Wine, gold, history, and heritage are all parts of the rich and colorful tradition that is Stevenot Winery. Located in downtown Murphys and in Vallecito, in the heart of the Sierra Foothills of Calaveras County, Stevenot’s beginnings hark back long before their first release of wine in 1978.
The first Stevenots came to the area during the great Gold Rush of the mid 1800’s. During that time vineyards began cropping up throughout the region as miners from France, Germany, and Italy were creating a demand for wine on an unprecedented scale. At one time the Sierra Foothills rivaled the areas of Napa and Sonoma combined in vineyard acreage with over 100 wineries established.
Although the industry eventually declined with the advent of prohibition, it wasn’t long before Barden Stevenot, a fifth generation member of the Stevenot family in Calaveras County, took up where his family had left off and established the winery in the late 1970’s. Recognized as one of the pioneers of the rebirth of wine production in the Sierra Foothills, Stevenot Winery quickly secured its reputation for producing world class wines and for their innovative and award winning style.
Stevenot also looks back at Calaveras County history. The Tasting Room in downtown Murphys was part of the Rufe and Keilber Meat Market, built in 1893. Behind the Tasting Room is the Matterson house, built in the 1860’s, which was damaged, but not destroyed, by the 1893 explosion of the nearby Manuel and Garland Store warehouse. Much of the center of town was destroyed by this accident caused when a clerk left a candle burning in the warehouse which ignited some black powder stored nearby.