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Posted September 2006

Murphys: History, Wine, Shops, and Art


Fall – in Love with Wine Country

(MURPHYS, CA) – The town of Murphys unfolds like a surprise around a bend on Highway 4. It is not unlike the nugget of gold that sits heavily in the bottom of your mining pan after you have lazily allowed the cool river water and all its other gifts to flow past your hands and eyes.

Born in the wild days of gold rush fever, Murphys has maintained its connection with its rich past, and has established a new and thriving identity – one that celebrates all the Sierra’s have to offer. This vibrant town boasts art galleries and live theatre, eclectic shops, fine restaurants, charming hotels and B&B's, wine tasting rooms, and a multitude of outstanding wineries, agri-tourism, and outdoor recreational opportunities all just a short drive away.

Most of the almost 20 wineries in the area are boutique operations, many with convenient tasting rooms right on Murphys main street. Others like Ironstone are destinations unto themselves.

Give yourself a day or two to wander down the historic main street, reading all the placards on the old stone buildings – still in operation. Quaint shops line both sides of the street and little cafes and restaurants offer wares and dishes too tempting to pass up.

If you start at the east end of town, you will know when you have reached the west end. A donkey by the name of Clarissa greets strollers who pass her paddock with a questioning sniff to see if any treats, or a scratch will be offered.

Murphys has a year round population of about 2,000 and is located in the central Sierra Nevada foothills between Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park, in Calaveras County, California.

If you are visiting, weekend accommodations are easy to procure, except on the weekends that Ironstone Vineyards is having a concert or event. Several thousand people make the trek from Sacramento, Tahoe-Reno, and the Bay Area to attend these popular activities, as well as the upcoming Grape Stomp.

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