Calaveras County Winery
4280 Red Hill Road
Vallecito, CA 95251
|Phone #||(209) 736-9080|
|Pricing||$ $ $ $ $|
|Rating||* * * * *|
More Wineries in Calaveras:
Brice Station Vintners
Irish Family Vineyards
Vina Moda Winery
Twisted Oak Wine Tasting Tours, Hours & Prices:
Daily 10:30am to 5:30pm
Twisted Oak Wine Tasting Notes
"Get Twisted". One of the many customized traffic signs you'll see on the way up the twisted driveway, past the twisted oaks, and finally to the Twisted Oak winery and tasting room at the top of the twisted hill.
We met the Twisted Oak owner, Jeff Stai, who goes by the name El Jefe, at a Gary Vaynerchuck event in San Francisco. That evening El Jefe told us all about his winery in the Sierra Foothills. He is the the main reason we decided to head up to Murphys in the first place.
The winery is only one of two places El Jefe has a tasting room. The other is right on Main Street in Murphys in a Historic house, the childhood residence of Albert Abraham Michelson, the first American to win the Nobel prize. We recommend visiting both, (we did!), because both are great wine tasting experiences.
The winery sits on top of the hill, over 2200 feet above sea level, with panoramic views of the surrounding foothills. We entered through big wooden doors and into the tasting room, an area sectioned off in the big storage facility, where cases of wine are stacked high. We were greeted by a young man, Aaron, alone in the tasting room. He showed us the menu and we were on our way.
The tasting is free, and we tasted twelve wines! Aaron was a bit quiet at first, but opened up a bit later. Although he didn't know much about the wines beyond the general tasting notes, he was very pleasant.
Twisted Oak features spanish style wines made from grape varietals not often seen in California. We tasted wines made from Tempranillo, Grenache, and Graciano grapes, all good, and for a reasonable price.
The wine labels are whimsical, with names like "Murgatroyd", "Pig Stai", "The Spaniard", and "River of Skulls". The description on the back label for The Spaniard is an homage to the movie The Princess Bride.
The tasting room has a shop where you can buy rubber chickens, replicas of the twisted signs, and other wine related booty.
The Main Street tasting room is a treat, as well. The historic house sits on a nice lawn, plenty of room for a picnic, surrounded by a white picket fence. The intimate tasting room and shop is loads of fun. Amanda, our hostess, set us up and treated us right. As you might imagine, the staff is young and hip. At first I thought Amanda was too young (not yet drinking age?)... but she knew her stuff, and was probably older than I thought.
El Jefe's Twisted Oak is a relative newcomer to Murphys wine, having set up shop in 2001. But with his aggressive brand marketing techniques, and through the use of social media outlets, Jeff has made Twisted Oak the rock star of the region, appealing to the new Web 2.0 (read: Gary Vaynerchuck) generation of wine drinkers.
So will you get twisted at Twisted Oak? You betcha ya.
Twisted Oak Wines
|91||2005||Red||Mourvedre||Calaveras County %@#$!|
|90||2006||Port||Touriga Nacional||Pig Stai Port|