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Foothill Wine


Foothill Wine & Wineries

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Foothill Wineries:
El Dorado

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Wine and Food — Wine in Food

The Sierra Foothills Wine Region has, for many years, been California's best kept wine secret -- but no longer! Thousands of visitors explore the small and distinctive wineries of California's foothills that specialize in full-bodied reds and distinctive white wines including Rhone-style varietials, pinot noir, and Italian varietals.

The wines that really stand out here are the deep, flavorful red wines. Zinfandel originated here, and most of the wineries make a super tasty "Big" type of Zin. Likewise with Syrah and, increasingly, Petite Syrah. Italian and Rhone varietals and blends are bottled in California as well, and have achieved acclaim here and in Europe and Asia.

Visit our winery pages, and plan your visit to the scenic foothills of California.



Wine Events

Check out the many wine events that take place at California wineries, including wine weekends, indvidual winery events, regional festivals, and special wine tastings.

Recipes Featuring Wine

Our Foothill Kitchen offers recipes using wine, from soup to meat and poultry, desserts, and slow cooker dishes. Try one of favorite entries: Chicken with Orange and Onion — the recipe includes white wine. We suggest Sierra Foothills specialties Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

Foothills Wine Regions

As a growing number of wine grape species are being grown, the wine region has grown. It now stretches from Grass Valley and Nevada City -- to the south -- through Eldorado County where you'll find the small cities of Placerville and Cameron Park, and the hamlet of Fair Play, then south to Amador County and its famous Shenendoah Valley -- near Plymouth, to Calaveras County yet farther south. Here, the cities are Murphys (wine-central for Calaveras), San Andreas, and Angel's Camp. Most of the wineyards at about an elevation of 1,500 feet.

Closer to the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Barbara Region, particularly in the Santa Inez Valley — just north of the City of Santa Barbara — the prime product is Pinot Noir, a difficult grape to grow but a great red wine to drink. This and other grapes growing in the area's warm summers with balmy sea breezes and moderate winters with temperatures just above freezing (with fog) at night provide a special environment that is quite different from other California foothill vineyards.

The Central Coast Wine Region includes Santa Barbara vintners as well as wineries in San Luis Obispo County (Edna Valley, Paso Robles appellations) and Monterey County (Salinas Valley and valleys closer to the Monterey Peninsula). We're now working to include central Coast wineries and will post these pages soon.


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Wineries: Amador, El Dorado, Calaveras
Foothill Kitchen: recipes