Another Saturday and what to do or where to go? How about Clarksburg, just south of Sacramento, near Freeport. The Old Sugar Mill is holding a Port and Chocolate Lover’s Weekend. The Old Sugar Mill is home to eight California wineries, including Todd Taylor, Three Wine, Merlo Family, Heringer Estates, Clarksburg Wine, Rondez-vous, Elevation Ten, and Carvalho Family Wines.
Clarksburg Wine Company is a custom wine crush facility, handling small lots to world class wines. Construction took place back in 1934 to 1936. The location sits on the Sacramento River. The post office was established in 1854. The town was named for Robert C. Clark who settled here in 1849. In the 1920s, the New Holland Land Company began subdividing tracts of land, with many of those families still present.
The sugar mill came along in 1835. It went through several hands before closing in 1993. It was renovated in 2000 for wine tasting and the wine crush. For today’s event, live music, a cigar lounge, wine and port barrel tastings, chocolate tastings and pairings, and a commemorative wine glass are included. Kidd Chocolate, a Grammy Award winning New Orleans jazz musician will provide the music. The facility can also be rented for private functions and weddings.
I have been fond of port for a number of years, since a trip to Portugal to play golf. This is about the only time I would even contemplate eating dark chocolate, save for an occasional Snickers bar on the golf course in times of desperation. For that reason, Bogle Vineyards is of particular interest to me. They have 1200 acres along Elk Slough.
From Bogle’s website:
The Quick Ranch, located on Merritt Island in Clarksburg, has long been one of the Bogle’s best producing Petite Sirah vineyards. This 30 acre parcel, planted in 1995, has once again delivered fruit of intensity and concentration, and remains the source of Bogle’s ruby-style
Petite Sirah Port.
To produce a Port with this style of richness and ripeness, the fruit was allowed to hang on the vine an additional month past traditional harvest times. The sugar in the grapes intensified, and when selectively hand-picked on September 22, 2008, was at 24.9 degrees brix. Fermentation began, but was halted when the wine was fortified. This allowed the residual sugar and alcohol content to stabilize and remain where wine makers wanted it for this dessert wine. Aged in neutral American oak barrels 38 months, the flavors became integrated and intensified, creating another stellar vintage.
Soft and succulent, rich and ripe, this Port overflows with decadent dark cherry, cocoa and pipe tobacco on the nose. Expressive and enticing, the dark fruit of black raspberries and elderberries seduces your palate and leads to touches of chocolate and caramel on the finish. Port ages wisely, and this bottle will be enjoyable for the next 20 years.