Learn a little bit more about our wonderful Member Wineries. These wine producers represent the best in wine in and around Murphys. Click each winery to learn more:
Irish Family Vineyards
Russell Irish’s commitment to his craft is discernible through every sip. “I learned early on that I favor wines that are fruit forward and soft in tannins and acid,” he explains. “Nothing that bites you. I like long finishes and aromas that match the taste of the wine.” Irish uses both estate grown grapes (Chenin, Merlot, Malvasia, and Barbera) as well as those grown to his specifications to create wines that push the boundaries of viticulture while respecting the integrity of the wine. From varietals including Alacant Bouchet, Chenin Blanc, and Petite Sirah to the Blarney Red or the saucy Pog Mo Thoin, a sense of fun permeates each bottle.
Agriculture in Northern California has been a part the families of Kevin and Theresa Locke for more than a century. With this long family tradition it only made sense when the longtime residents of Murphys bought an existing vineyard in Mountain Ranch in the early 1990's. After 10 years of harvesting the Mountain Ranch Zinfandel vineyard the family planted their Murphys vineyard, which now welcomes travelers on Highway 4 into Murphys. Locke Vineyards now grows ten acres of grapes in Calaveras County and produces eight different handcrafted varietals and unique red wine blends.
The Metzger family has been growing grapes and making wine in Calaveras County since 1979. The vineyards at Metzger Family Farm near San Andreas are accompanied by 400 fruit and nut trees as well as a two acre vegetable garden. (Their heirloom tomatoes and specialty produce can be found in finer local stores and restaurants throughout the county.) In 2011 they contracted with regional winemaking legend Chuck Hovey to make Metzger wines at Gianelli Winery in Jamestown. The combination of Metzger fruit and the barrel alchemy supplied by Hovey has produced a winning Merlot and Barbera.
Kate Boyle’s parents moved the family to Europe in her youth, and she was inoculated early on with the culture of wine. On weekends, the Boyles would explore the French and German countryside for vineyards. Kate was allowed to sample wine with dinner, and she listened as her parents discussed the flavors, emotions, and sensations evoked. The emotions in particular captivated Kate, along with recollections of places visited and cultures shared. Now rooted in Murphys, she and her husband Craig MacDonald maintain vineyards on the family estate in Napa Valley as well as family vineyards here in the Sierra Foothills. All aspects of farming and production are done by hand with close attention paid to every detail of the winemaking process. Boyle MacDonald wines are a reflection of a continued pursuit of composure, and deference to nature. Kate’s focus is to assist the grape in creating a product of true quality, providing an honest farm to bottle experience.
Matthew Hatcher’s distinctive winemaking talents have made Hatcher a “can’t miss” destination among foothill wineries. Hatcher Winery has estate vineyards in Vallecito and Angels Camp and their current production features fruit exclusively from the Sierra foothills. Matt works with vineyard managers to grow premium fruit and then selects the oak barrels to best suited to complement the wines. He manages his estate vineyard with integrity, producing the well-received Estate Zinfandel. Hatcher’s winemaking covers a wide spectrum of wine tastes, and Matt’s ever evolving style produces reds that are powerful and yet balanced, and whites with rich textures, classic aromas and the lingering flavors of French oak barrels.
Broll Mountain Vineyards
French Oak for silky tannins. Delayed release dates for proper aging. Estate grown grapes known to be the best in the area due to meticulous farming practices. These are just a few of the things that make Broll wines very special. Broll Mountain Vineyards began 25 years ago with the simple idea to produce the best wines possible. Today Broll continues striving for perfection, something that can be tasted in every Broll wine produced.
After nearly two decades as the Director of Winemaking at Stevenot Winery, Chuck Hovey’s reputation for consistent excellence is as well established as an old Calaveras vineyard. He’s created some of the most unique and well received wines the Sierra Foothills have produced, including Tempranillo, Albarino and Verdelho. He’s been involved in the wine industry for more than thirty years, and is currently the winemaker for Hurst Ranch in Jamestown, as well as Inner Sanctum Cellars and Gianelli Vineyards. In 2008 he unveiled his own “Hovey” label, dedicated to producing the finest wines the Foothills have yet seen. Hovey Wines produces Barbera, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Viognier and others, all with his signature style and finesse.
Klassen Wines & Craft Beer is an importer, broker, and producer of craft beer and fine wines. Headquartered in Murphys, they specialize in beer and wines from countries around the world, as well as California. Brian Klassen also blends and bottles his own limited-production wines under the Klassen label. Klassen has benefitted from his extensive experience in the restaurant business, having served in positions ranging from General Manager to Sommelier to Sous Chef in fine restaurants across the globe. He is a master of pairing fine wines and beer with food.
Back in 1995, Dr. Ian Renner realized a dream by planting his first eight acres of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon on an idyllic piece of land perched above the New Melones Reservoir. The vineyard is blessed with schist soil, and the cooling afternoon breeze coming off Melones helps create a microclimate conducive to producing world class grapes. Renner is making wines that rank among the best in the region. Each is estate grown, produced and bottled.
Winemaker Scott Klann has a well deserved reputation for well crafted, accessible wines that please the palates of amateurs and aficionados alike. Among Newsome-Harlow's biggest assets are the relationships Scott has developed over his many years in the business. These relationships allow Newsome-Harlow access to some of the finest vineyards not only in the Sierra Foothills but throughout California. His more than two decades as a winemaker — starting as a cellar rat and moving up the ladder to become winemaker at some of the Sierra Foothills most notable wineries — have played an important role in putting Calaveras wines on the map
Founder Barden Stevenot is widely credited with ushering in a new era in winemaking in Calaveras County. From Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Barbera, and their newest red sensation, Danza Roja, each taste embodies our rich history, excellent foothill climate and impeccable vineyards. Stevenot is proud to be part of a long and rich tradition of producing world-class wines in the Sierra foothills.
Bunting Wines uses estate-grown grapes produced in Vallecito, just down the road from their Murphys tasting room. The climate there is perfect for producing crisp white wines and fun, approachable reds. We feature Roussanne, a Cuvee Blanc white blend, Rose’, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cuvee’ Rouge red blend and two dessert wines, a Muscat Canelli and a port style Baby Bunting
Inspired by the beautiful vineyards of La Rioja, Spain, the Stange family makes California wines to honor their Spanish and Mexican heritage. In 2006 they planted an organic vineyard with Spanish varietals on a beautiful piece of land in Calaveras County, capitalizing on the remarkable soil and climate similarities to their favorite wine growing regions in Spain. Vino Metate grows three clones of Tempranillo, as well as Albarino, Graciano, Garnacha, Monastrell, and Carinena. To maximize the authenticity, they’ve incorporated Spanish process in the traditions of making and blending their wines.
Four Winds Cellars
For almost two decades, Four Winds winemaker John Gibson has consistently produced some of the region’s most innovative and highly regarded wines. The veteran Napa winemaker spent better than a decade with legendary Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and he’s applied those sensibilities with the artful utilization of Calaveras fruit to create wines that have garnered national acclaim. Four Winds’ red varietals are characterized by deep, rich fruit and earthy overtones. Whites are crisp and fruit driven. All embody the unmistakable signature of the Sierra Foothills
Napa winemakers John and Ashley Derr founded Calavera Wines in order to produce premium mountain style Spanish wines using fruit from Calaveras County. The grapes for their food-focused Albariño and Grenache are picked at lower sugar levels in order to preserve a focused acid and mineral balance. The lower level of alcohol allows the true characteristics of the fruit to shine through. The Derr’s work with Steve Collum, a renowned vineyard manager here in the foothills, in their pursuit of the highest level of quality and style.
Chatom Vineyards, founded by local winemaking icon Gay Callan, is one of the original handful of wineries to usher in the modern viticultural era in Calaveras County. Gay sold the winery in 2015 to Dorian Faught, the former owner of the historic Murphys Hotel. The winery is now managed by Matt and Sewell Hatcher, owners of Hatcher Winery. Chatom’s talented winemaker, Jason Lewis, also has deep roots in the county. His family first planted grapes in the area back in 1852. Matt and Jason are working in tandem to further the Chatom legacy.
Twisted Oak Winery, founded in 2001, excels in varietals indigenous to southern France and Spain. They’ve elevated Tempranillo to an artform. Owner Jeff Stai has developed a reputation for exceptional wines and a wicked sense of humor. His offbeat sensibility permeates every corner of the Twisted ethos, as any visitor to the tasting room can attest. And Jeff loves music, too. The winery’s scenic hilltop location in Vallecito is home to an acclaimed summer music series known as “Twisted Folk”.
School Street is yet another project from the prolific Matt Hatcher. The name is a tribute to local school teacher Jennifer Berry, who also happens to be Matt’s significant other. Matt’s passion and creativity have propelled Hatcher Winery to the top tier of wineries in the Sierra foothills, and he’s bringing the same energy to School Street wines.