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Holiday Wine Tastings

With Thanksgiving & the holidays it’s important to do your homework on which bottle of wine you might need to bring to a celebration.  With a number of local wine tasting rooms in downtown Nevada City & Grass Valley, plus some fun holiday wine events, you’ve got options to help you choose the right varietal.  This Saturday Nevada City Winery is hosting their annual bottle your own wine party.  Winemaker Mark Foster has created a 2014 Syrah and 2015 Zinfandel for folks to try the process of filling, corking and labeling their bottles.  He says “the Syrah a bit smokey with nice berry fruit, while the Zinfandel a little more complex and spicy, not necessarily a fruit bomb, but lots of raspberry fruit.”  If you’re a wine club member, look for a special dessert wine in the December wine club shipment.

Sierra Starr Vineyard downtown Grass Valley Tasting Room is hosting their holiday food and wine pairings event this Saturday from 12-5.  The menu includes seasonal favorites of turkey, triple cream brie cheese, cranberries and pumpkin pie with Sierra Starr wine varieties of  Semillon, Rose, Zinfandel and Reserve Chardonnay.  It is a great opportunity to try a traditional Thanksgiving item with an unexpected wine.

Avangurardia Wine focuses on Italian varities and their tasting room loves to help educate folks on their non traditional wine blends.  The downtown Grass Valley tasting room is open Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5 at 209 West Main Street if you want to pop in and do a tasting try the Cristallo, Due Fiori and Ampio.  This Saturday Avanguardia is releasing their new sparking wine dubbed L’edonista (in English, “The Hedonist”).  This rare wine (the only Nevada County sparkling wine to be produced from Nevada County grapes using the Methode Champenoise) will be offered available for tastings ($2/each) this Saturday and at a discount for wine club members starting this weekend.

Lucchesi Vineyards Tasting room, at 128 Mill Street, in Grass Valley offers wine tasting, wine by the glass, live music and fun holiday merchandise.  Owner Linda Clough recommended checking out the Turkey Trio, a bottle of Chardonnay, Syrah,  and Cabernet Sauvignon.  You can also rent out the tasting room for a private party, maybe your next holiday gathering?

Smith Vineyards Holiday Open House will be Saturday, December 10th, stop by for complimentary cheese pairing from Backporch Market.  Winery owner Christina Smith recommends trying Gold Medal Cabernet Sauvignon or the Double Gold Primitivo, but that “you can’t go wrong with a Chardonnay for Thanksgiving.”  Downtown Grass Valley wineries will be open during Cornish Christmas, which kicks off on Friday, November 25th from 6-9pm.

Mill Street in Grass Valley recently welcome the new tasting room for Bent Metal Winery.  Their Thanksgiving Turkey Trio Wine Special includes a 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 Sangiovese & 2013 Late Harvest Petit Sirah.  You try a flight of the trio downtown, the tasting room is open Thursday-Monday, 1pm-6pm (1pm-5pm on Sundays).

With so many wine tasting options in Nevada City and Grass Valley you’ve got plenty of options to help you choose the right bottle for your holiday meal or Christmas party, cheers!  Plus, tasting the options is a great activity to do with friends and family who are visiting the area for the holidays.  And don’t forget for those folks on your holiday shopping list who have everything, you can always give the gift that keeps on giving, a wine club membership.  For more information on other local wineries and tasting rooms in the area, click here.

If you made it this far, I’ve got 2 tickets to giveaway to the 2 complimentary tastings to Lucchesi Vineyards, 2 tickets to Nevada City Winery BYO party, 2 complimentary tastings to Smith Vineyards and 2 complimentary tastings to Sierra Starr Winery, post a comment about holiday wines and I’ll draw the winner on Friday, November 18th.  *Edited to say the winner of the Nevada City Winery tickets is Judith Cowles, Smith Winery tasting is Richard, Lucchesi Vineyards tasting is Denise Wilson and the Sierra Starr tasting winner is Denise Bryant.

© 2016 InnSide Nevada City,  © photos by Erin Thiem

25 replies
  1. Marjorie Woodall
    Marjorie Woodall says:

    I’ve just begun exploring our local wineries after hosting recent wine-loving visitors. Thanks for the rundown of current activities!

    Reply
  2. Vicki Stremel
    Vicki Stremel says:

    It is wonderful to celebrate our local wineries. Thank you for some of the options to add to our Holiday celebrations!

    Reply
  3. Denise Bryant
    Denise Bryant says:

    We are so fortunate to have so many great choices locally for wine tastings. I’d love to visit one of these wineries and get some ideas for a special wine to accompany a holiday meal!

    Reply
  4. Alice Blandy
    Alice Blandy says:

    Thanksgiving time is Autumn harvest time, when our Calif grapes are ready for picking and wine making.
    Calif vinyards produce some of the finest wines, compared to other countries, especially our local wineries.

    Reply
  5. Lisa Johnson
    Lisa Johnson says:

    I’m so glad we have tasting rooms in Grass Valley and Nevada City! They always look so festive, we can usually see local art, and we have a chance to taste fine local wines! Thanks for keeping us up to date on what’s happening right here at home, Erin!

    Reply
  6. Vanessa
    Vanessa says:

    I love port for the holidays, and there are such great, affordable finds in Nevada County that I’m hoping to discover a luscious new one there this year. I am looking forward to going to Cornish Christmas this year; I’ve been to the Victorian Christmas in Nevada City a bunch of times but have neglected Grass Valley. Not this year! Thanks, Erin.

    Reply
  7. George Cole
    George Cole says:

    I’ve been planning a trip home to Grass Valley for Thanksgiving with family, with lots of daytime adventures to enjoy local wine. (I used to work the fields at Lucchessi’s estate!) Thanks for the roundup of tasting rooms.

    Reply
  8. Taylor
    Taylor says:

    What awesome events! Thank you for the holiday run-down. Aside from all the lovely local wines from wineries listed above, I always look forward to the the spiced, mulled wine served at Victorian Christmas.

    Reply

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