Elegant Sips, Elevated: Mammoth Wine Weekend

Before the air chills and the snow arrives, raise a glorious glass.

SIPS BY THE SLOPES: The time is coming, quite soon, when weekenders will don goggles and gloves and moisture-deterring pants and they'll make for places like Mammoth to enjoy heavy flakes and temperatures dipping below freezing. That day, though, is still a few months off, and merrymakers up the mountain want to soak in summertime for all of its pleasurable, chillax-focused, let's-be-outdoors-in-short-sleeves worth. The Mammoth Wine Weekend is one way to get your warm-weather enjoyment out of the higher elevation destination, and just before fall starts to whisper through the various cottonwoods and oaks and alpines of the region. It spreads out over three days near the middle of August -- that's Friday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 16 -- and the taste-nice to-dos are as nice as the area's famous vistas.

WINE WALK... is one of the centerpieces, as it probably should be: The Village-based sip-and-stroll will see over 20 wineries serving up over twice that number in vintages. There are Winemaker Dinners and a wine-themed Campo Mammoth brunch, too, for those who like pines and pinots. Parallax Restaurant will take a "Tour of California with Mark Estee" and the Lakefront Restaurant Wine Dinner welcomes the D'Alfonso-Curran Winery. Tickets are a la carte, so you can dip into whatever you want to specifically do and then save time for...

UP THE MOUNTAIN SUMMER RECREATION: Biking and fishing and hiking are still very much on, and pursuing those alfresco fun times in August has a special sweetness. There's a light crispness to the mornings, and you know autumn is around the bend. So a glass of wine or two in the afternoon, followed by casting a line the following day, feels like a fine way to start waltzing summer on the way out.

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