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 […]

“A Walk Through Autumn” in the foothills and Sierra

Our region is one of the best places in California to view fall foliage, earning it the name “New England of the West.” Here are some suggestions: HISTORIC HIGHWAY 40 Weather permitting, take an old-fashioned Sunday drive along Old Hwy. 40 from Rocklin to Donner Pass and Truckee instead of Interstate 80. The fall colors […]

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 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 […]

Tuscan-inspired Montoliva Winery more than doubling its vineyard

SOME OF THE ORIGINAL SETTLERS OF CHICAGO Park, a bucolic hamlet nestled between Colfax and Grass Valley, were first generation German- and Italian-Americans who came from Chicago in the mid-1800s to reconnect with their agrarian roots. The area became famous for its stone fruit, wine grapes and other fruit. In 1915, pears from a Chicago […]