal at Ancient Peaks, you can snap on, step in and soar right over the ranch lands toward the peaks themselves. "The natural beauty of this property is kind of like, if we can get people out here and get people to experience it, it just changes their perspective of Santa Margarita Ranch and Margarita Vineyards." says Wittstrom.
I decided to give it a go. "To ahead and pull it up like a pair of shorts." Horowitz instructs me as I try to put on the harness that will keep me safe. The zip line adventure is a two-and-a-half hour aerial tour of the ranch via a series of four, flights if you will, that will take your breathe away for so many reasons. The Renegade is the longest at 13-hundred feet. "The other ones are a bit shorter, but they seem a little bit faster." says Horowitz.
The experts at All Out Events take care of the details for you. They are what you call extreme sport enthusiasts. "So you are welcome to hold on to the handle or the tether, or you are welcome to ride freely and sit out with your arms out." says my guide Blake Rowan as I'm ready to step off. I didn't think much about what we were doing until I was standing on the platform. That's when the nerves kicked in a bit. "So this is just for comfort, I don't need to hold on?" I ask as I grab on to the handle above my head. "No...you can throw your arms out and enjoy the ride or hold on, whatever is more comfortable." I decide to hold on.
The folks at All out events, love sharing the thrill of a flying tour with novices, so you don't need to get anxious about your last minute nerves, and the minute you step off the platform, the nerves settle and you realize you are safe and as close to flying like a bird as most people will ever get.
The only hard part is stepping off. The rest is just one big joy ride. You get up to 25-30 miles per hour at some points, but the ride is smooth enough to take in the sights and sounds of all that surrounds you. And when you land safely on the other side, the only regret is that the journey wasn't longer.
Each of the four lines offers a different perspective of the ranch, and the experience. But it's all so much fun. And it's right in our own backyard. Another reason, There's No Place Like Home.
For more information on the Zip Lines at Santa Margarita Adventures, click here.
For more information on Ancient Peaks Winery, Click here.