OPHIR (California Historical Landmark #463) was the most populous town in Placer County in 1852 and was the center of the local gold mining industry. Today, remnants of gold mines sit adjacent to our vineyards. Along with the miners, the Gold Rush of 1849 brought entrepreneurs who supplied the miners with the goods they valued back east and in the old country. By 1895 almost 100 wineries were operating in the Mother Lode area, more than Napa and Sonoma combined.
Prohibition brought this thriving wine industry to a halt in 1920. Most vineyard land was converted to pear, apple and citrus trees. The area continued to rely on non-vineyard agriculture until the 1970's when innovative wine-makers began to return viticulture to the region.
Green Ravine Vineyard
This 20-year old vineyard owned by Craig and Martye Green is the source of Ophir Wines spicy Sauvignon Blanc, versatile Zinfandel, and limited production Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. This vineyard reflects the eclectic, adventurous tradition of California wine growers.
Gold Blossom Vineyard
Planted in the 1990’s by owners Paul Burns and Lois Bailey, Gold Blossom is a more traditional vineyard in the sense that it reflects the wine growing traditions of France’s Rhône River valley. The major plantings of Syrah, along with Mourvedre and Cinsault, form the base of our Oui Rosé and our award-winning Syrah. The California tradition is also served in the Panhandle section of the vineyard, planted to Zinfandel and Petite Sirah.
Granite Bay Vineyard
We purchase excellent Petite Sirah grapes from a neighbor’s 12-year old vineyard. Most of the grapes go into a reserve Petite Sirah that will remain in barrel an extra year, while some may go into our red and Rosé wines in any given year.
Vista del Oro Vineyard
Beginning with the 2004 vintage, we’ve acquired some fine Grenache from John Geraghty’s Vista del Oro Vineyard, outside Auburn overlooking Folsom Lake. John is meticulous about vineyard maintenance and produces low yield/high quality fruit. With our expanded portfolio of Rhône-style varieties, we will be able to produce a broader range of interesting blends.
Gold Blossom Vineyard @ bud break.
We grow and tend the grapes that comprise our wines. We fenced the land, planted the vines and built (and re-built) the trellises and devised and put in the irrigation systems that support them.
Green Ravine Vineyard in mid-summer
We manage leaf canopy (for sun exposure) and limit crop weight (for concentrated flavor) to keep the vines in balance. Balanced vines yield balanced wines.
Gold Blossom Vineyard panhandle section in autumn
We prune the vines in winter to set the stage for bud break in the spring.
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