Posted September 2006
Murphys: Boutique Wine Tasting at its Best
Fall – in Love with Wine Country
(MURPHYS, CA) – Wine tasting is a pleasurable and educational
experience, especially when you can taste a good number of an
area’s wine wares without having to travel long distances, or
in fact, even have to drive at all.
Murphys, California located in the heart of Calaveras county
and part of the California Gold Country, offers just such a wine
tasting experience. The opportunity becomes all the more unique
when you realize that even though there are just a handful of
winemakers in the area (currently about 20) they are not all
devoted to experimenting with the same wine grape varietals.
On Main street in Murphys, you can taste at 10 different tasting
- Broll Mountain Vineyards (Specialties: Merlot, Syrah,
Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Roussanne) Saturday and
Sunday 1-5pm and weekdays by appointment.
- Twisted Oak Winery (Specialties: Tempranillo, Syrah,
Grenache, Viognier) Thursday through Sunday 10:30am - 5:30pm
Winery (Specialties: Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier,
Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc,
Zinfandel) Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00am -
5:00pm and weekdays by appointment.
- Zucca Mountain Vineyards (Specialties:
Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tesoro, Sangiovese Rosato)
Daily 12:00 noon - 5:00pm
- Black Sheep Winery (Specialties:
Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc,
Merlot, Cinsault) Open weekends and holidays (weekdays by appt.)
12:00 noon until 5:00pm
- Millaire Winery (Specialties: Zinfandel,
Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Port) Daily 11:00am
- Newsome-Harlow (Specialties: Big John's
Zinfandel, Meritage Blend, Sauvignon Blanc) Open Friday
- Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm
- Lavender Ridge Vineyards (Specialties:
Viognier, Roussanne, Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah) Friday
through Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm
- Rocco’s Com’e Bella (Specialties:
Mission, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay)
Open Wednesday through Friday 12:00 noon
- 5:00pm; Saturday and Sunday 11:00am - 5:00pm
Winery (Specialties: Chardonnay,
Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon,
Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel) Wednesday
through Monday 11:00am to 6:00pm
A handful of the area’s wineries offer tasting rooms on site
at their winery, almost all of them within an easy drive of Murphys.
Just off Highway 4, and before you hit the east end of town,
you will find Laraine Wines on Six Mile Road.
Laraine has a delightful intimate tasting room, usually only
populated with a handful of people. Outside is a wonderful, cool
green yard with picnic tables and a horseshoe pit. You have to
share the yard with dog, Bam Bam, who is frequently found in
his sand box. If you stay on Six Mile Road you will actually
take a short cut by Ironstone and into Murphys. It is a quick,
fairly easy-to-navigate gravel road. If you have a convertible,
you may want to stick to the paved roads.
Back on Highway 4 and heading east, just a quick jaunt up Red
Hill Road is the irreverent and not very wine-snobbish Twisted
Oak (they also have a tasting room in town). Pirates hang
outside the front door, women’s t-shirts inside sport “Wine Rack”
slogans across the breast, and wines have names like “Murgatroyd.”
Don’t be fooled by the attitude, you will definitely find something
on the tasting menu (approx 13 wines) that you will enjoy.
Back on Hwy 4 and this time off Pennsylvania Gulch Road, is
Indian Rock Vineyards. You will appreciate the scenery whether
or not you are a movie buff. This is the location that the film
“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” was shot.
Many of the wine tasting rooms are only open on weekends, though
they will frequently take appointments if you know you are going
to be in town and want to plan a specific itinerary. At this
time, none of the tasting rooms are charging any fees for their
The Calaveras Wineries also produce several well attended (and
well enjoyed) events throughout the year, include the upcoming
For information on these wineries, check out our listings
or go online to www.calaveraswines.org.