Long before Sacramento became the official Farm-to-Fork Capital of the nation, the Yolo County town of Winters was on a food journey of its own. Like many great food towns, its origin story is rooted in the bounty of the land.
The native people hunted, fished, and gathered on the land surrounding Winters for thousands of years. By the mid-1800s, settlers began to arrive, raising cattle and planting acres upon acres of fruit trees, nuts, olives, and vegetables. Once the railroad came to town, farmers were able to ship their products to Sacramento, the Bay Area, and beyond, and Winters’ status as an agricultural powerhouse was firmly established.
Today, there has been a renewed interest in agriculture and food production, and Winters is at the center of the movement. Local farms are proud to continue the food legacy and area restaurants are quick to show off the bounty. Wineries, breweries, and other food producers have also established themselves as key players in the local culinary scene.
There’s no better way to get to the root of Winters’ food legacy than to go straight to the source. You can take a custom-curated farm tour via Yolo365, or choose one of their pre-selected tours of Winters that focuses on wine, beer, spirits and food. You can also pay a visit to Park Winters, which offers tours of its grounds as well as farm-to-table bites. They also have a farm stand featuring locally produced gourmet food items such as honey, olive oil, and vinegar. Another great place to pick up gourmet foods is the Winters Fruit Tree, where you can find local produce, eggs, nuts, dried fruit and more.
Naturally, Winters is home to several world-class restaurants that highlight the bounty of the region. Preserve takes farm to table seriously, finding inspiration from the land. Dishes showcase not only locally grown fruits and vegetables, but nuts, cheeses, and house-cured meats. You can even pick up gourmet food items to go such as jalapeño jelly and whole-grain mustard. Another notable spot is Buckhorn Steakhouse, a classic restaurant housed in a charming 19th-century hotel. All steaks are aged and cut in-house by their team of resident butchers. Their adjacent cocktail bar, The DeVilbiss Room, serves craft cocktails and small bites. Nearby Carboni’s, located in Hotel Winters, offers Italian-inspired dishes such as pizza and pasta featuring locally sourced ingredients.
Winters’ food legacy is also evident in its local wineries. Downtown Winters is home two local tasting rooms, both of which also have nearby estates. Turkovich Family Wines produces great wines, especially Rhone varieties such as Syrah Viognier, as well as Tempranillo and Petite Sirah. Located just outside of downtown Winters, the winery offers stellar views of the surrounding farmlands and mountains.
Picturesque Berryessa Gap Vineyards offers tours of its facilities during harvest season, when you can watch the grapes being processed and pressed. They also host special events such as wine pairings and a seasonal global dinner series. Berryessa Gap’s sister company, L’Apéro Les Trois, produces French-style apéritifs inspired by the local harvest. Seasonal varieties include green walnut, quince, and Blenheim apricot — all grown nearby.
Winters is also home to one of the region’s few craft distilleries, Patio 29, which makes small-batch spirits including vodka and gin made from Yolo County grains. They have a lively tasting room where they serve up craft cocktails and pub-style food.
Craft breweries can also be found in Winters. Located just outside of town, Berryessa Brewing Company turns out a variety of IPAs and lagers, which you can sample at their family-friendly brewery. Hooby’s is another local brewery, which has a full kitchen offering casual fare made from ingredients grown on their namesake farm.
Looking for a non-alcoholic option in Winters? Steady Eddy’s is a quaint coffee house and roastery. Not only are all beans roasted in-house, their menu items — including panini, wraps and salads — showcase locally sourced ingredients. You can buy coffee beans to go as well as local gourmet food items such as honey and wine.
After tasting and sipping your way across the Winters area, you may find yourself needing a place to rest your head (and belly) for the night. Winters has several places to stay. Check out lodging options in Winters and book your culinary getaway today.
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