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Bella Grace: Tasting at 73 Main St.


In early 2011, Michael and Charlie Havill were considering a tasting room in Sutter Creek.  They had seen the success of tasting rooms in Healdsburg and thought Sutter Creek had similar advantages for wine tasting; historic town, nice shops, and good restaurants.  People can visit, park, walk around town while having lunch, shopping, and sample wines at a tasting room.  There were several store fronts available at the time along Main Street, and one at 73 Main stood out because it had a large yard, nice floor plan in the house, and lots of historical significance.  Tom Violich manages the house for the Brignoli family estate, and he was happy to have a winery occupy the property.  Tom understood that the house needed renovations before it could become a tasting room, and through a cooperative effort, extensive renovations and improvements were completed to the house and year, and the new Bella Grace tasting room was opened in the fall of 2011.

Michael and Charlie had extensive experience in business and customer relationships and created a welcoming environment at the tasting room for customers.  For the first ten years, the tasting room offered "tasting bar" experience with customers standing at the bar for their wine.  During Covid, tastings were moved outside on a new patio with a tent covering.  Tastings became "seated" and this relaxed experience has become the staple of wine tastings.  Jessa Schmidt manages the tasting room, and her staff is educated on wines and olive oils and provides a friendly atmosphere for visitors.  When you visit Bella Grace, you will be offered extensive options of white and red wines, and a sampling of olive oils and vinegars are complimentary.  When you visit, make sure you ask the staff about the gold rush history of the house and its ghostly reputation!  

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