We are in the final stages of completing two draft books/booklets on the wine industry of Nevada County.
The first document in draft is my book titled “Empire Gold: Mines to Wines - The Past Meets the Present.” This book details the history of vine and wine growth in the county from the known time that Americans from the East Coast first established settlements in what would become Gold Country. To the best of our knowledge this will be thye first complete history of wine growth for Nevada County.
The initial chapters of the book focus on how the United States manipulated possession of California from the Mexican Government back in the mid 1840s. I describe the mining industry and all the key personnel that influenced the mass migration of people throughout the then existing California population and all those who quickly migrated to the foothills during the bgreat Gold Rush.
The second portion of the book focuses on the development of grape and wine production from the time that gold was discovered in the county back in 1849. This story is again separated into two distinct periods: 1849 - through Prohibition when commercial wine production ceased, and 1980 to the present when wine production once again became popular.
I have interviewed key owners and winemakers from Indian Springs, Sierra Starr, Double Oak, Pilot Peak,Haggiar, Solune, Sierra Knolls, Montoliva, Avanguardia, Coufos, Bent Metal, and Szabo wineries. Remaining to be interviewed are key individuals of Nevada City, Smith, Luccehesi. Clavey and Truckee River.
The second document is tourist/taster oriented booklet designed to assist the consumer negotiate the country backroads separately the widely scattered wineries of this county. It contains a brief overview of the history associated to gold mining and growth of the wine industry since of the county since the discovery gold. The guide then provided detailed description of how to find each of the present day wineries and the many other attractions and amenities available to the consumer visiting the area. This booklet is titled, “Olney’s Guide to the Wineries of Nevada County.”
We are planning to develop a similar guide for each of the other Gold Country counties along the great Highway 49 corridor.