A couple of weeks ago I discovered a new location to do some wine tasting. It had been right under my nose and I didn’t even smell it! Or to be more precise, taste it! My “new” discovery is about 20 minutes south of downtown Sacramento at the Old Sugar Mill in the town of Clarksburg . Even though I had heard people mention the Old Sugar Mill, I was never enticed to take a visit. It is local and small and figured they would offer only a small sampling of wine.
As my friend and I took the drive down to the Old Sugar Mill, we discovered a scenic drive along the Sacramento River and encountered other wineries along the way. Once we got to the Old Sugar Mill location, we saw a huge brick building located all by itself. It felt a little like an abandoned building in a scary movie but as we got closer it was nicely decorated with just a few visitors coming out the building. The parking lot was almost empty (must have been a slow weekend, which meant more personalized attention for us at the winery) but as we entered inside the restored sugar mill, we discovered it contained 10 local wineries in just one location.
I am used to having to drive from one winery to another when I’ve done wine tasking like in Napa or Amador County but at the Old Sugar Mill it felt like a wine tasting event where different wine vendors all gather at one location just for your tasting pleasure. It was great! We didn’t have to worry about drinking and driving from one location to another.
I was really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying some of the wines from the vendors. I learned that some of the wineries don’t store their wines in wooden barrels but instead use aluminum-like containers to give the wines a less oaky taste. The wines didn’t have the aluminum taste either like aluminum can beers. Some wineries said they use both methods of holding them in both oak and aluminum containers. I prefer the less oaky tasting wines to the harsher after taste of oak infused. One of my favorite wines was the Dolcetto from the Due Vigne de Famiglia vineyard. It had a smooth taste with a little hint of sweetness. The Dolcetto contains a mix of blueberries and blackberries.
The Elevation Ten was a close second to the best wineries at the mill. Their wines are very smooth and had a great port wine for those who enjoy dessert wines. They also have some amazing olive oil to sample. The other wineries at the mill are Clarksburg Wine Company, Carvalho Family Winery, Rendez-vous Family, Three Wine Company, Heringer Estates, Todd Taylor, Merlo Family Vineyards, and Draconis.
Tasting at each winery is $5 and is usually refunded if you make a purchase. The bottles can cost anywhere from $18 to $40. So if you want to get away from the city and enjoy a little wine tasting, the Old Sugar Mill provides a great location plus other local wineries along the way.
The Old Sugar Mill hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday and is located at 35265 Willow Ave., Clarksburg. For more information, you can also visit here.