When you travel do you like taking the road less traveled and finding treasures along the way, or do you put your destination in the GPS and make a bee line for your next stop?
So many times our GPS has sent us on a treasure hunt. We have been guided the wrong direction, to a residence for a coffee shop or it simply shows us driving in field not on an actual road. We have learned not to depend on it too much.
Before this trip I dropped into our local Auto Club office and grabbed a few old fashioned paper maps. I love them! They are folded, re-folded, folded wrong and wrinkled, it gives them character. Maps are so fun to use, you can find alternate routes, scenic routes and little side trips to take to enrich the experience.
Leaving the incredible Chateau du Sureau, we were headed for Murphys, California to do a little wine tasting in the Sierra Foothills. We didn’t make it.
Instead we got side tracked in Mariposa, California. We stopped to walk through this quaint little historic, Western town. Who wouldn’t stop when you see an old barn style building with the name Chocolate Soup, I’m there. The town is full of antique shops, gift shops, cafe’s and really friendly people who love to share their town.
Stopping into the Mariposa Company Store, we found a few gifts for friends and saw this empty wine bottle sitting on a bottle holder. It caught my eye because of the cool label. We got to talking with Jim, the owner and asked about the winery. He tells us his friends own the place and it isn’t to far out of town. We gotta go check it out. He pulls out a paper map and shows us about where it is, and we are off.
Side-tracked again, we follow Jim’s directions and once again the GPS sends us down the wrong road and off the path. I am so done with it, just stop talking to me. Back out comes the paper map and we find our way. Aha…Butterfly Creek Winery.
You know I will share the information on this little place, but I hesitate giving up the secret. Tucked down in a box canyon, once you are off the 2 lane highway, you will turn on a little one lane road, wind back in and meander through the vineyards, passing a beautiful white chapel standing amongst the vines.
Upon arriving at the tasting room, you will see that it is set in an old style barn. This is my kind of place, I love it already. It isn’t a huge commercial, overcrowded winery. Family owned and operated, this is a real gem.
Once inside we feel right at home. Nicki, the bookkeeper is pouring for us today and we are the only ones here. She is happy, friendly and knowledgeable about the wines and winery. We take a quick tour and see barrels full of wine aging in what used to be horse stalls.
We really enjoyed the wines. The White Merlot, is a Rose and chilled it is not to sweet, but so refreshing for a hot summer night. The red Campfire red makes a perfect table wine.
The labels on the bottles are what caught my eye in the Company Store. They tell the story of the winery. In vibrant colors, with a butterfly gracing the corner, each one is unique. A scene from Yosemite Valley, a cowboy on a bucking bronc, local wildflowers and a man standing in his vineyard, just beautiful.
Another local man pops in, we are visiting, learning about the area, enjoying great wine and conversation.
Off of the tasting room, they have a small gift shop, with gourmet jams, jellies, sauces, dips, chips and cards. We check it out and find a snack,
With our case of wine in hand, we say good-bye, go to the peaceful picnic grounds for a quick bite, under the big trees offering shade and listen to the bubbling of Butterfly Creek.
Back on the road, we realize we are never going to make Murphys. Save it for another trip and on to our next stop. We explored, met new people, found a real gem of a winery and had so much fun. These are the memories that make a trip so much fun.
I hope if you are taking a road trip this summer, you will take the paper map, find a treasure, explore and make great memories.
Find the winery at www.yosemitewine.com.