Stringer's Orchard, Wild Plum Winery & Distillery
Photo © Lorissa Soriano
Stringer's Orchard Winery and Distillery located in New Pine Creek. California, is the only winery of its kind in Northeastern California. John Stringer and his family have owned and operated this facility since 1984. The winery is located in the Goose Lake Valley with rugged mountains towering to the east and expansive Goose Lake to the west. Freezing temperatures are possible any time of the year due to the 5,000 ft. elevation. Not only is the view spectacular, the location is ideal for growing the regions hardy delicacy, the wild plum.
The slightly tart taste of the wild plum is so exotic and desirable that a nationally recognized food writer, Linda Eckhardt, has selected it as one of the top ten foods in the country.
The Pacific plum or Western plum is a native species that grows in a relatively limited region of southern Oregon and northern California.
The wild plum is one of nature's rarest and most unique fruits. It grows at the edges of Oregon, California and Nevada's northern high desert at altitudes between 4000 and 7000 feet. Here it tolerates great extremes of heat, cold, alkaline soils, and drought. In its native state, the wild plum grows on a large bush five to six feet tall. The fruit is similar to a cherry in size and has a distinctive tart flavor. The wild plum was a staple food for the indigenous tribes of this area (The PIt River Tribe and The Northern Paiute Tribe). They gathered the ripe fruit and dried it for winter to garnish their wild fowl and game. In 1832, Hudson Bay trappers on their southwest expedition from Canada to California arrived in this area starved and weary. They killed their first deer in many months and also discovered this delicious fruit they named the Wild Plum. The wild plum was rediscovered in 1843 by Oregon Trail pioneer, Captain Lassen, on his route to California. He transplanted them in the Sacramento Valley, but due to climate and soil differences, they would not reproduce.
THE NATIVE PACIFIC PLUM
What is the Wild Plum?
The Pacific or Western plum (Prunus subcordata, Bentham) is a native species found growing wild in a relatively limited region east of the Coast Range from southern Oregon to central California. It occurs in greatest abundance in Lake and Klamath counties in Oregon and Modoc and Sierra counties in California. While the greatest concentration of the native thickets in California seems to be in the general vicinity of Mount Shasta, the plum is found in more or less abundance east and south of the Nevada line, especially in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It has been reported as far south as Yosemite Valley. The plum usually forms thickets of small to large shrubby trees along streams in canyons, on hillsides, or in the open area of pine forest. In other cases the thickets are found on ridges which are thought to be the shore lines of prehistoric lakes. There is a general similarity in the sites on which the plum thrives and spread throughout the region, so much so that one can almost predict the location of the thickets. The largest trees are found in these thickets growing on the deeper, sandy-loam soils in the canyons where water is ample, and the richer bottom lands adjoining the old lake beds. The hardiness of the species and its ability to adapt itself to adverse conditions is typified by the scrubby little thickets found growing out of rock slides at high elevations. An occasional thicket is found, however, where drought or exposure has all but killed out the stand. The region in which the plum is native has an elevation of 1,000 to 5,000 feet, although it has been observed growing in favorable locations in the mountains of the region at elevations as high as 6,000 feet. At these higher elevations the plums are less apt to bear crops and are late in ripening.
Reference: The Native Pacific Plum, A.N. Roberts, L.A. Hammers, Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State College.
PERFECT PRESERVES AND SAUCES:
Pure Preserves, pure jam, & syrup are just a few products from the list of tasty wild plum products from our kitchen. All products are carefully prepared and unmatched in quality.
GARNISHES AND GLAZES
Our preserves and sauces are excellent on toast and freshly baked bread. They are also a natural meat garnish, enhancing the flavor of roast, turkey, chicken, wild game, fowl, salmon, and rice.
KITCHEN PRODUCT LIST:
Pure Preserve (Best seller) - Pure preserve, skins and all, occasional pit, tart in flavor.
Spiced preserve - Preserve with cinnamon and cloves,
Pure Jam (Best seller) - Made with Wild Plum Puree, no skins. Not as tart as the preserve and more spreadable.
Hot Pepper Plum - Pure Jam with dried red peppers, mild heat, excellent on meat, rice, salmon, cream cheese
Wine Jelly - Jelly made with wine and sugar. Great on bread. Use in cooking.
Wild Plum Syrup - Syrup Puree, great on ice cream, pancakes, meat. Great base for a BBQ sauce. Just add olive oil and garlic, maybe something spicy & hot, and you have a nice cooking sauce for chicken, pork, roast, & more!
PLUM BRANDY & LIQUEUR
PLUM BRANDY (Slivovitz)
Brandy, made in the style of the great European "Slivovitz" brandies are rich in aromas and flavors. Estate grown wild plums are carefully cleaned and fermented and distilled using European copper pot stills and centuries old traditional methods. Our brandies are clear in color.
For generations, Slivovitz has toasted births, weddings, successes, failures, and honored memories of lost ones. It is part of our heritage. Sipped, slammed, savored, or shot, Slivovitz will change your outlook on life.
Wild plums are sorted and cleaned and soaked in spirits for 6 months. The process is called maceration. The result is a dark red, slightly sweet, intense fruity liqueur. Plum brandy is also added for a finishing touch and the result is spectacular!
ARNOLD HOLSTEIN POT STILL
The Arnold Hostein pot still holds around 65 gallons when full. It is all copper and is fired by steam.
Stringers offers a free tasting room, a discount on cases and tours of the winery upon request.
The nearby outdoor recreation opportunities are unlimited here; horseback riding, hiking, biking, swimming, camping, hang gliding, para sailing, hunting, fishing, rock hounding, star gazing, OHV riding, birding and so much more.
The North Warners offers a panorama of beautiful scenic vistas as well as limitless wildlife photographic opportunities.
The Winery is also located along the Emigrant Trail Scenic Byway. There is a wealth of history and culture throughout this area.
Hours Open: April thru October - Mon-Sat 10 to 5; Nov thru Dec Mon-Sat 10 to 4; Jan thru March by appointment only.
Seasons Open: Year round
No pets in the winery please.