The Art of Travel Meets the Art of Wine

Venture Off the Beaten Path to Gold Country California

Nothing compares to savoring a vintage bottle of wine. From the rich aroma that drifts from an open bottle to the bold explosion that touches your tongue, the art of wine — like the art of travel — is a refined legacy for your senses. At Monaco Coach, we love a good legacy, especially one built around artful craft and rich history, so we’re steering you toward California wine country and then off the beaten wine path toward Gold Country California.

“Wine is bottled poetry.”  — Robert Louis Stevenson, a late 1800s travel writer

Most wine and travel inspiration directories steer the masses toward Napa Valley or Sonoma County, but there’s another region that’s rich in California wine history, adding a touch of Gold Rush nostalgia. Instead of battling the crowds in Napa and Sonoma, consider a trip to Gold Country California, where the roots of Zinfandel grapevines run as deep as veins of gold in northeast California.

The art of winemaking in this region dates back to the Gold Rush days of the 1850s. Today, a winemaking renaissance has spurred a resurgence of scenic wineries, tasting rooms and wine tours throughout the Sierra foothills. More than 100 wineries can be found here with Zinfandel being the favorite varietal. Many of the wineries are family owned, which adds a special handcrafted charm to each bottle uncorked. In fact, California’s third oldest winery is located here, established by a Swiss immigrant who brought grapes from Europe.

And because we love history as much as the art of wine, we’re easily charmed by the Gold Rush story that instigated the largest mass migration in U.S. history, resulting in 300,000 pioneers mining more than 20,000 ounces of gold from these very foothills. The Empire Mine State Historic Park is a favorite stop where you can embark on a Gold Rush mansion and mineyard adventure, or visit the Moaning Cavern near Angels Camp to explore the largest public cavern in California, a vertical chamber large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty. 


Pair your wine tasting travels with any one of these California Gold Country events:

  1. For a hopping good time, visit Gold Country during May’s wacky Calaveras County Fair, where the annual Frog Jump Jubilee recreates a Mark Twain short story. Since 1928, locals have pitted frog against frog to see which critter could leap the furthest for a $5,000 prize. The best jump in history goes to Rosie the Ribeter with a 21-plus-foot leap.
  2. Summer is prime for outdoor events. The area is abundant with state parks discoveries, whitewater adventures and numerous historic towns. The tiny town of Plymouth is a favorite stop for food and wine enthusiasts alike.
  3. During autumn, the Gold Country is ablaze in fiery red. Grape vineyards and apple orchards are ready for harvest. Apple Hill is a favorite locale for “you-pick farms” teeming with crisp apples. The popular Strawberry Music Festival is also in September.



While there are a number of RV parks sprinkled throughout Gold County, if you’re looking for a true luxury resort, one of your best bets is Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, California. Nestled on the Sacramento River, this immaculate resort features paved sites, including riverfront and fountain spaces. The resort also features a lodge, pool, spa and long list of on-site activities.