Joanna & I stayed for the WBC 16 post-excursion to Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys, CA. This is a pictorial account of the Ironstone grounds & grapevines; Joanna will focus on their fine wines and the exquisitely paired dinner by Outer Aisle in the next blog post.
An hour and a half after boarding a bus in Lodi, Joanna and I, along with a handful of bloggers arrived at Ironstone Vineyards. After deboarding the bus we were welcomed by Joan Kautz, Vice President of International Operations and the daughter of John Kautz owner & chairman of Ironstone Vineyards. After the warm reception we all got back on the bus and headed for the vines. This is where we got to hear from the Steve Millier, a doppelgänger for Wilford Brimley and the Director of Winemaking at Ironstone & Craig Rous, Director of Operations & Planning for Bear Creek Winery. Here are some photos of the blogger's in vines along with the 100 acres of grapes dedicated to growing some of Ironstone's fantastic wines.
The Tastingroom, Amphitheatre & Gardens.
After spending some time in the vines, we got back on the bus and headed to the very beautiful tasting room where we met John Kautz, Joan's father. After singing him "Happy Birthday," he turned seventy that day, he began enthusiastically explaining his vision of creating his dream. Part of that dream is the mass collection of antiques on display in the tasting room, museum and throughout the grounds. In the 1,100 acres of Ironstone Vineyards The Ironstone Vineyards Amphitheatre, which holds several thousand people, is said to put on one of the best 4th of July fireworks displays in the area. On this particular day Chris Young was scheduled to perform later that night and though we were graciously invited, we declined, while some of the bloggers stayed for the show. The property also boasts vast & spectacular gardens, which requires three full-time gardeners to maintain and makes for an ideal place to "tie-the-knot".
The Wine Caverns and Museum.
Next we were onto the very cool, literally and figuratively, wine caverns. Inside the caverns the temperature hovers around 60 degrees. Members of Ironstone Vineyards can come into this space to sip some vino and escape the heat. Then we walked to the gold mining water wheel and other recreated gold rush era structures. Finishing up our tour of the grounds we entered The Ironstone Heritage Museum and Gallery. There we observed the 44lb crystalline gold-leaf specimen, the largest of its kind in the world, and other fun artifacts. They have quite the collection! This place has a little bit of everything, whether you are into wine, antiques, live music, cars, or hosting a fabulous event in a gorgeous natural setting, Luckily for Joanna and I, we like it all and Ironstone is a place that is constantly evolving with the times.