What’s the Secret
During the famous “Gold Rush of ‘49”, adventurous prospectors
searched for gold up and down a small, year round, creek that meanders
through the Loomis Basin. Not more than 16 miles from Sutter’s Mill, the
site of the 1849 discovery of gold, the creek was explored by
prospectors and is presumed to be named Secret Ravine Creek because it
is visually shielded by the hills and trees which constitute the
beginnings of the Sierra Foothills.
There is no record of extensive gold recovery from the Loomis Basin. As
the gold ran out, the prospector’s turned to other trades as merchants
and farmers. Asian workers from the railroad & quarries joined in to
produce fruit and vegetable crops in the area. The topography, soil, and
climate are perfect for wine grapes and immigrant explorers of European
background soon established vineyards in the basin.
So the secret is, those early settler’s planted and produced wine grapes
in significant quantity, starting in the 1870’s. Prohibition which
contributed to the subsequent demise of the wine grape industry, shifted
production from grapes to fruit for shipment by rail to the markets in
the east and west. The resurgence of wine grape growing in the Loomis
Basin began in the late 1990’s and has grown steadily since then.
The Loomis Basin, is formed by the American River and Folsom
Lake (on the southeast), a ridge line on the northwest, and the upslope
to the Sierra’s on the northeast, which closely resembles the terroir
and climates of the Cotes du Rhone, Tuscany, and the northern Napa &
Sonoma Valleys. A long growing season, hot summer days and cool nights,
shallow foothill soils, and water for irrigation provide ideal
conditions for production of mature fruit with character.
As our name implies, the winery and vineyard are located near Secret
Ravine Creek, in the Loomis Basin. A significant portion of the grapes
used to produce our wine comes from land that was a vineyard from 1870 –
1954. During that period they grew Zinfandel, Tokay, Mataro (Mouvedre)
and Mission grapes. Today we grow Zinfandel, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc,
Barbera, and Sangiovese.
See the map on our "Contact Us"
page for directions.