SFWS Team Retreat in Murphys, CA!Like all good things, it starts with a biker bar. Lagorio's in Farmington, CA was the perfect pit-stop for our Friday evening full moon travels up to Murphys, CA last weekend for our San Francisco Wine School staff retreat. Well-vetted by our COO Kristin Campbell after years and years of traveling this route, we knew it would be perfect. The burgers and beers and margaritas and jukebox and BBQ'd oysters did not disappoint. The wine list could've used a little bit of help, but don't tell them that came from our mouths... :)
We arrived at the breathtaking vacation home late on Friday night - our minds were blown with views of the moonlit, fog-covered valley from the wrap-around decks. Fireplace engaged, 36 bottles of wine to choose from, Cards Against Humanity and no bedtime in sight. What happens in Murphys stays in Murphys!
Saturday morning we slowly rose with coffee and verdant vistas and got our ourselves ready for a day out in the vineyards of Calaveras County! Kristin pre-arranged a VIP 'off-road' tour with veteran viticulture expert, renegade, wine-lover, and all-around great guy Stephen Collum. A graduate of the Viticulture Program at Fresno State, Collum began his career in wine agriculture managing the vineyards of St. Francis, and then moved on to develop choice properties in Napa and Sonoma for Kendall Jackson. He decided to relocate to the Sierra Foothills almost 20 years ago and now manages a dozen vineyards in the area, so Collum knows the terroir of the region better than anyone! (And psst, he's also joining our CWAS 3-Day Intensive in March as a special industry guest speaker!!)
Stephen Collum With Instructor and Advanced Somm Gordana Josovic
We learned that Calaveras County has 900 acres of grape vines planted to 36 grape varieties, and that they specialize in diversity. The following varieties thrive there in the hot, dry summer growing season:
- Syrah, Grenache, Picpoul & other Rhone grapes
- Sangiovese, Aglianico, Vermentino & other Italian grapes
- Tempranillo & other Spanish grapes
- Touriga Nacional & other Portuguese grapes
Calaveras is home to 25 wineries, most having tasting rooms in the 2-block historic town of Murphys.
David Plays in the Vineyard
Kristin & Tanya, Ready to Get to Tastin'!
What an amazing weekend it was. We'll certainly be back again soon to enjoy the beauty of the area, the wines of the region, and each other's company. Thank you to Kristin and David for arranging such a memorable getaway!
See more shots of our trip below:
Ready for Our Vineyard Tour - Is it Colder Than Serbia?
The Only Trejadura & Godello Vineyards in California!
The Team Posing on a Metate
Metate Group Selfie
Master Somm Masters The Grill
Just One of Many Amazing Pairings with Our Rib Eyes
Hat's Off to the Chefs!
Getting Better With Age!
Snow at Big Trees State Park