Last week I took a trip up to northern California to visit my grandfather. He lives in the little town of Sonora near Jamestown and Columbia. The area is rich in gold rush history and old west memorabilia, and I enjoy every moment I spend up there in the cool weather and nostalgic environment.
This recent trip though was a special treat not only because my brothers were able to see my grandfather together – which hasn’t happened in a long while – but also because I was able to get my hands on some very interesting, very old books. I’m going to be showcasing some of these books over the course of the next few weeks. I still need to go through the stacks that I obtained and do some research on their origins.
In the meantime, I thought I’d highlight some of the more interesting parts of my trip, beginning with our journey to Ironstone Vineyards, located in the Sierra Foothills of Murphys, California. I’ve visited Ironstone many times before, and each time I am amazed at how serene the location is. There are times when I am there that I completely forget I am in California and feel as if I’m in another country, such as Ireland or Italy.
Nestled in the midst of rolling green hills, Ironstone is more than just a vineyard…
It is home to thousands of plant varieties and species. We were lucky enough to visit in March, which is when Ironstone rolls out the ‘color parade’ with over 300,000 daffodils to signal the coming of Spring and to spark off their annual celebration of food, wine, art and flowers.
Ironstone also boasts the world’s largest crystalline gold leaf specimen in the world, weighing in at a whopping 44 lbs. They have the leaf in a glass case in an old bank vault – which seems appropriate enough.
Wandering the Alhambra Music Room, we always check out the splendid collection of art and antiquities belonging to the Kautz family – owners of Ironstone Vineyards.
I always enjoy my visits to Ironstone. If any of you are ever in their neck of the woods, I highly recommend visiting the vineyard.