The Other Shenandoah Valley

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The beautiful Shenandoah Valley stretches 200 miles across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains of Virginia. A lesser known Shenandoah Valley in the Sierra Nevada foothills also offers country roads with breathtaking views and charming postcard-perfect farms. This undiscovered California gem features rolling, golden hills studded with majestic oaks and rolling vineyards producing exceptional full-bodied […]

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Coopers Vineyards, Dollar Bill & Barbera

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Dick Cooper, whose family originally arrived in the Sierra Foothills in 1919, is generally considered Amador County’s “Godfather of Barbera.” The whole Barbera thing came almost as an accident—the name of a grape jotted down on a dollar bill. Zinfandel might be Amador’s heritage grape, but it is a grape that does well in other parts of California. Barbera, on the […]

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Grace Patriot: From Patriot To Award-Winning Wine

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Cashing in on some gold rush history, we recently traveled California Highway 49 sampling the distinct flavors of the region. This is where a local wine industry is emerging as the new Mother Lode. El Dorado County’s Grace Patriot Wines, a family-run business, provides not only award-winning wine, but history to the area. Their scenic property lies […]

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Towns Along the Gold Rush Trail: Mokelumne Hill & San Andreas


Due to its historic nature as one of the original areas settled by gold mining hopefuls in California’s Gold Rush of 1849, each town in Calaveras County has its quaint, historic center with charming buildings featuring Victorian architecture. In today’s post we’ll discuss two of these charming towns: Mokelumne Hill and San Andreas. Mokelumne Hill […]

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Towns Along the Gold Rush Trail: Amador City & Sutter Creek

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The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 changed the course of California’s and the nation’s history. Although most of the mining camps faded after the mines closed, tourism has brought some of them back to life. Amador City One of California’s smallest incorporated cities, with a population of just over 200 residents, Amador City is […]

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Out & About In Southern California

Located in Palm Desert, the world famous El Paseo Shopping District features over 300 world-class shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, jewelers, and restaurants lined along a picture-postcard floral and statue-filled mile. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Southern California boasts a diverse geographical terrain—you can experience the desert, sandy beaches, and snow-capped mountains all within just a few hour’s drive. Start your Southern California journey with something sweet by visiting Shields Date Garden in Indio and you’ll find yourself in a date oasis where the Shields have been growing their own since […]

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