A Trio of Delicious Sips: Mariposa Triangle Tasting Tour

Mariposa County has good taste when it comes to tasting good. Deep blue Sierra skies and ample sunshine pair perfectly with the fertile landscape of rolling foothills, creating a painterly backdrop worthy of casual sipping. Add to this an easily navigable roadmap and you've reached peak drive-time mouthfeel: The Mariposa Triangle Tasting Tour.

From zesty zinfandels to orchard-fresh cider and the welcoming aroma of roasting coffee, this natural palette of local flavors makes the Mariposa Triangle Tasting Tour ultimately palatable a welcome top-off to your Yosemite getaway.

The Three Legs of MT3

To keep things math-y, our tour of tasty triangulation consists of three connecting legs:

Highway 140/Downtown Mariposa + Triangle Road + Highway 49 = MT3

The route covers a tad over 30 miles but we're not just about numbers here. The relaxing country roads of the MT3 offer a respite from the routines back home as you roll down the window, take a deep inhale of Sierra air, and imagine what daily life must be like in the shadow of Yosemite National Park. Here are some sip & mortar establishments worth visiting...

Highway 140/Downtown Mariposa

The MT3 can be approached from any direction, though a strategic start/finish is always downtown Mariposa where Gold Rush history meets Sierra charm, and where the choices run the gamut from boots & Birkenstocks to whiskey & wine. Enjoy downtown Mariposa tastefully to start your journey, then again upon arrival back "home!"

1850 Restaurant is home to great food and great locally brewed beer!

Craft suds powerhouse 1850 Brewing Company is considered a local focal with such brews as the Bridalveil Honey Blonde Ale, Bootjack's Finest Pilsner and Timberline IPA. The lunch & dinner menus are equally elevated, with indoor/outdoor seating filled with lively traveler's tales. Kids are not only welcome but encouraged to pair the house-made sarsaparilla with fries be they regular, garlic or sweet potato!

As foodies know all too well, most recipes begin with "add oil to pan." The tasting room at CostaLivos Mountain Gold Olive Oil adds oomph to the triangle with its locally sourced liquid gold that's also perfect for dipping french bread or even as a natural shine serum for hair.

A newer addition to the Triangle Tasting Tour that expands the palette beyond Mariposa County is The Local Grape, a wine shop located in historic downtown Mariposa that features locally and regionally produced wines from the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Region. Establishment operator, Travis Medlock, has made it his passion to support and share this sometimes overlooked wine region from California. While you're there, sample some local ramen as well. The Local Grape shares a location with The Little Shop of Ramen, where homemade ramen is on the menu.

Locals love the fresh brewed coffee goodness from Sticks Coffee and Pony Expresso downtown Mariposa.

Coffee. It just beckons. And Mariposa offers lots of choices when it comes to the Church of the Bean. Cute & homey Sticks Coffee serves tasty bites alongside killer joe, and great avocado toasts and fresh baked bread. Pony Expresso is more than a playful name pairing jolts of arabica with breakfast burritos and baked treats that are devoured by locals and tourists alike.

Any self-respecting sipping circuit includes wine, and the tasting room at Casto Oaks Fine Wine & Art offers local grapes such as its jammy zins and well-rounded cabs alongside local artists working a variety of media, from oil on canvas to photography and pottery. Across the street from Casto Oaks is one of Mariposa's newest spots, the Local Grape, curates the best wines from the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area. Bottles are sold on site and the experts at Local Grape can provide even more winery recommendations to extend your gastro-venture beyond the Triangle Tasting Tour. Consider finishing your tour here before a wonderful dinner in "downtown" Mariposa.

Triangle Road

Triangle Road is the northernmost leg of the MT3, gently winding east/west at an elevation of approximately 3,000 feet. Here it's all about terroir and tranquility, where wildlife keeps the vineyards company as dotted driveways disappear between the trees, the epitome of country living. Take me home, indeed.

A hard cider "tasting camp" in the middle of an 800-tree apple orchard? Heaven in a glass! With Yosemite National Park nearby, a visit to Sierra Cider is a chill way to kick back and enjoy the Sierra foothills while sampling all four varieties of what they call Campfire Champagne. Book your tasting tour and replicate Newton's theory of gravity with friends!

Enjoy the sweet tang of the hard apple cider at Sierra Cider.

The southernmost leg of the MT3, Highway 49 embraces its Gold Rush roots and embodies the 49'er spirit as it connects one historic mining town with another along the flank of the Sierra Nevada mountains. No busts, all booms!

Highway 49

With their mantra of "give thanks and work hard," the family-run Mariposa Coffee Company roasts their own hand-selected Arabica beans while bringing visitors and locals together for such cups as the 49er Blend, Sequoia Sunrise and Yosemite Dark. Grab a pound or more of beans to-go in their hand-labeled bags, or even snag a t-shirt/hoodie/mug to commemorate your visit to the Mother Lode.

Along Highway 49 is another local secret, Steve's Sportsman Cafe which serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Daily specials provide fresh options such as steaks, shrimp scampi and creamy presto shrimp pasta.

Stop for a sip of coffee at Mariposa Coffee Company where this family-run business roasts their own hand-selected beans.

MT3 Tips

  • If you plan on tippling, be sure to have a designated driver.
  • Consider getting out of the car to walk/bike for a spell and immerse yourself in all the Sierra foothills have to offer.
  • Try a pre-MT3 morning walk through Stockton Creek Preserve where birds and turtles are known to loiter.
  • Be sure to check hours of operation for each stop prior to visit.
  • Know the weather forecast and dress appropriately "” Mariposa County can get hot in summer and cool in winter.
  • Don't be afraid to order to-go bottles, beans & merch to enjoy back home.
  • Finish your MT3 with dinner in beautiful Yosemite Mariposa, or extend your stay by taking advantage of its wide range of overnight accommodations.
  • This is just one of many tours of Yosemite Mariposa county. Discover more Yosemite tours here.
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