Description of Scribner Bend Vineyards, a family-owned winery located on River Road along the Sacramento River.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon when a friend and I headed out to Scribner Bend Vineyards to taste some wine and eat some chili. I had not been there previously, and the chili cook-off event ($10 members/$15 nonmembers) being held that day sounded like fun.
Scribner Bend Vineyards is located along the Sacramento River, a bit south of the Freeport Bridge. According to the Scribner Bend Vineyard website, the Scribner family has been farming in the Sacramento River Delta since 1893.
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When we arrived at the property the small paved parking lot was full, but there was plenty of unpaved parking nearby on the property. The short walk from our parking spot to the venue gave me a chance to admire the grapevines lining the gravel and dirt road.
Arriving at the venue we took a walk around to check it out. The original barn, constructed in 1918, has been transformed into a wine tasting room and event space. There is a large courtyard in front of the converted barn, as well as a good sized courtyard in the back. The back courtyard has tables with umbrellas placed around a large Sycamore tree. All in all – a very pretty and well-kept property.
Food service on weekends is provided by Paesanos Catering, and they appeared to be doing a brisk business. The back courtyard was filled with people sitting in the shade enjoying bottles of wine, pizza, and other bites.
See related blog post: Paesanos – Sacramento Restaurants
The chili cook-off was taking place in the large front courtyard. A bar was set up in front of the converted barn, and a duo was playing music nearby.
After paying our entry fee we first headed to the bar. I chose a red wine and my friend chose a white. Since I was unfamiliar with the winery I requested a taste of a red I was considering before ordering a full glass. I am glad I did, as it was not to my taste. I decided instead to order a glass of the red blend ($8 plus tax). My friend ordered a glass of pinot grigio ($8 plus tax), which she enjoyed. I tried a sip, but I have never been a fan of that particular type of wine.
A large tent, open on both ends, housed the long tables where the nine chefs competing in the chili cook-off had set up their stations. The tent also had plenty of seating for the attendees – who acted as the judges. Each of us had received a ballot and pencil in order to vote for our favorite chili at the end of the event.
We enjoyed sitting in the shade of the tent as we taste-tested each chili while sipping our wine. The chili ran the gamut – vegetarian, turkey, and beef to more exotic ingredients such as bison and elk. The majority of the stations had extras (sour cream, chopped onion, cheese, etc.) which attendees could add if they wanted.
The size of each tasting was small, but after sampling all nine I was comfortably full. Two of the nine were so spicy hot that neither my friend nor I did more than eat a spoonful or two. On the other hand, one chili was lacking sufficient seasoning. That left six vying for our vote.
My friend went back for a second sample of her top two favorites to help her determine which of the two deserved her vote. We each had our favorite, but as we left before the official announcement the outcome of the contest remains unknown.
What is known – drinking wine and eating chili is a very nice way to spend a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Comments on Scribner Bend Vineyards?
Have you been to Scribner Bend Vineyards? What was your experience? Do you have a particular wine(s) you recommend?
Scribner Bend Vineyards Snapshot:
- 9051 River Road, Sacramento, CA 95832
- (916) 744-1803
- Wine Tasting: Friday – Sunday (11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Paesanos Pizza Kitchen: Saturday & Sunday (Noon to 4:00 p.m.)
- Live Music: Saturday & Sunday (Noon to 3:00 p.m.)
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