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Sierra Foothills AVA

Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Sierra Foothills AVA is a large sprawling region spanning over 2,600,000 acres in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the northeast portion of California. So big, this area is home to 100 wineries and contains portions of eight counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The history of viticulture in the area goes back to the Gold Rush times of the mid 1800s. Today the most common grape in the region is Zinfandel, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah also well represented.

The white wine variety that is most popular in the area is Chardonnay. This region still has a rustic eccentric character to it and the wines the area produces are also full of character. The reds typically are earthy and tannic and the whites tend to be on the tart side. Most of the wineries in the area are small and often family-owned. Located about two hours from San Francisco, the region is gaining momentum with those looking for a different experience from some of the better know Northern California wine regions, such as Napa and Russian River Valley. When you have a chance try some Old Vine Zinfandel from this wine region. Some old time in vines are over 100 years old.