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County vintners and food featured at Taste of Placer County

New winery - Rock Hills Winery - to host event on Oct. 22
By: Joyia Emard Loomis News Editor
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Local vintners will share the fruits of their labor at the upcoming Taste of Placer County Wine and Food Festival to be held in Loomis next weekend. Thirteen county wineries will be featured during the festival held from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, at Rock Hills Winery, in Loomis. Guests will receive souvenir glasses, and enjoy gourmet appetizers and live entertainment from the bands Jukebox and 4 on 6 Instrumental Jazz. Plus, attendees will get a sneak peak at Placer County’s newest winery – Rock Hills – before it officially opens in January. Rock Hills Winery is owned by Donald DuPont, who relocated here, along with his wife Judy, from the Sonoma Valley to be nearer their grown daughters and grandchildren. “People don’t realize what we have in Placer County. It’s a very viable, thriving wine country,” DuPont said. DuPont said Rock Hills will have the largest wine-tasting room in the county, with 6,000-square feet of floor space and 3,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor balcony space. The outdoor balcony wraps the building and offers stunning views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Loomis Basin. The facility will also have a 2,400-square-foot event tent with a deck. DuPont said he expects to host group functions, such as weddings, at the facility. DuPont said the nearly 14-acre site on Del Mar Avenue is planted with nine varieties of wine grape including Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo. He said he will also be transplanting100 olive trees to a terraced hillside olive orchard on the property. Producing wine seems to be an inherited ability, as DuPont said he was raised in Valley of the Moon and his parents owned a 38-acre vineyard outside Glen Ellen. He also said he is very familiar with not only growing grapes, but building wineries. “I was a contractor and had the opportunity to work on nearly every major winery in Napa and Sonoma,” DuPont said. Tim Quinn, board member for the Placer County Wine and Grape Association, said his group is excited about Rock Hills’ opening. “There’s a lot of cooperation between the wineries and our association represents all of them,” Quinn said. Quinn said the wineries offering tastes at the event include Popie by Duarte Family Vineyards, Secret Ravine Vineyards and Winery, Casque Wines, Ciotti Cellars, Conte Ao Vinho, Cristaldi Vineyards, Fortezza Winery, Lone Buffalo Vineyards, PaZa Vineyard and Winery, Pescatore Vineyards and Winery, Rancho Roble Vineyard and Winery, Wise Villa Winery and Bonitata Boutique Winery. Participating restarurants include Café Zorro and High Hand Conservatory, in Loomis; Bistro La Petite France, in Granite Bay; and Les Vignobles, in Roseville. Quinn said the event benefits scholarships for University of California, Davis, oenology and viticulture students, and the American Cancer Society. He said the Placer County Wine and Grape Association is a nonprofit organization that, aside from promoting educational programs, encourages the cultivation of wine grapes for the making of wine using ecologically sound and sustainable agricultural practices; and hopes to preserve the history of agricultural practices, specifically grape and wine production within the county. Tickets are $45, and $35 for Association members and are available online or at the door. For tickets and information, go to pcwga.org TASTE OF PLACER COUNTY What: Wine and food event with live entertainment Who: Placer County Wine and Grape Association When: 4 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22 Where: Rock Hills Winery, 2970 Del Mar Ave., Loomis Tickets: $45 each; $35 for association members, available online or at the door Information and ticktes: pcwga.org