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...

  • 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...

  • Barbera

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Chardonnay

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

Popular Wineries in Sierra Foothills View all

  • Clos Du Lac Cellars/greenstone Winery

    This French-style country winery is set dramatically against the oaks of rural Jackson Valley. I...

  • Dalla Terra Vineyards

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

  • Clavey Vineyards

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

  • Lone Buffalo Vineyards

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

  • Paravi Vineyards

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

  • Grant & Eddie

    Grant and Eddie have combined their skills to produce intense, elegant, terroir wines that eloque...

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Sierra Foothills on Snooth

  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Carippee.  We are pleased to have some more ... wineries in the gold country/Sierra foothills tend to concentrate on red wines--mostly, to my observation, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and, yes, Italian varieties.  My guess is the "Italian style wines" that are the specialites of the Due Vigne winery would be made from ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Nevada City Winery Red Bordeaux Blend Nevada County Claret 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • TASTING DIRTY AND ROWDY WITH HARDY WALLACE - Puchdown Cellars - Santa Rosa ... Rosa ... USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador CountyPop-n-pour. Dark ruby color bordering to purple. Floral with baking spice and the smell of freshly tilled soil. This wine has a richness compared to the others in the flight with ripe juicy red and blue fruit ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Tasting Dirty & Rowdy with...

  • I'll double check the schedule, but sounds highly likely.  I can also ... Bennett Valley and from the Sierra Foothills.Lucha, I'm really hoping you'll make it, and I hope you will seek out some WA syrah that convinces me.  So far, I haven't had any (limited experience, to be sure) that made a very good impressio Read More

    Forum post in the topic Syrah Offline

  • Emark, you sat through Beethoven's Fifth twice?  I could research, ... Canterbury Syrah from the Sierra Foothills.  This walked up to the "Central Coast berry pie" line but did not cross it.  More Crozes-Hermitage than Hermitage, but, again, lots of good bloody flavor over those fruits and more lovely tannins.  It's grown at 2000 feet altitude... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Emark's recommendations are spot-on, esp because you are outside the Zin ... even.  Sobon from the Sierra Foothills is reasonable and sometimes gets to markets father east. My wife has enjoyed Klinkerbrick, a widely distributed Lodi Zin, although I have never had it.  She and I usually agree on Zins, although at the very top we differ in our #... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!- any...

  • Bill, have you ever come to the right place.  There are a lot of Zinfandel ... Paso Robles, Sonoma Valley, Sierra Foothills and Napa Valley.  They all have their merit, and I can see how each one of them could be somebody's favorite.Here are a list of producers that have fairly wide distribution.  So, you should be able to walk into local retai... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!- any...

  • Diarie Break Away Zinfandel Sierra Foothills 2009


    "Light" appearing red in the glass.maybe a tad darker than the 2009 DiArie Primitivo that I am also tasting, tonight. Fairly light nose with noticeable blackberry aromas. Much rounder and fuller than the Primitivo (still no more than a medium-bodied wine)--more blackberry flavor, maybe not quite as acidic. A fairly simple wine. Very easy to ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Jon, it was the Comme Ca Brasserie at the Cosmopolitan Hotel.It was a pretty ... maker's 2009 Break Away Sierra Foothills Zinfandel.  I have been pleased with previous wines that I have had from Di Arie--they are very reasonably priced, are good food wines and, generally, represent the grape variety well.  Tonight, I have opened both of them.I... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Fox, agreed that the Terre Rouge was really, really good.  I am adding a ... a ... to visit for the Sierra Foothills, any other rec's for places to visit, eat and/or stay would be greatly appreciated.Let me know if you are able to visit the Charlotte area, Bob now knows we are a fun and friendly group and would enjoy meeting you and any other... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Heading to Charlotte- Looking...

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