Food, wine & music at Grass Valley wineries

THE WINERIES IN NAPA, SONOMA, El Dorado and Amador counties are often crowded in the summer. But wine tasting with the Sierra Vintners, located along historic Hwy. 49 and the Colfax Hwy., remains a pleasurable experience.

Wine enthusiasts can picnic in a serene setting at Solune or Montoliva on the Colfax Hwy.; attend a “Paint and Pour” art class with Community Canvas on the flowering terraces at Pilot Peak Winery (July 13 or August 10); or grab fresh produce from Jardin del Rio and wine at Sierra Knolls along Hwy. 49.

Closer to Grass Valley, visitors can relax in an Adirondack chair with a glass of wine at Bent Metal Winery, with sweeping mountain views. Sierra Starr hosts a winemaker dinner with Music in the Mountains on September 11.

All are pleasurable outings along “the road less traveled,” just north of the I-80 corridor. Nowhere can one experience a more pleasurable wine country journey than a visit to Naggiar Vineyads, west of Hwy. 49 between Auburn and Grass Valley. You drive among picturesque hillsides, studded with oak trees. Coveys of quail are visible along the rural lane.

At the end of your drive, the vineyards and winery appear in an expansive valley. The site provides for warm days with cooling afternoon breezes, ideal for growing top-quality grapes.

Naggiar’s Mediterranean-style tasting room faces a lush lawn, leading down to a tranquil pond and a stage for music. Tables and chairs are set up outdoors for guests to bask in the sun.

Naggiar epitomizes the food, wine and music experience at a destination winery. Its bistro food is fresh and seasonal.

The summer menu includes warm artichoke dip with toasted baguette; a shrimp salad with lemon vinaigrette; and a braised Pork Loin. Enjoy light summer fare with a glass of Naggiar Viogner or Rosé.

Naggiar’s WineFest includes tribute bands: July 26 features a Motown tribute; August 23 is a tribute to the music of Journey; and September 27 is a tribute to the Eagles. Guitarists, vocalists, duos and saxophonists perform at the winery on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Bistro is open for food.

(Photo: Naggiar VIneyards)

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