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

CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR WINE WINNERS
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:
SIERRA VINTNERS
SUMMER REGIONAL WINE TRAIL JULY 18 AND SEPTEMBER 26
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

NOW FOUR GENERATIONS STRONG
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 [...]

Sierra Vintners’ three wine trails for as little as $18 each: May 16, July 18 and Sept. 26

THE FOOTHILLS HAVE SOME ENJOYABLE wine trail experiences on “roads less traveled”: “Grape Days of Summer” in Placer County; “Passport” in El Dorado County; and “Big Crush” in Amador County, among others.
Now Sierra Vintners, which includes wineries in Placer and Nevada Counties, has come up with an innovative plan: three regional wine trail experiences in 2015—in [...]

Naggiar Vineyards’ Winefest: food, wine & music starts this spring

THE FOOTHILLS HAVE SOME SPLENDID destination wineries: Viña Castellano in Auburn with a stone wine cave amid the 40-year-old Mendez Family Ranch; Wise Villa Winery in Lincoln with a bistro and tasting room set amid a 14-acre vineyard; Bent Metal in Grass Valley with sweeping views of the Sierra from comfortable Adirondack chairs; and Pilot Peak [...]

SIP multi-winery tasting room in Auburn

AUBURN HAS BECOME a sought after food and wine destination, thanks to Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs at Carpe Vino and Bootlegger’s, former San Francisco restaurateurs such as Jim Bril of Monkey Cat and award-winning wines, such as Viña Castellano’s Tempranillo. The winery won a prestigious “Best of Class” honor in the San Francisco Chronicle [...]

Tasting notes: Nevada City Winery sparkler, Naggiar’s golds and Katoa Cellars startup

NEVADA CITY WINERY SPARKLER
Sparkling wine is becoming an everyday wine. In the foothills, Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery, Sierra Knolls Winery and Pilot Peak Winery offer sparkling wines, among others. Now Nevada City Winery has released two sparkling wines: Blanc de Blancs and Brut. The Blanc de Blancs is a Chardonnay sparkling wine with green [...]

Food meets wine: Tess’ Chef’s Table and Solune Winegrowers

FOOD AND WINE ARE ageless companions, and two masters of marrying the two in a sophisticated yet approachable style are accomplished locals.
Meet Tess’ Kitchen Store in-house chef Alan Tangren, who worked at the venerable Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley for 22 years, and Solune Winegrowers’ owner-winemaker Jacques Mercier, an experienced vintner who has judged regularly [...]

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