Clarksburg is a small town that’s known exclusively for its wine production. Situated near the Sacramento River in California, this is one destination wine lovers need to put on their itinerary.
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Why Is Clarksburg Good For Winemaking?
Although virtually inland, the Clarksburg land is cooled by the river breeze, creating a climate that is perfect for vineyards – and thus, making wine! The grapes bask in the warm sun during the day and are cooled by the colder breeze in the nighttime. This gentle climate assures the winemakers that the grapes have not been tampered with by harsh elements like snow or rain, therefore resulting in you being able to taste the confidence they have in the final product and its delicious flavours.
Want to learn more about the wine industry and the best wineries in Clarksburg? Keep reading!
History Of Winemaking In California And Clarksburg
The first place you think of when thinking of the pioneers of winemaking in North America has got to be California. With Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California has an iconic wine country that attracts tourists from all over the world. As with many vineyards outside of Europe, the wineries started with the influence of missionaries. The Spanish missionaries settled in California, somewhere around San Diego in the 1700s. The intention was to make wine for their communion, and now California has territory so covered in vineyards it’s been designated as “wine country”.
The wine industry in America has had to overcome some troubling times during the 20th century. Thanks to prohibition there was an inability to produce wine for leisurely consumption and it could only be produced for communion. A lot of vineyards tried to stay alive by replacing their finer grapes with lower quality grapes that could be sold to the public as just grapes. Once prohibition had ended, the wine industry needed some healing, and many programs were designated to rehabilitate the vineyards to improve the quality.
Decades later, the industry was finally on track again and wines from California were being compared to that of France. In 1984 during the height of the wine industry, the vineyards of Clarksburg were established, and they entered into a very thirsty and demanding market. Although Clarkesburg got its AVA dedication in 1984, it’s suspected that there were generations of winemakers on the land dating as far back as the 19th century.
What Is The Old Sugar Mill?
The Old Sugar Mill is the biggest and most well-known wineries in Clarksburg, ca. This is thanks to the previous owner John Carvalho, Jr who bought it in 2000 and turned it into what it is today. It’s home to fourteen wineries, all in one location, so it’s an excellent first stop for those visiting.
The name of the location is thanks to its origin as a beet sugar refinery in 1934, but over the last century, it has changed its game and established itself as a true tourist attraction. Only 15 minutes from Sacramento and at the heart of Clarksburg, its become a great spot to taste the variety on offer in addition to it being a great place to host weddings, birthday parties and any event that goes hand in hand with good food and wine.
How Many Wineries Are In Clarksburg, CA?
There are about fifteen wineries in Clarksburg, with the majority of them being a part of the Old Sugar Mill. Most of these wineries are family-owned and could be older than the Sugar Mill itself.
The families include the Bogle Family winery and The Heringer Estate. The Bogle family first planted their grapes in the 1960s, and now they are the proud family behind one of the most decorated and well-known wineries in Northern California. The Heringer Estate has planted over 650 acres of grapes over their generational reign. A lot of their grapes supply the bigger wineries of Nappa valley when the seasons aren’t producing enough.
What Wine Is Clarksburg Known For?
The Clarksburg Chenin Blanc is known for its remarkable honey flavour that has made the biggest name for itself out of all the wines available. However there are more than 25 grape varieties found over the land, so best believe you’ll be spoilt for choice when visiting.
These variations include Viognier, Verdelho and Albarino from the Iberian Peninsula and Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio from the cooler climes of northern Italy. There is also a big emphasis on the Chardonnay of Clarksburg. Although the Chenin Blanc is so well-known, there are actually more Chardonnay plantations than Chenin, so it’s an important one to look out for.
Activities To Enjoy
Clarksburg is actually an extremely small town with a total population of 500 people. It’s a town that is mostly dedicated to its main tourist attraction, the wineries. However, it is only a short drive away from Sacramento, a lovely quaint town with a few more vibey activities to enjoy if you feel like you’ve seen all that the wineries have to offer.
There are bars, live music events, picturesque cafes, and a social scene to take part in. Clarksburg and Sacramento are situated on a river, which makes them very beautiful and picturesque with great weather conditions, not too hot or too cold.
Best Clarksburg Wines To Look Out For
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If you don’t make it to Clarksburg, there are many popular brands that you can find that either use grapes grown in the area or are made in the area. The Bogle Vineyards “Phantom” Chardonnay is a must-try, as it utilizes the area’s most delectable grape and produces a fine product. It also belongs to one of the generational estates, so its recipe is older and therefore perfected over time. This wine boasts a buttery mouthfeel, something that’s sought after for incredible food pairings with fish.
If you’re looking for a red wine to pair with chicken or meat, then look no further than the Crusher Grower’s Selection Pinot Noir. This light red goes well with any lunchtime favourites and has a low tannin flavour. Making it light and perfumed on the nose with the taste of raspberry and cherry. A light red wine is a great choice, as it tends to be a crowd-pleasure with its less acidic and dry taste than that of a Cab Sav.
Whatever your palette, there’s a Clarksburg wine to match it perfectly, and if you’re still unsure, then make use of all their tasting facilities and have a blast in this serene Californian heaven.