Wine, gold, history, and heritage all contribute to the rich and colorful tradition embodied by Stevenot Winery. Situated in downtown Murphys and Vallecito, nestled in the heart of Calaveras County’s Sierra Foothills, Stevenot’s origins trace back long before their inaugural wine release in 1978.
The first Stevenot Family to arrive in the area during the great Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. It was during this era that vineyards started emerging across the region, spurred by miners from France, Germany, and Italy, who generated an unprecedented demand for wine. At its peak, the Sierra Foothills boasted vineyard acreage that rivaled the combined areas of Napa and Sonoma, hosting over 100 established wineries.
Despite the industry’s eventual decline due to the advent of prohibition, it didn’t take long before Barden Stevenot, a fifth-generation member of the Stevenot family in Calaveras County, resumed where his family had left off. He established the winery in the late 1970s, earning recognition as one of the pioneers of the revival of wine production in the Sierra Foothills. Stevenot Winery swiftly cemented its reputation for crafting world-class wines and for its innovative, award-winning style.
Stevenot Winery also delves into Calaveras County’s history. The Tasting Room in downtown Murphys once housed the Rufe and Keilber Meat Market, constructed in 1893. Adjacent to the Tasting Room stands the Matterson house, dating back to the 1860s. Although damaged, it survived the 1893 explosion of the nearby Manuel and Garland Store warehouse, which devastated much of the town center. The accident occurred when a clerk left a candle burning in the warehouse, igniting black powder stored nearby.