Association’s wine walk provides educational event at fair

Rosemary Giannini, chairwoman of the GCYFR, serves different wines at the organization’s wine walk on May 17.

A wine walk organized by the Gold County Young Farmers and Ranchers (GCYFR) truly became more of a wine advrenture on May 17 at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds.

The event took place between 5-7 p.m. on May 17. In previous years, a wine tasting event has been held by the Calaveras Winegrape Alliance. The GCYFR jumped into action and came up with the idea for the Wine Walk. This is the first year that the event was held.

“(These are) not wine people, just young agriculturists,” said Rosemary Giannini, chairwoman of the GCYFR. “Our purpose is to encourage young people between 18 to 35 to also get involved in their community and also use it as a networking resource,” Giannini said. “So everyone that will be serving … today are young farmers and ranchers and then partnered with the fairgrounds.”

The fairgrounds donated all the wine and food for the event, which featured cheese trays at each wine tasting station. Included in the stations for the night were tasting tables organized into the varietals of white wine, Sangiovese, red blend, Zinfandel and Port. The tables were set up on rustic wine barrels in multiple buildings at the fairgrounds, and featured wines from Calaveras and Amador counties.

Gianinni started off the wine walk at the Calaveras County Fair, hosting the white wine table. She said that none of the members of the GCYFR were sommeliers and some had just learned what they would be doing on that day, but each representative was kind, enthusiastic and excited to help the wine strollers.

At the second table for the wine walk, Sangiovese was featured. Eric Smith hosted the booth. Smith had just learned to cork wine on the day of the fair, covering for the person who was originally slated to host the table.

“And, this is a different bottle of wine,” said Smith, serving a tasting of the second bottle of Sangiovese. “(This is) a story of personal growth.”

One of the future events the GCYFR will host is the Brew and Bar Brawl, which will be held in September. Tickets will go on sale in June. Members will also have tickets available for sale. This is the second year that the GCYFR will be hosting the Brew and Bar Brawl.

Justice Rasmussen was the host of the Port table, which was located in the library.

“He was able to facilitate a variety of happy personalities at the Port table, which included a magnificent evening of wine tasting for GCYFR,” said Janie Smith, one of the wine walk participants.

All in all, the consensus from attendees was that the event was a success, and brought many fairgoers together for a casual and educational tasting adventure.

“Support young farmers and ranchers, because they are our future – and we drink for our future,” Smith said as she raised her glass.

For more information on future events put on by the Gold Country Young Farmers and Ranchers, find it on Facebook or go to


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