When you think of Mariposa County, what comes to your mind? ... Yosemite National Park? Of course... But there is an amazing other, relatively unknown side to Mariposa County: Wine. One of our favorite wineries, Butterfly Creek Winery, is located in Mariposa County, and it's run by the friendliest winemaker you'll ever meet, Robert "Bob" Gerken.
Photo: It's a little after noon on Thursday, May 06, 2021, and we've arrived at Butterfly Creek Winery, located in beautiful Mariposa County.
The cozy winery is at the back end on the property, next to seasonal Butterfly Creek, and features inviting picnic tables to enjoy a bottle of wine, along with lunch. There is a grassy area which is a perfect place for kids to play.
Photo: The ferocious "guard dog" is asleep on the job in the parking lot, just outside the winery.
Photo: As you enter the winery, you'll be greeted by super friendly Bob Gerken, co owner of the winery, who serves samples from behind the bar. Butterfly Creek Winery features a "Yosemite theme," with lots of photos and paintings of Yosemite, as the winery is located less than an hour the park.
Unlike many large Napa Valley area wineries, Butterfly Creek Winery doesn't charge for samples, and the pours are very generous. Common courtesy dictates that you purchase at least a bottle of wine, of course. That's not a problem, as after sampling Bob's wine, you'll want to purchase at least a bottle, and most likely a case, as Butterfly Creek Winery makes some of the best wine in Mariposa County.
Photo: These are the samples we were enjoying today, as Bob lined them up on the bar for our "sampling' pleasure. We're regulars at this fine winery.
Photo: My brother Michael chats with Bob about wine, Yosemite and more as he enjoys a sample of Bob's fine product. Notice the rack of wine - if you're only purchasing a single bottle - and the painting of Yosemite Valley in the background.
Photo: The menu is posted above the bar and features all of the current offerings. Occasionally, Bob will produce wine that isn't on the menu, as I recall a previous visit in March of this year where he produced a bottle of 2012 vintage, Merlot for sample. It was amazing! He only had a few bottles left, so I took home a couple of them with me, and I'm saving them for a really special occasion.
Photo: Next to the tasting room there's a small gift shop that sells a variety of condiments, such as barbecue sauce, hot sauce, marinade, locally canned pickles, olive oil, pickled peppers, onions, along with tee shirts photos, paintings and souvenir wine glasses and beer mugs.
Some of the commercial products are locally produced, but all of the canned and bottled offerings are locally produced, in Central California.
Photo: Just outside the tasting room, I gook a peek into the wine cellar, where wine is aging in oak barrels.
Photo: Michael and I toast to Bob and his amazing wine with a happy "Cheers!" as Bob takes our photo as we stand behind his bar.
Michael and I each walked out with a "Mixed Case," containing 2019 White Riesling, 2016 Zinfandel and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. When you purchase a case, you get a 10% discount, and since both Michael and I appreciate Bob's amazing wine, a case is the way to go.
Lets go back to Tuesday, April 19, 2016 to enjoy a previous visit at Butterfly Creek Winery.
Photo: Butterfly Creek Winery is located about fifteen minutes outside the small Central-Sierra community of Mariposa, in the beautiful foothills. All of the wine grapes that make the fantastic wine produced by Butterfly Creek are grown on the property, which is situated at around 3000 feet, in Mariposa County. The spacious grounds includes a shady park, located next to Butterfly Creek, a picnic area, and a lot more. Besides producing wine, the winery offers catering, and special events, including weddings. If you care to be married at Butterfly Creek Winery, there is a small chapel located above the winery/tasting room, shown in the right of the photo, and the friendly winemaster is an ordained minister.
Photo: Meet Mr. Robert "Bob" Gerken, winemaster, and great guy, who's also the "chief cook and bottlewasher" at Butterfly Creek Winery. Bob will greet you with a friendly smile, and offer you lots of information about the area, including everything you ever wanted to know about Yosemite National Park. The winery is located near the park, and Bob is a great enthusiast of Yosemite, and an accomplished outdoorsman, so if there is anything you care to ask about Yosemite, especially when it comes to hiking or camping, just ask Bob when you visit the winery.
If you want to know everything about Mariposa County wine, you can ask Bob, or better, just sample his fine wine. Butterfly Creek Winery offers several delicious varieties of wine, and they're all grown, produced, barreled and bottled in-house, at this fine winery.
Unlike the wineries located to the far west, in Napa Valley, Butterfly Creek Winery does not charge a tasting fee, the atmosphere is not rushed, nor is it "commercial," and you won't have to deal with bus loads of tourists. Naturally, as you sample the wine, good etiquette advises that you purchase a bottle, or two of wine, but in my experience, you'll want to purchase a case or two, as the wine is delicious, the prices are very "friendly," and the tasting experience is unmatched.
Photo: A small gift shop is co-located in the same building as the tasting room, and it offers a variety of wares made by local artisans in Mariposa County. Offerings include olives, salsa, olive oil vinegar, paintings, among other items. I "homed in" on seasoned sea salt, offered by Yosemite Sierra, a local company, as I've enjoyed their fine products for many years, and, in addition to a few bottles of wine, I purchased a couple of jars of the best sea salt offered in the Sierras.
Photo: After asking Bob's permission, I walked into the winery, to photo a few barrels of wine, that Bob plans to bottle the following weekend.
Photo: Butterfly Creek Winery offers a relaxed, fun, tasting room. Mr. Bob Gerken opens another bottle of his fine wine, as my brother, Michael, and my lovely wife, Sharlene, discuss wine with Bob. Today, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, we sampled six varities of his great wine. In addition to purchasing the two bottles of sea salt, Sharlene and took home a bottle of the following wine:
* 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
We usually take home a case, but today were a tad "wined out," so we only took home three bottles. No worries, as we'll be back next month to bring home a case or two of the wonderful wine produced by Butterfly Creek Winery.
Unlike the many, more famous wineries located to the west in Napa Valley, Butterfly Creek Winery does not have a tasting charge, and offers friendly wine tasting, in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, hosted by the friendliest winemaster you'll ever meet. You're not rushed by bus loads of tourists, and you're encouraged to enjoy the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain scenery the winery has to offer, and sample some of the best wine that I've ever tasted. Enjoy the wine, the beautiful mountain scenery, the fine company, and be sure to bring a bottle, or a case, of some of the finest wine available in Mariposa County home with you.
Butterfly Creek Winery
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