The Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg is a very fascinating place. It was once the hotbed of sugar production in Northern California. Farmers grew a ton of beets in Clarksburg (now Chenin Blanc vines) and at the Sugar Mill processed those beets into sugar. When the U.S. lifted the tariffs on sugar, prices plummeted and soon the Sugar Mill closed down. In 2000 the Sugar Mill was purchased and the renovation began. Currently, the old Sugar Mill is home to eleven wineries. Each has a tasting room and some make their wine here as well. The Clarksburg Wine Company has the largest portion of the Old Sugar Mill. They custom crush wine for several wineries, including some of the wineries at the Sugar Mill. At the present time no other retail business except for the wineries occupies a space at the Old Sugar Mill. One winery, the Rendez-vous, has a deli case of cheese, cold cuts, and crackers. That is the extent of the food at the Old Sugar Mill. Should you visit here, pack your appetizers or lunch. There are picnic tables out in the back and it is beautiful. The tasting rooms sell wines by the glass. We tasted at several tasting rooms including Heringer, Clarksburg Wine Company and Rendez-vous. A few were closed on the Wednesday we visited, opting only to be open on the weekends. At the Heringer tasting room, one of the guys there invented the Delta Breeze. It is a wine slushy that has Barbera as its base. We tried a sample and it reminded us of frozen Sangria. The folks at Heninger told us the Delta Breeze slushy is a big hit on hot weekend days. We peeked into one very large buidling where only two men were working on a scaffolding lift. We were told that this will be an open market for artisan purveyors, much like the Oxbow Market in Napa and the San Francisco Ferry Plaza. That would make the Old Sugar Mill even more inviting. The Old Sugar Mill is open daily from 11am to 5pm. It is located at 35265 Willow Avenue, in Clarksburg. There are several wine events that are scheduled throughout the year. Check the Old Sugar Mill Website for complete information.
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