Embrace the Grape: 5 Sierra Foothill Wine Festivals Worth Checking Out

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With all the snow and water in the Sierra Mountains right now, it's sure to be a good year for juicy grapes and fantastic wines. Mark your calendar with these five wine festivals and head into the hills for a sip.


Passport 2016, Eldorado County
April 9-10 and April 16-17, 2016

Celebrating 25 years this spring, Eldorado County Wines’ Passport 2016 is a packed weekend of wine adventures. A Passport ticket gets you a commemorative wine glass and exclusive access to over 20 wineries including Boeger, Chateau Davell and Lava Cap. Your Passport can be used for complimentary wine tasting at each location, a unique experience at each winery and discounts from local restaurants, hotels and businesses.  //  $65 for Weekend Passport, $45 for Sunday Only Passport, passporteldorado.com

(Photo by Amador Vintners) 

Start on Steiner Spring Festival, Amador County
April 9, 2016

This smaller festival in the hills south of Placerville is brought to you by Amador Vintners and features the nine wineries of Steiner Road. Wineries such as Shenandoah Vineyards and Driven Cellars will offer complimentary wine tasting flights, small bites, and wine specials. Collect stamps from participating wineries to win prizes.  //  free, amadorwine.com

(Photo by Amador Four Fires)

Amador Four Fires, Amador County
May 7, 2016

The Amador Four Fires festival offers participants an opportunity to become immersed in the beautiful region’s food, wine and viticulture with activities, seminars and demonstrations. Over 80 wineries, various winemakers, sommeliers, brewers and chefs will be on hand in intimate groups to discuss wine, beer and cider, culinary tips and organic growing techniques. The event will take place at the Amador County Fairgrounds and proceeds go to the Amador County Fair Foundation and their “farm to future” initiative to revitalize the fairgrounds.  //  $75 in advance and $85 at the door, VIP tickets: $125 in advance and $155 at the door, amadorfourfires.com



(Photo by Barbera Festival)

Barbera Festival, Amador County
June 11, 2016

The popular Italian red grape and wine is celebrated at Terra d’Oro winery with this annual festival. The Barbera Festival is set in a meadow under shady oak trees and features area winemakers, growers and discussions on Barbera food pairings. All proceeds go to the Amador Community Foundation. // $50; must be purchased online in advance, barberafestival.com

(Photo by Sierra Vintners)

Nevada City Uncorked, Nevada County
August 27, 2016

Nevada City Uncorked will be held in historic downtown Nevada City and features the agricultural bounty of Nevada County. Participants can wander through 20 different shops, restaurants and tasting rooms trying the area’s wines and food. This year’s event features a farm-to-table theme with local farmers, restaurants and caterers creating signature dishes.  //  $35 in advance, $45 on the day of, $30 for Wine Club Members of participating wineries, nevadacitychamber.com