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...

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Sierra Foothills on Snooth

  • Terre Rouge l'Autre G.s.m. Ble Miscellaneous Sierra Foothills Usa 2008


    Excellent rhone blend. Very well balanced with fresh red and black fruit, black cherry, supple and fine tannins, nice round mouth feel and a real nice finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • That was a great time! Thanks V.V., and the rest of the gang, for such ... Terre Roughe, Sierra Foothills, L'Autre Rhone BlendFresh blackberry and blackberry preserves on the nose, with subtle dried flowers and some green tea aromas. The palate is spicy, with more blackberry, firm and ripe, with good texture and a fine coating grip. The alcohol... Read More

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

  • Well known producer with broad distribution.  Definitely one of the bigger ... mixed Napa, Lake County, and Sierra Foothills grapes, but was a better deal on a CdR-type wine than any other Cali wine--at least when I paid less than $10 for it. Just thinking back on those Provencales makes me smile.My own take on Central Coast Syrah is that it's ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Beckmen Vineyards in Los Olivos

  • Welcome, Michelle,   It's great to have somebody from your geography ... reported on wineries in the Sierra Foothills.  I have not done so, but am not particularly shy about picking up wines from that area in the stores that I frequent.  One winery whose examples are pretty easy for me to find is C.G. DiArie--very good wines at very reasonable... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • My name is Michelle and I live in the Sierra Foothills in California.  We just completed our wine cellar and currently have 315 bottles in our collection.  I am fairly new to wine.  I have enjoyed learning more about wine and discovering those I like and those I don't.  Learning about pairing with foods I enjoy and sharing this hobby with my fri... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • I quite enjoy the Snooth Virtual Tastings.  It's been a while since I ... I ... and contrasting the Sierra Foothills Zinfandel with the Shenendoah Valley Primitivo.Does anybody else have my lack of rationale when buying wine?&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Musings from a Wine Buying...

  • Elyse White Rhone Blend California l'Ingénue Naggiar 2011


    Rich and well balanced Rhone blend. Apricot and fig with a touch of tartness, nice bit of glycerin on top of decent acidity and some interesting citrus on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • NG - just wanted to thank you for the L'Autre, it looks awesome and right ... few CA AVA's but not the Sierra Foothills, looks like I have another destination to add to my next trip out west.GdP, I hope you enjoy those Scherrer pinots as much as I have.  I know at least one other Snoother that is a fan of Fred and Judi.  I'm interested to see ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2013 for wine....

  • Vin0Vin0,Your logic was spot on in guessing Foxall- I did buy the L'Autre from the Wine Mine.  I decided to seek out Dave Sharp's expertise knowledge with wine to find a nice CA Rhone blend.  I had ruled out a French Rhone due to the fact that I am pretty inexperienced with French Rhones.   I researched wines that you liked, and saw Tablas at th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2013 for wine....

  • My SS did his/her research and saw that I'm a big fan of Rhone style wines, ... la Terre Rouge L'Autre, Sierra FoothillsHere are the specs from their web site:L’Autre means “the other one”. This is now our top Rhône varietal blend. It has replaced Noir, a wine that was based on an old Placer County Grenache site that met its demise in 2002. The... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2013 for wine....

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