Past few days have been awesome! The family and I headed out to a wedding in Murphy’s California. Ironstone Vineyards to be exact and let me tell ya, with 5,000 acres of grapes, a gold rush museum and enchanting gardens. Ironstone Vineyards is definitley a MUST stop!
The caverns can hold up to 1,500 French and American oak barrels, and the massive doors at the entrance are crafted from 100-year-old redwood barrels. The temperature inside the caverns is a cool 60 degrees, so it’s a great tour to take on a warm day. A natural spring waterfall helps regulate the humidity inside the caverns, and the constant temperature prevents the barrels from leaking. There is level access throughout the caverns, and the cement floor makes it very convenient for wheelers. The tour also includes a stop in the Alhambra music room for a look at the Robert Morton theater organ. This massive 1,200-pipe organ was built in 1927 and was originally housed in Sacramento’s Alhambra Theater. Today it’s restored to its former grandeur and the Alhambra music room is now considered the showplace of the Sierras. The venue is used for special events, private receptions, and the annual Mother’s Day brunch.
For a primer on forty-niner history, don’t forget to spend some time at the Heritage Museum after the tour. Established as a tribute to California’s gold rush, the museum, located on the winery grounds, features barrier-free access to an extensive collection of interpretive exhibits about 19th century gold mining. Highlights include old photos, mining maps, equipment, and even gold specimens acquired from modern-day Sierra prospectors.
The focal point of the museum is by far the massive 44-pound gold nugget that was discovered just 15 miles from the winery in 1922. Technically, the specimen is considered crystalline gold, which consists of gold deposited between layers of quartz, clay, and pyrite. No matter what the classification, it’s rare, enormous and extremely beautiful.
Last but not least, save some time to meander through the beautiful gardens, which display a burst of color from spring through fall. There is level access to most of the garden areas, and the flower show changes seasonally. Plan to come back often, as it’s never the same twice.
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