Worth the Drive
Our daily look at nearby getaways

Wraiths and Wine: A Haunted Winery Tour

A Temecula winemaker goes for a terrifying (and tasty) holiday twist.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    DRAC FACT: We're not encouraging you to drop your plans for the day and run to the bookshelf or trunk full of favorite DVDs, to see if what we're about to say holds water. Or wine, to be more accurate. But here's our postulation and we think it is solid: Just about every elegant horror tale, made for the grown-up crowd, has a wine scene in it. Definitely with the vampires, right? They love to pull out something cobwebby from the cellar and talk about how the bottle is only two hundred years old. Wine, at least symbolically, is fraught with meaning, and at Halloween? It's how the vampires and their partying guests like to get down and drink up. But not every winery in California -- and there are a few of them, you might have heard -- marks the autumn holiday. Sure, there's the occasional skull-and-crossbones label, and vineyard-adjacent costume ball, but the holidays and harvest are when most wineries reign. South Coast Winery in Temecula, though, is taking a creepier, cooler path: They've got "haunted" tours on from Saturday, Oct. 26 right through Halloween afternoon.

    THE TOUR... will shepherd guests around the good-sized winery. And it starts in the perfect place: In the vineyard, where any manner of werewolf could be lurking about. (Probably not, but, you know, Halloween=fantasy.) "Ghouls and goblins of harvests past" shall be summoned, as well as some quality wine tasting and pairing. Oh yes, pairing: Even Dracula lays out a fine spread for his guests. Fire-spiced pickled pumpkin, licorice chutney, grape eyeballs, and Pop Rocks Chocolate Truffle are some of the noshables listed. Call it an elegant way to get your eerie on, with a little adult-type food and drink. Is South Coast haunted? We'll leave that to the guides to ponder, but we're satisfied that wine is made there, the official drink of all cape-wearing supernatural creatures.

    The Haunted Behind-the-Scenes Tour of South Coast Winery is on from 4:30-5:30 p.m. from Saturday, Oct. 26 through Oct. 31. Tickets are $45 each.