Description and review of Farm to Fork Uncorked, a free three-day event held each September at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, CA.
About Farm to Fork Uncorked
Farm to Fork Uncorked is held over the Labor Day weekend at the Old Sugar Mill. The free three-day event joins the various Sacramento Farm to Fork events celebrating our agricultural bounty during the month of September.
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Included in the Farm to Fork Uncorked event are wine tasting, food trucks, music, and local artisans/crafters offering handmade and hand-turned goods.
Friends had invited me to join them for the afternoon at Farm to Fork Uncorked to see the band playing that day – The Templetons. Two of the band members are friends of friends.
When we arrived at the Old Sugar Mill we masked up and walked through the facility to the good-sized patio in the back. The plan was to sit outside, listen to some music and sip some wine.
The Templetons were scheduled to play from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., so we arrived a bit early. We were able to secure a table with an umbrella that provided much needed shade. The tables were spaced a good distance apart so we felt comfortable removing our masks once we sat down. The majority of those attending the event were indoors wine tasting, so the patio was not at all crowded at that point.
At the rear of the patio area five food trucks were doing a brisk business.
The day was sunny and hot, in the high-90’s. The air quality was not the greatest, but the sky was blue and there was no smell of smoke from the multiple fires burning in Northern California that afternoon.
Old Sugar Mill
If you are not familiar with the Old Sugar Mill, the building is a former sugar beet refinery that has been very attractively repurposed. The building now houses tasting rooms for fourteen Northern California wineries.
A big selling point for the Old Sugar Mill is its proximity to Sacramento (about 15 minutes from Downtown). Additionally, it offers a convenient way to sample multiple wines all in one location!
Wineries housed at the Old Sugar Mill are:
- Clarksburg Wine Company
- Todd Taylor
- Three Wine Company
- Carvalho Family Winery
- Elevation Ten
- Rendez-vous Winery
- Due Vigne Winery
- Bump City
- Batia Vineyards
- Seka Hills Wines
- Kirchhoff Family Wines
- Bonitata Boutique Wine
- Scott Harvey Wines
The days and hours of operation, as well as tasting policies, vary among the wineries. Reservations are recommended, although some wineries welcome walk-ins.
Tasting fee prices range from $5 to $18. Some wineries waive the tasting fee with bottle purchase.
The Old Sugar Mill hosts a variety of events, such as the Farm to Fork Uncorked event, year-round. Check out their event calendar.
See related blog post: Annual Events in Sacramento
After seating ourselves on the Old Sugar Mill back patio members of our group greeted Alison, who plays the keyboards, as the band was setting up their equipment.
The Templetons are a Sacramento-based jazz band. The band members are:
- John Williams on trumpet
- Paul Warren on bass
- Alison apRoberts on keyboards
- Ken Campbell on guitar
- Jim Wheeler on drums
The band, which has been together about 10 years, plays all types of jazz. They have a repertoire of more than 100 tunes. I would describe the jazz played that day at Farm to Fork Uncorked as “easy listening” jazz.
During the course of the afternoon the band members each had a turn on vocals and additionally an opportunity to showcase their instruments.
I enjoy all types of music (except rap), but do not on a daily basis listen to jazz. I was unfamiliar with the tunes played, but a jazz fan friend recognized many of them.
Alison shared a fun story with me about how the band came to be known as “The Templetons”. Its name had been the Rat’s Head Quintet, a name inspired by the Warren/apRoberts cat’s frequent gifts left on the doormat. The band was scheduled to play at a local library ice cream social and the librarian suggested that the band name was less than family-friendly. She instead suggested that the band name itself The Templetons – after the rat character in “Charlotte’s Web”. The name stuck!
To Sum Up
After two or so hours several of us were getting hungry. We decided to forgo the food trucks and headed over to the Freeport Bar & Grill for a late lunch. It had been a most enjoyable afternoon – sipping wine, enjoying the music and people watching.
Comments on Farm to Fork Uncorked, the Old Sugar Mill or The Templetons?
Have you attended Farm to Fork Uncorked at the Old Sugar Mill? What is your favorite/least favorite thing about the Old Sugar Mill? Have you attended a performance by The Templetons?
Old Sugar Mill Snapshot:
- 35265 Willow Avenue, Clarksburg, CA 95612
- (916) 744-1615
- Wine tasting reservations recommended
- Lots of parking
- No dogs, picnics or outside foods
- Food Trucks on Weekends
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