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 [...]

Tasting Notes: Wine 174, barrel tasting, turkey treats & pumpkins

What’s New at the Wineries
Sierra Starr’s 2011 “Rising Star” Cabernet Franc has been named in the American Wine Society’s “21 Wines to Watch,” a high honor. A recommended food pairing was roasted lamb shanks. On November 21, Sierra Starr is hosting its annual holiday food-and-wine pairing at its tasting room in [...]

The best beers for fall in the Sierra Foothills

OKTOBERFEST IN MUNICH, Germany, attracts more than 6 million people annually who consume 1.5 million gallons of beer. Gastropubs, brewpubs and breweries in our region are all celebrating with seasonal brews and their own Octoberfest celebrations.
Loomis Basin Brewery is holding its 4th annual October-fest on October 17. The festivities include food by Ruffhaus of El [...]

Life cycle of a wine grape

The first tender buds of the growing season emerge from the dormant vine during bud break in spring. After about a month of growth, a vine will develop bunches of tiny flowers. Each flower has the potential to form a single grape berry.
After about a month of growth, a vine will develop bunches of [...]

Crush: “quality over quantity” this year

WINE LOVERS MAY BE ONE OF THE few beneficiaries of the long dry spell in California, at least for one more year.
Just as every cloud has a silver lining, the drought is causing the vines to produce smaller grapes, which results in more concentrated sugars and flavors. Vintages during dry years tend to garner better [...]

Tasting Notes: Sierra Starr celebrates 20th harvest, Nevada City Winery turns 35, winery dogs

Gold-medal winners in the 2015 California State Fair Wine Competition included Avanguardia (Premiato), Double Oak Vineyards & Winery (Chardonnay), Le Casque (Sergent Dessert Wine), Mt. Vernon Winery (Cabernet Franc), Naggiar Vineyards (Sangiovese) and Nevada City Winery (Barbera).
Medal winners also included Avanguardia (silver, two bronze), Ciotti Cellars (silver, bronze), Le Casque (four [...]

Tuscan-inspired Montoliva Winery more than doubling its vineyard

SOME OF THE ORIGINAL SETTLERS OF CHICAGO Park, a bucolic hamlet nestled between Colfax and Grass Valley, were first generation German- and Italian-Americans who came from Chicago in the mid-1800s to reconnect with their agrarian roots.
The area became famous for its stone fruit, wine grapes and other fruit. In 1915, pears from a Chicago [...]

Wine and food tasting abounds in Placer County and Nevada County CA this summer

For savory eats and award-winning wines, these festivals offer eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos with imaginative chefs, and breathtaking venues:
A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on “roads less traveled” in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near [...]

Cab Franc: “The next big thing” in Sierra Vintners’ wines

“THE ERA OF CABERNET FRANC is nearly upon us,” Wine Spectator Associate Editor Ben O’Donnell wrote in February. “That’s the conclusion I reached after visiting wineries on both coasts last year and imbibing at not a few of Instagram’s most trending wine bars. Reader, the excitement is palpable and the smell of pepper-bramble-tobacco-olive is in [...]

Tasting Notes: Tahoe City Wine Walk, Smith Vineyard’s new labels

Thirty-five years ago, Dr. Wayne Smith fulfilled his desire to farm when he planted a vineyard in Grass Valley. The winery, housed in a restored red barn, opened in 1987. Nowadays Wayne’s grandsons, the third generation, work alongside their parents, Gary and Chris, at the winery.
Gary and Chris are now honoring the [...]

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