More than 250 wineries have sprung up in the 10 counties that can be considered part of the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The wines being produced are incredible: intense, unique, sometimes even experimental in terms of blends and varietals. Learn more about this great and growing California wine region!
around Murphys last weekend, I wandered into the tasting room for Bunting
Wines.I hadn’t been to Murphys for a
while, and needed a refresher on the Calaveras County wine scene.
Bunting is a
welcome addition to the cluster of tasting rooms in Murphys on and near Main
Street, and I thoroughly enjoyed tasting through a few wines with Garrett
Neeley, the young and amiable tasting room manager.
specializes in Rhone varietals and their offerings are all the classics you’d
expect:Grenache, Marsanne, Syrah, and a
GSM blend.A 2009 Muscat Canelli is
their first dessert wine Garrett noted that their most consumer-popular wine
was their Syrah, and it is a nice not-so-tannic wine, and is at the upper end of their price range
at $42 a bottle.
was their 2012 Red Blend GSM, which they call a Cuvee’ Rouge.The grapes are sourced from Vallecito (not
far from Murphys) and the blen is 44% Grenache, 44% Mouvedre and 12%
Syrah.It is really yummy, and at $32
the bottle, it is a good value in my estimation.Alcohol is 14.2%
Tasting Room Manager
primarily grapes from the nearby Sierra Foothills vineyards in and around
Calaveras, in particular their own Pyshon
Vineyard which is just over 6.5 acres in Vallecito.Mourvedre, Grenache, Marsanne, and Roussanne
vines were planted in 2004, using French ENTAV clones.Grapes for the Syrah come from Flicker Oaks
Vineyard in Mokelumne Hill, Calaveras
County, managed by Steve Collum.
owner of Lavender Ridge Vineyard in Calaveras County, has served as a
consulting winemaker.I personally love it
when that happens … it is so much a part of the sharing-expertise tradition of
Sierra Foothills wineries, and a wonderful attribute of wineries in this
California wine region.
The Bunting Winery tasting room is located
at 397 Main Street.Open seven days a
week from 11am until 5pm. They also
offer wine by the glass on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm-7pm.
For more information, go to