Cuisine Type: Winery
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Wines and a rustic event venue
Alcohol: Wine only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
The Carvalho family's history in the winemaking industry began in the vineyards of Portugal more than 100 years ago, right after drinking wine for pleasure was invented. Although the family has since immigrated to the rolling fields of Clarksburg Wine Country, the new generation of Carvalhos still hand-crafts small batches of wine with the same dedication as their ancestors. They source their grapes from local vineyards in the surrounding area to concoct a variety of California wines, including their crisp sauvignon blanc, creamy chardonnay, smooth pinot noir, and five-barrel tawny port, which can all be sipped in their quaintly appointed tasting room. In addition to tastings, the room hosts regular events including tastings, art openings, and live music.
The family further proves that they know how to entertain in their charming Old Sugar Mill event space, which hosts weddings and special occasions of all kinds beneath it's cathedral ceilings. John Carvalho renovated the space, but preserved its Old World?style brick walls and rustic doors.
After visiting the vineyard that his great-grandfather planted in northern Italy, Ray Merlo and his wife, Robin, founded their own vineyard on the riverbanks of the tiny town of Hyampom in the mid-eighties. Since then, the business has expanded to a second tasting room located just outside of Sacramento in the wine region of Clarksburg. Each venture is operated under the family name of Merlo, which means ?blackbird? in Italian. The soil is rich with rock, gravel, and sand, and the diverse terrain makes for equally diverse grape varietals, all waiting to be converted into libations.
While in the tasting room in Clarksburg, visitors might feel as though they?ve been invited into the cellar itself, as they are surrounded by racks bearing dozens of barrels. The catalog of varietals?from Chardonnay to Syrah?is largely focused on red wines, incorporating the flavors, aromas, and terrior of Trinity County. The native focus of each bottle emphasizes what winemaker Steven Canter likes to think of as ?an elegant expression of the land.?
The sounds of clopping hooves carry across High Standard Equestrians’ expansive facility, where active and retired show horses kick up dirt on indoor and outdoor rings. A member of The United States Equestrian Federation and United States Hunter Jumper Association, the family-friendly establishment employs an expert staff that leads competitive training sessions and interactive lessons. While retired Dutch Warmblood, Welsh Pony, and Westphalian show horses host students on their saddles, the facility’s active show horses train for upcoming competitions. Their daily workouts include galloping around the ring, jumping over hurdles, and chasing ranch hands for playing with their shoes.
Born into a family of equestrians, Jesslynn Saxton spent her summers on a horse farm, learning to ride at an early age. At 15, after having had some success in riding competitions, she took a job as a stable apprentice and dreamed of opening her own riding school. Today, as the founder of Saxton Equestrian, Jesslynn is an accomplished rider, trainer, and stable manager with more than 20 years of experience. Harboring an innate passion for teaching, she holds lessons and training sessions and volunteers with Project R.I.D.E., a nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic riding instruction for persons with disabilities.
Jesslynn?s horse sanctuary, Clay Station Ranch, sits on 23 acres of green pastures, upon which five barns house 40 stalls. The ranch?s two outdoor arenas allow riders to sharpen their skills under blue skies, and a lighted indoor arena features all-weather felt footing, irrigated grass turnouts, wash racks with hot water, viewing areas, and a riders? lounge, where equestrians can kick back and relax after going on an exhausting ride or failing to teach the horses how to neigh in a British accent.
Situated along the banks of the Cosumnes River, Fog Willow Farms sows the seeds of laid-back living across 9 acres of tranquil farmland. The property is passionate about sharing its easygoing vibes with visitors, especially during autumn, when it transforms into an interactive playground for families to celebrate the season. Come October, Fog Willow Farms flourishes with rows of pumpkins ready to be inspected, fitted with a matching family sweater, and picked, and its petting zoo introduces guests to more than 100 farm animals. The facility also offers hayrides, weekend pony rides, and an adventure course, all of which can be enjoyed during casual visits or special events such as science farm field trips and birthday parties.
Founded with the goal of bolstering childhood development via confidence- and fitness-boosting programs, Tricks Gymnastics, Dance, and Swim's team of instructors keeps kids of all ages active and engaged via a host of high-energy classes. The highly skilled and friendly crew works hard to foster a nurturing environment within each class, keeping a close eye on the kids while teaching them new skills via positive reinforcement and recognition of effort. All three locations offer dance classes that introduce preschool Baryshnikovs to the world of movement and grant school-aged pupils a chance to explore various styles ranging from ballet to jazz to ballroom hokey pokey.
Meanwhile, experienced coaches man gymnastics programs designed to combat inactivity and encourage healthy lifestyles. Young ones aged 0–5 burn excess energy and hone flexibility during Tumblebunny classes, and big kids build strength and character thanks to both noncompetitive and competitive programs. A variety of special events include date nights that enable parents to sneak off for an evening of fun while their progeny plays at the gym. The Folsom location further fortifies its kinetic curriculum with swim programs focused on teaching pupils the essentials of water safety and basic swimming techniques. Paddlers grouped into classes by age hop into the crystalline pool, splashing about in waters kept at a balmy 89 degrees to ward off loitering snowflakes.