Murphys is named for the Irish immigrants that settled in this Gold Country town. Each year on St. Patrick's Day the community celebrates with a parade and special events. Good luck in Murphys abounds, say those who visit the popular destination, set on the edge of the forests at Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
While historic downtown Murphys is filled with charming stores, boutiques, eclectic restaurants, and event a museum, one of the highlights to any Murphys visit is Ironstone Vineyards, where another small museum, summer concerts with top bands, and wine-tasting all go hand in hand. Because of the winery's size, meeting space and commercial success, it has become the town's adopted home for seasonal events such as an Easter Egg Hunt for kids in the spring, and heart-warming Christmas celebrating with special dinners, shopping and entertainment.
When you visit Murphys, see downtown, eat there and hang around. But also be sure to visit Murphys where a huge gold nugget is on display. People rave about Ironstone Vineyard in Murphys in the golden foothills of the Sierras, but for gold fans, the winery impresses with the big gold nugget. It is the largest crystalline gold leaf specimen in the world, weighing 44 pounds. Discovered on Christmas Day 1992 by the Sonora Mining Company 15 miles from Ironstone Vineyards, the "Gold Pocket" is 98% pure, and is considered one of the most rare and precious natural gold formations in the world. It consists of gold that has been deposited in layers between quartz, clay, maraposite, decomposed shale and pyrite. It was soaked in an acid bath for nearly a year to unveil its facets of gold. The Heritage Museum within the winery has the nugget secured, yet visible for all to see. It is worth a look.
And while you are at the winery, be sure to take in the wine tasting, foods sold in the snack shop or dining room, and special events ranging from holiday brunches to special summer concerts in an outdoor amphitheatre.
Tasting Room and Gourmet Deli, gardens, gold panning, Wine Caverns, Culinary Center, Alhambra Theatre Pipe Organ, Amphitheatre, Lakeside Park and Sustainable Agriculture provide lots to see and do. The Heritage Museum & Jewelry Shoppe is closed on Tuesdays and major holidays, but is open every other day.