Irish Family Vineyards
Calaveras County Winery
2849 Highway 4
Vallecito, CA 95251
|Phone #||(209) 736-1299|
|Pricing||$ $ $ $ $|
|Rating||* * * * *|
More Wineries in Calaveras:
Brice Station Vintners
Irish Family Vineyards
Vina Moda Winery
Irish Family Vineyards Wine Tasting Tours, Hours & Prices:
Monday, Tuesday & Friday: 2pm - 5pm
Irish Family Vineyards Wine Tasting Notes
We had one of the best experiences at the Irish Family tasting room, (just a few miles outside Murphys, along Hwy 4). On a Saturday morning around 11:30am we were greeted by the winemaker's mom behind the tasting room bar. There were already a few people tasting, but she got us going right away. At first I thought mom was going a bit too quick, ready to pour our next wine before we had the time to finished the previous one.
Like many of the tasting rooms in Murphys, there is no tasting fee at Irish. And like most joints, Irish will pour you all their wines, which in this case means around twelve wines!
As we were cruising through the first couple of white wines the hostess' son walked in. "Thats my son, Russ, the winemaker", mom beamed.
Russ greeted us warmly and we told him how much we were enjoying the wines thus far. Before long, when he saw we were into it, he offered to take us, and a few others, around back to taste some of the new Pinot Gris straight out of the tank.
In two tanks, Russ had been preparing the Pinot Gris juice in two ways, one sweet and one dry. For the final wine he'll probably wind up making a blend of the two, so he offered us up a 50/50 blend. "Which is best?" he asked, "Sweet, dry, or blend?" I liked the blend, but would probably like it best if it was a 70/30 dry blend.
Russ led us back toward the parking lot to see several large white vats full of freshly crushed grapes, the skins still floating on the top. "Want a taste?" he smiled, then took a glass and dunked it elbow deep into the slosh and pulled out a dripping glass of dark purple juice. It was an unfamiliar grape called Alaconte Bouch, a red wine grape, but it was delicious as is. It'll make a great wine, no doubt.
We made our way back into the tasting room and pick up where we left off, and sipped our way to the end of the tasting list, an almond flavored champagne.
Russ is a great guy and Irish Vineyards should not be missed. The wines are decent across the board, a consistency Russ strives for, ("I don't want customers to just like one or two of the wines... I want them to like ALL of the wines," he told us).
They offer a wine club unlike most others. You pay $149 for the first year and "receive the entire membership value in wine at regular retail value the day of joining. After that, you will receive your special discounts and invitations to all of our special events." No shipments, but discounts on all purchases, including 25% on a case of wine. It's worth it if you plan on either visiting the tasting room often, ordering from their website, or if you planned to buy at least $149 of wine that day anyway.
They have about eight wines under $20, but the standout was the Kilkenny Red for $26. There are also six wines offered only to club members; Syrah, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Cab Franc, and a Tempranillo, (all $38).
Irish Family Vineyards Wines