10112 E. Woodbridge Road, Acampo CA 95220 Phone: (209) 986-2763
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Saturday: Noon to 5:00 PM Sunday: Noon to 5:00 PM
One of the unique aspects of Heritage Oak Winery is that their customers are always invited to enjoy this beautiful piece of land that the family lives on. To make this possible we have developed a hiking trail down to a secluded beach along the Mokelumne River where you can enjoy a quiet picnic.
Heritage Oak guests are invited to bring their own food or purchase the food provided in one of their picnic bags. Inside each of our bags is a light meal for two, including salami, a small block of cheese (3 to 4 oz.), a package of crackers, an apple and two bottles of water. The bag also comes equipped with a table cloth, two cloth napkins, two wine glasses, a cork screw, a paring knife and a cutting board. The bags may be reserved in advance or simply picked up at the tasting room, if available. The price, $15, covers the cost of the food and use of the bag.
The trail starts at the winery so park your car beneath the giant blue oak in the spaces that are designated for hiking guests. Be sure to stop by the tasting room to let Tom and Carmela Hoffman know you will be going for a hike, sign the Property Use Agreement and pick up a bottle of wine. We recommend a bottle of our crisp, fruity Sauvignon Blanc. It is the perfect accompaniment with a light lunch. Ask Tom for a cork screw if you didn’t bring one.
From the parking lot, follow the sign that leads you southward down a dirt path between the vineyards. On your right are Chardonnay vines, on your left are Sauvignon Blanc.
On your way across the vineyards and all along the trail, you will pass a number of birdhouses. These are for our friends, the western bluebirds and the tree swallows. The owners Tom and Carmela Hoffman invite the birds to live there with them because they eat insects, which are helpful, and just because they are beautiful.
You will also notice a pair of larger birdhouses. These are for barn owls. We invite them for much the same reason as we encourage the other species. But barn owls are special because they only eat rodents. In a single nesting season, it is estimated that a family of barn owls will eat 2000 mice, gophers, shrews and moles.
At the end of the vineyards you approach the oak trees. Veer to the left and follow the trail as it skirts the bluff overlooking the river bottom.
As the trail begins to descend down into the river bottom, it joins a gravel road. Follow this road downward through the “Tree Tunnel.” On your left is our neighbor’s Petite Sirah vineyard. As the road begins to flatten out, look for the sign that indicates to make a sharp hairpin turn to the right. After making the turn, step over the cable or go through the turnstile. Then stay on the road as you make your way across the flood plain to the river on the other side.
On your left is a young Sauvignon Blanc vineyard. On your right is our wildlife sanctuary. The list of animals that live here is a long one. Some of the larger ones are mule deer, fox, mink, skunks, raccoons, opossum, wild turkey and coyote. To add to this list, beaver and otter are common in the river.
When the road makes a “T” intersection with the levee road, go to your right, then though another turnstile. Follow the road around a bend to the beach. There you will find picnic tables. Feel free to wade in the water or walk around the meadow. You are also welcome to go fishing, but don’t forget your license!
Let us not forget the wines. Heritage Oak Wines produces a number of varietals. For the white wine lover there is Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay and while not a white a Grenache Rose is produced as well. For those that prefer or simply enjoy the reds there are several Zinfandels, Tinto, Tempranillo and a reserve Syrah.