Wine Tasting in... Sacramento?

Wine Tasting in... Sacramento?
Clarksburg, California, is fourteen miles south of Sacramento by freeway but a world away as the eye sees it. This wine region, or American Viticultural Area (AVA for short), has long been known for its wild grapes; vineyards have flourished here for over a century. Visitors to the area will enjoy a variety of grapes, from Albarino to Zinfandel, as well as tasting areas that rival the best of Sonoma and Napa in terms of beauty. There’s an added bonus too – the crowds are smaller, and the prices more reasonable.

Start your visit at Bogle Vineyards, one of the first growers to be certified for sustainable farming practices. While the tasting room offers sparkling whites, Chardonnays, and Chenin Blancs, the focus is on a multitude of red grapes, including Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, and a number of intriguing blends. Be sure to sample the ‘old vine’ Zinfandel, created from grapes picked off vines that are over fifty years old. Outside the tasting room is a lawn with picnicking facilities that attract families; parties without children can bring their wine to an adult only patio and survey the grapevines as they sip. Bogle is open from 10 or 11 until 5pm daily.

The Old Sugar Mill was originally built as a beet refinery in 1934, and the brick building’s architecture is indeed vintage. Inside, the great central hallway offers exhibits and information on the building’s history, while small areas off to each side house the tasting rooms. Visitors will find off the radar selections, such as the Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, and Syrah from tiny Draconis by Matt Powell, Ports from the Portuguese-style Carvalho, and Italian grapes from Due Vigne. Herringer Estates offers wines from a company with over a century’s experience in this area. The Seka Hills Tasting room offers wine but also beef jerky, nuts, honey, vinegar, and olive oil; all products have been crafted by members of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation on their ancestral lands northeast of Sacramento and brought to the tasting room. In addition, six other wineries -- Todd Taylor, Three Wine, Elevation Ten, Rendez-Vous, Bump City, and Batia – are housed here, making this one stop an easy way to sample the best of Clarksburg. Picnicking areas are available for those wishing to linger before returning to the big city. The Old Sugar Mill is open from 10 to 5 daily.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of these wineries, and have purchased their products with my own funds.

Bogle Vineyards, 37783 County Road 144, Clarksburg, CA 95612

Old Sugar Mill, 35265 Willow Avenue, Clarksburg, CA 95612

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