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Worth the Trip: California Sierra Vintners
A hidden gem worth the detour, tucked away between California and Nevada.
There’s a little gem of a wine country just about halfway between Sacramento, California and Reno, Nevada that’s too easy to find to call hidden. You'll find it just minutes from Interstate 80, and a world apart.
Sierra Vintners is a group of 15 wineries located in pristine Nevada County, California. The winemakers are true artisans, dedicated to crafting wines from an unusually wide variety of vines. Their wineries are located across this rolling Sierra Foothills terrain, but loosely clustered around the unique towns of Grass Valley and Nevada City. The entire area offers a cornucopia of outdoor adventure, arts and culture, special events, and great things to eat. Try hiking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, kayaking, rafting, or gold panning. Shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques. Browse through used bookstores and art galleries featuring the work of local artists. There’s an intriguing assortment of museums to poke around in, including the Empire Mine State Historic Park and Pelton Wheel Museum in Grass Valley, and the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad in Nevada City.
Take time in the tasting rooms to talk to the genuinely warm and friendly people who are glad to be here—and glad you are too. You won’t know what you’re missing, until you visit.
At the hub of Sierra Vintners wine country, historic and charming Grass Valley has something for everyone, including the Nevada County Fairgrounds and The Center for the Arts. It’s a bustling community with plenty of fun shops, excellent restaurants, and other ways to spend the day—including six tasting rooms. Nearby Nevada City exudes a creative, fun-loving spirit in its five tasting rooms, shops, and galleries. Stroll the downtown corridor which hasn’t changed much in the past 100 years and pay homage to the gold rush era that first founded this beautiful area.
Avanguardia Wines Barrel tasting, unique exotic tastings, winemaker mini-courses
Bent Metal Winery Complimentary wine tasting, picnic grounds, scenic views
Coufos Cellars Scenic views, private tours by appointment, organic farming
Double Oak Vineyards & Winery Sustainable farming practices, picnic grounds, private tours
Indian Springs Vineyard Wine club events, wine club discounts, gift shop
Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery Barrel tastings, picnic grounds, scenic views
Montoliva Vineyard & Winery Entertaining and educational, winemaker on site, rare varietals
Naggiar Vineyards Live music Friday and Saturday nights, summer tribute band series
Nevada City Winery Wine club events, receptions, private tours and barrel tastings
Pilot Peak Vineyard & Winery Complimentary wine tasting, live music, Saturday night dancing and dinner
Sierra Knolls Vineyards Winery Live music, farmers’ market, scenic picnic area
Sierra Starr Vineyard Wine club events and discounts, gift shop in downtown tasting room
Smith Vineyard Wine club events and discounts, gift shop, live music and art
Solune Winegrowers Picnic grounds, wine club, Grass Valley winery
Szabo Vineyards Nevada City tasting room, wine club, sustainably farmed estate wines
Local farms provide much of the fresh, seasonal food that’s prepared in a delectable range of styles from simple to fusion to new wave.
The area has plenty of great places to stay at reasonable rates including Courtyard Suites and Gold Miners Inn–Holiday Inn Express in Grass Valley.
For more information, visit sierravintners.com.
Touring & Tasting is a media company that produces a wine and travel magazine and is also partner in the Hitched Wine Club.
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