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Reason #379 Why We Love Central California: Exploring the Sierra Foothills on a California Wines Road Trip

California’s dozens of scenic wine regions offer an exceptional variety of experiences and wines to enjoy. For March, the spotlight shines on regions in the western foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. The region was the epicenter of the Gold Rush, which attracted thousands of prospectors who sought their fortunes in the precious metal—and left vines in the soil.

In the heart of California’s storied Gold Country, the Sierra Foothills wine region includes Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba counties, known for their rich history and rich red wines. Here, visitors can enjoy pairing glasses of local Zinfandel or Syrah with some of California’s most breathtaking scenery including famous attractions like Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America.

The Sierra Foothills wine region is home to more than 200 wineries. Browse this list of Sierra Foothills wineries or use the interactive map to search wineries by amenities such as tours, gardens, picnic areas, food for purchase and more. The Amador Vintners make it easy to plan a winetasting route through the Shenandoah Valley with their downloadable map. Calaveras offers a year-round Passport program for visitors to 23 participating wineries. Explore more than 20 El Dorado wineries at the county’s 25th annual El Dorado Passport events April 9-10 and 16-17. Taste Nevada County wines in quaint downtown Nevada City or visit this region with the Sierra Vintners map. On the Placer County Wine Trail, learn how winemaking came to the area in 1848—the same year that gold was discovered there.

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