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

  • Barbera

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • Merlot

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

Popular Wineries in Sierra Foothills View all

  • Paravi Vineyards

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

  • Fog Mountain

    Boisset Family Estates is an innovative, eco-minded, family-owned producer and importer of fine w...

  • Lavender Ridge Vineyard (California)

    Rich and Siri Gilpin are the owners and operators of Lavender Ridge Vineyard. Rich has a BS degre...

  • Renwood Winery

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

  • Grant & Eddie

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

  • Domaine de la Terre Rouge

    TERRE ROUGE and EASTON Wines is located in California on the West Slope of the Sierra Nevada i...

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Sierra Foothills on Snooth

  • 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 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


  • Serafina Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Sierra Foothills 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • 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!


  • 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...


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