Just like the area's pioneers took a chance 100 years ago, Charles B. Mitchell came to Fair Play searching for opportunity. Seeking to live out the dream of owning his first vineyard, it wasn't long before he discovered the true potential of the region. Situated as the highest-elevation viticultural area in California, the possibilities for producing top-notch Zinfandels quickly became evident. Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards wasted no time, blazing a trail and purchasing the largest of the Fair Play's original wineries to reawaken the area.Fair Play is located high in the lovely Sierra Foothills, abundant with oak and pine forests. The area was settled during the Gold Rush by miners and farmers, who put their lives on the line in hopes that success would strike.
The first commercial vineyard and winery didn't come to the area until Wisconsin native, Horace Bigelow, decided to plant 4,000 grape vines in 1887. Most of the 20th century was quiet and declining for the population around Fair Play due to the difficulty of transporting goods to viable markets. The wine region didn't take off again until Benn Simms offered his Diamond Bar Ranch to University of California, Davis for an experimental vineyard. Through studying the experimental vineyard, it was determined that excellent dry table wines, especially Zinfandel, could be grown in the Fair Play region.In the early 2000s, we purchased the original UC Davis test plot and started to carefully tend our grapes to create some of the area's premier Zinfandels. After discovering the true potential of the region, Charles was instrumental in creating the thirty-three square miles known as Fair Play into an established American Viticultural Area.
Come experience an adventure in wine and celebrate the beauty of the Sierra Foothills. We produce a select list of wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port and more. Explore an array of tasting opportunities that highlight our regions unique terroir from barrel tasting future wines to our Zin Zone with over 12 unique single vineyard small lot Zinfandels that highlight specific micro-climates within our region. Join us on Friday nights for a feast of endless pizza and lobster or enjoy one of our many seasonal events including our Bottle Your Own Weekends