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Stories from the valley

Harvest begins in one of California’s under-discovered Wine Regions

Contributed by Tim Johnson

I recently had an out of town guest for the weekend. Being from the East Coast, he was very familiar with the great wines from California’s Napa Valley. After all, they are the ones most prevalent on wine menus where he lives. He was far less familiar with wines from the Sierra Foothills.

Not unlike travelers who return from Italy, France or other wine regions, I always hear stories about a fantastic, unknown wine they drank on their trip. Often they don’t remember the region or even the variety. What they do remember was that they really like the wine, it complimented the food and most of all it was a perfect reflection of their experience.

Wines from the Sierra Foothills are exactly the same – lesser known but vibrant, easy to drink and very approachable.


The 2016 harvest has begun in this great under-discovered wine region with history that precedes the founding of the state.

We eschew cabernet for zinfandel, barbera and petite sirah. We grow some great white grapes as well viognier, reisling and crisp chardonnay.

This week El Dorado County, in the heart of the Sierra Foothills, came alive. Picking crews, trucks and wineries all frantic with activity as the wine grape harvest kicked off.

grapes in harvest bin

The grapes look great with even ripening, good sugar levels and perfect acids. We look forward to another great year of wines that are easy to drink, great with food and just the thing for that memorable and unexpected experience outside the state’s headline grabbing wine regions.