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All About the Diestel Turkey Ranch and Farm in Sonora, CA

Looking for a day trip or a long weekend away? Taking some time to get away from everyday life sounds like a great idea, but planning brings its own type of stress.

If Sonora, CA is on your radar, you have excellent taste. There is plenty to do in this beautiful area. Its location, next door to Yosemite National Park, makes it a treat for outdoor lovers. But there is more to discover in Sonora!

Diestel Family Turkey Ranch & Farm in Sonora CA
Diestel Family Turkey Ranch & Farm in Sonora CA

One trip that you may not have considered is visiting a turkey ranch. Sound like something you would consider? You should. Read on to learn why the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch is worth the visit.

Why Visit a Turkey Ranch?

When looking for things to do in Sonora, CA, visiting a turkey ranch may not be at the top of your list. That’s your mistake. The Diestel Family Ranch raises and processes turkeys, but it is much more than that.

Founded in 1949, the Diestel Family Ranch has passed down through the generation. Each generation has improved on the next, as the understanding of sustainable practices continues to improve.

Today, the Diestel’s are perhaps as well known for their regenerative farming as they are their turkeys. That is saying something because their turkeys are amazing.

A visit to the ranch allows you to see the processes that restore biodiversity and rebuild the soil. The Diestel’s fertilize their soil with organic waste produced on-site.

The ranch is able to use less groundwater than many traditional farms because of a membrane water technology system.

Sampling the Product

Weekend trips mean stops at the area gift shop, right? Don’t worry, you can do that at the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. After you have a look around the ranch, stop by the on-site salesroom for something to take home.

Diestel offers turkey in a range of flavors, including oven or honey roasted and smoked. You can also pick up turkey burgers, meatloaf, tenderloins, and more.

All are antibiotic-free and raised with the care that the Diestel’s have showered on their farm for generations.

Feel free to come by and visit the ranch and our onsite salesroom. Regular salesroom hours are 9 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Hours vary during the holiday season. Call 209/532-4950 to confirm our salesroom hours. We always suggest calling ahead for product availability.


22200 Lyons Bald Mountain Rd.
Sonora, CA 95370

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 4314
Sonora, CA 95370

How long can a fresh turkey be kept in the refrigerator?

You can keep a fresh turkey in your refrigerator as long as you’d like, but we’d urge you not to eat it after three days. If you don’t plan to eat it within three days, we recommend that you freeze it to ensure it’s safe, wholesome, and delicious.

How do I thaw my Turkey?

If you need to cook your turkey in the next couple of days we recommend softening the bird in your refrigerator. Below is the USDA’s recommended refrigerator thawing times.

Refrigerator Thawing Times
4 to 12 pounds – 1 to 2 days
12 to 16 pounds – 2 to 3 days
16 to 20 pounds – 3 to 4 days

If you need to cook your turkey in less than one day we recommend softening your bird in a cold water bath. Allow about 30 minutes per pound. Submerge the turkey (in original bag) in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Below is the USDA’s recommended cold water thawing times. *Please note thawing the turkey more slowly is preferred.*

Cold Water Thawing Times
4 to 12 pounds – 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pounds – 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pounds – 8 to 10 hours

How to Cook a Diestel Bone-In Roast

How to Cook a Diestel Bone-In Roast

How to Cook a Diestel Boneless Roast

How to Cook a Diestel Boneless Roast

Roasting Instructions – How to roast a tender, juicy whole turkey every time

Roasting Instructions

Other Things To This Weekend in Sonora, CA

The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch is just one of the many things you can find to occupy your time in Sonora. Just down the road is Lake Don Pedro. Sure, you can enjoy all the recreational activities that come along with a large body of water, but make time for a visit to the Eagle-Shawmut Mine.

The mine has been underwater until recently. Dropping water levels mean the mine is now visible. Access to the mine is limited to the use of a boat most of the year, but during California’s dry season you can hike in.

If you’re looking for something a little less physical, make a stop at Mark Twain’s cabin. It was while visiting a saloon nearby that Twain heard the lore of a jumping frog.

Hearing this story sparked something in Twain. When he returned to the cabin where he was staying he penned “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”

Where To Stay

Don’t settle for a hotel or other cookie-cutter accommodations when you are in Sonora. After leaving the turkey ranch, you’ll want to stay somewhere as unique as the area.

When making plans, get in touch with us at Twain Harte Vacation Rentals.