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Wine Buzz: Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento has its work cut out

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3D
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 - 1:43 pm

Welcome to the epicenter of the Western Hemisphere's wine industry, also known as the 2012 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.

The annual event and trade show, which kicked off Tuesday at the Sacramento Convention Center and runs through Thursday, is expected to draw more than 11,000 attendees to learn more about the state of the wine industry, attend workshops and check out the latest technologies in grape growing and winemaking.

And of course, the attendees love to eat and sample wines. Check The Bee's Business section today about Unified's impact on Sacramento's restaurant business.

Unified arrives during a grape-growing season that's off to a shaky start given the lack of rain. If this keeps up, farmers and winery owners are looking at a second year of light grape crops, which could push prices up and throw a monkey wrench into supply and demand.

For a wrap-up of this morning's "state of the industry" session at Unified, check Thursday's Bee.

• New food options at the Old Sugar Mill: Whether you're a local or a Unified attendee who wants to sample some of the region's wine, there's a new reason to stop by the Old Sugar Mill at 35265 Willow Ave., Clarksburg.

Already home to eight wine-tasting rooms, the Old Sugar Mill has partnered with Elk Grove's Boulevard Bistro – named in Zagat's "America's Best Restaurants 2012" – to bring some much-needed food flavors to the facility.

Under the name "Baguettes at the Old Sugar Mill," Boulevard Bistro is selling gourmet sandwiches on weekends. This is good news, given that crackers and cheese can only carry you for so long.

Apart from the nearby Dinky Diner (36339 Riverview Drive, Clarksburg), the Clarksburg area doesn't host much in terms of food. If you planned on getting some grub at Husick's Country Store (36510 Riverview Drive, Clarksburg), they've closed for the winter and will reopen during spring.

So belly up after tasting some local petite sirah and chenin blanc at the Old Sugar Mill, and scarf down a sandwich. For other information, call (916) 744-1615 or visit

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