Calaveras Vineyards Reflect Diveristy
Thanks to Jon Tourney from Wines & Vines for his article about our 2013 Vineyard Tour & BBQ
Murphys, Calif.—A vineyard tour presented July 19 by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance (CWA) and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Central Sierra office featured vineyards ranging from the smallest to the largest in Calaveras County. The tour highlighted how the county has attracted a diverse group of vineyard owners and managers in recent years who are taking on the challenge to explore and develop diverse sites for winegrowing.
Calaveras County has the third-largest winegrape production of any county in the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area with about 900 acres of vineyards that range in elevation from 200 feet to 3,300 feet. In addition to the area’s historic Zinfandel vines, vineyards here are planted to a wide range of French, Italian and Spanish varieties. While some grape production is sold and sent to wineries outside the county, a significant portion remains locally processed and sold. The number of local wineries and labels has expanded during the past 20 years, and the historic Gold Rush town of Murphys has become a wine-tasting destination featuring more than 20 tasting rooms, most within a half-mile stretch along Main Street.
The annual CWA Vineyard Tour is attended by local grapegrowers, ag officials and individuals interested in learning more about growing grapes in the county as well as the diverse vineyard sites and varieties in production. Tour leaders included CWA member Mark Skenfield of Vinescapes, a vineyard development and management consultant who manages several Calaveras vineyards, UCCE Central Sierra farm advisor Lynn Wunderlich and Sonoma County viticulture advisor Rhonda Smith.