This 36th annual “First Taste of the Year” event was held on Saturday January 14th, 2023 at the Armory on Main Street, in Copperopolis, California. It was sponsored by the Copperopolis Community Center a volunteer staffed organization that restores and preserves the two publicly owned historical buildings in town. 2023 marks the 36th Annual wine tasting event and coincides with the 163rd anniversary of Copperopolis. The two buildings are the historical brick Congregational Church and the Armory. Both buildings were constructed during the copper rush in the mid 1800’s, the Armory in 1863 and the church in 1865. Copperopolis was the center of the “Copper Rush” (after the gold rush). These are two of the four buildings in town on the National Register of Historic Places: Copperopolis Armory and the Congregational Church. From 1860’s to the time the mines closed in 1945, 72,598,883 pounds of copper were mined in Copperopolis and the copper used in the Civil War, WWI and WWII for ammunition casings.
With advance purchase the cost of $25/pp which included a commemorative wine glass, hors d’ Oeuvres, a raffle and of course many wines to enjoy. Wineries present were: Hurst Ranch Wines (Jamestown), Gianelli Vineyards & Winery (Jamestown), Jazz Cellars (Murphys), Stevenot Winery (Vallecito), Aloria Vineyards (Murphys), Above the Rush Wines (Vallecito), Ironstone Vineyards (Murphys), Indian Rock Vineyards (Murphys) and Jessie’s Grove Winery (Lodi).
Many volunteers contributed setting up & decorating the event, preparing and serving appetizers, greeting guests and making sure wineries each had their “station assigned”. A big thank you to the Board, Volunteers and participating wineries for preserving the local history. And of course the supporters who braved the rain storm to enjoy the event.
Also a special shout out to the local community who supported the event with donations for the raffle. For example, Copper Cove Restaurant, The Golf Club at Copper Valley, Griff’s Restaurant, IGA Market, Cooper’s Coffee Shop, Mi Pueblo Restaurant and many others.
This year the participants voted for Best White Wine and Best Red Wine tasted during the evening. For the Best White Wine, it was a three way tie with Ironstone Vineyards Obsession Symphony, Ironstone Vineyards Verdelho and Aloria Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc. Second place was also a tie with Jazz Cellars Blanc de Blanc and Indian Rock Winery Chardonnay.
For the Best Red Wine it went to Hurst Ranch for Miss Leslie’s Last Surrah (a blend). Second place went to Stevenot Winery for their Zinfandel.
Here are a few of the links to previous stories on specific winery participants this year:
1. Jessie’s Grove Winery –
2. Jazz Cellars –
3. Stevenot –
4. Above the Rush Wines –
5. Ironstone Vineyards