Agriculture & Wine
February 24, 2003
Agriculture in Nevada County can range from timber to wine grapes. The agriculture in the area represents a rich legacy and a profitable future.
Despite a decline in the number of acres offered for harvest by the federal government in recent years, timber sales still account for a 17 million dollar share of Nevada County’s agricultural market.
Cattle is second with a one and a half million dollar market value, followed by Christmas trees and nursery stock ($667,000), wine grapes ($475,000) and miscellaneous fruits and vegetables ($150,000). In recent years, emu, ostriches and llama have started to dot the countryside, for use as pack animals, meat and wool producers.
From the first Saturday in May until the last Saturday in October, local agricultural producers are showcased at a Farmer’s Market at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. From 9 a.m. until noon, 50 growers offer a full range of fruits and vegetables, honey, herbs, flowers and other organic products for sale. Nevada County touts its homegrown products through its Gold n Ag Program, which assures buyers of their high quality and freshness.
Wine grape production in Nevada County is expected to double in the next few years, from 200 acres to nearly 400 producing acres.
Local vineyards compete favorably with the more famous winemaking regions of Napa, Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. The Nevada City Winery and Indian Springs Vineyards exhibit their award-winning wines at their tasting rooms in Nevada City. The Nevada County Wine Guild produces organically grown wines.
Some of the white wines, available locally are; chardonnay, chenin blanc, muscat blanc, semillon and viognier. Reds include cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo, pinot noir, syrah, sangiovese and zinfandel. Nevada County’s mild climate with few early frosts and a warm, dry fall season allow grapes to reach maturity with perfection.
Nevada County vineyards harvest between 600 to 1,000 tons each year, providing 37 to 63 thousand cases for wine enthusiasts to enjoy.