Folsom’s historic Sutter Street has been bustling with activity despite regulations and restrictions due to the COVID crisis. Throughout the past few weeks, the street has been creatively reconfigured to allow for increased outdoor dining, which makes an already quaint part of Folsom even more charming. In addition, the long–awaited reopening of Scott’s Seafood, a restaurant and fish market, finally came to fruition in mid-July. Additionally, Reset Café opened just as California shut down. They start the day as a coffee house, but transition to a beer and wine bar at 4 p.m. Their wine list includes a concise but interesting wine list that focuses on local wines from the regions that surround Sacramento.
Sutter Street also has seen the opening of a few tasting rooms, making it the ideal spot for a quick wine tasting afternoon. Visitors will find these spots within a one-block stretch: D’Artagnan Vineyards, Crystal Basin Cellars, Merlo Family Vineyards and Willamette Wineworks.
D’Artagnan Vineyards & Crystal Basin Cellars—These two award-winning wineries, which source much of their fruit from El Dorado County, share a tasting room on Sutter Street. Visitors are presented with a menu that allows them to choose a $15 tasting, that includes six wines from D’Artagnan or Crystal Basin Cellars, or a combination of wines from both wineries. Guests are invited to enjoy their flight out on the sidewalk, where the wineries have converted wine barrels into bistro tables.
D’Artagnan proudly produces well-crafted tempranillo, malbec and zinfandel from estate vineyards. You can also try a beautiful Alsatian-style El Dorado riesling and old vine chardonnay from vines that were planted just post World War II in Lodi.
Crystal Basin Cellars specializes in big red varietal wines and blends, like the sangiovese, a take on “California chianti,” and campione, a lush blend of sangiovese, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. And if you’re feeling a little less serious, they offer a quaffable sipper called Kougar Coolaid, which is a blend of pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc with just a splash of muscat added for aromatics.
Merlo Family Vineyards—A few doors away, wine lovers will find a brand new tasting room for Merlo Family Vineyards, a winery based in Redding. As with all wineries, they offer patio seating. Guests can order a glass, bottle or flight that includes a selection of estate wines produced from Trinity County vineyards.
Willamette Wineworks—This project is a collaboration of two brothers, Jim Bernau, the Founder of Willamette Valley Vineyards (which has been named as “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine) in Oregon, and Jerry Bernau, the local builder of Historic Folsom Station. The tasting menu is served outside on the balcony, above Scott’s Seafood, and includes selections from Willamette Valley Vineyards and a resurrected wine brand from this region called Natoma, which now showcases wine made from Northern California fruit sources. In addition to wine flights and wine by the bottle or the glass, Willamette Wineworks also offers a food pairing menu that includes such light fare as bruschetta, caprese salad and a cheese board.
While we are still adjusting to spending the entire summer outdoors, a stroll down Sutter Street in Folsom for some wine and bites seems like a pretty solid option. To learn more about these businesses, please visit: