Food, wine & music at Grass Valley wineries

THE WINERIES IN NAPA, SONOMA, El Dorado and Amador counties are often crowded in the summer. But wine tasting with the Sierra Vintners, located along historic Hwy. 49 and the Colfax Hwy., remains a pleasurable experience.
Wine enthusiasts can picnic in a serene setting at Solune or Montoliva on the Colfax Hwy.; attend a “Paint and [...]

“Chef’s Table” with Chez Panisse veteran Alan Tangren at Tess’ Kitchen Store

This weekend we joined about 10 other people in the restaurant-quality kitchen at Tess’ Kitchen Store in downtown Grass Valley for a preview of “Chef’s Table,” a new monthly cooking series with Alan Tangren, who worked at the venerable Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley for 22 years, as a chef and forager.
Tess’ “Chef’s Table” series [...]

Sierra Foothills wineries win big at S.F. Chronicle wine competition

The 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition included winners from Sierra Foothills wineries including Avanguardia, Bent Metal, Ciotti, Le Casque, Montoliva, Naggiar, Popie, Secret Ravine, Solune and Viña Castellano, among others.
Viña Castellano won “best of class,” and Naggiar won two “double golds.” The “Loomis Loop” wineries, which we write about in our magazine, did exceedingly [...]

Fresh Dungeness crab lands in the Foothills

The much-anticipated Dungeness crab season opened Friday, with optimism for a crab bounty.
Last year was one of the best hauls on record. Restaurants and fish markets were busy placing orders for the tasty crustacean, popular from Thanksgiving to Christmas and into the New Year.
Sierra Foothills crab connoisseurs can begin purchasing the fresh crustacean locally next [...]

Fall Wine Tours: Barrel Tasting & Leaf Peeping

LIKE THE FRESH, LOCAL FOOD movement, wine tasting in the Sierra foothills is becoming a year-round passion. Downtown tasting rooms are open, but more wineries are staying open year-round.
Naggiar Vineyards is extending its wine and food events year-round. Smith Vineyards, with its iconic red-barn winery building, is opening its vineyard on Saturdays in October—including a [...]

Foothill wineries win at California State Fair

Here are some foothill wineries that won awards at the California State Fair Wine Competition:
Avanguardia won a bronze for Due Fiore (a red varietal blend).
Clavey Vineyards & Winery won a bronze (Syrah).
Lucchesi won a gold for its Sauvignon Blanc.
Montoliva won two silvers (Sierra Bella, red varietal blend; and Teroldego).
Nevada City Winery won two silvers (Barbera [...]

Food, wine & music at Sierra Vintners starts in May

Naggiar, Pilot Peak, Sierra Knolls’ Bear River Tasting Room, Sierra Starr and others celebrate wine, food and music with regular festivities throughout spring and summer.
Along with others, Bent Metal, just past the county fairgrounds in Grass Valley, and Solune and Montoliva along pastoral Hwy. 174, offer idyllic picnic spots. You’ll find picnic tables and Adirondack [...]

Meet the Winemakers

QUALITY WINE IS CREATED IN THE VINEYARD by a farmer, crafted by an artist, and chemistry brings it all together. Though foothills’ winemakers come from all walks of life, they share in this experience.
Dozens of winemakers and winery owners are re-settling the foothills wine growing region, whose roots go back to the Gold Rush [...]

Colfax Hwy. Wine Tour: Visit Montoliva and Solune

LIKE SAMPLING CHEESE, we enjoy savoring Sierra Vintners’ wineries in “small bites”:
A trip along Hwy. 49 to visit Sierra Knolls’ Bear River Wine Tasting room and Naggiar, for example; or a drive along McCourtney Road outside Grass Valley to visit Bent Metal, continuing along Indian Springs Road into Penn Valley, stopping at Pilot Peak.
It’s a [...]

Good Times Return to Wine Making

NATURE HAS BEEN KIND TO CALIFORNIA WINEMAKERS this year. It has been a splendid growing season, starting with a quick bloom this spring and ending with warm days and cool nights during the harvest.
This has led to renewed optimism for winemakers, who have contended with topsy-turvy weather and economic hardship in recent years.
A bountiful harvest—both [...]

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