Foothill Wine & Wineries
Wine and Food — Wine in Food
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.
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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