Winters is a classic strip of Americana, a throw-back town with a forward-looking attitude, a thriving piece of living history. The compact downtown district, at once sleepy and pulsing with activity, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but it isn’t resting on those laurels.
Here, gracious storefronts house wine tasting rooms, famous restaurants, causal haunts, and the intimate music venue the Palms Playhouse. A farming community, Winters is surrounded by thousands of acres of fruit orchards and productive fields, with the meandering Putah Creek cutting through the countryside.
Winters is also home to a burgeoning art community, with galleries like The Clayground pottery studio and events like the annual Wine & Art in the Park Festival. Anytime of year, Winters is the perfect place to pull over your car or bike, rest a spell, and get treated warmly by the locals.
Winters Cheese Company, Delicious and Steeped in Heritage
Who doesn’t like a nice piece of cheese? Whether tart or creamy, seasoned, smoked, or just straight up, cheese is one of life’s simple, elegant pleasures. You’ll find great pleasure in sampling the artisan offerings of the Winters Cheese Company in downtown Winters.
Cheesemaker Daniel Turkovich comes by his craft honestly. He grew up helping his father every summer on the family farm. He attended college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to study winemaking, but through hands-on experience at the Cal Poly Creamery, Turkovich discovered his passion was making artisan cheese. After graduating, Daniel came home to establish the cheese company, continuing the family tradition of making fine agricultural products.
He makes several delicious varieties. For example, Tomme (rhymes with “home”) has a buttery, milky nose, with a mild, slightly sweet, nutty flavor. His most popular cheese is Caerphilly, modeled after the Welsh original, and tastes like a full, tangy marriage between a sharp cheddar and parmesean. Additional choices include Sage Cheddar, Smoked Gouda, Chipotle Jack, and a handful of others.
You can taste in the Turkovich Family Wines tasting room (with the wines, if you like) at 306 Railroad Avenue. For more information, call (530) 795-3842 or visit their website here.
If you’ve ever longed to have a custom-made guitar, or if you just appreciate fine craftsmanship, you’ll want to spend a bit of time in Arc Guitar. This diminutive shop is staffed by skilled luthiers who specialize in building guitars to customer specifications as well as guitar repairs and restoration. When you visit, you’re sure to see a number of acoustic beauties on display, and possibly watch someone’s piece of artwork being built before your eyes.
Arc’s Guitar Building School offers students the chance to build an acoustic guitar using the same techniques and materials with hands-on instruction.
Arc Guitar is at 308 Railroad Avenue in historic downtown Winters. Open weekdays 11-6, Saturday 11-3; (530) 795-1795. For more information, click here.
Bicyclists come from near and far to this bastion of good coffee and food in downtown Winters. Indeed, you’ll often see more bikes parked by Steady Eddy’s than anything else.
And why not? You can get a hot latte or Monticello Mocca, a selection of teas, fresh fruit smoothies or a number of frozen blended drinks like an extra rich caramel slush. To eat, choose from more than a dozen paninis from French Delight (Brie, turkey and tomato) to Sgt. Pepper Blues (roast beef, blue cheese, tomato, and cracked pepper dressing).
You’ll also find a nice selection of wraps, salads, soups, and fresh baked pastries. It’s the perfect place for a carb- and protein-loading rest stop.
Steady Eddy’s is at 5 East Main Street in Winters; call (530) 795-3588.