Sierra Foothills: Getting There

For wine purposes the Sierra Foothills stretch 200 miles north and south along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. The eastern boundary is definitely geo-political: the contour line at 4,000 feet of elevation is, in most cases, the western border of the US National Forest. Whether or not 4,000 feet of elevation in the Sierra Nevada actually imposes a climatic limitation on grape growing … Continue reading Sierra Foothills: Getting There

Sierra Foothills – Intl. Comparison

California’s Central Coast is very much the opposite of its Sierra Foothills: Maritime climate on the coast ~ Continental climate in the mountains; minimum diurnal fluctuation at the coast ~ big daily temperature change in the mountains; very little rain in the Central Coast ~ lots of it in the Sierra Foothills; most of all a very long growing season on the coast ~ very … Continue reading Sierra Foothills – Intl. Comparison

Sierra Foothills – U.S. Comparison

When talking wine styles in the Sierra Foothills, one size does not fit all. Grapes grown at different elevations will have different style characteristics. Those from the highest elevations (2,000 feet up to 3,600 feet) will have the most natural acid, the least body (read alcohol), often lighter color, and frequently the most lifted floral-tinged aromas. Because of their natural acid, these high elevation wines … Continue reading Sierra Foothills – U.S. Comparison

Sierra Foothills History

When the Gold Rush began in 1849 there was a legitimate fine wine business beginning in Sonoma under the tutelage of Mariano Vallejo, there were just remnants of the Missions’ religious wine effort (1770’s to 1820’s) throughout the Central Coast, and the primitive first secular vineyard of Jean Louis Vignes on the Los Angeles River was about to be expanded by German and (yes) Mormon … Continue reading Sierra Foothills History

Sierra Foothills Seasons

HARVEST ~ SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER Visiting any wine producing region during harvest is both exciting and a little off-putting. The winery people do have other priorities when grapes start arriving at the crusher. My choice for best place to be during harvest is the Sierra Foothills. For one thing the drama of weather, and its effect on the year’s grape crop, is more intense above … Continue reading Sierra Foothills Seasons