Glasses clink and the buzz of conversation bounces off the stainless steel tanks and French oak barrels stacked to the ceiling as Steve Shaffer pours wine for thirsty visitors. But outside the cellar doors is no stretch of sweeping green vineyard or neatly manicured garden.
California wineries have thrown open their doors this harvest season. Make that wide open. Wineries are getting creative. They are offering new attractions such as wine education, a behind-the-scenes access to the winemaking process and the kind of TLC normally reserved for relatives and rock stars.