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Friday, November 30, 2007

Placerville bed and breakfast

November 2007
Albert Shafsky House B&B NewsletterHappy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from our home to yours. We hope you have a wonderful season and be filled with good cheer, not just now, but well into next year!

Please enjoy the holiday gift we have included at the bottom of this newsletter.

Holiday Tour on Dec. 8 & 9
Noon-5 p.m.
Yes, it is that time of year again when the inn is all decked out with holiday finery. And time for the holiday tour which is just days away now...Dec. 8 & 9th. Tickets available here by calling or on tour dates. $15 per person and are good for both dates of the event.

We still have rooms available for the weekend of the tour if you would like to stay with us.

Are you stumped for a gift?

We have Albert Shafsky House B&B gift certificates (any amount), robes or mugs for giving, no matter the season and whatever the reason--and they don't expire! Call to personalize.

Not visiting Placerville soon? We also have gift cards that are redeemable thru good at nearly 4,000 bed and breakfasts with no hidden fees, no blackout dates, and no expiration dates.


Your Innkeepers, Rita and Stephanie (and Lily!)Albert Shafsky House B&B

Save $50
Bring this newsletter for $50 off any room, any night Dec-March 15, 2008. (New bookings only).

Why not come for a visit, cut a tree, do some holiday shopping, sample award-winning wineries, recover from the holidays, or just take a well deserved break. How about a massage? Bottle of wine? Give us a call and we can create your own special getaway package.Not redeemable for cash. Subject to availability. Two-night min. on weekends & holidays. Not valid with other offers.

Offer Expires: March 14th, 2008

Monday, November 26, 2007

Repeal of Prohibition Day! Wednesday, December 5th from 4-8pm

$5/per person
Boeger Winery, David Girard Vineyards, Gold Hill Vineyard and Wofford Acres Vineyards

Let’s celebrate! Wineries will be pulling out their ‘vintage’ wine selections in honor of the historic repealing of prohibition. Visit the participating Speakeasies and use your password to get in the door. Party in period style as you travel back in time while visiting these Rebellious Wineries.Choose any of the four Speakeasies to begin your evening. Hosts will discreetly provide you with a password to get into your next speakeasy of choice. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Mother Load Rehabilitation Enterprise of Placerville. Artwork created by M.O.R.E. clients displayed at each winery.

POKER RUN!!*Collect poker cards at each winery. Best five card hand wins. Vintage cars and costumes encouraged. Raffle prizes for Designated Drivers. *Two cards will be drawn at Wofford Acres Vineyards

Vintage Costumes Encouraged!
Questions? Contact Judy at David Girard Vineyards 530-295-1833

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Looking for great millwork and furniture?

No matter where you live you can get some great wood work and wood furniture, mantels, cabinetry, etc from our friends at TND Millwork and Furniture. Located at 333-1 Industrial Dr, in Placerville, CA 95667. Or call their shop at 530-642-1855 and ask for Don or Bennett.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stop by Wofford Acres Vineyards when you come for your tree! and stay in Placerville

LetWAV help you with your holiday shopping!

Paul will be signing bottles November 23 and 24 (the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving) and Saturday, December 8. Show someone you were thinking about THEM with a bottle personalized with their name and a message from you. It's unique, it's fun and it saves a trip to the Mall!

They have more 2005 Iowa Hill Red and 2005 Redbird Canyon Red! Plus- they just released the 2006 Port- it's made from the same grapes as last year, but a different blend (and a little lighter style.)

Holiday dinners at WAV end with Mike's "Port in Chocolate Cups" and some Bleu cheese for Ann!

Roll out the Barrel for El Dorado Wine tasting

On January 26-27, 2008, 18 El Dorado wineries are inviting wine enthusiasts to step inside their cellars and sample distinctive wines straight from the barrel.

The vintners will offer an inside look at winemaking, future sales, light food pairings, and demonstrations, providing tips on how to discern the magical alchemy that goes into each barrel. Novice tasters as well as seasoned veterans will be welcome to dream of the future by tasting great young wines.

Advance tickets for the El Dorado Barrel tasting weekend are available for $20 through January 22. Or, you can skip the convenience fee by purchasing tickets at participating wineries through Jan. 4. A limited number of tickets will be available for $30 at wineries during the event weekend.

Price includes a commemorative glass.
Make plans to attend with friends and purchase your tickets today! Come and learn more about wine by the barrel at the family-owned wineries and stay at the Albert Shafsky House B&B for the weekend.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Snowline Hospice of El Dorado County.

Participating wineries: Boeger Winery, Busby Cellars, Colibri Ridge, Conti Estate/Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards, Crystal Basin Cellars, David Girard Vineyards, Fitzpatrick Winery, Gold Hill Vineyards, Granite Springs Winery, Holly’s Hill Vineyards, Jodar Vineyards, Latcham Vineyards, Lava Cap Winery, MadroƱa Vineyards, Miraflores Winery, Mount Aukum Winery, Perry Creek Winery, and Sierra Vista Vineyards.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

El Dorado County Wineries A-Z (okay, W)

As innkeepers it falls to us to know great places to visit in the area, and one of the reasons people visit use in El Dorado County is the local vinyards that have sprouted the last dozen or so years. Yes, some are older, but there has been a wine boom in the last several years....

With so many vineyards to taste at, you could easily spend a week in El Dorado County tasting to your hearts content. There is sure to be something to please you palate! Why not use Placerville and our bed and breakfast as a home-base and explore the new "gold" in the foothills--above the fog and below the snow. El Dorado wineries are about a one hour trip from either Sacramento or South Lake Tahoe, and about 2 hours from Reno or the San Francisco Bay Area. El Dorado has familiy-owned wineries, friendly tasting rooms and great views. Many times you will be served by the winemaker or their family members, all while enjoying great views of the foothills.

Arrastra Vineyard
2399 Kingsgate Road
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 626-3377

Auriga Wine Cellars
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-8078

Boeger Winery
1709 Carson Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 622-8094

Busby Cellars
6375 Grizzly Flat Road
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 344-9119

C. G. Di Arie Vineyard & Winery
5200 di Aire Road
Mt. Aukum, CA 95656
(530) 620-6500

Camino DiVino Winery
3500 Carson Court
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-1884

Cantiga Wineworks
5951 Mt. Aukum
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 621-1696

Cedarville Vineyard
6320 Marestail Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-9463

Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards
8221 Stoney Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3467

Chateau Rodin Winery
4771 Green Hills Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 622-6839

Chateau Routon Inc
2800 Omo Ranch Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-5818

Chevalier Winery
5720 French Creek Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 677-1676

Colibri Ridge Winery and Vineyard
6100 Grey Rock Road
Fairplay, CA 95684
(530) 620-7255

Crose Family Vineyard
3720 Wilson Loop
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 644-4488

Crystal Basin Cellars
3550 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-1767

7380 Vineyard View Drive
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-1132

Fenton Herriott Vineyards
120 Jacquier Ct.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 642-2021

Findleton Estate & Winery
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-4018

Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge
740 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(800) 245-9166

Fleur de Lys Winery
7696 Perry Creek Rd.
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 620-2246

Gold Hill Vineyard
Cold Springs Rd. & Vineyard Lane
Coloma, CA 95613
(530) 626-6522

Gold Note Wine & Noel Christmas Trees
7600 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-4758 (800) 585-6635

Granite Springs Winery & Vineyards
5050 Granite Springs Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-6395

Holly's Hill Vineyards
3680 Leisure Lane
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 344-0227

Illuminare Estate Winery
3500 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-1894

Iverson Vineyards and Winery
8061 Perry Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-7474

Jodar Vineyard & Winery
4103 Carson Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-3474

Latcham Vineyards
2860 Omo Ranch Rd.
Mt Aukum, CA 95656
(530) 620-6642

Latrobe Vineyards
4861 Memory Lane
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 676-0108

Lava Cap Winery
2221 Fruitridge Rd.
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 621-0175

Madrona Vineyards
High Hill Road
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 644-5948

Mining Camp Winery
4801 Rock Barn Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 677-6510

Mount Aukum Winery
6781 Tower Rd.
Mount Aukum, CA 95656
(800) 591-WINE

Narrow Gate Vineyards
4282 Pleasant Valley Road
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 644-6201

Oakstone Winery
6440 Slug Gulch Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-5303

Perry Creek Vineyards
7400 Perry Creek Rd.
Somerset, CA 95656
(530) 620-5175

Primus Winery
2875 Larsen Drive
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 647-9463

Sierra Oaks Estates
6713 Mt. Aukum Rd.
Somerset, CA 95656
(530) 620-7079

Sierra Vista Winery
4560 Cabernet Way
Pleasant Valley, CA
(530) 622-7221

Single Leaf Vineyards & Winery
7480 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3545

Sogno Winery
3046 Ponderosa Road
Shingle Springs, CA 95682
(530) 672-6968

Stone's Throw Vineyard & Winery
3541 N. Canyon Rd.
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 622-5100

Stover Oaks Vineyard & Winery
5241 Nashville Trail
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 626-9463

Toogood Estate Winery
7280 Fair Play Rd
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-1910

Van Der Vijver Estate
7451 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-3210

Venezio Vineyards & Winery
5821 Highway 49
Coloma, CA 95613
(530) 885-WINE

Windwalker Vineyards
7360 Perry Creek Rd.
Fair Play, CA 95684
(530) 620-4054

And last, but not least!!!
Wofford Acres Vineyards
1900 Hidden Valley Lane
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 626-6858

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mandarin Festival in Auburn this weekend

Today we headed over to Auburn, about 45 mins. from our Placerville bed and breakfast and went to the Mandarin Festival held at the Placer County Fairgrounds. Quite an event, with lots of goodies to try, including mandarin oil, juice and shakes.

Here is what has to say: Mountain Mandarin Festival In Auburn Celebrates the Start of Holiday Harvest: Nov. 17-18
When autumn days in the Placer County foothills are warm and the nights are cold, mandarin orange growers anxiously await the first blush of color on their fruit. Just before Thanksgiving, samples are eagerly tasted for sweetness and then long hours are spent hand-snipping each stem to bring in the first crop of the season for the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn, California, November 17 and 18.The sweet and tangy citrus scent of Mandarin oranges permeates the crisp November air during the two-day Mountain Mandarin Festival held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, California. The Sierra Foothills, long-known for the discovery of gold in California, are also known for their golden treasure, the Mandarin orange. The Festival celebrates the start of their harvest. The Mountain Mandarin Festival attracts 30,000 visitors who savor the juicy fruit, which is available only late November through January. Most growers offer the seedless Owari Satsuma variety, often called the zipper fruit because it is so easy to peel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Apple Hill is still going on near Placerville, CA

Those who have left the highway and driven through the orchards, vineyards and forests above Placerville know what Apple Hill is all about... Take the drive... the kids will love it! Located in Camino, CA, Apple Hill was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, and vineyards. Free to the public. You will find many tasty treats to tempt you and unique gifts for the holiday season.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Upcoming events near our Placerville bed and breakfast

There are many events upcoming in our little town of Placerville, or very near. Why not make a weekend getaway, get your tree and do a little relaxing at the same time.

Nov16 thru Dec 16
Imagination Theater presents Lil Abner A family musical Call Box Office for times on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Dr Adults $16; Seniors (over 55) $13; Children & Students $9. And there are group rates available. Business hours of the Box office are Tuesday thru Friday 3:30 - 6:00. For more information contact: Box Office (530) 642-0404 or call us at the Albert Shafsky House to book a room and a show 530-642-2776

Nov17 & 18
Chili & Chocolate Holiday Celebration at Sierra Vista Winery Come join in and taste …more detailed information to follow for more details, visit their website or call them $10 per person includes logo wine glass, and chili and chocolate samples For more information contact: (800) 946-3916 Yummy!!!

Third Saturday Art walk is back!!Art galleries and merchants stay open late to host changing art show. Wine, hors d’oeuvres, demonstrations, and entertainment. Sponsored by local galleries and merchants. 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Historic Main Street, Placerville. Free to the public. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 642-0177

Festival of Lights The old-fashioned festivities will close Historic Main Street. There will be music, entertainment, Santa, stagecoach rides. Holly Jolly Trolley rides (to outlying parking lots). 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tree-lighting around 6:00 p.m. Historic Main Street, Placerville Free to the public. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 672-3436

Nov.23 & 24
Merchants Open House on Historic Main Street merchants welcome visitors with coffee, cider and seasonal goodies. Enjoy hometown holiday shopping and hospitality in one convenient setting. Free parking, entertainment, stagecoach rides and visits with Santa. Extended Hours. Call each store for more details about their hours. Historic Main Street, Placerville. Free parking. For more information contact: Placerville Downtown Association (530) 672-3436

Dec. 01
Shakespeare Club's Elizabethan Family Celebration 15th Annual family celebration will be held at the Shakespeare Clubhouse. The holiday event will feature Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, minstrels, jesters, tumblers, children's games and lots of Yule music. There will be a grand entrance paradeaccompanied by festive bagpipe music by Scotsmen arrayed in full regalia. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Placerville Shakespeare Club, 2940 Bedford Avenue, Placerville $30 for adults, $18 for teens 13 - 18, $7 for children under 12 For more information contact: For more information and to purchase tickets call Merrilee at (530) 676-3749

Dec. 01
Christmas in the Cellar at Madrona Your invited to the cellar of the winery for a day of no-stress shopping merriment. Music by Dickin's Carolers, Christmas Tree, delicious food, holiday vendors and of course,Madrona will have specials on several wines to prepare you for your holiday feasts. 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Madrona Vineyard, 2560 High Hill Road, Placerville Open to the public and free of charge, come relax and enjoy For more information contact: (530) 644-5948

Dec. 08 & 09
Christmas in Coloma Enjoy the Annual old-fashioned Christmas, with period crafts, strolling musicians, historic trade demonstrations, 19th century children's games, and wreath making. A visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus is a colorful highlight of the day. Vendors offer hand-crafts aswell as a variety of foods. Snow is guaranteed! 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, 8 miles north on Highway 49 from Placerville in Coloma. The admittance fee is only $7.00 per vehicle, everything else is free (except $3.00 cost of photo with Santa). Children can visit Santa for free without a photo. For more information contact: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park, call the events line (530) 295-2162

Dec. 08 & 09
Annual Historic Country Inn Holiday Tour Tour 12 inns decked out in seasonal finery, meet the innkeepers and enjoy Inn specialties and refreshments. Weekend tickets available, good for both Saturday and Sunday.Portion of proceeds benefit local charities Each day from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This is a self guided tour going to the Historic Country Inns located throughout El Dorado County. $15 in advance or at the door. Tickets are available at every member inn or calling. For more information contact: Historic Country Inns 877-262-4667

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lily the wonder dog

So many of our guests just love Lily. So to honor the little "innkeeper" here is a whole post about her...
This is the very first we saw of her, on our breeder's website. Lily is on the left. The other picture is Lily at 4 weeks, when we went to visit to see if we would be good parents for her and to meet the breeder. And the photo in the grass is her first days at home, at about 8 weeks old.
She has only gotten cuter!!!! We sometimes wonder if our guests would like the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast as much without Lily!

Gift cards for the holidays

Looking for a perfect, gift for the holiday season? How about a gift card to use at a bed and breakfast? We have gift cards for you that are welcome at nearly 4,000 bed and breakfasts (including the Albert Shafsky House B&B in Placerville) with no hidden fees, no blackout dates, and no expiration dates. And you can choose the amount to give. Gift cards are great for any resaon or season. Just give us a call at 530-642-2776 for your gift card or a gift certificate for the Albert Shafsky House.

For a complete list of inns that accept gift cards, click here.

Innkeeping 101 or our tips about running a B&B

As an innkeeper for over 5 years (average life style in running B&Bs is 7 years) we can say that it is a wonderful way to interact with guests and to host the traveling public. The most important thing we offer at our Placerville bed and breakfast is us. We are the ones who provide the personal, friendly service at our historic Queen Anne Victorian.

There are as many ways to run a B&B as there are B&Bs. That is not to say that any way is better or worse, professional or more of a hobby. Each B&B is different, thanks to the unique tastes and styles of the those who are the innkeeper.

For instance at our bed and breakfast, the previous owners had a rule about taking your shoes off upon arrival. They provided slippers to make you feel you were at home. Once we took over the bed and breakfast, and the innkeeping duties we changed that. We figured if you want to leave your shoes on you can...that to us is more welcoming. Our guests are free to wear shoes, slippers, socks or go barefoot. It is your stay, and your choice.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

InnSpire Annual Conference & Trade Show 2008

InnSpire is coming back to Santa Rosa and of course the Albert Shafsky House B&B innkeepers are going. This is one great conference and promises to be even better now that the
California Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns' (CABBI) is partnering with the California Hotel and Lodging Association (CH&LA). This event offers innkeepers, and aspiring innkeepers, a chance to network, and stay informed about areas of the hospitality and tourism arena and learn from the many workshops.

Whether you have been in business for one year, or ten, this conference offers something for you. Take the time to stay updated on industry trends and learn new innkeeping skills--you will get a chance to recharge your innkeeping batteries and host the next guests at your bed and breakfast inn.
Register Now Online or Download a Registration Form (PDF)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Albert Shafsky House in Placerville Voted Reader's Choice Best Bed & Breakfast

What makes the Albert Shafsky House Bed and Breakfast in Placerville number one?

"Maybe it's the warm greeting guests receive from Rita Timwell and Stephanie Carlson who have owned the inn since 2002. "I try to sit down with guests when they arrive and make them comfortable" said Timewell. Guest walk into the 105-year-old home with mellow wood paneling, comfortable chairs, an original chandelier and plenty of books. A carafe of Boeger wine or another cool beverage is always available".

For the full article, click here.

Thank you readers and guests!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Guests at the inn...wanna be an innkeeper?

We always have wonderful guests at the bed and breakfast. It is one of the reasons that makes being an innkeeper so rewarding. Many of them have become dear friends and come back to us annually and in some cases every few months.

One of the best parts is being able to "catch up" with them on what they have been doing and hear about their other travels. And it is always fun when they notice changes at the bed and breakfast too!

Since some guests have stayed with us in Placerville before, they will ask for some the recipes or a favorite cookie or breakfast, but don't let that stop you from asking if it is your first time with us.

And, we do have recipes on our website, under the dining page.

As, always, just ask us any innkeeping questions you might have....

Seasonal Sampler time at Boeger Winery on Nov 17th from 11-4

Why not sample some possible wines to grant as gifts for those on your list this holiday season? Boeger Winery, just 10 minutes from our B&B is holding their annual holiday sampler of wines paired with traditional holiday fare. They are offering seasonal sampler packs featuring wines that go best with traditional holdiay meals.

Boeger is one of our favorite places to go for tasting and relaxing with a picnic on their lovely grounds. Be sure and tell them Rita and Steph sent you!

Here is a photo of the old tasting room on the property taken by our pals at Wowizowi, who redesigned our website earlier this year.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Want to be an innkeeper?

So many of our guests at the inn have asked us if we love our jobs. In fact, nearly every one of our guests asks us. This question is always interesting, because of course you have to say yes, even if you know that right after your chat, you have to clean two rooms, go to the store, do some marketing, iron eight sheets, set the table, well, you get the idea.

That is not to say the answer is no. In fact it is a yes, we do love our jobs as innkeepers and certainly would not still be running the inn if we did not. It is just such a hard question to answer, because you can't say all the above stuff and not have the guest be shocked at the answer, (and maybe ruin their dream of what an innkeeper does). It is in fact hard work to make running a bed and breakfast look easy--that is the real trick.

If you have questions about what it is like to really run a bed and breakfast inn, ask. We will answer you--at least via this blog.