Sierra Oro Farm Trail celebrates October harvest with mobile ‘Farm & Wine Pass’


The Sierra Oro Farm Trail will hold a month-long event in October focused on the farms and wineries of Butte County. Pass holders will have access to 31 different farms and vineyards with special activities and discounts on locally grown food products. 

Nicole Johansson, Sierra Oro Farm Trail’s owner, said the event started as a partnership with Chico State’s College of Agriculture and the Alumni and Family Office’s homecoming celebration, which begins this year on Oct. 8. 

Wooley Farms is just one of many destinations available to Sierra Oro Farm and Wine pass holders. [Pictured left to right Brad and Judy Johnson] Photo credit to Daniela Zamora

Last year, Chico State helped Johansson and her company carry out virtual events and tasting boxes sales.

“The university has been a key partner for us,” Johansson said, “and a very generous partner since the very beginning.” 

Owning an olive orchard and an olive oil company, Johansson and her husband know first hand what it takes to be a farmer. The idea of wanting to bring people onto the farm and wanting to immerse them in the farming process is an idea that the couple had in 2004 when they opened a tasting room and partnered with neighboring wineries. 

Director of Parent and Alumni Engagement, Shari Anderson, is looking forward to Alumni and Parent Weekend to return to an in-person event. 

“I’m personally most excited about the University Farm open house on Friday,” Anderson said. “You know there’s gonna be a chance to meet the new dean of the College of Ag[riculture], and I know people want to kind of hear about what her vision is for the college.” 

The University Farm will have a special open house event on Friday Oct. 8 from 1-5 p.m. Photo credit to Daniela Zamora

Unlike in years past, this year’s event will take place all month. Tickets are sold on Sierra Oro’s website. Tickets are mobile exclusive and are received instantly via text and email. For $40, you get a digital pass and access to all the locations throughout October. 

By partnering with the Downtown Chico Business Association, Anderson, and the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement hopes to promote local businesses and restaurants to both visitors and residents of Chico. 

“There’s a lot of things for both alumni and parents and their students to do this weekend so you know just kind of finding out what works best for you,” Anderson said.

Sierra Oro Farm Trail wants to give people the chance to become immersed into the local farms and to learn more about agriculture. Photo credit to Daniela Zamora

Sierra Oro’s partnership with Explore Butte County will offer those coming to Chico a weekend hotel package at five participating hotels. The package will include passes to the Sierra Oro Farm Trail event as part of your stay. 

Details about the hotel packages can be found on the Explore Butte County website.

“There are 31 farms all open throughout the month of October, and this year guests can socially distance, and tour at their leisure,” Johansson said.

Explore Butte County CEO Carolyn Denero said partnering with Sierra Oro Farm Trail help’s their mission of educating people about local farms.

“Traditionally passes like this are only for wine or only for a single type of crop or farm, but all of the farmers work together to showcase the vast variety of what is produced in Butte County,” Denero said.

Sophia Pearson can be reached at [email protected] or @sophia__pearson on Twitter.