Tasting Notes: Nevada City Winery, Sierra Starr and Avanguardia

FOOTHILLS CELEBRATION

Now in its 17th year, the Foothills Celebration in downtown Grass Valley is one of the region’s premier wine and food events.

On Saturday, March 3, from 1-4 p.m., participants gather to sip wine from foothill wineries while sampling chef specialties and sweets from local restaurants. One of the more decadent offerings has been strawberries dipped in chocolate from a fountain.

Attendees also can shop at the clothing boutiques, art galleries, jewelry stores, home design stores and antique emporiums in the historic downtown. The annual event is hosted by the Grass Valley Downtown Association and Sierra Vintners.

The event is ideal for a weekend getaway, where visitors can stay at one of Grass Valley’s hotels or bed and breakfast inns, and watch a show at The Center for the Arts or a movie at the historic Del Oro Theatre.

Sierra FoodWineArt is proud to be the title sponsor of the 2018 Foothills Celebration.

NEVADA CITY WINERY AND WHEYWARD GIRL CREAMERY
The winery and artisan cheese shop are teaming up for wine and cheese pairings. Five hand-selected cheeses are being paired with wines to complement each cheese.

Wines are chosen by winemaker Mark Foster and his blending partner and winery founder, Allan Haley. Barbara Jenness, owner of Wheyward Girl Creamery, is an award-winning, master cheesemaker, member of the American Cheese Society, and an American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional.

Participants are part of discussions about the cheeses — there is a story for each one — and why the wines are chosen to go with each one. A class is on January 20 at the winery. Contact the winery at 530-265-9463 or the creamery 530-478-1665 to reserve a spot.

SIERRA STARR AND ANDIS WINES PAIRED WITH DUNGENESS CRAB
Sierra Starr and Andis Wines have annual winter gatherings that pair their wines with Dungeness crab — one of our favorite meals. Sierra Starr’s crab and wine pairing is on January 27 from noon-5 p.m. in its tasting room.

Andis has a new location this year: the Patriot Restaurant & Event Center in Carmichael on February 10.

“With so many fans being located around the Sacramento area, we thought we’d make this year’s crab feed more convenient,” according to Andis. The all-you-can-eat Dungeness crab dinner including fresh bread, Caesar salad and pasta—and new wines that Andis is releasing. Andis also has a winter wine dinner at Taste Restaurant in Plymouth on January 21. (Read our review of Taste Restaurant on our companion website at SierraCulture.com).

SIERRA STARR RECEIVES HIGH SCORE
Sierra Starr’s new release 2015 Super Nova Petite Sirah received 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast. All of Sierra Starr’s 90+ point wines have come from estate grown grapes “The potential for Nevada County grown fruit is sky high,” observes owner Phil Starr.

Visit SierraCulture.com to read the local winners of the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Tasting competition, including Sierra Starr.

VALENTINE’S DAY WINE WALK
Smith Vineyard, Sierra Starr, Lucchessi and Avanguardia tasting rooms in downtown Grass Valley will be open from 4-7 p.m. on February 17 in celebration of Valentine’s Day. Enjoy a complimentary pour, nibbles, and have dinner at one of the downtown restaurants.

WINE AND ART IN NEVADA CITY
Nevada City Winery’s Artist of the Month for January is photographer David Arnold of the foothills. “Icescapes” is a series of photo- graphs by David Arnold presenting the ever-changing formulations of ice, sky, water, and light at the edges of the Antarctic continent.

David received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for his photography book, Situations. In February, the winery features mixed-media artist Lyssa Skeahan.

AVANGUARDIA’S NEW RELEASES
The winery has released its new 2012 Premiato, an award-winning blend of Dolcetto and Barbera that has been aged in oak barrels for five years. Avanguardia also is releasing its 2012 Ampio, a premium blend of Carmine and Mondeuse Noir, along with its 2014 Due Fiore, an outstanding winter white.

Others include the winery’s first Varietal Select release of its fine white, Fiano, and Legrein, its red Italian Varietal Select. Avanguardia’s new wine tasting room is at 163 Mill Street, downtown Grass Valley.

PLACER WINE TRAIL 2.0
The Placer Wine Trail has launched a new brand and website in the New Year. Fun, approachable, adventurous and emerging were all key focus words for the rebrand. Visit PlacerWine.com.

(Image: Karel Hendee)

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