Food & Wine Festivals this summer in the Sierra Foothills and High Sierra

Here’s a sampling of food and wine festivals in our region this summer:

A premier wine tasting experience from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on scenic backroads in Nevada and Placer Counties. The trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. The wineries are offering delicious food to go with their wines, live music and other activities.

The wineries on the July 16 wine trail are Avanguardia, Bent Metal, Coufos Cellars, Grant-Marie, Gray Pine, Pilot Peak, Smith and Szabo. The vintners on the September 24 trail are Double Oak, Katoa, Lucchesi, Nevada City Winery, Sierra Sky and Solune. For tickets and more information, visit

Self-guided tour of up to 20 wineries on the Placer County Wine Trail.

“Wine, food and the arts. Incorporating these three enhances the quality of life.” —Robert Mondavi

Nevada City Uncorked, a celebration of wine and food, takes place on August 27 in downtown Nevada City.

Uncorked is a walk-about-town style format featuring 19 local wineries and one brewery—Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Co.—throughout the downtown area.

Each venue includes wine or beer tasting and food sampling. Many of the wines are available for purchase. New this year is a chance to win several Nevada City vacation packages. For tickets and more information, visit and

The 7th annual Sample the Sierra at Bijou Community Park in South Lake Tahoe brings together the region’s top chefs and restaurants with neighboring growers and farms to create delicious samples paired with the appropriate wine or craft brew.

Sample the Sierra also features a festival marketplace, “pop up” dinner, music, live entertainment, art and Sierra Chefs Challenge, a cook-off between three regional chefs cooking with locally sourced ingredients. For tickets and more information, visit

Now in its 13th year, the Downtown Truckee Wine, Walk & Shop brings nearly 1,000 locals and tourists to historic downtown Truckee to sip wine, taste food samples and enjoy shopping. Attendees sample wine at more than 30 locations.

“Best of” Winners at State Fair
Smith Vineyard’s 2013 Primitivo was named “Best in California” and “Best of Class of Region,” and it won a double gold medal at the California State Fair wine tasting competition. Sierra Starr Vineyard & Winery’s 2014 Chardonnay won “Best of Class of Region” and a gold medal. Its 2013 Petite Sirah also won “Best of Class of Region” and a gold.

Avanguardia’s 2013 Corvina won “Best of Class of Region” and a double gold medal. Secret Ravine’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from Placer County won “Best of Class of Region” and a gold medal. Secret Ravine belongs to the Loomis Loop wine trail in Placer County. Other local winners included Nevada City Winery, Naggiar, Gray Pine, Lucchesi, Szabo and Montoliva, among others. Solune also has won some other major wine awards. For a list of State Fair winners, visit

INDULGE in the Season Food, Wine & Music at Northstar

THE LAKE TAHOE AUTUMN FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL, held at Northstar California, is one of Northern California’s premier gourmet events.

Attendees enjoy three full days of cooking seminars and demonstrations, culinary competitions, wine tastings, a Farm to Tahoe dinner, live music, a gourmet marketplace and more. Events are held at the Village at Northstar, on the mountain, as well as in The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.

Activities for this year’s 31st celebration September 9-11 vary from a Progressive Picnic hike through the Sierra Nevada to a Blazing Pans Mountain Cook-Off. The grand finale is the iconic Grand Tasting, which features food and wine from the finest restaurants, caterers and chefs in the Lake Tahoe and Reno areas, paired with premium world-class wineries and breweries.

The Autumn Food and Wine Festival was voted one of the top 10 food festivals in the country by USA Today. It is an ideal opportunity to sample the culinary and wine-making talents of the chefs and wineries you always wanted to try, including the newest restaurants in the area.

Last year’s winners included Northstar California and Benziger Family Wines, gold for best pairing of food and beverage; Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique, gold for best food; Emeritus Vineyards, gold for best red wine; and Gruet Winery, gold for best white wine.

Jason Friendly of the Resort at Squaw Creek/Six Peaks Grille won first place in the Blazing Pans competition. Goose Island Seasonal Oktoberfest won People’s Choice for best beer.

Festival attendees can stay in the Village at Northstar or in one of the Northstar vacation homes with free shuttle transportation. Northstar’s summer activities also include mountain biking, golfing, scenic lift rides for sightseeing and hiking, fly-fishing, roller skating and special events. For tickets and more information about the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival, visit

More Culinary Adventures
Along with the Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine events, the Tahoe-Truckee area has other Fall culinary adventures including local farmers markets, Alpen Wine Fest at Squaw Valley, Farm to Peak Dinner at Homewood, Guitar Strings and Chicken Wings at Squaw Valley, and the Thunderbird Lodge Winemaker Dinner. For more information, visit

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