A Destination Winery in the Sierra Foothills Garnering High Scores and Gold Medals
On the lookout for an under-discovered wine destination? Just a two- hour drive East of San Francisco is Murphys, Calaveras County, in the Sierra Foothills, the home to over 30 family- owned and operated boutique wineries, all of which welcome visitors year-round.
In August of 2007, Frog’s Tooth Winery, in collaboration with six other established wineries opened their tasting room with their 2005 vintage. The vintners join a charming array of restaurants and shops on a mile-long stretch of Main Street.
Frogs Tooth owners, Larry and Pamela Aderman, along with winemaker Will SavoieHoule, are committed to getting to know their customers. They are often on hand to serve their guests and tell their story, including how they developed their motto “If Wine Can Have Legs, then Frog’s Can Have Teeth” and the relevance of Mark Twain’s famed short story, The Celebrated Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County.
WINEMAKING IN THE SIERRA FOOTHILLS
By 1890, there were over 100 vineyards in the Sierra Foothills, a result of the 1849 Gold seekers bringing vines from their native lands. Back in those days, through ownership of a Tavern or Way House, people fermented grapes, made their own wine, and brewed their own beer. Just as most growers and vintners in the 1920’s, prohibition put them all out of business, and did not resurge until the 1970s.
PRESENT DAY WINEMAKING
At Frog’s Tooth, wine lovers discover a multitude of medal-winning varietals, all small batch and handcrafted, utilizing fruit mostly from their 10-acre estate. This year alone, Frog’s Tooth wines have garnered over 40 medals at prestigious competitions. Their 2016 vintage scored numerous accolades, including their Syrah 99 Points and a Best in Class award at the California State Fair, 94 Points for the Pinot Noir, Sunset International Competition and 91 Points for the Malbec, West Coast Wine Competition.
Larry credits their young winemaker, Will SavoieHoule with their competition successes and an exceptional palate. Will lays claim to being the only head winemaker in the region who was born and raised
in Calaveras County. After two weeks of interning in the Sierra Foothills at age 19, SavoieHoule knew that his destiny was winemaking. Now at 31 years young and sporting a 99 Point winner at the California State Fair, the proof is in the tasting.
Tasting experiences at Frog’s Tooth are hosted in the main tasting room or relaxing outside on the deck listening to music. For
$10, guests sample six wines and are often treated to something special from “under the counter.” Bottle prices are as reason- able as the tasting fee. The convenience of the multi-room tasting experience offers a safe, easily accessible pedestrian environment for visitors to relax and avoid the hassles of driving. So much so, most guests don’t want to leave. Open year-round, seven days a week, with a dog and kid- friendly environment.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
380 Main Street, Suite Five, Murphys, CA 95247
Article By: Eve Bushman