Visit Grass Valley: A postcard-perfect Gold Rush town

NESTLED IN THE HEART OF the Sierra Foothills, Grass Valley is a postcard-perfect historic Gold Rush town. It offers a window into the past while featuring the best of the present: unique stores, wine and beer tasting, art galleries and top- notch restaurants and entertainment. The central streets are Mill and Main, anchored by the […]

Tasting Notes

FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian tradition. It features seven courses of fish and seafood dishes on Christmas Eve — the freshest catch of the day, as well as clams, oysters, mussels, squid, shrimp and lobster, for example. Avanguardia’s Cristallo is the perfect wine for the occasion. […]

Golden Era hosts a delicious pop-up dinner, paired with craft cocktails and local wines

The Golden Era Lounge in Nevada City is thinking about hosting monthly “pop up” dinners — pairing imaginative dishes with craft cocktails and fine wines —  and we joined a gathering of “friends and family” this week for a sneak preview. Since emerging over a decade ago, pop-up dinners have become one of the fastest-growing […]

Twelve 28 Kitchen: “Eat. Smile. Repeat.”

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRAVEL TO New York or San Francisco for first-rate food,” as The Wall Street Journal concluded recently in a front-page feature. “We are one great restaurant nation.” America’s culinary frontier is expanding to small towns for multiple reasons. This includes often prohibitive restaurant startup costs in big cities; a growing foodie […]

Foothill wineries win “double gold,” “best of class” and other top honors at State Fair wine competition

FOOTHILL WINERIES EARNED numerous awards in the 2017 California State Fair wine tasting competition. Winners included Andis Wines, Avanguardia, Cooper Vineyards, Montoliva Vineyard & Winery, Naggiar Vineyards, Nevada City Winery, Sierra Starr Vineyard and Szabo Vineyards. Andis won a “Best of California” for its 2013 Painted Fields red blend; Avanguardia won a “Best of Class […]

Gold Rush towns: Pairing food and wine with winter sports

THOUGH MOUNTAIN RESORTS ARE appealing, some people would rather stay out of the deep snow and take easy day-trips to the slopes. In Colorado, Après Ski Denver now has a following. Here’s a locals’ secret in the Sierra foothills—historic towns such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn, Sutter Creek and Plymouth are all less congested […]

Summer is prime time for farmers markets

SUMMER IS PRIME TIME FOR FARMERS MARKETS, in our region and all across America. The USDA’s 17th annual National Farmers Market Week is August 7-13, celebrating the role of farmers markets in local economies. The markets create local jobs; return more of their sales to the local economy than grocery stores; and provide consumers with […]

Food & Wine Festivals this summer in the Sierra Foothills and High Sierra

Here’s a sampling of food and wine festivals in our region this summer: SIERRA VINTNERS SUMMER REGIONAL WINE TRAIL JULY 16 & SEPT. 24 A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on scenic backroads in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. […]

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 […]

Avanguardia, Montoliva, Coufos and Matteo’s Public featured in The Chronicle

“Six years ago I moved to Nevada County, a derringer-shaped piece of California (not Nevada!), whose handle runs northeast from Auburn and whose barrel climbs due east to Truckee,” writes freelancer Sarah Miller in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. “They do make wine here in this land of redneck hippies and hippie rednecks, […]

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