Sierra Foothills (AVA)
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The winemaking history of the Sierra Foothills is long but sporadic. It began in 1849 with some particularly resourceful gold miners who remembered to pack in some grapevines. After the gold ran out and Prohibition hit, the wine industry became all but obsolete. That changed in the 1970s when the area was rediscovered by winemakers from Napa and Sonoma counties, who saw a new motherlode in the inexpensive quality land in the Sierra Foothills. These foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains form a belt 170 miles long, ranging from 1,000-3,000 feet high. It encompasses 2.6 million acres covering parts of eight of central California’s 12 counties. Well over 100 wineries are at home in the foothills now, where they grow everything from hardy and bold Zinfandels to elegant and graceful Sauvignon Blancs. Generally, this section of the mountain range has warm days and cool nights. It is much cooler here than on the Central Valley floor and the Foothills receive less rain than the more mountainous neighboring appellations. The soils are decomposed granite, formed by mountain erosion over centuries, forcing the vines to probe deeply for nutrients and water. The result is wine that is dense with ripe fruit and plentiful structure.

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In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue


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Sierra Foothills

BLUE BOOK PROFILES

Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Sierra Foothills AVA

Bordeaux Blend - Red

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Sauvignon

Merlot

Petite Sirah

Port

Sauvignon Blanc

Symphony

Syrah | Shiraz

Alive & Well here


Syrah | Shiraz: During the Roman occupation of Gaul you rose to fame as a captive vine turned gladiator. Your legend  [>] continue

Correspondent

Jean Deitz Sexton
is the Regional Correspondent for Sierra Foothills.

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Featured Wines

C.G. Di Arie Winery 2007 Barbera Loaded with cherry, plum and blackberry aromas and flavors and finishing with cranberry and pomegranate with hints of coffee and spice.
buy wine $22.00


C.G. Di Arie Winery 2005 Syrah This Syrah has the fruit, spice and the savory flavors found in great Syrahs.
buy wine $30.00

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Winery sponsors of Appellation America’s coverage of the Sierra Foothills appellation.