SUISUN VALLEY — Suisun Valley was abuzz Sunday as friends and family came together to celebrate the fruits of the land.
Wineries were bustling and fruit stands were crowded during the annual Harvest Celebration, a showcase of local agriculture, history and art.
Business was busy at Clay Station, an artist’s co-op founded in 2001. The shop features a dozen local artists who create metal and glass designs as well as wine- and grape-centered pieces to reflect the region.
“We try to concentrate on local themes,” said Vallejo resident Julie Charles, who specializes in chicken art.
The business is located on rustic Mankas Corner, a Suisun Valley fixture featuring cafes, restaurants and its own winery.
“It’s a great place to be,” said Charles. The location draws “tourists from all over the country and all over the world.”
Authors Elissa A. DeCaro and L.M. Ewing, who were born and raised in Fairfield, were on hand, signing books at Clay Station. The brother-and-sister team just finished “Images of America: Suisun City and Valley,” which examines the area from the late-1800s to the 1840s. Suisun, an American Indian word meaning “where the west wind blows,” was the name given to the hub between San Francisco and Sacramento, according to a summary on Amazon.com.
“(Our) parents encouraged us to explore local history,” said DeCaro, who is president of the Solano County Historical Society.
Farther along the Suisun Valley Loop, Wooden Valley Winery was celebrating the harvest with a smash, literally.
Syrah grapes were underfoot as children and adults competed in a stomp. Participants jogged and jiggled, trying to push 12 quarts of juice out of the barrel’s spout in the fastest time. Korinn Ruiz, a 2o03 Armijo High School graduate, emerged as the winner of fourth heat.
“I just kept going and going – I was going to win no matter what,” said Ruiz, who now lives in Redwood City. “It was fun – I’ve never done it before.”
Ruiz was enjoying the afternoon with her friends Jennifer McCluskey, of Fairfield, and Susanville resident Regena Perez, who helped Ruiz clear the spout during the stomp.
“I felt like Lucy and Ethel in that episode of ‘I Love Lucy,’ ” Ruiz said to McCluskey.
Ruiz, for winning, walked away with a watermelon.
Wooden Valley festivities also included a live acoustic duo, barbecue and, of course, wine tasting.
Down the road, Suisun Valley Wine Cooperative volunteer Bruce Reed was pouring a glass of chilled Twilight Ridge sauvignon blanc from nearby Sunset Cellars. The co-op sells varieties from five of the region’s family-owned wineries.
“(You) get to see a difference immediately on a different winery’s take on wine,” Reed said of the varied selection.
Other participants at Sunday’s Harvest Celebration included GV Cellars & Galvan Wines, Ledgewood Creek Winery, Mangels Vineyards, Rock Creek Vineyards, Wasted Grape Wines and Winterhawk Winery, as well as Cal Yee Farms, Erickson Ranch Produce Stand, Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. and Sepay Groves Olive Oil.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.