Wendy Van Diver
September 25, 2012 | Touring & Tasting Magazine, Wine Country Travel | Wendy Van Diver

Editor’s Tour Preview: Calaveras County

The main roads wind tightly around the steep mountain hills of Calaveras County. I followed the ones I needed to get Contributing Photographer Linda Blue and myself to Murphys—the quaint town that boasts just a few traffic lights and around two dozen winery tasting rooms.

At Ironstone Vineyards and Winery
in Murphys

I want to thank Ironstone Vineyards’ Sara Davis, who encouraged Linda and me to take all the time we needed. We wandered around so Linda could take pictures and marvel at Ironstone’s Crown Jewel, the world’s largest piece of crystalline gold. I also want to thank Community Relations Director Conrad Levasseur and Crissy and Candy behind the tasting bar who engaged us in great conversation as we tasted through the wines. I was intrigued by the 2010 Viognier and the 2009 Xpression which is a crisp, strawberry scented Rosé. Crissy thoughtfully wrapped a recipe card for Sangria around one of the four bottles they so generously gave me as I left.

And Conrad, your directions to the Victoria Inn were perfect. It was nice to give my GPS a rest. And besides, we didn’t have far to go. I also want to thank Jan and Chuck Hovey of Hovey Winery.Chuck Hovey has been making wine in Calaveras County for 30 years. He makes wine for Gianelli Vineyards in Jamestown and Olive to Distributing, owners of Stevenot, where Chuck worked for more than 20 years—and now his own label. Chuck and his wife Jan greeted us warmly in their tasting room, explaining that their tasting room has been open for just a few months. It is housed in the childhood home of Albert Michelson (known as the first person to determine the speed of light). We enjoyed a detailed, seated tasting with Chuck and Jan, who rarely find time to actually sit and enjoy Chuck’s phenomenal wines. It was an honor. He really is a master of his craft.

Jan and Chuck Hovey of Hovey Winery

The following morning, I had the opportunity to thank Michael Ninos, owner of the Victoria Inn and V Restaurant, Bar & Bistro where we ate dinner, in person. Michael sat with me as I enjoyed a light breakfast from the generous breakfast bar. I am always grateful for the time he takes to further enlighten me on the ways of life in Murphys, California.


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