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Tasting Gold in Calaveras Wine Country

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

SFCWC Public Tasting | 2018

An area known for its history of gold-rich hills, Calaveras County boasts plenty of gold, silver and bronze too! Finding precious metals here is a bit harder these days unless we’re talking about wine. You can stop your digging now because we’re here to tell you where to find precious “medals” in Calaveras Wine Country. 

The San Francisco Chronicles' wine competition is the biggest in the world. Starting out as the Cloverdale Citrus Fair in 1983 with only 45 entries from 15 wineries, it has grown to over 6,800 entries this year from over 1,132 wineries. With 64 professional judges overseeing the competition, it includes the most extensive list of winners across all categories. Even with the numerous entries only a select few can win. 

We like to call Calaveras Wine Country a "wine-lovers best-kept secret", but with many of our wineries being recognized nationally, the secret is getting harder to keep. 

So, here’s where you can sip and buy Calaveras Wine Country’s award winning wines:

Black Sheep Winery

2016 Zinfandel - Calaveras County - Gold

Winemaker Steve Milliaire, and Black Sheep Wines have a long-standing history of great Zinfandel. This varietal happened to be the first batch of grapes ever purchased by what is now Black Sheep Winery back in 1984. The grapes hadn't been sold yet and needed to be turned into wine, thus creating Black Sheep's first vintage. They used a small gasoline powered Zambelli crusher and an antique wooden wine press. This press is now on display at the winery. A sheepish start with homeless grapes and borrowed equipment was the beginning to over 30 years of Zinfandel mastery.

Villa Vallecito Vineyards 

2015 Sagrantino - Gold