The beginning of specialty farms in California’s Butte County chronicles the development of California’s agricultural industry and its diversity of crops and progressive farmers.
While county history is steeped with tales of immigrants searching for gold, it soon became apparent that the true wealth of the region is its farmland. Now, visitors can follow the Sierra Oro Farm Trail and visit farmers and grape growers who have changed how America eats and drinks.
For many Americans in the mid-1800s and early-1900s, the first almonds, walnuts, olives, peaches, oranges or kiwi they tasted were grown along the Sierra Oro Farm Trail. And today, that trail leads to eight wineries as well.
The trail begins 60 miles north of Sacramento. Pinpoint the towns of Oroville and Chico on a map, and youâ€™ll be in the right area.
A good time to visit is right after the fall harvest, when the Sierra Oro Passport Weekend is held. Dates for 2009 have not yet been announced, but in 2008, the Passport Weekend followed another popular local event; Johnny Appleseed Days. Taking in both events would provide a thorough “taste” of the region.
Not all wineries along the Sierra Oro Farm Trail are open daily, so if you plan to visit at some other time of the year, it’s best to call ahead. You’ll find a list of wineries, with contact information, at sierraoro.org.