You may know Calaveras County from Mark Twain’s “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” its mystifying caverns, or as a destination for those seeking a golden payday during the Gold Rush. What most people don’t know is the history behind the region’s wine (or as we call it, “liquid gold”). Located in the Northern California Sierra Foothills, the warm, dry summers, mild winters, and fertile soil of Calaveras County make it the ideal place for growing some of California’s best wines. The first planting of Calaveras County winegrapes can be traced back to 1851, with the well known Mission grapes being planted in 1852.
In 1858, an explosion of vineyards were planted across the area, leading to a tremendous increase in winemaking from 1866-1877 (just before the wine boom in 1880). During prohibition, wine was the only alcohol allowed to be made; thus business in the area was booming. Today, Calaveras Wine Country has over 900 vineyard acres producing 36 varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Barbera, Sangiovese, Malbec, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Graciano, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Pinot Grigio, & Albariño. Ironstone Vineyards farms 1,100 acres of grapes in Calaveras County alone.
Just a few of our Calaveras County favorites:
… and more!
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