Sierra Vintners Wine Trails on May 14, July 16 and September 24

THE FOOTHILLS HAVE SOME ENJOYABLE wine trail experiences on “roads less traveled”: “Grape Days of Summer” in Placer County, “Big Crush” in Amador County, and “Passport” in El Dorado County, among others.

Sierra Vintners, which includes wineries in Placer and Nevada Counties, is offering three regional wine trail experiences in 2016— in May, July and September. This allows visitors to linger and enjoy wine, food and music at a smaller cluster of wineries in a single day rather than feel rushed to enjoy all 23 of them at once.

In addition, the price is among the most affordable we’ve seen—just $70 (wine club members) or $80 for all three tours—in essence, three days of wine and food tasting spread throughout the year for as little as $23 per experience. Or you can pay $30 (wine club members) or $35 to attend one of them. The price for a designated driver is $15 for each date. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit SierraVintners.com. The package deal discount ends on May 3.

Each wine trail includes wineries that are relatively near one another, reducing the driving time. The wineries offer food pairings to go with their wines and music. Some are offering other activities. For example, Bent Metal Winery has a bocce ball court. The hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The wineries on the May 14 wine trail are in picturesque settings, where you can see wildflowers, coveys of quail and other wildlife along the way. The wineries features include a Mediterranean-style tasting room (Naggiar), a stone barrel cave (Viña Castellano), a picnic area (Sierra Knolls) and imaginative metal artwork (Lone Buffalo).

Three Wine Trail Tours

May 14 South Nevada County, North Auburn, Auburn, Meadow Vista
Amour Privé
Bear River Winery
Bonitata Boutique Winery
Fawnridge Winery
Lone Buffalo Vineyards & Winery
Mt. Vernon Winery
Naggiar Vineyards
Sierra Knolls
Viña Castellano

July 16 Penn Valley, near Grass Valley, near Nevada City, Rough and Ready, Oregon House
Avanguardia Wines
Bent Metal Winery
Coufos Cellars
Grant Marie Winery
Gray Pine Winery
Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery
Smith Vineyard
Szabo Vineyards

September 24 Near Grass Valley, near and in Nevada City
Double Oak Vineyards & Winery
Katoa Cellars
Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery
Nevada City Winery
Sierra Sky Winery
Solune Winegrowers

(Photo: Dan Sankbeil)

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