Tasting Notes: Tahoe City Wine Walk, Smith Vineyard’s new labels

Thirty-five years ago, Dr. Wayne Smith fulfilled his desire to farm when he planted a vineyard in Grass Valley. The winery, housed in a restored red barn, opened in 1987. Nowadays Wayne’s grandsons, the third generation, work alongside their parents, Gary and Chris, at the winery.

Gary and Chris are now honoring the fourth generation. They recently received label approval for a new white wine blend— Wyatt’s White—named after their first grandson and fourth generation, Wyatt Wayne. Wyatt’s White is a white wine blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Symphony (a hybrid of Muscat and grenache gris).

A red blend—Rylie’s Red—is named after their first grandchild, Rylie. Rylie’s Red is a blend of Merlot and Syrah. Smith’s wines are organic and estate grown.

Race car driver and winemaker Scott Pruett of Auburn recently received word that his 2012 Pruett Vineyard Champion Cuvee Estate Syrah was rated the top new Syrah in California by Wine Spectator. Pruett and his wife, Judy, produce their wines from a 3-acre vineyard in Auburn overlooking the American River. Carpe Vino restaurant in Auburn serves the Pruett wines.

Naggiar is expanding and starting two secondary labels called NV and Della Casa, to be sold online at NVWines.com and DellaCasaWines.com. The websites also list stores where the wines are sold. The NV line won three gold medals. The NV and Della Casa wines are not sold at the winery.

The Lincoln Wine Fest is May 2 in downtown Lincoln from 1-5 p.m. It features about 20 Placer County wineries offering tastings with delicious food from Lincoln restaurants. Festival-goers can purchase wine and artwork and enjoy live music at Beermann Plaza. Sponsors include the Lincoln Rotary Club and Downtown Association.

The Tahoe City Wine Walk on June 20 runs along scenic North Lake Tahoe Boulevard and provides some of the best views of Lake Tahoe. The al fresco event, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., focuses on varietals from area wine producers and also features gourmet bites from North Lake Tahoe’s top restaurants and catering companies.

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