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El Bloggo Torcido

("The Twisted Blog" - more or less)

Welcome to the new home of The Twisted Blog! If you are looking for older posts you can find them here. Have fun!

El Jefe
June 15, 2017 | El Jefe

A Massive Missed Twisted Missive!

The Twisted Missive!
Issue #5

I'm just going to flat out admit that the whole Missive thing got away from me in May - so much to do to get concerts and pizza nights going - and the prognosis for June is still running flat out. What's going on, you might ask? Well, read on Montague!

Speaking of Concerts and Pizzas....

front country!

Don't forget that we're having Twisted Pizza and Music Nights on selected Fridays all summer long! The next one is this Friday starting at 5pm at our Murphys Tasting Room - come and grab a pie and bottle!

And concerts at the winery! The next concert is June 24th featuring modern bluegrass band Front Country - you won't want to miss this! Get your tickets here!

In This Missive

  • Powdery Mildew? - boo hoo!
  • A Naming Contest? - woo hoo!
  • Meet the Crew? - you hoo!
  • Wine in the Summer? - you bet!

Farming da Grape, Part XXXVII

If you live or hang out in Northern California - or suffer from a seriously twisted weather addiction - you may have noticed the unusually cool and moist weather we've been having up here lately. (Heck, as I type this I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt - and the summer solstice is just a week away!)

purty vineyard picture

At times of extreme weather I am often asked how this affects the grapes. Most of the time, the answer is "not very much." In the winter the vines are basically asleep and don't care about rain, snow, wind, or toads falling from the sky. We have a period of time in the spring where frost is always a threat, but once we get into the nice warm month of May we can breathe a sigh of relief...

Unless we get a cold and wet spring like we are having now. The grapes are fine... except that soggy grapes make conditions ripe for powdery mildew. We can weather the occasional wet storm during the spring and summer months, as long as the storm is followed by a nice bit of heat to make the problem evaporate. So to speak.

Last year Twisted Oak got certified as Sustainable... which smells a lot like Organic certification (heh) but without all the paperwork. Everything we do in the vineyard is done to maintain the natural cycle. We use natural sprays for whatever is needed, and usually spray at night so the beneficial insects are not affected - and certainly nothing that will harm bees - we like bees! All natural waste - stems, seeds, grape sediments - spends the winter in the back 40 and is returned to the vineyard as fertilizer.

So when the mildew threatens on a wet day like today, we use an oil-based spray product to prevent it. The oil - mixed with water - keeps the mildew spores from germinating, and also controls the little buggers that bring the spores. And that makes for happy grapes and yummy wine! Or as they say on the tee vee...

the more you know

The Vintage Green Bride's Private Tasting Room

earls by maria
The Earls at Twisted Oak 2017,
photo by Maria Camillo

Ima gonna tell you all about that in a moment, but first: Last month's survey produced some great responses! Here are just a few:

  • Shari: "I am so looking forward to Sonny Landreth because I am a sucker for the white-boy blues! (Especially when there's a guitar god involved.)"
  • Angel: "I'm most excited for the pine Leaf Boys concert on July 8th! I love their Ragin Cajun music it makes me feel as if I was in New Orleans for real! I think you would be an awesome treat to go see them at your Vineyard and enjoy some good wine with a loved one."
  • Kevin: "Most excited about Sonny Landreth because he owes me 10 bucks. NEVER loan a musician money."
  • Jon: "Holy *%#&@!....  Sonny Landreth?!!  You better clear the brush way back from the stage,  he might just set the hilltop on fire!!!" 
  • Briana: "I LOVE Sonny Landreth. His bottleneck slide guitar is unrivaled! I am really hoping to come up and see him in concert. Especially since that is my birthday weekend!"
  • Julie: "I love Pine Leaves because they aren't really leaves and I love Boys so I want to see the Pine Leaf Boys!"
rubber chicken dustbowl fun
A little rubber chicken fun with the Dustbowl Revival!
  • Nigel: "I would definitely be excited about the Earls of Leicester concert. This is not ONLY because I am from England originally and know how to pronounce Leicester correctly but also, to quote your own words, Jerry Douglas is a legendary and world-renowned dobroist!"

And the winner, chosen at random, is... Julie! Now, what about that funky room?

If you have visited the winery, you may have noticed that very cluttered office at the opposite corner of the building. That's supposed to be my office but frankly I don't do a lot of office-ing in there these days. So instead we are turning it into a sort of all-purpose room, for the bride at weddings, for musicians at concerts, and most importantly, for you!

A Private Tasting Room! This will be a place you can reserve to enjoy a personal tasting of our entire lineup, plus a previous vintage or two - and also enjoy a tour of the winery, and even grab a little taste of something in the cave.

But... this room needs a name! I have asked myself and the crew, and none of us has yet come up with a name we like.

So, we are asking you: Name our new private tasting slash bride's room slash concert green room. Just reply to this email with your best idea. If we pick your name, you'll get a $35 MasterCluck gift card. (In the event of a tie, the first person to suggest a name will get the gift card.)

Meet the Crew - A New Feature!

Speaking of the crew... our new Event Coordinator Lynnie is writing a new feature for the Missive, each time featuring a member of the Twisted Crew. Take it away....

Here's Kelsey! An old soul, born and raised across the river in Jamestown, CA. Kelsey only watches one show on TV, reruns of M*A*S*H. And she only listens to Classic Rock, Country, and Punk on vinyls on her record player at home, and a cassette player in her truck. Kelsey and Nick, her fiancee (sorry guys), live in a 100 year old home in Angels Camp, with their two babies: an American pit bull mix named Peggy, and a frisky young black lab named Beau. Kelsey & Nick’s hobbies are rock climbing, hiking, gardening, and fishing and hunting, providing the only meat they eat. They grow all their own veggies and their passion is restoring old hot rods and classic cars: 1952 Mercury, 1931 Buick, 1972 Scout, and... a motorcycle. Come visit Kelsey at either of our tasting rooms!


Summer Shipping

Just a quick note to mention that two-day summer shipping is now in effect! Between now and September 15th any shipment that would take more than two days to deliver will be automagically upgraded to two-day. And (if you are the "belt and suspenders" type) "Cool Packs" are also available in six and twelve bottle sizes.

That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe

Time Posted: Jun 15, 2017 at 8:54 AM
El Jefe
April 21, 2017 | El Jefe

Twisted Missive - We Got Concerts!

The Twisted Missive!
Issue #4

Slightly Tuneful Edition!

In This Missive

  • We got concerts!
  • We got wine for the Twisted Few!
  • We got great places to sleep!

Twisted Folk Concerts Announced!

We've put together what we think you'll agree is the strongest lineup yet for the 2017 concert season! There are two returning crowd favorites from previous seasons, two multiple Grammy Award winners, two who have been nominated for Grammys multiple times, and one whose latest album is currently #2 on the Billboard bluegrass charts!

dustbowl at twisted oak!reviving at the oak!

Returning to the Oak Saturday, May 13th is none other than The Dustbowl Revival! This band of eight talented musicians - considered the "best live band in LA" - wowed us last year with their creative mix of blues, jazz, swing, and soul. And, their favorite wine is Tempranillo! What more could we ask? Bring your dancing slippers for this one! Buy tickets now!


And we incredibly honored and delighted to feature on our stage, Jerry Douglas presents The Earls of Leicester! This is not a throwback to Elizabethan times, but is in fact the legendary and world-reknowned dobroist Jerry Douglas - of Union Station and Soggy Bottom Boys fame - and his band of equally talented bluegrass musicians. You won't want to miss this, one of only two stops in California this season! Saturday May 27th - buy tickets now!

earls of leicester at twisted oak!no Dukes, just Earls!

2014 torcido garnacha

Other upcoming concerts - which we will expound upon further in future Missives - include:

For our monthly $35 MasterCluck Gift Card giveaway, please reply to this email and tell us which concert(s) you are most excited about, and why! I'll choose one response at random for the winner! (Congratulations to Julie R. for being last month's winner!)

Needless to say, tickets for all shows are now on sale at!

Twisted Few Shipment - Coming Soon!

Twisted Few members, watch for a separate email coming soon with details about your next shipment. We can tell you now that it will feature the new vintage of one of your favorites, the 2014 Torcido Garnacha! We think you'll find it goes great with anything that your springtime grilling can rustle up, or even that leftover corned beef hash! (Not currently a member of the Twisted Few? You know you want to! Sign up now at!)

Speaking of corned beef, last month's Missive did produce a wide range of pairings with our favorite St Patrick's feast. Andrew suggested our *%#&@! (which sure sounds like an Irish word), Kelly likes our 2014 Tempranillo, and Debbie called our Torcido "one of the great pairings of all time." (Wow!) On the other hand, Stephen from Reno always reaches for a chilled Viognier. And to split the difference, Kathleen likes a "Cab Rose" (but I don't understand what that has to do with taxis.) 

mmmm bacon!
mmmmm... bacon!

You Gotta Sleep Someplace

Why not a cozy bed with sweeping views of the foothills? We recently were invited to visit and tour one of Murphys best local lodging options - and longime Twisted Few members - the Courtwood Inn. Owner and innkeeper Chris whipped up a nice breakfast of fresh fruit, waffles, and bacon - on a stick! - for us to try. After that we toured the tennis-themed rooms and grounds - which look really cushy, I gotta say. Check them out at!

As always, do reply to this email and tell us which concert(s) you are most excited about, to have a shot at that $35 MasterCluck gift card!

Finally, a programming note: For reasons beyond our control - among other things, the futures market in rubber chickens is completely haywire right now - we have decided to postpone Rubber Chicken Appreciation Day to later this year. Stay tuned to this station for further updates.

That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe

Time Posted: Apr 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM
El Jefe
March 16, 2017 | El Jefe

A Corny Twisted Missive!

The Twisted Missive!
Issue #3

Slightly Irish Edition!

In This Missive

  • Something Corn-y
  • Something Rubbery This Way Comes
  • Something to Mark

The Great Chocolate Question!

...didn't produce a lot of responses, but the few that did respond were pretty passionate about it. Ward K., for example, reaches his "happy place" with a sip of a medium tannic red, followed by a nibble of 62% dark chocolate, a few dry roasted peanuts, and repeat. Dana M.'s favorite is a peanut butter cup chased by a great Sauternes (yike!), while Trudy H. from away up north keeps toasty with a flourless chocolate cake and Pig Stai. (Now we're talkin'!)

corned?corned... what???

But enough about that. This is Twisted Oak, and so you are expecting something corny.

As I am typing this it is the 14th of March, 3-14, aka "Pi Day". While I like pi, and pie, as much as anyone, at this time of year the denizens of Murphys, California gird themselves for the annual Irish Day celebration. (You should come! It's this Saturday!) And even though corned beef is not actually very Irish, it's a dish that has come to be associated with St Patrick's Day.

In our house, corned beef must be prepared in a traditional manner, and in this part of the world the tradition is to boil the snot out of that beef until tender, and then while the beef is resting, use the cooking liquid to boil potatoes and cabbage. This is served with butter for the veg, and mustard and horseradish for the beef.

Local tradition also holds that corned beef is served with beer, but surely there are wines that can stand up to the strong flavors of cured meat and cabbage. So, when I prepared a corned beef dinner recently I decided to try some wines with it to see what might work.

Rummaging around in my wine cabinet produced a 2013 Ol' Chumbucket and a 2014 Tempranillo, and the fridge coughed up a 2015 Albariño. At the outset, the Albariño proved to be a non-starter, that was set aside quickly. Both of the reds proved to be a decent match with the corned beef, but the fruit and spice of the Ol' Chumbucket just clicked for me. I suspect most any spicy and fruity red would be a worthy pairing - think Parcel 17, Graciano, or Torcido Garnacha.

So, this month's survey question is simply, what wine do you serve (or do you think you might serve) with corned beef? Just reply to this email with your response, and I will share the best responses in the next Missive.

Something Rubbery?

Coming up next month we have a brand new event happening at the winery! We're calling it "Rubber Chicken Appreciation Day," and you should too! Not only that, but in the days leading up to the event, there will be all sorts of fun online activities that everyone everywhere will have a chance to take part in. What kind of activities? That would be telling! So stay tuned! (We call this "building excitement"!)

Living in a free society, everyone has the right to appreciate their rubber chicken in their own way. What's yours?

2014 tempranillo

mmmm hash!
the real reason for corned beef - hash the next day!

We are still diligently working to confirm all of the dates for this year's Twisted Folk Concert Series at Twisted Oak Winery. But you can mark the dates we do have confirmed on your calendar right now: May 13th, June 24th, August 12th.

As always, do reply to this email with your thoughts on corned beef and/or rubber chickens. I will choose one reply at random to receive a $35 MasterCluck gift card. Just for fun! (Congratulations to Dale M for being last month's winner!)

That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe

Time Posted: Mar 16, 2017 at 11:26 AM
El Jefe
July 17, 2013 | El Jefe

Who doesn't like a little hot zydeco?

Join us on July 27th - tickets on sale now!

Time Posted: Jul 17, 2013 at 4:16 PM
El Jefe
July 1, 2013 | El Jefe

Uncle Bonsai This Friday!

How about a video to whet your appetite? Tickets are still available!

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2013 at 3:49 PM
El Jefe
June 19, 2013 | El Jefe

Should I blog more often?

In this world of a bizzilion social media web sites, it seems that blogging has fallen by the proverbial wayside.

Over on Facebook you can find all sorts of cool stuff, like this post concert photo of headliners David Lindley and Joe Craven:

david lindley joe craven rubber chickens twisted oak winery

Or even this awesome video of Mr. Dave and Mr. Joe fencing with a rubber chicken:

But that cool stuff never makes it here. I suspect that is wrong of me... but should I try to do better? Say something non-spammy in the comments!

Time Posted: Jun 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM
El Jefe
April 10, 2013 | El Jefe

OK, how about the REAL concert lineup?

twisted folkLast week's post was all fun and games, though I hear we really did fool some people! Below is the real lineup for this year's Twisted Folk concerts.

Visit for more information about all of these great musicians!

May 4 – Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band

June 8 – David Lindley, with special guest, Joe Craven

June 29 – Mumbo Gumbo

July 5 – Uncle Bonsai

July 13 – Dan Hicks and The Hot Licks

July 27 – Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys

Aug 2 – The Deadly Gentlemen

Aug 16 – Mollie O’Brien & Rich Moore

New this year - we have a season pass!

Time Posted: Apr 10, 2013 at 12:06 PM
El Jefe
April 1, 2013 | El Jefe

Twisted Folk 2013 Concert Lineup!

Twisted Oak Winery is pleased to announce the lineup for our 2013 Twisted Folk concert series. We believe we have come up with a very eclectic lineup everyone will enjoy! (Please share this info with all of your friends!)

May 4: Le Petomaine - Master of the, uh, toot. Flatulent with feeling, Le Petomaine blasts out a selection of traditional favorites. Upwind seats $30, downwind $5. A selection of cabbage dishes will be available for purchase, including our popular "Brussel Pops".

June 8: A Mighty Wind - Accordion & Bagpipe Ensemble. Music guaranteed to cause goosebumps! No cats will be harmed during the performance, despite what you hear. Not responsible for spontaneous incontinence, please plan ahead.

June 29: Crying Spiked Fists - Gothic Folk Angst, at its finest. Playing their big hit "Foggy Mountain, Broke Down, Burn it All, Because it's All About Me".

July 5: Metal Mania - Heavy metal Ultimate Battle of the Bands contest. Sign up now. Get your big hair on! Big metal-y prizes! No survivors!

July 27: Def Poultry - Award-winning cluck poetry! Come out for an evening of Fowl-flavored readings. Don't stay cooped up at home!

Aug 2: Showtune Showcase - Open-mike night. Wear your best sequins. Best Ethel Merman wins a prize.

For more info about these concerts and other Twisted events, please visit

TV/Radio/Print Media/Interview/Groupie requests: please contact Maria Camillo

El Jefe
August 29, 2012 | El Jefe

Darol and Rushad a-jammin

At the concert last Friday, Darol Anger (fiddle) and Rushad Eggleston (cello) ended the first set with a great instrumental tune called The Phoenix. Also appearing are Emy Phelps on guitar and Sharon Gilchrist on bass.

Next show is September 7th featuring Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg - you should come! 

Time Posted: Aug 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM
El Jefe
August 28, 2012 | El Jefe

How about a concert video?

I hope you have made it out to some of our little concerts up on the hill at the winery. The other night we had a surprise guest - Joe Craven's daughter Hattie belted out a great rendition of "Hey Soul Sister". Enjoy!


Time Posted: Aug 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM