Author: Michael Cervin

Chareau: Aloe vera liqueur from Camarillo

chareau.us Growing up in Southern California, aloe vera was ubiquitous, something meant to soothe sunburns and heal wounds. None of us thought of drinking it. Kurt Charron never thought of drinking it either . . . initially. Charron started working in restaurants at age 16, eventually ending up as a bartender in Los Angeles. Food was nothing new for him, his family having a dairy operation in Canada. But Charron felt the urge to learn distilling. He was having a cocktail in New York that had aloe juice in it, and this prompted his curiosity. So he spent two...

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Mi Casa, Su Casa

Back Patio Cellars 930 Flynn Road, Unit F Camarillo 805-388-3457 $10-15 Amusingly, there’s a front patio to Back Patio Cellars tasting room in Camarillo, though it’s not zoned for wine. But step inside the small, comfy winery and you may not want to step away. Owners Frank and Jennifer Hules live in Moorpark and make the trek down Highway 118 to Camarillo each weekend to pour their passion. Frank was a home winemaker for nearly a decade at first. “I got to a point where it was taking over the house, literally” he tells me as Jennifer rolls her...

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Here Today, Gone to Maui

VenTiki Lounge and Lanai 701 E. Main St., Ventura 667-8887 Life is circular. What was once fashionable becomes unfashionable and vice versa. Take the tiki culture. Tiki bars came into favor in the 1960s, then simply became kitschy over time — relegated to Brady Bunch episodes and cheesy attractions at Disneyland. But now there is a resurgence and tiki culture is once again on the rise. Celebrating its five-year anniversary, this July VenTiki is the only tiki bar in Ventura and it is awash in cocktails, flowered shirts and island food. For starters, you can’t miss the A-framed thatched...

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Quality over a quarter century

The Ojai Vineyard 109 S. Montgomery St. Ojai 805-798-3947 Some wineries are known by their reputations even before you try their wines. Such is the case with The Ojai Vineyard and its nearly iconic owner and winemaker Adam Tolmach. There are a thousand decisions when you make wine (I know, I’ve done it) yet somehow The Ojai Vineyard manages to get all these things right. “Our wines differ from others due to the experience of Adam, who has relentlessly pursued high-quality viticulture and winemaking for the last 35 years,” general manager Fabien Castel tells me when I visit on...

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The Art and Craft of Casa Barranca Winery

Casa Barranca 208 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai 640-1255 $9-15 There’s a misperception about organic wine — that it’s a flimsy, watery wine with no flavor. The good news is that the aforementioned perception is not true. The better news is that Casa Barranca’s tasting room in Ojai they can prove it to you. Founded in 2001, Casa Barranca uses organically grown grapes farmed in both Santa Barbara and Paso Robles to make its wines. These wines that come from certified organic vineyards are clearly labeled as USDA organic. But also important is that many vineyards farm organically but don’t...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Multiple Ones: Contemporary Perspectives in Printmedia

    August 22 @ 8:00 am - October 23 @ 8:00 pm
  2. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    September 16 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  3. Conejo Valley Quilters monthly meeting

    September 16 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
  4. Dancer’s Body Barre

    September 16 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  5. Egyptian Belly Dancing

    September 16 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  6. 2019 EDU|CAL Annual Symposium

    September 17 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
  7. Loni Love Headlines Levity Live

    September 20 @ 7:30 pm - September 22 @ 9:00 pm
  8. 2019 Quilt Rooms and Gardens Tour

    September 21 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  9. 3rd Annual Southeast Ventura County YMCA Reach For The Stars Gala

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  10. Premiere Party for “Beyond Function: Fiber, Wood and Clay”

    September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm