Have you ever stopped to think about the work put into the making of your glass of wine? Today when I was downtown, I saw the staff at Nevada City Winery work on one of the first steps of winemaking. The grapes came from a vineyard in Clarksburg, CA. The grapes are white grapes and were being made into Chardonnay. Although you can grow grapes to make Chardonnay in Nevada County, it is a little too warm, according to someone from Sierra Starr Winery who was waiting to pick up his grapes. He explained the process to me. It starts with a bin containing just under one ton, or 2,000 pounds, of grapes. The grapes are slowly dumped into a hopper where the stems and leaves are removed. From there, they fall into a crusher where the juicing process begins. The juice that the grapes make is called must. It contains the skins and isn’t filtered, so it’s pretty thick. The must is pushed to the last step, the press, where the skins are removed and the must is filtered. The product is moved inside where they begin to ferment it. Mark, the very experienced winemaker for Nevada City Winery, was outside helping with this process. If you would like to watch this in action, you can see it all from the deck at Nevada City Winery. If you want to taste the end product, both Sierra Starr and Nevada City Winery uses these grapes to create Chardonnay. Click on the photos below to view them larger or visit our Flickr to see them.
Elevensies Homemade Crepes opened yesterday in Nevada City where the hot dog stand once was. Owners Cole and Ari make delicious crepes (gluten-free options, and possibly vegan options later) from organic ingredients. They named their crepe stand after the meal that Hobbits (from Lord of the Rings) eat between second breakfast and lunch.
They offer both sweet and savory crepes. Yesterday I tried the strawberry chocolate crepe, made with Belgian chocolate and fresh strawberries. Today I got the Sam Chase, which is ham and white cheddar, and my mom got The Mamas crepe (a delicious combo of Meyer lemon curd, poppy seeds, blackberries, and topped with whipped cream). They have all been so tasty! It’s been a little tricky to photograph, but here are a few pictures.
Last week, we visited Fowler Family Farm, owned by Brad and Alana (plus their 5 daughters Macey, Molly, Morgan, Wyatt, and Wendy) in Grass Valley. The family-run farm raises turkeys, chickens, pigs, goats, and cows. They sell their meat and eggs at the Saturday Farmers Market in Nevada City, as well as through a CSA. The chickens are free-range and have plenty of room to run around and eat bugs. The pigs are happy to get splashed with water by the girls and sleep under the big oak trees. The turkeys are also free range and are ready by Thanksgiving. They’re processed just a few days before T-Day so you don’t have to freeze or thaw out the bird! We are so happy to see another farm in our community that raises good, wholesome food with love and compassion. Check out more pictures HERE.
Nevada City Uncorked was a great success this past weekend. Locals and tourists filled the streets, wine glass in hand. For $40 at the door, patrons received a commemorative wine glass (also used for tasting), 5 food tickets that could be redeemed at any of the locations, and wine tasting from 21 different wineries (and a couple breweries). Over 300 tickets were sold. Wine tasters had a great time at Broad Street Inn. We set up chairs, tables, and umbrellas for the patrons. Solune Winegrowers were serving the wine, and Broad Street Bistro was serving the food. To read more about the event, click HERE.
Here are a few pictures from the event. See more on our Flickr, or click HERE.
The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Vintners present Nevada City Uncorked, a Food and Wine Experience. This Saturday, August 6, from 1:00-4:00 p.m., over 20 wineries, restaurants, and venues will participate in this event. After some last minute changes, we have been added as a venue! Similar to the Wine Stroll in June, patrons will walk from venue to venue, taste wine, and eat. All of the locations are walking distance and include Broad, Commercial, Spring, and Pine Streets.
Some of the wineries that will be attending include Nevada City Winery, Szabo, Lucchesi, Pilot Peak, and many others. Friar Tuck’s, Deer Creek Inn, J.J.Jackson’s, as well as plenty of other locations, will be serving food and wine. Food will be provided by several different restaurants and caterers, including Sopa Thai, Way Yum Sushi, and Fudenjuice.
Tickets for Sierra Vintners Wine Club Members are $25. Tickets for non-members are $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Your ticket includes a commemorative wine glass for wine tasting, and 5 food tickets. Additional food tickets are available for 2/$5 or 5/$10.
Summer Nights has been a tradition in Nevada City for many years now. The fun street fair is entertaining for both children and adults. Broad and Commercial Streets are shut off to vehicles so the streets are open for vendors and patrons. The stores and restaurants are open and vendors line the streets with art, fresh veggies, and hot dinners. At the top of Broad Street, a live band is always playing where visitors usually start dancing. There are pony rides for kids as well as a craft table set up outside of My Favorite Things where Tina, the owner, sits with kids (and adults) and provides all of the glitter, glue, and all of the girlie supplies you need. At the bottom of the hill, the food court sits in the Bank of America parking lot. Calla Lily Crepes serves fresh, hot crepes (sweet or savory options) using organic ingredients from local farms. Many other food vendors fill up the lot, including a beer booth and homemade kettlecorn. There is no admission to the street fair, but definitely bring your wallet for dinner, ice cream, and goodies from the vendors. Parking is limited in Nevada City, especially since Broad and Commercial are shut off to vehicles. We recommend arriving early, or carpooling, if you are coming from out of the area.
Summer Nights takes place in downtown Nevada City for three Wednesdays, July 13, 20, and 27 from 6:00-9:30. For questions or more information, call the Nevada City Chamber at 1-800-655-NJOY or 530-265-2692.
Today, we took a short walk up American Hill Road to visit a small farm known as Lost Hill Farm. Juniper is the gardener and owner of Lost Hill Farm, along with a few interns part of the Living Lands Agrarian Network. Tim Van Wagner started the Living Lands Agrarian Network to offer training and mentorship to the next generation of farmers. (Tim Van Wagner is the brother to Wendy Van Wagner, who owns In the Kitchen on Zion Street where they often use veggies and herbs from LLAN gardens). Read more about the non-profit here. We usually take our resident pup, Dot, for a walk right by Lost Hill Farm. We have seen the land transform over the past year from an empty, dry field to a thriving, groomed garden. Juniper was born and raised in Southern California. She moved to Virginia and caught the gardening “bug”. She loves to garden and spend time outdoors. She moved back to California and started Lost Hill Farm. She is a part of Living Lands Agrarian Network. She does most of the gardening herself, but donates some of her land to the interns at LLAN and in turn gets a little help. Every Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. she sets up her garden stand and sells her crops. She asks only for a donation, or to pay what you can. Currently she has kumquats, bok choy, arugula, spinach, turnips, and radishes at her farm stand.
In case you missed the very first Nevada City Soapbox Derby, we took plenty of pictures! The course ran down almost all of Nimrod Street in Nevada City. The soapbox cars went flying by Pioneer Park this afternoon to improve and support the park. At least 42 cars were submitted to race. Each one was unique and some were made independently and others were made by local businesses. Some were fast and aerodynamic, while others were goofy and clunky. Local businesses including South Pine Cafe, Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Shop, Empire Fence, BYOB, Mountain Recreation, and Nevada City Winery all entered cars. Take a look at a few of our photos below, and see the rest HERE. Read more information about the derby on our previous blog post.
Yesterday, we went downtown to try out the newest restaurant in town, Pete’s Pizza. Their first restaurant was opened a few years ago in downtown Grass Valley and after great success, they have opened a second restaurant in Nevada City. We walked downtown and were at Pete’s in just a couple of minutes. We were going to get a small pizza, which is 12″ and just over $10. The owner talked us into getting just a slice a piece, which was the perfect size. The large slice was about $4 and we could add toppings, but opted for a simple slice of Margherita. Pete’s serves a thin, New York-style pizza with a homemade sauce and fresh toppings (they also have a Chicago deep-dish style per request). The Margherita had Roma tomatoes that were ripe and juicy with fresh basil. A slice took a little over 5 minutes and a whole pizza takes about 20 minutes. A pizza-by-the-slice place is perfect for tourists and locals alike, especially during street fairs and events. They have a whole list of toppings or you can choose from their specials, such as the Yuba or Mediterranean. If you aren’t in the mood for pizza, they have calzones (which are packed full and delicious!), salads, subs, and a list of appetizers including fish and chips, chicken tenders, garlic fries, and much more. Pete’s has yet to set hours, but for now they open at 11:30 a.m. and close late in the evening sometime. Pete’s Pizza is at 239 Commercial St. in Nevada City, CA and can be contacted by phone at 530.264.7004
We love our front patio! It’s the perfect place to watch parades, like the Mardi Gras parade coming up on March 6, 2011. The parade, often referred to as the Joe Cain Day Parade, is an all-weekend event. It starts on Saturday, March 5, with the Masquerade Ball at the Miners Foundry and ends on Sunday with the parade where they have booths set up with Cajun-style food on South Pine Street. There are a variety of floats and performers that strut down Broad Street tossing Mardi Gras beads to the parade-goers. Kids always go home with handfuls of candy and a neck heavy with beads. This parade is fun for the whole family!
For information on how this New Orleans tradition ended up in Nevada City, read this article published in The Union, our local newspaper.