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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • Syrah

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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Merlot

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

Popular Wineries in Sierra Foothills View all

  • Dalla Terra Vineyards

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

  • Renwood Winery

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

  • Clavey Vineyards

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

  • Lavender Ridge Vineyard (California)

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

  • Grant & Eddie

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

  • Stevenot Winery

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

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Sierra Foothills on Snooth

  • D, not everything winds up on the internet, at least not via the usual ... ... ... empty roads through the Sierra Foothills (but way north of my last trip to the foothills) and then over the passes to the eastern side of the Sierra.  There's still snow on the ground above 5000 feet in places, and I got hit by some squally rainstorms both ways... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Vinum Cellars the Scrapper Cabernet Franc 2011


    Darkly rich red currant and raspberry fruit aromas with good baking spice and black pepper and a slight note of varietally correct green herb. Nicely rich and full in the mouth, this is fruity and full bodied, showing a lot of spicy acidity, good earthiness from the chew of the tannins, and bright raspberry and black cherry fruit. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • DV, my father cut himself pretty well with a utility knife when I was a ... Overnights to Sierra Foothills, Monterey County, are options for anyone wanting to extend a stay.  As Emark said elsewhere, life is good.  Very good Read More

    Forum post in the topic Time for an offline?

  • Sounds like fun, v v.  I have to say that the Sierra Foothills example that I had may by an "acquired taste." Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Stop drinking those Fenoccchios so young!  An early drinking Barolo ... ... it would be like calling a Sierra Foothills wine a Napa wine, for starters.  Why IGT and not DOC or DOCG?  If it fell in one of the recognized DOC or DOCG areas, it would also have to be from an approved grape.  So it only falls into the IGT category because of where i... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Careful, OT--you've been Snark-free for months, but sarcasm is a gateway ... a CG Di Arie Syrah from the Sierra Foothills consumed with a farro salad and burger.  Why ironic?  Because I was at Drake's Dealership, the new flagship restaurant of the Drake's Brewery, which makes really good beer.  So good, in fact, that DVogler enjoyed beer there... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Buehler is a pretty good deal.  Recently had a bunch of it for around $15 ... from Perry Creek, up in the Sierra Foothills.  Keeping up with the non-major reds from California, a Garnacha from Bokisch to have with some arroz con pollo later this week. Last night we had an interesting wine, and now I'm expected to find more of it for a friend. ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • While looking at the NYTimes food section, I saw a piece for this book by ... ... ... for other things.  Sierra Foothills are omitted entirely--they get no respect, I tell you.  Chile seems light with just one location (Colchagua) and a few countries seem a little like, why bother?  (Morocco?  Lebanon?  Sure, they have winemaking but is that ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Or Maybe It's Wine Book Reviews?

  • Hey, Tom, I've had a couple wines from Barnard Griffin, including a ... of ... of Napa and Sonoma (and the Sierra foothills, Lodi, Dunnigan Hill... you get the idea), I drink mostly Euro wines as the reference points.So last night we split it between California and Europe.  We went out for dinner at a funny place near our apartment, which we l... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Copying this post from Weekend Wines to this thread, as requested by ... ... Grenache coming out of the Sierra Foothills-  I tend to really like them, and now that the wineries are maturing, and perhaps refining their winemaking (or changing up winemakers), the product is becoming elegant and well-balanced in many cases.  My only complaint is ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Garnacha, grenache--tomato,...

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