Wine in Calaveras County? Yes!

by | Mar 12, 2012 | Travel, Wine

Wine tasting at the Brice Station Winery in Calaveras County

It has been a tradition for several of my friends and I to go to the mountains over President’s Day weekend. Since everyone’s kids have grown, one of the snow days has turned into a wine tasting day. We have been heading up to Calaveras County in the California Gold Country and attending the President’s Wine Weekend for the past several years. This wine country continues to mature! 2012 marked the 16th Annual President’s Wine Weekend with 23 participating tasting rooms.

Brice Station Map

The President’s Day Wine Weekend is a two day event and we attended on Sunday, which is day two of the event. Our first stop that day was the Brice Station Winery where we picked up our glasses for $10. This was one of the few stops with glasses left. I limited my tasting as I was the designated driver. The favorite appetizer here was the seeded baguette with almond and Gorgonzola spread, broiled and topped with a fig orange peel jam. Also on the Brice Station Winery property is a blacksmith shop that offers blacksmithing classes, and Quyle Kilns. This cooperative kiln offers a variety of pottery and styles. There were various animals around the property including chickens, dogs, geese, and llamas.

Brice Station Tasting Room

We drove on down the hill to Murphys, where the main street is lined with shops, restaurants, and tasting rooms. We stopped at the Vina Moda Winery, which is in a unique building. Across the street was Tanner Vineyards where they were serving the guests out in their gardens. I tasted the Syrah, which complemented the sausages hot off the grill.

Tanner Vineyards Tasting Room

My friends really enjoyed the Zinfandels at Milliare Winery. They particularly enjoyed the Clocksprings from Amador County. In fact, they picked up a bottle for our Kale Soup dinner. It was a wonderful Zinfandel!

Frog’s Tooth Winery offered a wide variety of red wines. For food they were serving meatballs in a Tempranillo cranberry sauce.

Frog’s Tooth Tasting Room

There were so many tasting rooms in this area, that even though I was driving, my friends could not stop at all of them! My “must visit” wineries are Stevenot Winery and Newsome-Harlow. Chuck Hovey, the winemaker at Stevenot and Scott Klann, owner and winemaker at Newsome-Harlow are judges at the Alameda County Fair’s Best of the Bay Wine Competition and Zin Challenge.  I bought a bottle of Viognier at Stevenot and a Syrah at Newsome-Harlow.

Entrance to Stevenot Tasting Room

Inside the Stevenot Tasting Room

Both the Stevenot and Newsome-Harlow tasting rooms are very friendly. The owners of Stevenot, the Oliveto family, were pouring that day. They were serving delicious sausages from the Big Trees Market in Arnold. At Newsome-Harlow, Scott Klann was pouring. His wife, Melanie, was busy with The Kitchen at Newsome-Harlow. They offered fried root vegetables from their garden, a colorful variety of treats. The Courtyard has seating, a gas fire pit, and heated tubes, offering an alternative to the busy street and tasting rooms.

Newsome-Harlow Tasting Room

The courtyard at the Newsome-Harlow Winery

The last stop of the day was the Black Sheep Winery where Jane Drummond–Mullarkey purchased the Raspberry Sparkling Wine. Her Bunco group loves it!

Should you have an opportunity to visit Calaveras wineries – do so! You won’t be disappointed.

~Susie Calhoun~