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 […]

Crush: “quality over quantity” this year

WINE LOVERS MAY BE ONE OF THE few beneficiaries of the long dry spell in California, at least for one more year. Just as every cloud has a silver lining, the drought is causing the vines to produce smaller grapes, which results in more concentrated sugars and flavors. Vintages during dry years tend to garner […]

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 […]

Wine and food tasting abounds in Placer County and Nevada County CA this summer

For savory eats and award-winning wines, these festivals offer eclectic tastings, hands-on cooking demos with imaginative chefs, and breathtaking venues: SIERRA VINTNERS SUMMER REGIONAL WINE TRAIL JULY 18 AND SEPTEMBER 26 A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on “roads less traveled” in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are […]

Things to do in Grass Valley

“VISIT CALIFORNIA” HAS A celebrity spokesman—actor Rob Lowe, who shares his love for the great outdoors, and the dining, arts and culture scene. As it turns out, Grass Valley has its own informal group of celebrity tourism ambassadors—the famous people who perform at The Center of the Arts and had a great visit. Besides performing, […]

Sierra Vintners’ three wine trails for as little as $18 each: May 16, July 18 and Sept. 26

THE FOOTHILLS HAVE SOME ENJOYABLE wine trail experiences on “roads less traveled”: “Grape Days of Summer” in Placer County; “Passport” in El Dorado County; and “Big Crush” in Amador County, among others. Now Sierra Vintners, which includes wineries in Placer and Nevada Counties, has come up with an innovative plan: three regional wine trail experiences 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, […]

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