Casque Wines opens at Flower FarmBy: Leah Rosasco, Loomis News Correspondent
New Casque Wines Tasting Room
Hours: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday through Sunday
Where: Flower Farm, 9280 Horseshoe Bar Road
Cost: $5 for tasting of five to seven wines, applied to wine purchase
Information: 652-2250 or www.casquewines.com
A local winery continues its steady growth with the opening of a new tasting room in an old fruit orchard.
Loomis-based Casque Wines recently celebrated the grand opening of their newly-constructed tasting room on the Flower Farm property located on the corner of Horseshoe Bar and Auburn Folsom roads. The tasting room is the newest addition to the Flower Farm complex, which includes a bed and breakfast, plant nursery, café and event facility. Annie Bowler, who owns the Flower Farm property with her husband John Bowler, said the addition of the tasting room to the property makes good sense.
Although Bowler said she was initially “a little hesitant” about the idea of constructing it, she is happy with the result.
“I thought the property was too full, “she said. “Now that it’s here it’s very clearly a perfect fit. I’m really pleased with it.”
Casque Wines had previously offered tastings and live music at their winemaking facility on Swetzer Road. Although the spot was popular with locals, Casque Wines owners Kevin and Ann Stevenson had long held the vision of constructing a new tasting room that would have a much different feel.
“We were interested in having a tasting room at the Flower Farm for quite a few years,” said Ann Stevenson. “There is a great synergy and real sense of community there.”
The Stevensons first began making wine in 2004 after Kevin Stevenson spent several years managing the community vineyard in Clos du Loc, the subdivision they live in. Originally a computer consultant and a professional musician, Kevin Stevenson said he had not envisioned owning a winery.
“I didn’t know much about vineyards, but I was a wine nerd and I decided to help out,” Kevin Stevenson said.
By 2006 they were making a few hundred cases of wine annually for friends and family and a budding wine club. In 2010, Casque Wines officially became a winery
“We were finally a real winery, not just a custom crush,” Kevin Stevenson said.
Although Casque Wines has experienced steady growth since its early days, Kevin Stevenson said there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way.
“We did some things right and some things wrong, but overall we are still moving forward,” he said.
The Stevensons consider the 1,000-square-foot tasting room at the Flower Farm to be a huge step forward. The tasting room was designed to fit into the surrounding area. Wood beams were recycled from an old barn on the property, wainscoting was salvaged from an old farmhouse nearby that had been torn down, and the bar was crafted from a black walnut tree on the property that was cut down. Ann Stevenson said the goal was to design a comfortable and beautiful space that people would enjoy.
“The room has a modern edge that ties in really well with the rural area and country feel,” she said.
Like many businesses in the Loomis area, Ann Stevenson said Casque Wines works hard to support the local community and other local businesses. In addition to using locally-grown grapes whenever possible the tasting room also offers products from local artists and purveyors.
“The people and businesses in our community are really supportive of one another and that’s really important,” she said.
Bowler agrees and said working with the Stevensons to bring the tasting room to the Flower Farm property has been a great experience.
“They have really created an elegant space that is comfortable and welcoming,” Bowler said. “We are so happy to have them as part of the Flower Farm family.”