Sierra Foothills Wine

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The Sierra Foothills is a vast region of California, one of the largest in the country. The climate is conducive to quality grape-growing, with warm days and cool nights. 

The Sierra Foothills is the heart of the Gold Rush territory and it was during this era in the mid 1850s that vineyards were first planted by Swiss immigrant Adam Uhlinger in Shenandoah Valley. Others expanded plantings into El Dorado and in 1860, the region’s first commercial winery, Fossati-Lombardo was established. Gold miners had a penchant for growing Zinfandel since it was easy to train and didn’t require costly equipment and maintenance. 
 
The Gold Rushers used hydraulicking (blasting with pressurized water) to dig into the mountainsides. This resulted in dozens of man-made canyons in the foothills. The miners didn’t much appreciate the side effect of flooding, but it proved great for subsequent wine production since it left a layer of fertile silt in the canyons. Eventually hydraulicking Read more »

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Popular wines made in Sierra Foothills under $20

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Varietals Produced in Sierra Foothills View all

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Barbera

    History of the grape: Barbera is a native to the Piedmont, where it has been growing for centuries, and is now the fo...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

Popular Wineries in Sierra Foothills View all

  • Clavey Vineyards

    Clavey Vineyards is a small family owned vineyard and winery located in the Sierra Foothills near...

  • Renwood Winery

    Surrounded by some of America’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards, Renwood Winery is located in the pict...

  • Dalla Terra Vineyards

    Dalla Terra Vineyards is a locally family owned vineyard located in Granite Bay, California.

  • Lone Buffalo Vineyards

    Lone Buffalo Vineyards, launched in 2007 in Auburn, CA is the culmination of owner and winemaker ...

  • Stevenot Winery

    Wine, gold, history and heritage are all part of the rich and colorful tradition that is Stevenot...

  • Paravi Vineyards

    ParaVi Vineyards is located high in the Sierra Foothills in an area known as "Apple Hill." Our ma...

People getting updates on Sierra Foothills Wines

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Sierra Foothills on Snooth

  • Day 2 update:I think the biggest takeaway from this trip is going to be...It ... ... AVA, at the toes of the Sierra Foothills. This is on the eastern side of Lodi which is noted for its elevation (albeit slight) and warmer temperatures (versus the west side). Our visit to Clay Station vineyard was hosted by vineyard manager Robert Perry. Clay... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A Journey through Lodi


  • "When the moon hits your eye/like a big pizza pie/that's ... on their ... on their properties in the Sierra Foothills, so it was on to the reds.  Next up was a Sangiovese, blended with a little Freisa and Viognier.  Not a traditional combination, to say the least. Strangely, the tannins tasted much more like Freisa (and Nebbiolo) tannins than ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Donkey and Goat Syrah Fenaughty 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • Perry Creek Winery 'Altitude 2401 Legacy' Zinfandel NV

    Snoothrank:

    Great Zin. Read More

    Wine review by RFlannery


  • 2nd Outhere's recommendations.I don't know where you live, Czarina, but ... GDP's article, today, on Sierra Foothills Zinfandels.  The Sobons are fairly well-distributed.  Some of the others might be a bit harder to fin Read More

    Forum post in the topic Zinfandel for a Beginner


  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Gently creamy oak frames dark balsam scented berry fruit on the nose. In the mouth this is rich and very focused with clear rusty red fruit and red cherry fruit supported by ripe tannins and good acids. The fruit pops on the finish, along with some gentle tannins and a finishing note of wood spice. 88pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2010

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Tight and earthy on the nose, musky even with aromas of capers, smoke, bouquet garni, and rich red fruit all coming together beautifully. Bright, faceted, and vaguely mineral in the mouth this displays cherryish fruit and a bit of herb on the palate. Really gorgeously balanced, this is refined, if a bit old school with its dry edge of austerity... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by mark


  • Serafina Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Sierra Foothills 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


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