Sparkling wine is becoming an everyday wine

LIKE MANY OF YOU, OUR PARENTS USED to reserve sparkling wine and champagne for special occasions—Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and big events. But younger people are embracing sparklers as more of an everyday wine and drinking it year-round. On a trip to Italy this summer, we noticed scores of younger people drinking Prosecco, Italy’s […]

BYOB and barrel tasting at foothills wineries

BYOB Italy is a wine-lover’s paradise and locals buy it on tap (“alla Spina”), bringing their own bottle and filling it themselves at the winery. Sierra Knolls’ Bear River Tasting Room offers a “refillable bottle” option for red (a blend of Primativo, Barbera and Sangiovese) and white (a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) in […]

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, […]

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 […]

Tasting Notes: Lucchesi, Sierra Starr, Secret Ravine and Le Casque

LUCCHESI The winemaker has expanded to a larger wine tasting room in downtown Grass Valley. It has moved to 128 Mill Street from its longtime location at 167 Mill Street, next to the Del Oro Theatre. It is occupying a restored, Gold Rush-era building formerly home to the Grass Valley Wine Co. Artists’ Studio in […]

Tasting Notes: “Uncorked,” Movies, Pizza & Wine

UNCORKED IN NEVADA CITY August 4, 1-5 p.m., in the historic downtown. Wander through Nevada City, enjoying its charm and a sampling of local wines and foods. More than 20 wineries and restaurants are participating. WINE, FOOD & MUSIC Naggiar’s Winefest at its spectacular “destination” winery includes tribute bands, such as Joel The Band (Billy […]

Smith Vineyard’s bustling new tasting room

DESPITE THE RECESSION, WINERIES ARE rushing to open tasting rooms downtown, making a trip to one of the region’s historic towns more worthwhile. In Grass Valley alone, three new tasting rooms have opened recently: Avanguardia Wines has come to town; Sierra Starr Winery has relocated to a bigger location); and Smith Vineyard is opening a […]

New wine bar planned in Grass Valley

Here’s a FoodWineArt magazine scoop: It’s hard to keep a secret when you put a big sign in the window about your business — though there’s not much “gumshoe” reporting going on anymore. As it turns out, Pilot Peak Winery and Solune Winery — two of the county’s popular wineries — have a big sign […]

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