The bounty of Butte County specialty farms and wineries are the focus of the annual Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend, a self-guided tour that includes exclusive wine tasting at 11 wineries and farm-fresh food sampling at 17 farms throughout Columbus Day weekend in October.
The beginning of specialty farms in Butte County actually chronicles the development of California's agricultural industry that is now celebrated around the world for its diversity of crops and progressive farmers.
While early Butte County history is steeped with tales of immigrants searching for gold, it soon became apparent that the true wealth of Butte County is its farmland. Traveling on the Sierra Oro Farm Trail you will cross the historical path of generations of farmers who have changed how America eats.
For many Americans in the mid 1800s and early 1900s, the first almond, walnut, olive, peach, orange, or kiwi they tasted was grown along the Sierra Oro Farm Trail. These pioneering farm families are remembered at many of the stops on the farm trail and whose memory continues to inspire today's farmers to provide your family with a taste of California.
Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend
From 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, Passport-holders can travel the scenic agricultural trails of Butte County, sampling local fare including artisan olive oil, grass-fed meats, specialty nuts, award-winning wines and more. The annual celebration includes pairings at many stops with renown local food and drink purveyors, including Sierra Nevada Brewery and Chico’s Red Tavern.
New stops include Roney Wines in Chico, Hickman Family Vineyards in Bangor, HoneyRun Winery in Chico, Bayliss Ranch in Biggs and Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham. Passport-holders can view all participating farms and wineries and even pre-plan their route by visiting www.sierraoro.org.
Passports are $25 per person and include a free wine glass and free tasting at all stops on the map. Passport are available online at www.sierraoro.org, at all stops on the Trail; at the Chico, Paradise and Oroville Chambers of Commerce; Bacio Catering and Carryout in Chico; and local Tri Counties Bank locations. All proceeds benefit the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Association to further develop agri-tourism in Butte County.
Sierra Oro Farm Trail’s Passport Weekend is sponsored by the Butte County Farm Bureau, Chico Chamber of Commerce and Tri Counties Bank.
The Sierra Oro Farm Trail begins 60 miles north of Sacramento. From Sacramento take Interstate 5 North to the Highway 99 and Highway 70 North exit. Both highways take you to Butte County but Hwy. 70 is the preferred route to Oroville. If you are traveling from the north in the Redding area, you can take Interstate 5 South and exit Hwy. 99 South in Red Bluff or continue on until you reach Hwy. 32 East in Orland which travels through Chico.