We toured Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park (we rated it a 4 with a well done visitor center) with our picnic lunch in tow. There are many, many picnic tables at the Park situated in very nice shaded areas. There is one picnic area called Beer Garden but there is no beer! So we asked in the visitor's center where to find a beer. The suggestion was Gold Hill Vineyard!
So 2 miles later we pulled into Gold Hill, found the tasting room and proceeded to "taste". We shared the 5 glass locally brewed sampler of ales for $7.50 (Old Miners Scoth Ale ranked highest). We sat on the deck and enjoyed overlooking this wineries beautifully situated vineyards. Although the deck tables with orange backed plastic chairs could be improved upon! We also sampled their BBQ sauces and jalapeno preserves which were very tasty. The Mrs bought a tin of their zinfandel chocolates.
The winery features red wines which we prefer. There is no tasting fee for at least 8 wines. We, as custom dictates, started at the top of the list and worked our way down. When we reached the 2008 Malbec, I felt it was one of the best wines I have ever tasted. As we reached the conclusion, our consensus was wow, we really like these wines. So we joined the wine club which requires 3 quarterly shipments or an agreed to $50 cancellation fee. "Hopefully" we will enjoy are future shipments as much as we enjoyed them at the winery.
We bought a bottle of the Malbec, grabbed our picnic foods from the car and walked a short distance down the road towards Lower Pond. There on a knoll are 4 semi-private picnic tables. We had our choice, so our view was directly out over the vineyards with the spellbinding California foothills and their mighty oaks as a backdrop. The table area is manicured with a lawn and a variety of native California flowers, ground covers and lavenders. Being long time Californians and lovers of "fine" picnics, this "dining" experience was just fabulous.
Joie de vivre!
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