Nevada County wine tours

SIERRA VINTNERS is in Nevada County, halfway between Sacramento and Reno, with easy access off Interstate 80. The 15 wineries and 10 tasting rooms are located throughout the Sierra foothills and within the towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City.

Sierra Vintners produces an unusually wide variety of vines, boasting over 45 planted varietals, ranging from Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Sangiovese and Tempranillo.

“I’ve traveled to many wine regions and found no other like this one,” says one Santa Rosa wine enthusiast. “There is a downtown area with tast- ing rooms, plus lots of places to eat and unique art within the shops. There also are places with beautiful properties to enjoy the view with a picnic.”

The wineries put on a range of area-wide events throughout the year, including Nevada City Uncorked Sept. 14, 1-4:30 p.m. in the historic downtown. Enjoy a sampling of foothill wines and food.

Destination Wineries
Naggiar Vineyards’ Mediterranean-style tasting room is set amid 60 acres of vineyards, just north of Auburn and I-80. It is a pleasant ride along a bucolic road, studded with oak trees on rolling hillsides.

In Penn Valley, Pilot Peak’s flowering terraces offer commanding views of the surrounding hillsides. The complimentary “comparative” tasting allows you to contrast and savor several wines.

Bent Metal Winery, just three miles from historic Grass Valley, has sweeping views of the Sierra. It is casual and friendly. Picnicking is welcome at these scenic wineries.

Downtown Tasting Rooms
The wineries’ tasting rooms are located in Gold Rush-era buildings in downtown Grass Valley and Nevada City. There’s local art, live music and appetizers to enjoy too. A new Visitor’s Center (128 E. Main St.) offers tourism information.

Smith Vineyard offers artisan antipasto platters from the Back Porch Market.

The Grass Valley tasting rooms include Avanguardia, Lucchesi, Sierra Starr and Smith. The Nevada City tasting rooms are Nevada City Winery, Szabo Vineyards and Clavey Wines.

Colfax Hwy. Wine Tour
The Colfax Hwy., or Hwy. 174—a “road less traveled” but convenient nonetheless—is a scenic route that includes Montoliva and Solune wineries and vineyards.

The wineries along Hwy 174 are just 10 to 15 minutes from the junction of I-80 and Colfax—a quick detour for travelers zipping along the in- terstate from either Reno or Sacramento.

Montoliva and Solune—just down the road from one another—epitomize the small, family-owned wineries. You can visit with the winemakers and enjoy a summer picnic.

Go to “South Nevada County: A gateway to local food and wine.”

Go to “Sierra Vintners.”

Grass Valley Courtyard Suites
210 N. Auburn St., GV 530-272-7696

Gold Miners Inn-Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites 121 Bank St., GV 530-477-1700

New! Lamb’s Victorian Inn Walk to downtown Grass Valley. 304 S. Church St., GV 530-615-4652

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