History of the Fizpatricks

FITZPATRICK (MAC GIOLLA PHADRAIG) CLANN
The Fitzpatrick Clann can boast with any of Ireland’s clanns for its contributions throughout history towards the freedom of its people at home and in far off lands.

The Fitzpatricks are an ancient Irish Clann. In fact, Fitzpatrick is the only ‘Fitz’ name whose pre-Norman origins are Irish. Over a millennium ago, in 995 A.D., when surnames were first coming into use, did the Kings of Ossory and their clannspeople become known as Mac Giolla Phadraig, which means son of the guide (or devotee of) Patrick. But these people of the Ossoraighe have inhabited the midlands of Ireland from present day Kilkenny into the Slieve Bloom mountains for more than two millennia. Known as the ‘Cradle of Gaelic Civilization’ the forests and mountains of the Upper Ossory offered partial refuge for many years from Ireland’s many intruders, like the Vikings, the Normans and the Anglos.

In the 5th century A.D., St. Canice (from whom the city of Kilkenny derives its name) started a monastic center in Aghaboe which became a focal point (and small city) for hundreds of years. Plundered by the Vikings, then by the Normans and rebuilt by Fitzpatricks, the present day remains of the 13th century Aghabo Abbey’s church and round tower stand prominently, but alone today, in a landscape of bucolic pastoral fields and only a handful of country houses in contrast to the bustling center of some several thousand people only a thousand years before.  

On a slight rise above and adjacent to the ancient Aghaboe remains, stands a 17th century Georgian home, known as the Aghaboe House, with its commanding view over the boglands west and north to the Slieve Blooms and green pastures all around. With all its outbuildings, at the time of British occupation and Ireland’s great famine, this Aghaboe estate was the center of a large beef cattle operation. According to my Father’s (Joseph William Fitzpatrick) research, Aghaboe is my great great grandfather’s birthplace. Not, mind you, the Aghaboe House, but my brother Michael and I couldn’t resist the temptation, when we first set eyes on its abandoned state in 1984, knowing that all this time, Anglos who had been gifted this land by the British hierarchy, who had taken it from the native people, quite possibly from the Fitzpatricks, could now be back in our Clann’s hands, to buy it. We did and have reestablished our roots from whence we came.  

William Joseph Fitzpatrick left Aghaboe during the Great Famine, made his way to Liverpool and boarded a ship named the Lebanon and arrived in New York City in 1848. Arriving at the age of 17, William worked as a laborer and settled in Paterson, New Jersey where a textile industry was developing. A year later, his wife Mary Dunn and her parents arrived from Ireland. William became a millwright and worked at this all his life until he became blind from the crude working conditions. His son, William Joseph II, eventually became a street cop for the city of Paterson. His son, my grandfather, William Joseph III, one of three children, ran a grocery store and eventually became the tax assessor for neighboring Clifton, New Jersey. I have a great picture from 1902 where my immigrant great great grandfather William Joseph, his son William Joseph II, and his grandson William Joseph III are standing under a grape arbor in the backyard in Paterson, New Jersey.

My grandfather had an older sister, Margaret, who was a school teacher in Paterson all her life and a younger brother, Harold, who devoted 50 years of his life to the priesthood at St. Brigid’s in Jersey City as pastor and then at Holy Cross in Harrison as pastor and Monsignor. My great aunt Margaret’s wake and funeral were the first I had ever attended. Three nights and two days, I spent at the wake with my great aunt Margaret laid out. I was introduced to endless relatives and family friends. I felt proud and important to be a Fitzpatrick. Her funeral mass was said by her brother, Monsignor Harold and assisted by five bishops and numerous priests. People said my aunt Margaret was a saint and maybe she was; she went to mass every adult day of her life.

I’ll never forget my great uncle Harold’s funeral. The Holy Cross cathedral was packed inside, seven bishops with many priests jammed the altar to say mass. After the mass as we walked behind my great uncle Harold’s coffin and the tall doors opened to the outside, I was amazed to see that the street was packed with people to say farewell to Monsignor Harold Fitzpatrick. Twenty squad cars from the Jersey City Police, where my great uncle Harold had been their pastor at St. Brigid’s for 30 years but 20 years earlier, formed an escort for the 40 minute ride to the family plot near Paterson. My great uncle Harold, although he had no children of his own, had fathered the biggest family I had ever seen. I do have many memories of my great aunt Margaret, my great uncle Harold and my grandfather, but their wakes, funerals and parties afterwards imprinted many subliminal messages of a Clann spirit that remains with me today.

I feel proud to be a Fitzpatrick and hope I bring honor to my Clann.  The naming of my father, Joseph William, broke the succession of William Joseph’. Born on St. Patrick’s Day, my lucky father was to be the first generation to graduate college. His uncle Harold, the Monsignor, helped financially with my dad’s attendance at St. Peter’s Prep and then Fordham University. World War II made a Marine of my dad and called him back from the reserves years later to serve during the Korean Conflict. My father worked hard as an accountant and became the first generation of Fitzpatricks to own his own home plus send all his children, three sons, Michael Joseph, Brian (meself) and Billy (William Patrick) to become graduates of Rutgers, UCDavis and Rutgers/Cooke College.

Our childhood years were very secure and full of opportunities. But my goals weren’t going to develop into exactly what my parents would have considered even possible at the time. Somehow the genetic imprints of yesteryear were surfacing and I began developing at an early age, a yearning for the sod, the earth.  I began digging up a part of the lawn to plant vegetables at age 12. Each year expanding a little until I came up with the notion that I wanted to be a farmer. The idea wasn’t well received by my mom or dad whose practical viewpoint saw no future or possibilities in pursuing that dream. Well I didn’t know how I was ever going to make it happen either, but I began reading about plants, trees, soil, etc. and befriending every farmer I came near. Please keep in mind, I grew up just twenty minutes from the George Washington bridge and I had no farming relatives to be packed off to for the summers. And I wasn’t in a rush to leave the beach and surfing behind either, so I did my best to continue to pursue my ever focusing interest in organic farming. I opened the first natural food store on Long Beach Island ( New Jersey) in 1971 and befriended two older men, one a organic farmer and the other an herbalist, who supported my dream with enthusiasm. It wasn’t a year later before I was on a plane for California. This Irishman’s dream to make a new home 3000 miles away from where my great great grandfather had landed after he had traveled 3000 west of his home, Ireland some 120 years before.  

I first settled in Santa Barbara, where the mild climate allowed me to garden year round ( and enjoy some great surfing too). I still had no clue how I would ever come up with the money to buy a piece of property to farm. Nevertheless, I set my sights on educating myself through college and self-learning and experiences of gardening and small scale farming. I developed a network of friends with similar interests and the experiences and opportunities started to unfold. I started a business called Biodynamic Gardens, etc. and hired myself out as landscaper and tree surgeon to make money as I continued my education at the Santa Barbara City College.

After two and a half years, I had exhausted my possibilities in botany and geology courses at SBCC and was itching for the real thing – some land. It was obvious I had to leave the coast to find land that was affordable. So I set out driving up into northern California with a new found friend and Midwest farmboy, Larry O’Hand, looking for land, affordable and somewhat remote.  Traveling north as far as Willits, then east through Clear Lake across the Valley to the foothills of the Sierra near Paradise, we looked at much of California. Then southward along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada until we reached the Placerville area (where gold was discovered 125 years earlier) and we struck it – reasonably priced land, a little remote, a little rugged but it felt good here. With the help of a little inheritance($10,000) from Larry O’Hand’s uncle who farmed in Iowa, we put a down payment on 34 acres, mostly wooded and untamed with no water or electricity, in an area south east of Placerville know as Fairplay.  

Building first a small barn to house our milking goats, we camped out under the stars, on the ground, each night that summer. The nearby Middle Fork of the Cosumnes afforded us a cool refuge from the heat of the day and a much needed bath. Water to irrigate that first summer’s one acre garden was hauled up from the river in our 1952 Mac (Army edition) 4,000 gallon water truck. I made a giant leap forward that year, 1975, toward fulfilling my dream of farming my own land. In remembrance and honor of my immigrant ancestor, who left the olde sod in the time of the Great Famine, I name our land “the Famine’s End Farm”. I was to become the first farmer in our Clann in four generations and in the golden hills of California to boot.  As that first winter approached, out went the goats and in moved us (dirt floor, no running water, no insulation and a hike to the outhouse) to survive the cold, wet winter at 2,100 foot elevation in the Sierra Nevada. As crude as our living conditions were, it seem like heaven to me at age 22.  

My first motivation was to secure water, both for drinking and irrigation. Seeking groundwater in the great batholith of granite that underlies these parts leaves the seeker in a quandary. We employed geologic expertise form one of my geology professors from Santa Barbara. A local well driller using his so-called ‘divining rod’ witched our entire acreage before he settled on proposed spot to drill. And then Harry, our neighbor and area resident since placer-gold mining days of the Great Depression, lean out the window of his pick-up truck and said right over there (exactly where the water witcher/well driller had chosen also). We, of course, dismissed modern science and followed the advice of our neighbor, Harry, and the water witcher and found the exact amount of water and at the exact depth that the witcher predicted.

These two young mountainmen, Larry and I, were now thoroughly convinced there’s magic in these hills.  The back-breaking tasks of clearing the forests preceded any plantings; but, within a couple of years an orchard of cider apples was planted. Studying soils and water science at the University of California at Davis and working as an assistant to our county (El Dorado) farm advisor, I became very aware of the need for more and the area’s lack of – water for irrigation. My original plan to have 20+ acres of apples may not be possible. The drought of 1976-7 was upon us. Larry O’Hand and his lady friend, Janice Sharman, left the farm for promise of employment, never more to return.

I began to make plans to harness our creek’s winter water by building two reservoirs.  Maybe from a genetic imprint of my Clann’s past or just my mountainman intuitiveness of the present, I began to brew beer and then wine and lots of it, for home use. I also became aware of a fledgling rebirth of winemaking in these foothills that once rivaled the wine industries of Napa and Sonoma from the Gold Rush to Prohibition. I gathered one appropriate bit of information that changed the direction of my farming aspirations forever – winegrapes require one-third the amount of water that apples do; and, once established, winegrapes can be dry-farmed (grown without additional water beyond what falls naturally from the sky.

So certainly you understand why I began planting winegrapes by the acre, as fast I could. I needed capital and found some in partnership with my father, Joseph William Fitzpatrick.  In 1980, my brother, Michael, a friend, Bill Bertram, and I became bonded as the first winery in El Dorado’s south county area. The brand name became Fitzpatrick. Our plan was to produce premium wines of the Sierra Foothills – wines made from grapes grown only in the foothill elevations over 1500 feet. The wine business proved to have an unsatisfiable hunger for capital. So big plans became small plans and first, in 1984, Bill and then Michael left the partnership.

My wife Diana jumped (or was dragged in, depending on who you talk to) in to help me reorganize the wineries future. The challenge was to strive for profitability as a small (very small) family-owned winery and vineyard. One recurring problem surfaced – late spring frosts were damaging both our apples and winegrapes so much that in 1986 we had no harvest. This was an inherent problem to our site, which was low ground where cold air would settle. We saw the potential for this problem and in 1981 my brother Michael and I put a down payment on 40 hilltop acres at 2500 foot elevation just three miles up the road (Fairplay Road).

In 1986 we began building a new facility on the hilltop. A massive hand-built log lodge was built to house the winery in its inground cellars and the tasting room, commercial kitchen and dining areas, and bed & breakfast rooms in the above two floors. We began moving the winery and ourselves into the partially completed facilities in August 1987. Immediately the tasting room was opened to visitors and by late 1988 bed & breakfast rooms were available. The view from our hilltop is quite spectacular (by anyone’s standards).

We currently offer 5 rooms for bed & breakfast year round and winetasting every day except Tuesdays . New vineyards (22 acres to-date) have been established to a wide variety of premium winegrapes whose origins are from southern France and northern Italy, mostly reds. This Fitzpatrick has managed to make California his Irish dream. But this dream never ends and additions and upgrading just keeps on happenning, a little every year. Come enjoy our expanded and remodeled tasting room, our 25 meter lap pool, expanded deck area, etc.. And the most recent manifestation of a long time dream is the solarization of our entire operation. We’re building a 40KW solar electric power plant to provide near 100% of our year round electrical use. Our winery may become the first to produce wines made entirely from the sun and earth (renewable energy) and of course be certified organically grown too.

Dream Big

Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge is for sale

This uniquely integrated agriculture-based enterprise encompasses decades of innovation, forward-thinking & planning positioning itself consistently at the cutting edge of today and into tomorrow.  Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge has made history, built tradition, is contemporary and already reaches toward the future. Dreamed and built by Brian & Diana Fitzpatrick over three decades, Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge is the jewel of Fair Play.

“Where once there were mines, now there’s fine wines” speaks of the transition of this sleepy remnant of the California Gold Rush into a burgeoning world-class wine growing region coveted by thousands of eonophiles( winos) and modern explorers. This transition started with the Fitzpatricks opening Fair Play’s first winery in 1980. By the end of that decade four wineries were open. A total of eight welcomed the ever growing visitors by the end of 1999. Now in 2006 the number of wineries in the nationally recognized Fair Play AVA (American Viticultural Area)  is fast approaching 25. Unbelievable to the old timers but the enthusiasm and energy just keeps on building. And thousands of new customers discover Fair Play each year.

At first we didn’t have a decent restaurant nor a bed to offer in Fair Play. Brian Fitzpatrick foresaw that shortcoming and designed a new facility back in 1984. After gaining El Dorado County approval, groundbreaking for Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge took place atop a newly tamed hilltop overlooking almost all of Fair Play and beyond in late 1985. This was to become California’s and our nation’s first winery/bed & breakfast combination, setting the stage for unique agro-tourism possibilities to follow. After almost three years of construction, Fitzpatrick Winery had moved into its new facility and the vertical integration of wine, food and lodging began. As is today, Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge in one massive structure houses the winery, tasting room / sales area, the B&B rooms, a commercial kitchen and the expansive outdoor decking to capitalize on what has always been called ‘a million dollar view’. And to offer our wine tasters a nourishing and necessary respite from the rigors of wine tasting, we began serving what is now an endearing tradition, our Ploughman’s Lunch starting back in 1987.

But Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge is more than just large at 8500 square feet, it’s awesome, inspiring and very appropriate architecture for this Sierra Foothill setting. Europeans and world travelers all mention its likeness to fond mountain memories elsewhere. The massive hand-crafted log structure creates a dramatic setting with a commanding vantage point of the beautiful wine country and pristine foothill and high country beyond. Upon entering the Lodge, the golden glow and scale of the logs exudes a warm secure homey atmosphere that all enjoy. On this main floor is the tasting room / sales area, the commercial kitchen, the Great Room and the Log Suite. Above with commanding views are the four other B&B rooms including the Winemakers’ Suite, the Irish Room, the French Basque Room and the Olde Fair Play Room displaying pictures and relics of Fair Play’s past. All five B&B rooms have private baths and fireplaces. Every B&B room steps out onto its own deck with spectacular views. Upstairs is a common entertainment area known as the overlook, with expansive view of the north and overlooking the Great Room. Then outside are common decks where guests and customers alike bathe their eyes in endless beauty and peacefulness. Famous and enduring is our wood-fired oven, its many wholesome breads baked fresh each weekend and Pizza Night on Fridays from mid-April through mid-October.

The vertical integration of Winery & Lodge starts below, dug ten feet into the earth with about 2500 square feet, enjoying the earth’s cool temperature, of wine cellar. Outside of these cellars and immediately adjacent are the crushing, fermenting and pressing areas. Inside the cool cellars the aging of the wines in both oak barrels and stainless tanks effortlessly takes place. Downstairs adjacent to the wine cellars is the mechanical room, another  bathroom/shower, laundry room, office and special library wine cellar.

At cellar level, but enjoying privacy and the same stunning views as the Lodge above is a two bedroom / one bath with covered deck owner’s/managers quarters. This positioning is perfect for combining privacy and good visual knowledge of the ingress and egress to the property.

What grand manor with such a commanding hilltop would be complete without a castle? So at the highest point just steps away from the Lodge sits a solid 24 feet high stronghold complete with tower fort top. However this castle serves purposes beyond its overlook. A 1600 gallon water tank is perched up on its second story as an emergency source of potable water. The castle is protected on one side with its modern-day moat – a 25 meter lap pool which is the envy of all on the many beautiful hot summer days and nights. The entrance to this secret amenity  is stairs shaded by an arching trellis of Zinfandel grapevines. The pool and castle are surrounded by exposed aggregate decking, a patch of lawn, flowers creating a great and private space to sun, relax and room to have a sizable family garden.

The massive log Lodge with its winery operations in the cellars is completely backed up electrically with a generator house about 100 feet to the west. A White Diesel generating up to 47 KW at 210 amps in both 3-phase and single phase electricity is ready to keep the operations going if needed. We currently power the generator with Biofuel.

However the real excitement comes for the green enthusiasts to know that our entire operation is powered by the sun. We invested in two systems approaching 40 KW production. They’re both grid-tied which means tied to the public utility PG&E with bi-directional meters. In the day we produce power enough for our current needs and export the excess running our meter backwards. At night and on rainy days we still enjoy the consistency of being on the grid. The field-mounted 10KW system down in the vineyard powers all our wells and meets or exceeds the annual electrical demands. The 30KW system is roof mounted on a new 4,000 square foot metal wharehouse and comes close to supplying the electrical needs of our entire operation. The bi-directional meter of this larger system is also time-of-use which means that during the day we are exporting energy almost three times the value of the energy we consume at night. The relationship with the utility company is that of trading KWs insulating our energy costs overtime from skyrocketing with the ever-increasing energy costs of electrcity.

This 4,000 square foot metal structure has two functions. The entire building was insulated with one-half super-insulated and is used as a temperature-controlled wine case storage. Labeling and shipping are all staged within this facility. The other side of this center-dividing wall is our Agricultural workshop. It acts as storage for equipment, materials and provides a welcomed area for industrial fabricating and projects. Our entire winery and vineyard operation is very comfortable within the space it now occupies with room to expand.

Surrounding the buildings are the vineyards. The heart and soul of our agricultural based agro-tourism enterprise are the vineyards. We currently have approximately 18 acres planted with room for another 2 acres already cleared. The varieties and their clones have been personally selected for their wine quality and best-fit by location within our multiple aspect vineyard site. The vineyard plan consists of classical groups of world-reknown varietals. Our Bordeaux collection includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Our Rhone collection includes Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvedre. Our Zinfandel is claimed as California’s own. We also have plantings of Italy’s Sangiovese, Spain’s Tempranillo, the Burgundy’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a little Orange Muscat. This variety of varietals creates a broader palette of flavors, textures and possibilities for the winemaker to create interesting and complex wines.

The vineyards are all certified organic and have been since the beginning. If this doesn’t seem significant to you now, I guarantee time will prove it one of the most enduring beneficial features of our farm. Not only does it develop a healthy environment for the land and its workers but for the owners, family and visitors. Organic certification also positions yourself to be ahead of the curve as chemical farming runs into the elimination of one chemical after another as they lose approval for use. The public’s appreciation for organic agriculture is growing rapidly and our farm is the local leader in this field. As part of the sale I am offering an unprecedented incentive of $100,000 to stay the course and continue to be certified organic for the next ten years. After that you won’t need any coaxing to stay the course.

Our vineyards have produced wines winning Grand Awards, Best of Shows, Golds, Silvers and Bronzes. The production of the vineyards is still maturing (vineyard blocks range from 16 years old to 1 year) so overall yields will increase over the next 5 years or so. Immediately adjacent to this 30 acres is a 10 acre parcel with 6 acres of grapes that is farmed collectively by us, certified organic,  and part of our winemaking program. That 10 acres is owned by Hank Schuyler, an in-law, and is not available for sale; however, the grapes are farmed and purchased every year as part of our estate vineyards. As time goes by one could plan on production levels nearly doubling, especially with increased inputs to about 80-100 total tons or the equivalent of 4000 – 6500 cases annually. Currently our production averages 3000+ cases and growing. Then depending on whether the wines are marketed direct through the tasting room or through distribution, the potential for doubling wine sales’ revenues becomes a realistic goal for the near future. A marketing reexamination of our current brand and image may offer ideas for a little reinvention that would position the brand at a higher price point and therefore increase significantly gross revenues.

The future holds so many possibilities for improvement and revenue building. The aforementioned in the winery, restructuring the B&B rates, offering spa services and exploring the possibilities of more food service would keep one busy just to name a few.

The lifestyle of owning and running our business is extremely rewarding with all the wonderful people we meet, challenging to not just keep up with the day to day but to foresee the future and ready oneself to meet that future, and demanding of your total self; there is nothing part-time about this business. A couple can do it, after all we’ve done it for over 25 years with part-time helpers of course. But I foresee the more perfect workload sharing would be with two or more couples or amongst a family with adult children. This business demands many talents and could be neatly delegated into vineyard, winery, B&B, sales, food service and business management for example. On a day to day basis each partner would meet the demands of their department. However when the season demands all hands on deck, most everyone jumps in to help. With such delegation comes less overall working hours for everyone, more social flexibility and hopefully more overall energy and talent to take  Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge to new heights.

Driving Directions

From Sacramento via Placerville
Take Hwy 50 East toward Placerville. Exit at Missouri Flat Road. Turn right onto Missouri Flat road and go to end (approx. 2 miles); at light turn left onto Pleasant Valley Road. Go 5+ miles (east) on Pleasant Valley Road then right at the Y onto Buck’s Bar Road. Take Bucks Bar Road 5+ miles to the 4-way stop sign at Somerset corner; turn right onto Mt. Aukum Road. Go 2 miles (west) on Mt. Aukum Road to Gray’s Corner then turn left onto Fairplay Road (you’re in Fairplay wine country) and look for winery signs.

From Sacramento via Plymouth
Take Hwy 16 (Jackson Hwy) East to Plymouth (automatically merges with Hwy 49). Turn right onto Shenandoah Valley Road (E-16) and go 15 miles. Turn right onto Fairplay Road and look for winery signs.

From Stockton via Plymouth
Take Waterloo Road (Hwy 88) East off of Hwy 99. Go through Lockeford and Clements and follow signs to stay on Hwy 88 East. Turn left toward Ione. In downtown Ione make a left at the stop sign, then a right over the little bridge, then an immediate right onto Hwy 124 leaving ione toward Plymouth. Where 124 meets Hwy 16/ Hwy 49 turn right and go up hill to Plymouth. Then turn right onto Shenandoah Valley Road (E-16). Go 15 miles then turn right onto Fairplay Road look for winery signs.

From Reno / Carson City
You could go via Hwy 80 but I would highly recommend taking Hwy 88 West out of Minden (great scenery, less traffic-you’ll love it.). Go over Carson Pass and continue down Hwy 88 going west. Pass Hamm’s Station then Cook’s Station. Go another half a mile and turn right onto Omo Ranch Road. Drive 18 miles through the National Forest ( good Roads) and turn right onto Fairplay Road and look for your first winery.

From South Lake Tahoe
Take Hwy 50 West to Pollock Pines. Exit at Sly Park Road. Turn Left onto Sly Park Road and go about 16 miles to Pleasant Valley. Make a Left onto Mt. Aukum Road (at Holiday Market) and go 6+ miles (through the stop sign at Somerset) to Gray’s Corner. Turn Left onto Fairplay Road and look for winery signs.

From Auburn via Hwy 49
Off Hwy 80 take Hwy 49 south all the way to Placerville. Continue south on Hwy 49 to Diamond Springs. At the stop sign, turn left onto Pleasant Valley Road. Go 5 miles and Y to the right onto Bucks Bar Road. Go 5+ miles on Bucks Bar Road to the 4-way stop sign at Somerset. Turn right onto Mt. Aukum Road; go 2 miles to Gray’s Corner then turn left onto Fairplay Road and look for winery signs.

Map
Map

Bed and Breakfast

Overlooking El Dorado’s wine country, Fitzpatrick’s country-style inn commands a Sierra Foothill hilltop at 2500′ elevation with spectacular 360-degree views. The handcrafted massive log Lodge sits atop the underground wine cellar and houses the wine tasting room and five guest rooms all with private baths. Choose from the Log Suite, the Irish Room, the French Basque Room, the Olde Fair Play Roomand the Winemaker’s Suite and enjoy a made-to-order full breakfast, Irish hospitality, complimentary winetasting and gift shop.

Add $10 /
Person
over 2 /
Room
Saturday /
see note below
Friday /
Holidays
Addl’
Week-
End
Night
Sun /
Thurs
Addl’
Week-
Day
Night
Winemaker
Suite
$165$150$135$130$115
The Log
Suite
$155$140$125$120$109
Irish Room$130$115$105$99$89
French
Basque
Room
$130$115$105$99$89
Fairplay
Room
$130$115$105$99$89
Plus 10% El Dorado County T.O.T. Tax
Stay Saturday plus another night and enjoy lower rates
 

Check Availability

Guests can enjoy many common areas at the Lodge. A large deck complete with umbrellas and tables provides guests with soaring views of the Sierra Foothills and some High Sierra snow-covered peaks. Located on the Eastside of the tall expansive log Lodge, the deck becomes shaded in the summer by late afternoon creating a pleasant retreat from the hot summer sun. At night our guests gaze out and up into the an outrageous star-filled sky that only our rural foothill setting away from city lights can offer.

The Great Room with its high ceiling log architecture and warming fire become the ideal place to sit at the lengthy Irish pine table to play cards/games with new-found friends or make music on the turn of the century upright piano. The perimeter of the Great Room is fitted with comfortable bench seating with lots of pillows.

Another place of retreat is the Overlook where comfy sofas beckon guests to relax a moment and either enjoy the many options of Dish Network satellite TV with all the premium movie channels, a video movie from our extensive selection or simply socialize. (Remote headphones are available for late night movie watchers so the other guests are not disturbed).

Off the Great Room is a viewing deck outside under the stars with a new spa. The powerful jets in special arraignments make the ultimate water-massage for your entire body. Picture yourself up to your neck in warm water on a crisp fall or winter night taking in the incredible night sky from our hilltop.

Situated in the middle of 40 acres, guests can explore both vineyards and woodland casually or in vigorous exercise. Many guests find fun and exercise swimming in our 25 meter lap pool (usually warm enough between April and early October).

As you can see, regardless of the California foothill weather, our guests have numerous opportunities to relax or mingle outside their room accommodations.

Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge is inspected and certified by CABBI (California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns) and a member of El Dorado County Historic Country Inns.

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Having an Affair at Fitzpatrick’s

OUR PRICES ARE VERY REASONABLE BUT ARE NOT ALA CARTE – LET ME EXPLAIN

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There are four categories of costs that add up to the total cost of your function:          

1)Bed & Breakfast accommodations, 2)Facility Use Fee, 

Sketch of Loidge

3)Catering,

4)Barand occasionally there may be extra costs incurred reflecting your particular needs.

1) Bed & Breakfast accommodations: we do not allow functions here at the Lodge without the inclusion of booking all five B&B rooms. If the function (eg. Wedding) takes place on a weekend you must book all five rooms for two nights. Why? For our sake and yours, we can’t possibly turnover our rooms as early as you’ll want to check in the day of your wedding and you’ll thank us later for the extra time that family and friends get to spend together. The costs vary depending on which days of the week ( click on http://www.fitzpatrickwinery.com/lodge.html for exact prices). Exceptions to booking all 5 rooms may sometimes be possible only on weekdays.

2)Facility Use Fee: When you book all 5 rooms your party of 10 have no additional fees to use the facilities. However, when the numbers exceed the 10 B&B guests, we have a sliding scale fee schedule. Starting at $500 for up to 20 people, $1000 for up to 50 people indoors or out and $2000 for up to 100 outdoors. This facility use fee secures the date and is non refundable. Sometimes during the week we will make an exception to booking all 5 rooms and make the facility use fee 1/2 the costs of the 5 rooms for one weeknight (currently ~$275).

3)Catering: Our commercial kitchen is capable of providing all your food service needs from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Pricing must be customized to each function and reflect the economies of scale.

4)Bar: Our tasting room is licensed to serve Fitzpatrick wines and ports, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. You are charged for what your party consumes – no leftover inventory, no second guessing consumption. Occasionally extra charges may be incurred and we will discuss that with you in the planning of your function.

 

For example and financial planning purposes: a wedding party, booking all five B&B rooms,75 people for the wedding reception including dinner & bar will total from $5,500 – $8,000 here at Fitzpatrick’s. 

In planning your wedding here both Diana and Brian sit down with the couple and discuss all the details including menu possibilities. Once we have a plan you have no worries here and can focus your attention on your many other details.