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Stories from the valley

Second best season in the Sierra Foothills – and it’s just perfect!

Contributed by Tim Johnson

Let’s be honest – winter is cold and wet and summers are hot. If you love to get out of the house and see the region at its best, especially the Sierra Foothills and their vineyards, there are two perfect seasons – spring and fall.

I have always considered spring in the foothills to be my second favorite season behind fall. That’s ok because it’s perfect!

New growth on a grape vine

The days are warming, trees in new leaf and the wildflowers are carpeting the open fields. In the vineyards, the vibrant green shoots are pushing from the dark trunks. You can almost feel new life vibrating in the air!

Picnics this time of year can’t be beat. Grab some crusty bread, cheese, fresh fruit and head out to find your wine. Favorite destinations in the region include Placerville and Somerset in El Dorado County and Amador County and Murphys. Don’t miss Placer and Nevada County as well.

vineyard in the Sierra foothils

Stop at a couple of tasting rooms and pick your favorite bottle. Don’t pass over Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or a dry Riesling. Better yet, if the winery offers a blush wine on the dry side, you are set. All of these wines are made for picnics and warm summer days.

So how can a perfect season be second best? From the vineyards view it is clear – all the work of the season is still ahead of you and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done! Second, for any farmer and certainly winegrape growers, you just can’t beat the thrill of the harvest.

Foot hill oak tree on a green, grassy hilside.

As a result, fall is our favorite season. It has all of the great weather, wonderful landscapes with their unique colors and textures plus the joy of the harvest.