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Monday, June 2, 2014

Delta Treasures

via Mary Engelbriet on her FB page

Another Sunday, another day off for hubby, and another day spent together out for a drive to see what "trouble" we can get into for a few hours. This time it was to an area not too far from Muse Cottage, the Delta. Ann inland region just outside of Sacramento where one can take a long scenic drive down a winding tree draped road. The road follows along a beautiful river, passes by acres and acres of farmland, vineyards, and orchards. One can spot beautiful old homes, wild life, and small towns that seem to take one back in time as you drive down their main streets. It was not our first time for exploring the area, but it had been a long time since doing it. Our destination, with a couple of pit stops, Clarksburg and The Old Sugar Mill. (both of which I have shared in previous wine and daycation posts... you can find them under the labels section of the blog)

While just taking our time to drive down the side of the river that we rarely take, we saw the sign for a place we had been meaning to visit for quite some time, The Grand Island Mansion. Now a premier event location, it has been featured in countless magazines and has hosted the likes of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan among other well known public figures. The Italian Renaissance style mansion, that consists of 4 stories, 28,000 square feet, and 58 room mansion was designed by J.W. Oliver, the renowned San Francisco architect in the year 1917. He designed the home for Louis Meyers and his wife, the daughter of a well known department store chain at the time, Audrey. It sits just around a bend on the road bearing the same name, and  takes your breath away when it comes into view. It is only open for public viewing during their Sunday brunches, and one day we hope to return and see it close up. 

Having stretched our legs and soaking in the view of both the mansion and the river that runs across the road near where we had parked we went in search of our next destination, Miner's Lap Winery. Located at  54250, South River Road,  in Clarksburg, sits a barn that sits upon breath taking grounds . They produce hand crafted artisan wines from rare and unique varietals. We managed to miss the drive way as it comes up pretty fast when traveling down the main road, for which it is located, but once we found a place to turn around, and located where the parking was, it was time for some wine tasting. Tasting fees are 5.00 each and will be refunded with purchase. The tastings this day were poured from a bar located at the opening of the barn and surrounded by patios, pathways and gardens. There was plenty of places to sit and relax while sipping either your tastings or wine by the glass while Spanish guitar music played in the back ground and water misters kept everyone cooled off on what was becoming a very warm late Spring day. We enjoyed our time and the wine we had while there, but decided to not purchase any bottles and just paid for our tastings. You can learn more about the family, the wine and the location by clicking the link up above. 

The offerings 
Just part of the beautiful surrounding grounds
The barn where everyone gathers and samples the wines.

How could you not be happy sipping good wine, in a lovely garden
 on a sunny and beautiful day??

The fashion shot for the day... enjoying the sips. 

Having paid our tab it was time to go to our original destination, The Old Sugar Mill. It was only a hop, skip and a jump, a turn down Clarksburg road and then onto Willow Avenue, we arrived. As I said I have shared a few of our visits to this one stop sip and shop destination in previous blogs, it is always an enjoyable place to spend the afternoon. There are currently 10 wineries located at the Mill and from what we saw and understand in the next two years there will be many more. The mill also hosts a variety of special events, public picnic days and weddings. You have to know how to limit yourself and pour out, and it is always a good idea to have a designated driver and or plan to spend enough time, perhaps over a picnic meal that you can bring with you either from home or the few places close by that offer food to go until you sober up.  Hubby and I have learned over the years how to sip just enough, pour out the rest, drink loads of water, eat belly filling food and limit ourselves to just a couple of wineries each visit so that we are completely sober by the time we get back on the road, one has to be responsible! Also be sure to have your credit card or cash handy for both wine tastings, which are 5.00 per person, refundable with purchase, and of course your purchases.. and maybe a cooler to get the wine home well protected from the heat of the day.  ANYWAY... this visit we decided to try a couple of new to us wineries. Draconis Wines and Due Vigne. Our first stop was Draconis, where we were lucky enough to meet the wine maker Matt Powell.  "Draconis is a true underground wine hidden from view and selling for years to only private lists, Matt Powell and his Draconis brand are known simply for intense and silky smooth wines. Draconis Winery presents the finest in completely hand-made wines. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Syrah only." I can tell you this, we truly enjoyed each and every offering and went home with a very special bottle of Petite Sirah to add to our wine fridge and enjoy later. 

The Old Sugar Mill 

Doing my best "Vanna" and showing off
the wineries currently housed at the mill. 

Time for a selfie ...Enjoying our day out together... 

Still think my hubbies kisses are better than wine.

Now on to the wine...


After sipping and purchasing at Draconis we headed to Due Vigne, also not there the last time we visited the mill, we were excited to try the wine. Jeremy Maron was our guide through the tastings of Italian style offerings, and just like Draconis we throughly enjoyed the offerings and went home with another Petite Sirah and a smile on our face for doing so. You can learn all about the wineries, the wines and The Old Sugar Mill by clicking on the link HERE. Having had some great conversions and wine, it was time to eat again before the drive home. So we headed back towards River Road and the historic Husicks . Located at 36510 Riverview Dr,  there in Clarksburg it has always been a destination for us when in the area for getting a great sandwich and something cold to drink. Sadly in the past quite often they would be closed for the season, well no more! Under new ownership, and from what we found out, a new way of doing things and a new attitude of doing them, it is open year round from Thursday through Sunday. Featuring meats, smoked on the premises, beer and wine both by the glass and to take home, as well as an array of hand made furniture created out of old wine barrels, it is a fun and funky place to make a pit stop. You are greeted warmly as you walk in by Katherine van Diest , with a smile that lights up a room and who makes you feel like you are a very welcomed and well cared for guest in her own home. She was eager to share what was new, and what was good for a late afternoon snack. 


The sips... beer on tap and in the bottle, as well as a fine offering of local wines... and of course,
water, soda's and juices. 

The eats! 

Our Eats... freshly in house smoked tri tip on Hawaiian rolls, and a mixed green salad ...
Goodness gracious it was tasty!!! 
The warm and friendly faces of Husicks 

After we devoured our "snack" we had a chance to visit with the head of North Delta C.A.R.E.S, Anna Swenson. Turns out that Hesicks is home base to the committee to stop the tunnels at the Delta. Anna shared with me all the little known truths about the proposed tunnels also known as The Bay Area Conversation  Plan or BDCP, and what it truly is all about as well as the impact that it will have on their community, their environment and the treasure that is the Delta region. The list of unjust acts going into the plan made our jaws dropped, including the fact that the information is not even available to those who live in the area who do not read or speak English. She handed me stacks of pamphlets, books really, papers, as well as a DVD, all of which would take me weeks to read I fear and with a deadline of June 13th to possibly delay any actions from this happening, I was overwhelmed and saddened that I could most likely do little more than I am doing here, which is sharing each and every link and email addy she gave me so that IF you are reading this and live in the Delta region of Sacramento and wish to fight the BDCP, you could still have time to do that. They hold meetings at Husicks every Thursday evening after hours and there is food and drinks and plenty of valuable information available

You can contact Anna at , by phone at (530) 570-9641/ (916) 761-4726, You can go to their facebook page by clicking HERE, And learn even more at their web site by clicking HERE

Till the next adventure... remember...

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