4 Places to Stay During Bottle Your Own Weekend

As Bottle Your Own Wine Weekend draws closer, we know that many of our guests travel quite a distance from out of town to join us for this annual event. Below are three great places to book a stay in the Fair Play area:

The Winemaker’s Guest House

Located atop a hill overlooking our estate vineyards, the Winemaker’s Guest House offers a private bed and breakfast experience with two rooms and kitchen, a gorgeous view of the Sierra Foothills, and of course, quick access to the winery and all the wine your heart desires. The Guest House is available year-round and offers the perfect place to stay during our Bottle Your Own Wine events.


Seven-Up Guest RanchSeven Up

Just down the street from Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards, Seven-Up Guest Ranch offers guests an historic and rustically inspired cabins complete with a private bathroom, microwave, and mini fridge. Whether on a walk or relaxing on your cabin’s front porch, you’ll experience the retreat atmosphere of the ranch and be immersed in a historically significant and working farm.


Lucinda’s Country Inn

Lucinda’s Country Inn is a contemporary, craftsman-style home turned into a bed and breakfast. The inn’s rooms are spacious suites of over 600 square feet and offer all the convenience and comfort of a home. Amenities include luxurious robes, flowers, huge showers, tubs, fireplaces, individually controlled heat and air and televisions.  Enjoy complimentary wine and snacks in the Great Room and a sumptuous hot breakfast, served buffet style, in the dining room.


Stoney Creek Inn & Vineyards

Stoney Creek InnRight next door to Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards is Stoney Creek Inn & Vineyards, a hundred-year-old homestead that has been updated for comfort and enjoyment and furnished with antiques and wine memorabilia that make each room unique.

5 Creative Things To Do With Popped Corks

Let’s face it, we all drink a lot of wine, which means we throw out tens (possibly hundreds) of corks out each year. Instead of adding to our ever-growing landfills, here are five creative ways to repurpose those corks:

1. Make Cork Keychains
Cork Keychains

Have you ever been out on a boat in Lake Tahoe and lost your keys to its cold, murky depths? Never again.

2. Step Up Your Spread Game
Cork Spreads

Impress your guests at your next wine and cheese pairing with these unique cheese knives.

3. Plant Some Tiny Succulents
Cork Succulants

Paste a magnet on them to add a unique look to your ‘fridge or other metal surfaces.

4. Light Up Your Dinner Table
Cork Candles

Add the finishing touch to any homemade, romantic dinner with these candles.

5. Upgrade Your Bath Mat
Cork Bath Mat

Enjoy a nice, relaxing bath with a glass of wine, then keep the mood going when you step out.

3 Places to Stay in Fair Play

We recently wrote about some of the many things you can do in El Dorado County to make a whole weekend trip out of your next visit. Of course, if you’re coming into the area from afar or are simply looking for a relaxing weekend getaway, you’ll need a place to stay. Below are three charming bed and breakfasts to stay at during your next visit to the area:

  1. Lucinda’s Country Inn
    LucindaLucinda’s is a contemporary, craftsman-style home turned into a bed and breakfast. The inn’s rooms are spacious suites of over 600 square feet and offer all the convenience and comfort of a home. Your comfort and enjoyment is the  primary purpose of Lucinda’s.  From comfy seating in the sitting areas to ultra-plush beds and exquisite sheets, this bed and breakfast will pamper you.  Amenities include luxurious robes, flowers, huge showers, tubs, fireplaces, individually controlled heat and air and televisions.  Enjoy complimentary wine and snacks in the Great Room and a sumptuous hot breakfast, served buffet style, in the dining room. Lucinda’s also hosts special happenings during the year, such as a wagon ride, a murder mystery weekend, winemaker dinners and more.

  3. The Cottage at Perry Creek
    The CottageThe Cottage at Perry Creek is located in the heart of El Dorado wine country and offers guests a true feel of the region with its wine country and Sierra-inspired décor. Equipped with all the comforts of a first class accommodation and furnished with antique and modern touches, your stay at the cottage is sure to leave you pleasantly surprised. The cottage provides a perfect stay in Fair Play for romantic couples seeking all the comforts of a home paired with country inn amenities. Situated on a five-acre horse ranch and bordered by a vineyard, this one bedroom cottage can accommodate up to four guests comfortably. Guests can get quality rest in the spacious bedroom featuring a luxury pillow top king mattress and charming country views.  Quality linens, towels and toiletry products are supplied and the cottage offers HiFi stereo with CD player, satellite TV with DVD player, WiFi access and a private outdoor lawn and BBQ area with umbrella table and lounge chair seating. The fully stocked kitchen has everything one could need and also provides an expanded, self-service continental breakfast, along with lots of special treats for snacking throughout the day.

  5. Flemings’ Wine Country Retreat
    FlemingsFlemings’ Wine Country Retreat offers guests one and two-bedroom apartments filled with unique decor and luxurious amenities. Each room offers a private deck with barbeque and a stunning view. Guests can stroll through the perennial flowers and herb garden or soak in a private hot tub while sipping a complimentary bottle of wine from one of the 40 local wineries. An extensive collection of DVDs, CDs and novels are available for your viewing pleasure when you feel like staying in and relaxing. A small pool, deck with lounge chairs, margarita bar, and bocce court are also available for your private use. The bed and breakfast also offers continental breakfast upon request.

Bonus: Last, but certainly not least, Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards offers the Winemaker’s Guest House as a place for guest to stay. The Guest House is located right on our estate vineyards and offers a private bed and breakfast experience with two rooms and kitchen, a gorgeous view of the Sierra Foothills, and of course, quick access to the winery and all the wine your heart desires. Guests will usually drive up on Friday for Endless Pizza Night, stay the night in the Winemaker’s Guest House and enjoy a private vineyard tour and tasting on Saturday. Whatever your itinerary, you are always welcome to make Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards your home away from home.

What Tasty BBQ and Good Wine Have in Common

People generally don’t think that wine and BBQ pair well together, but they actually have a lot in common, especially if you are using wood for your fire.

Let’s start with what you know and love: wine. Wine is aged in oak barrels. These barrels impart the subtle flavors of the wood into the wine. Aging wine in oak gives it a higher quality feel, along with additional taste characteristics. Through this process, the wood releases chemical compounds (phenols), which give the wine aromas of vanilla, caramel and other sweet scents, as well as the occasional smoky flavor. The end product of an oak aged wine is one with soft round flavors and a beautiful color to match.

As you probably know, oak has a similar effect with BBQ. Have you ever been sitting around a campfire for a while and leave to find yourself smelling like smoke? This is because the gases released by the wood as it was burning have infused into your clothes. Seems pretty obvious, right? The same thing happens when you use wood for your grill— the smoke particles attach to the meat giving it a smoky flavor. Different woods give different flavors and pair well with various foods (just like wine). Oak is best used when cooking beef or pork, as it is heavy wood that provides a medium to heavy smoky flavor without overpowering the characteristics of the meat.

Did you know you can combine wine, oak and smoke to create the perfect harmony of smoky meat with a hint of wine? By repurposing used wine barrels into wood chips or even logs, you can cook with wine and wood at the same time. Next time you are barbecuing, try adding some oak chips soaked in your favorite wine and see if you can taste the flavors.

Red: To Chill or Not To Chill

Red wines are traditionally served at room temperature, which is why your mother probably told you never to drink your red wine chilled. However, this tradition originated during the dark ages, a time where room temperatures were much cooler than they are now. Whether you blame global warming or recognize that people no longer live in concrete fortresses, the average room temperature has risen over the centuries. This means that it is acceptable and almost recommended to drink red wine chilled (especially in the summer).

An old red that is too warm tastes old, and a young red can’t show off its flavors. The perfect temperature to drink your chilled red is around 62℉- 65℉ (30 minutes in the refrigerator), which gives you the ability to separate the fruit profile and tannic structure. Not all reds need time in the refrigerator, but that does not mean they should not be chilled. Full-bodied wines like Zinfandel are best chilled in an ice bucket. With the heat of summer rising, now is the perfect time to go against the norm and try a chilled glass of your favorite red.

Three Things to Do in El Dorado County (After Wine Tasting)

Ever wonder what there is to do in El Dorado County (besides wine tasting at Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards, of course)?  As part of the Sierra Nevada, El Dorado County lends itself to people with a wide range of interests.  From the wine lover to the history buff, there are countless activities to explore.  Below are three things to do to make a whole weekend out of your trip to El Dorado County:

1. Explore Gold Bug Park
California is known for the Gold Rush that started right here in El Dorado County in the late 1840s and early 1850s.  Located in Placerville, Gold Bug Park was once a working gold mine that is now open to the public. Relive history as you explore the museum and Gold Bug Mine with a self guided tour. Afterward, you can enjoy a picnic lunch and even sift for your own gold!  For more information and directions visit: http://www.goldbugpark.org/

2. Hike the Countryside
As part of the Sierra Nevada, El Dorado County is full of hiking trails suitable to everyone from beginners to seasoned hikers.  Hike through the unique forests of the Sierra Nevada and visit parks such as Eddy Arboretum or Eldorado State Park, which features many hiking trails and paths throughout the county.  Located in Pollock Pines, at the foot of the park, Sly Park offers another option with a variety of activities like hiking, running, cycling, and fishing for you to enjoy.  For more specific locations visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/eldorado/recreation/hiking/?recid=71008&actid=50

3. Visit Apple Hill
The more than 50 members of the Apple Hill Growers Association make it easy for you to find everything from apple and fruit farms to bake shops and Christmas tree farms in the winter.  With locations in Camino, Cedar Grove, Pollock Pines, and Placerville, Apple Hill vendors are perfect for a quick snack or apple, berry and pumpkin picking! For more information and farm details visit: http://www.applehill.com/


Wine Barrel Skateboards

Ever wonder what other uses there are for wine barrels besides aging wine? There are an infinite amount of possibilities that include making a table, chair, shelf, or even a fire pit! Charles B. Mitchell’s favorite use, besides aging his array of single-vineyard wines, is making skateboards out of old barrels (yes, Charles skates!).

Check out the video below to see how it’s done:

Each board has its own unique pattern and color, making it a collectors item or a great gift for the wine lover in your life. Next time you’re at the winery, if you ask nicely, Charles might just make you one. You just have to drink the wine first.

7 Wines for Beer Drinkers

Comparing beer to wine is like comparing apples to oranges—it can’t be done. Or can it? Beer and wine actually have more in common than you may think, with most beers having a wine counterpart based on their flavor profiles. Swap your bottle opener for a corkscrew and see what wine can bring to the table. Below are seven beers and their wine counterparts that will challenge even the most faithful beer lovers:
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6 White Wines to Rethink Your “Reds-Only” Stance

If you’ve been snubbing white wine from your cellar, it may be time to rethink your relationship with it. Summer is the perfect time to reintroduce white wine into your life. The wine’s refreshing fruit flavors pair excellently with the season’s seafood, chicken, and even steak dishes, while it can also be enjoyed chilled on its own in the warm weather. Below are six white wines to try that may change your stance on this summertime favorite:

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