Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winetasting in Nevada County

Nevada County is not the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about California wine. It is also gets lost among the Sierra Foothills wine regions. However, there are 16 wineries located within short drives of Nevada City and Grass Valley that are ready to welcome you to their tasting rooms.

Two wineries have tasting rooms in Nevada City -- Indian Springs Vineyards and Nevada City Winery -- and three in Grass Valley -- Burch Hall & Coyoteville Wineries, Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery, and Sierra Starr Vineyards. All of these tasting rooms are open daily, from between 11:00 a.m. and noon to around 5:00 p.m.

The balance have tasting rooms at their wineries. The wineries are far apart from each other and not on main roads. A tasting room map will help you plan your visit. You can download one from Northen Sierra Wine Country's website. Many of these wineries are open to the public on Saturday afternoons and some are also open on Sunday afternoons. Appointments are needed to visit these wineries on weekdays. Some wineries always require an appointment to visit.

These wineries are mostly small, family affairs. Ten thousand cases is a lot of production in Nevada County. We visited five tasting rooms on a recent visit and found friendly staff everywhere. Usually there is no charge to taste.

Most of the wine is very reasonably priced, with most wines costing between $10 and $25 per bottle. Unfortunately, at these prices, many of the wineries cannot afford to buy the best in winemaking equipment. New French oak barrels are out of the question. Staves and used barrels are sometimes used. My favorite wines were at Sierra Star in Grass Valley.

In my last post, I highly recommended a visit to the charming town of Nevada City. If you find yourself in the area, you might want to visit a couple of the tasting rooms. However, I wouldn't recommend heading to the area solely to winetaste. The wineries are too far apart and the wine not of sufficient quality to make the Nevada County wine region a destination unto itself.

If you would like to have a private tour to Nevada City and/or Grass Valley, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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