“Kitchen Cabinets”: Friends & family who advise each other in a real kitchen

“Kitchen cabinet” politics is a group of unofficial advisers to a political leader—often more influential than the official cabinet. President Reagan’s “kitchen cabinet” included trusted old friends, as did the group assembled by Andrew Jackson in 1829. Next year, our new President will form his or her own “kitchen cabinet.” The same is true when […]

Vintners predict quality wines from grape harvest

THIS YEAR’S WINE GRAPE HARVEST began early. Deploying little more than a pair of well-sharpened shears, the vintners, laborers and volunteers fanned out into the vineyard, hand harvested the grapes, put them in bins (or lugs) and hauled them off to the winery on a big tractor. The freshly picked grapes were sorted for quality, […]

“A Great Winemaking Year” Is Predicted

WINE ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE: SIERRA foothill wine growers are excited about this year’s harvest, with predictions it will create some outstanding wines. “This is going to be a great winemaking year,” predicts Mike Naggiar, owner of Naggiar Vineyards. “I’m looking at the best harvest ever,” says Mark Henry, owner-winemaker at Montoliva Vineyard. After picking his estate-grown […]

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. […]

Visit Sierra Vintners: Taste among the barrels

SIERRA VINTNERS IS A CLUSTER of wineries in scenic Nevada County. They are nestled in the foothills around historic Nevada City and Grass Valley, just north of I-80, between Reno and Sacramento. It’s a personal, unhurried wine tasting experience along “roads less traveled.” Nevada County is a rising star in Northern California wine country. The […]

Sierra Vintners Wine Trail

SPRING IS AN IDEAL TIME TO VISIT THE foothill vineyards: The vines are budding, wildflowers are in bloom and the weather is splendid. The 13th Annual Sierra Vintner’s Wine Trail, on Memorial Day weekend, is the perfect event for a wine country tour for locals and visitors. It is midway between Sacramento and Reno. The […]

Solune Winegrowers: “Distinctive wines” from the foothills

SOLUNE WINEGROWERS combines the French words for sun (soleil) and moon (lune) to convey the premium grape growing climate in the Sierra foothills. The name also reflects the roots of winemaker and co- owner Jacques Mercier, who grew up in Quebec, Canada, and now is a regular international wine tasting judge (his most recent was […]