Melony Vance started Gold Country Hiking & Adventures as a way to offer locals and visitors guided tours to some of Nevada County’s wineries. If you’re looking to sample some of Nevada County’s fabulous wines and don’t want to worry about driving or the details give her a call, she leads tours Friday, Saturday and Sundays. All we had to do was call and she came and picked us up in front of the Outside Inn.
After we picked up the rest of the tour members we headed to Lucchesi Vineyards in Grass Valley. Their downtown tasting room is stocked with a great selection of their local wines, but a trip out to their vineyard on View Forever Lane is a real treat, especially when Mario is giving the tour. He took time out after he’d finished mowing the vineyard to pour us tastings, show us the cellar and even uncork an oak barrel and let us try some of the Chardonnay straight from the barrel. But the most amazing part about Lucchesi Vineyards is the view from the top of the property. Mario pulled out the table cloth, left us a bottle to sample a little more wine and let us soak up the view while we ate our fabulous lunch from Christopher’s Deli. Below are a few photos, but you should really just go out and see for yourself!
We could hardly leave, but we decided to drive up the road a bit and visit with the friendly folks at Solune Winegrowers. The tasting room was bustling and the staff was extremely passionate about their wines. You know you’re in the right spot when you see a dolly leaving with boxes of wine. The rustic red barn that houses the tasting room was welcoming, but if you’d prefer to drink some of their wines outside check out the picnic tables and umbrellas just below the tasting room. Jacques, the winemaker, was out of town when we stopped by, but his “science meets arts” approach was obvious, from the numerous awards to the depth and diversity of the wines we sampled. If you don’t have a chance to visit the tasting room out on Highway 174, stop by the Grass Valley Wine Company on Mill Street and sample some of their wines.
Next up on our Sierra Wine Tasting tour was Montoliva Vineyard in Chicago Park. Mark Henry, the one man show at his winery loves bold, old Italian style wines. Mark admits that he’s a talker, so don’t pop into his tasting room if you don’t have a little bit of extra time to hear about the history, the grapes or his out of the norm style of winemaking. (Make sure to ask about his unconventional Late Harvest Barbera). Check out the Montoliva calendar to see if you’ll be in town for their outdoor movie screening, they promise to provide the props for the screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.