Local wineries celebrate grape harvest

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With 14 wineries participating, the Placer Hills Wine Tour will be bigger than ever. From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 14 and 15, visitors will have the opportunity to talk to winemakers and owners at the wineries. In Loomis, opening their doors to the public will be Secret Ravine Vineyard & Winery, located at 4390 Gold Trail Way; and Cristaldi Vineyards, located at 4060 Ridge Drive. For this weekend only, Cristaldi is hosting Duarte Family Vineyards during the tour. Casque Wines, of Loomis, will be pouring inside Carpe Vino, in Old Town Auburn, for the weekend only. Cristaldi Vineyards is one of Placer County’s newest wineries, featuring organically farmed vineyards and olive groves. “I am pleased to be a part of the tour this year and am happy to host another new local winemaker, Michael Duarte of Duarte Family Vineyards, on this special weekend,” said David Brockman of Cristaldi. “I look forward to others having the opportunity to also learn about the Duarte family history of growing wine grapes and hope they enjoy the camaraderie of our new local wineries.” Kevin Stevenson, the winemaker for Casque Wines, is relishing in the excitement from this year’s harvest. “A preliminary look at the harvest this year is that yields were higher and the quality is terrific. We had a nice long cooler growing season which helps produce ripe flavors in the fruit and makes for nicely balanced wines,” Stevenson said. Maps to the other wineries in the tour will be available at Secret Ravine and Cristaldi.