Popie Wines: Now at historic Blue Goose Fruit Shed in Loomis

POPIE WINES IS A BOUTIQUE winery creating award-winning wines in Loomis. Since the 1920s, three generations of the Duarte family have worked in the Napa Valley growing high-quality grapes. Michael Duarte represents the fourth generation and is continuing the family tradition in Placer County.

Michael named the winery after his dad, whose nickname is “Popie.” Popie’s signature wine is its award-winning Barbera, but it makes a wide range of reds, including Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet, Dolce di Barbera and blends.

Now after 10 years in commercial winemaking, Duarte is embarking on a major expansion. For the past four years, Popie has been one of the wineries at High Hand in Loomis, along with Ciotti Cellars.

This fall, Duarte is relocating Popie’s tasting room to the historic Blue Goose Fruit Shed, just down the street. “I’ve been wanting to expand,” he says. “Our tasting room will be about 3-1/2 times larger than before.”

Popie’s new tasting room is decorated in a theme redolent of the fruit shed era (including an orchard ladder displaying Popie’s wine-award ribbons). It includes a custom copper-top bar, tractor-seat stools, and a big chalkboard wall. The room is decorated with local artwork from accomplished Loomis artist Unni Stevens.

The tasting room is open Friday afternoon and evenings, and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It serves wines by the glass, and guests can enjoy acoustic music on Friday nights.

Popie Wines have won numerous awards in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and California State Fair. Popie won three medals in the 2015 Chronicle Wine Competition (Basin Red, silver; Bianca di Barbera, bronze and Barbera Reserve, bronze). It won four medals at the 2015 California State Fair (two bronze medals for its Barbera and a bronze for Gamay and Roman Red blend).

Visit PopieWines.com

Bottle Shock
This year, Popie won a silver medal for its 2012 Gamay in the Concours du Gamay competition in Lyon, France—a major coup for a local wine-maker.

Owner-winemaker Michael Duarte likened his experience to “Bottle Shock,” the film based on a famous 1976 wine competition when California wine defeated French wine in a blind taste test. Duarte grew up in Napa Valley in the ‘70s, so he remembers it well.

This fall Popie will release a 2012 Gamay, along with a 2011 Zinfandel, 2012 Barbera Reserve, 2012 Basin Red, 2012 Charbono, 2012 JPM red blend, 2012 Manoel red blend, 2012 Zinfandel, 2014 Vermentino and Roman Red blend. Most of the grapes come from Placer County.

(Photo: Jason Phipps)

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