Sunday, September 14, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Discover Solano Spring 2014: Suisun Valley

Suisun Valley in the Spring

Sunlight peaks through the clouds in Suisun Valley. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page DIS29 | March 31, 2014 |

Suisun Valley offers city dwellers a place to escape crowded streets and see the country, buy fresh produce and taste wines.

It is located just west of Fairfield. It has fertile soils with a Mediterranean climate good enough to grow grapes for fine wines, just as in the neighboring, world-famous Napa Valley.

The valley has its scenic attractions, framed as it is by oak-covered hills, with acres of vineyards, orchards and other farming areas. It has buildings such as the 1900, one-room Gomer School, complete with bell tower. It has small commercial areas such as Manka’s Corner with restaurants and other businesses.

Wine is a big part of the valley. Suisun Valley in 1982 won federal recognition as the Suisun Valley Appellation, making the valley an American Viticultural Area. Grape varieties ranging from Sauvignon Blanc to Chardonnay to Gamay to Pinot Noir to Riesling are grown in the valley.

Several small wineries have tasting rooms. In addition, other wineries have grouped together to run a cooperative tasting room on Suisun Valley Road.

A big winery is headed to Suisun Valley. The Wagner family, owner of Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley, plans to build a winery at the very southern end of the Suisun Valley appellation capable of producing 5 million gallons of wine annually. It plans to bring grapes and wines from other locations to the Cordelia Road site for bottling, as well as grow grapes there.

But Suisun Valley is more than grapes. People can go there to buy corn, strawberries and other produce from small, family run produce stands. They can buy olive oil made from olives grown and processed in the valley.

Solano County wants to get the word out. It has designated Suisun Valley to become an agritourism area. Goals include creating several more small centers with businesses that cater to valley visitors.

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