Our final stop in our trip to Gold Country was to do some wine tasting. In California, known for it’s incredible wine all over, there were several wineries in the area. We found that Ironstone Vineyard was nearly and known as a family friendly place for it’s grounds, and it’s museum that held the largest piece of crystalline gold in the world. They also had a café on site where we could get some lunch before the drive back, so we were sold.
After parking, we walked the beautiful grounds, which in November were full of flags for Veterans Day. We meandered through the old stage coach, and to the museum (store) where we could see jewelry and other antiques from the area. Then, back in what used to be a bank vault was the prize – a giant gold nuggets in full display. But that was not the only interesting piece in this area. Here were also other gold nuggets, different gems found locally, and dinosaur eggs and fossils that interested the kids.
After that, we got down to what we came to the vineyard to do. The wine tasting room is in this grand area of the building, with a two story high fireplace, and an antique bar. There were some comfy leather seats, we sat the kids down with their books and asked them to sit there where we went to do the tasting. They explained that the tasting was 5 for $5, and that cost was waived if you bought a bottle. I had to ask to clarify. 5 for $5?!?!?! In Napa you can’t get a tasting for under $30 and you don’t get 5 wines! The most amazing part was, they let us each do 5 different, so we ended up tasting 10 wines! We had a fantastic array of whites and reds. They ended up buying a ½ case of wine, all different varieties. We had two at Thanksgiving, and just recently finished our last bottle celebrating our 15th anniversary during our shelter in place.
After that much wine, we needed some food, so we hit up the café. There we had some burgers and sandwiches, and I had a nice cobb Salad. It was a nice lunch, and big enough and filling portions to get us through the long drive home.
After eating, we started the preparations for a long drive. (You know, everyone goes to the bathroom, fill the water bottles, make sure snacks and devices are accessible, etc). Then we loaded in the car and started the 2+ hour trek back to the Bay Area. As we drove out of the El Dorado Hills, past farms and little else, we reflected on the beauty of the area, just a few short hours from our home, and talked about when we’d make our next trip out.