MURPHYS — Calaveras County has so many things to offer tourists, frog jumping, gold panning, cave tours, golf, boating, antiquing, but wine is one of the largest draws. Visitors may be surprised to find out that vines are hardly a newcomer to Calaveras. The oldest vines in the county are 110-year-old Zinfandel, organically dry-farmed in the old Italian tradition. Today, there are nearly 700 acres of vines and a yearly production of about 275,000 cases--still small compared to many other wine growing regions in California, but growing.
The 17th annual Passport “Wine” Weekend sponsored by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance will take place June 21 to 23. Passport Weekend is an opportunity for wine lovers to visit Calaveras County and meet with the winemakers and producers from the area. It’s an intimate event where winemakers are in the tasting rooms or on hand at the winery tomeet consumers and tell their story.
The Calaveras Winegrape Alliance is comprised of over twenty two member wineries/tasting rooms located throughout Calaveras County. This special weekend is centeredaround gourmet foods, entertainment, special winery discounts and of course, award winning Calaveras wines.
Participants are issued a commemorative glass and “Passport” that is stamped at each of the wineries visited on Saturday and Sunday, and if completed, entered in drawings for some outstanding prizes.
The event kicks off on Friday night with the “Taste the World of Calaveras”, held in Murphys Park. All of the 22 participating wineries gather in the park and pour one or two wines with varietals from a certain county. Spain, France Majoris, Rhone, Italy and California are all regions represented.
All participants must be 21 years or older, designated drivers passes are $15 for the weekend. All participating wineries encourage designated drivers and will provide non-alcoholic beverages in addition to any food they are serving.
The price of the 2-day passport, including admission to the Friday night event, is $60. Sunday only is $30. The Friday night event is $30 if a two day passport is not purchased. For more information, please call 866-806-9463. Tickets can be purchased online at http://calaveraspassport.eventbrite.com/