With 17 wineries boasting over 30 varietals, the Sierra Vintners wine region is the perfect destination for those looking to taste unique, award-winning craft wines.
With bustling historic downtowns and exquisite culinary scenes, there's something for everyone.
The towns of Auburn, Grass Valley, and Nevada City are about 30-45 miles northeast of Sacramento, and have an energy that reaches back to their legacy at the heart of the California Gold Rush. In 1850, miners panning for gold along Wolf Creek discovered a huge strike of gold-bearing quartz and started a boom that made Grass Valley and Nevada City two of the most important mining towns in the state. The Bear River basin in California's Gold Country was one of the richest areas of the 19th century California Gold Rush.
Today, the towns still have a feel of those early days. Many of the original buildings still stand and are found on the National Register of Historic Places or have been named California Landmarks. Those include the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research, Empire Mine, Holbrooke Hotel, Miners Foundry, National Hotel, Nevada City Firehouse No. 2, Nevada Brewery and the Nevada Theatre.
The Sierra Foothills is an emerging wine region, yet its historic roots have made it a century-old destination for visitors looking to explore the heart of the state's Gold Rush. Sierra Vintners is located in Placer, Yuba and Nevada Counties, between Sacramento and Reno/Lake Tahoe with easy access off I-80. Sierra Vintners wineries and tasting rooms are located throughout the Sierra Foothills and within the towns of Grass Valley, Auburn and Nevada City, California.
Like much of Northern California, the area has a classic Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and rainy winters that often include snow in higher elevations. The region provides ideal growing conditions, resulting in wines of distinction. Vineyards are planted at elevations as high as 2,600 feet. The area spans over 60 miles of differing terrain, resulting in a diverse array of winemaking styles and varietals. The Sierra Vintners produce an unusually wide variety of vines, boasting over 30 planted varietals, ranging from Chardonnay, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon to Cabernet Franc, Barbera, and Sangiovese to name a few.
Grape growers and winemakers have welcomed the diverse topography and have utilized premiere winemaking techniques to create some of California's most impressive craft wines.
Sierra Vintners is part of the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area (AVA), which was established in 1987 on the western edge of the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra Foothills AVA is roughly 160 miles long, stretching south from Yuba County to Mariposa County. Wine grapes were first planted here during the California Gold Rush. Similar to many California regions rich in wine history, winemaking re-emerged and flourished only within the past thirty years.
The vintner's strength is in the land. With various microclimates and differing topography, the vintners are able to grow a multitude of varieties. See below for an illustration of the region's offerings.