Wine, music and a picnic |

Wine, music and a picnic

With a sluggish economy and newly renovated grounds, Kim Crevoiserat of the Sierra Starr Vineyard figured a good way to increase business would be to offer music and a family atmosphere.

The vineyard and winery’s new marketing person stood at the champagne tasting table Sunday at the winery just outside Grass Valley as a crowd listened to the Sacramento Brothers Band pound out honky-tonk rock.

It was the second of four Sundays this summer when the vineyard held a concert for $25 a carload.

“I just wanted to have music out here and some family fun,” said Crevoiserat, who formerly headed up the Northern Sierra Wine Country Association. “They’ve got a beautiful venue out here that I thought was underutilized, so I thought we’d start this. I wanted to do something family friendly and something I’d like to do.”

Pockets of families and friends mingled on the new lawn spread with blankets covered with picnic food from home and bottles of wine bought at the tasting room on the grounds.

“This is great,” said Gail Johnson of Grass Valley. “It’s a beautiful setting, and you get to meet the winemaker, too.”

“We encourage people to bring a picnic and the kids,” said winemaker and vineyard owner Phil Starr.

“The whole idea is to make it a family situation,” Starr said. By holding the concerts from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., “it’s late enough where you can go to church and early enough to get home for work on Monday.

“We just reworked the grounds,” Starr added. He terraced the lawn with rock walls and added a large patio where musicians played next to a pond.

Inside the adjacent tasting room, picnickers tried red wines. Outside, tasting stations offered Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc to patrons strolling the grounds.

One of them was Tiffany Trathen of Carmichael, who was born and raised in Grass Valley.

“It’s my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday,” Trathen said. “It’s very nice, the music’s great and the people are nice. What a setting,” she added.

The winery has already had Lorraine Jervais singing jazz. On Aug. 17, Mystafya will bring reggae to the vineyard, and on Sept. 21, it’s jazz and blues from Vivian Lee.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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