Posted by: Bill Tracy | September 18, 2010

The Road to Twisted

Road to Twisted

Twisted Oak is a winery in Calaveras County, California. Go east about three miles from Angels Camp on California Highway 4 to the picturesque Vallecito area. At Red Hill Road, you’ll see an old wooden outbuilding apparently being help up by the Twisted Oak banner. This building is now crammed with rubber chickens. Look for the ones trying to escape. The private road to the winery (and tasting room) is a winding, uphill gravel experience of great Sierra foothill views and lots of smiles provided by the people who run this business. It’s probably the best half-mile of driving fun in the state.

Rubber chicken roadThe winery uses the rubber chicken as a symbol of its commitment to fun, at least that’s how I see it. I’ve never talked with them about it. The rubber chicken has been a comedy prop at least as long as I can remember; as soon as you see a rubber chicken you have to at least smile if not laugh outright. Although I couldn’t find any evidence, I think the rubber chicken comedy prop goes back to at least vaudeville days. If you take the twisted road up to Twisted Oak, you’ll see plenty of them. And at the top of the hill, you’ll surely be in a good mood.

If you really want to have some fun, try to outdo them. Walk in wearing a clown nose or get dressed up as an Easter bunny – give them something to remember you by! They’ll appreciate it – especially if you go out carrying a case of their wine; I hear it’s quite good.

Rubber chicken outbuilding

This is not some centuries-old and stuffy European type winery; fun and creativity are paramount here. How else might you explain wine with names such as:

The Spaniard


Pig Stai

River of Skulls


*%#&@! (known colloquially as “Potty Mouth”)

Their Web site is:

Enjoy the ride.


Twisted Oak Winery

When you see the bones of a buccaneer hanging from the yardarm (or thereabouts) you're at the Twisted Oak tasting room. Go in and celebrate the end of one more wine-plundering pirate!


Potty Mouth -- Man, what a view!

Potty Mouth -- Man, what a view!


Speed Check

You've been warned -- watch your speed!


Land of many uses

Land of many uses -- growing grapes, making wine and having fun.


Twisted Route 4

Don't look for Twisted Rt. 4 on your highway map. Once you're on it, forget all others. This one leads to where you want to go. "You can't miss it."


The Vineyard Road

The vineyard road -- with a great view of the Sierra foothills.


Twisted Roadway

Twisted Roadway Ahead. This particular sign is not on the standard driver license test. But you get the idea.


Winery View

This is the view from atop the hill where the winery is situated. In spring, the California poppies use the green grasses as their backdrop.


Hanging Bones

The bones of a buccaneer in the hanging tree. Speeding on this road has an eternal penalty.


Not Level Ground

The ground may not be on the level, but this winery sure is! Maybe this is the beginning of "tipsy."


Is there a winery?

Is there a winery, indeed??


Chicken Crossing

Why did the chicken cross the road? The wine made him do it?


Keep Twisting

I wonder if Chubby Checker knows about this!


Rubber Chicken Forest

I don't think the federal government has a record of this one -- not a ranger in sight.


River of Skulls

The tasting room has its privileges (and victims!).


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