Tasting notes: Smith Vineyard turns 30, Nevada City Winery’s premium wines, Halloween Wine Walk

SMITH VINEYARD 30th ANNIVERSARY IN 1980, 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 honored the fourth […]

Tasting Notes: Naggiar, Smith, Nevada City Winery and Sierra Starr

NAGGIAR: WINE, MUSIC AND VINEYARD TOURS The winery’s new releases include a 2016 Viognier; 2016 Rosé, 2015 Root 49 (a blend of tempranillo, grenache and mourvèdre), a 2014 Sangiovese (a gold medal winner at the 2017 Pacific Rim wine competition), and a 2014 Petit Verdot. Naggiar’s Winefest concerts continue July 29 with a Steely Dan […]

Sierra Vintners’ wine trails on May 20, July 15 and September 23

THE FOOTHILLS HAVE SOME exceptional wine trail experiences on “roads less traveled”: “Grape Days of Summer” in Placer County, “Drink Pink” and “Big Crush” in Amador County, and “Passport” in El Dorado County, among others. Sierra Vintners, which includes wineries in Placer and Nevada Counties, is offering three regional wine trail experiences in 2017—in May, […]

Grape expectations: Some wine predictions for the New Year

FOCUS ON MILLENNIALS Millennials are fast becoming the largest wine-drinking population, eclipsing the baby boomers and accounting for 30 percent of wine drinkers. (For more on “Gen Wine,” see our companion website SierraCulture.com.) “What does this mean for wine in 2017?” asks Wine Cooler Direct. “Labels are continuing to get more creative and whimsical, biodynamic […]

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 […]

Tasting notes: Sierra Starr, Naggiar, Smith, Pilot Peak and Bent Metal

NAGGIAR VINEYARDS Naggiar is offering fully guided tours of its vineyard and winery in a new electric shuttle on weekends. SIERRA STARR’S GOLD MEDALS The winery has won double-gold or gold medals for most of the wines it has entered in tasting competitions this year. Sierra Starr won a double-gold for its 2012 Cabernet Franc […]

Smith, Sierra Starr, Avanguardia, Secret Ravine, and Amador wineries among big winners in State Fair Wine Competition

Foothills wineries won major awards at the prestigious, long-running California State Fair wine competition. Smith Vineyard’s 2013 Primitivo from Nevada County was named “Best in California” and “Best of Class of Region,” and it won a Double Gold medal. Smith also won a Gold for its Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bronze for its Merlot. The […]

Tasting note: Smith Vineyard, Nevada City Winery, Montoliva, Bent Metal and Sierra Starr

What’s new at the wineries: SMITH VINEYARD REUNITES WITH “AMIGO BOB” Amigo Bob Cantisano, managing partner of the Heaven and Earth Farm on the San Juan Ridge, is one of the most influential figures in California organic agriculture. “Nature bats first and last,” Amigo Bob told The New York Times Magazine. About 35 years ago, […]

“Gen Wine”: More millennials drinking wine instead of beer

WE REGULARLY VISIT OUR REGION’S wineries to sip new varietals, taste from the barrel and meet with winemakers. We also enjoy meeting other winery guests. Though most of them are retirees, or boomers like ourselves, we notice more millennials at local wineries and tasting rooms. We’ve run into these unpretentious and adventurous wine drinkers at […]

Tasting Notes: Wine 174, barrel tasting, turkey treats & pumpkins

What’s New at the Wineries SIERRA STARR CAB FRANC HONORED Sierra Starr’s 2011 “Rising Star” Cabernet Franc has been named in the American Wine Society’s “21 Wines to Watch,” a high honor. A recommended food pairing was roasted lamb shanks. On November 21, Sierra Starr is hosting its annual holiday food-and-wine pairing at its tasting […]

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