Calaveras County
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Calaveras County is a picturesque and remote area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Popular with outdoorsmen, the region also serves as a northern entrance into Yosemite National Park. In 1865, Mark Twain immortalized the area in his tale of “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.

Through the 1850s and ‘60s, this was the heart of the Gold Rush. Prospectors of many national origins arrived in the area afflicted with Gold Fever. Those who stayed, notably the French and the Italians, quickly established vineyards and a reputation for producing the best wines in California. Many of these vineyards would long outlive the boom and bust of the Gold Rush and a century and a half later, the red clay and gravelly slopes of Calaveras County are yielding another kind of Mother Lode – the gold medal winning wines of the region. Calaveras County forms the southern third of the broad Sierra Foothills AVA which also covers much of El Dorado and Amador counties to the north. Vineyards here generally lie between 1500 and 2400 ft in elevation – higher and cooler than those in Amador.

Current Feature

In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue

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Jean Deitz Sexton
is the Regional Correspondent for Calaveras County.


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