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Travel & Outdoors

Top List of Placer County Wineries

August 20, 2011 12:00 AM

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Villa Fiorente

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

By Linda Bottjer

Frenchman Claude Chana was a lucky 49’er who actually mined a fortune. Then he focused on fruit. Peaches, apples and plums were among the harvests, but it was his 200 grape vines that first gave Placer County its rich heritage in winemaking. Close to 20 boutique wineries currently exist where hot summer days followed by nights cooled with mountain air allow for grapes reminiscent of the Mediterranean and France’s Rhone Valley to be grown.
Here there is a wine for every taste and budget. Making wine tastings extra special is the fact the winemaker is often the person pouring the wine. Listen as they share their passion and become an enthused fan of Placer County wines.

Insider Tip: It is suggested you call a winery prior to visiting to make sure it is open.
Here is top list of the wineries:

Fawnridge Winery’s pastoral beauty

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Fawnridge Winery
5560 Fawnridge Road
Auburn, CA 95602
(530) 887-9522
Hours: Tues to Thurs by appointment
Fri to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Directory listing

Fawnridge has a perfect Northern California setting nestled among rolling hills dotted by vineyards. Their red table wine “Le Bon Temps Rouler”, made primarily of Syrah, demonstrates the true joy Stewart and Stephanie Perry find in winemaking. Among their wine line are a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc and two Italian inspired powerhouses – a Primitivo and Barbera.

Relax with wine and scenic beauty at Viña Castellano

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Viña Castellano
4590 Bell Road
Auburn, CA 95602
(530) 889-2855
Hours: Thurs to Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Directory listing

Grape festooned gates open and Placer County suddenly becomes Castilian. The family’s Spanish roots run deep as does the dedication to producing full-bodied Tempranillos, Mourvedre/Monastell with its berried sweetness and “Abuelita” the red wine blend dedicated to the spirited grandmother whose photograph graces the bottles of wine found in the cave tasting room.

Young grapes at Green Family Wine’s vineyard

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

The Green Family Winery
3420 Pine Ridge Lane
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 888-8866
Hours: Sat to Sun – 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Directory listing

“Neither fined, filtered or fiddled with,” is Charlie Green’s motto and the standard of informality that surrounds the wines coming from his small vineyard four miles northwest of Auburn. Proudly, he and perhaps a dog or two will walk you through vineyards of Syrah and Barbera grapes. His time-honored methods of transforming fruit into wine also include Cabernet and a port with a self-descriptive name of “Old Curmudgeon”.

Wise Villa’s acres of vineyards

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Wise Villa Winery
4100 Wise Road
Lincoln, CA 95648
(916) 543-0323
Hours: Thurs to Sun-11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Directory listing

A vastness of trellised vines borders the quarter-mile driveway from the road to the tasting room where inside the bounty of the vines is enjoyed. Among the wines are the stone and summer fruited Zinfandel, and an apricot nosed “Nocturnal Light” white wine made from Torrontes grapes. Another Placer County winery also offers their wines at Wise Villa. Casque Wineries’ Vermentino, Viognier and Calotte Blanc reflect France’s Rhone Valley.

Villa Fiorente

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Villa Fiorente
10555 Harris Road
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 392-8044
Hours: Sat to Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
http://www.villafiorente.com/

Joined in commitment to present great wines Ciotti Cellars, Cristaldi Vineyards, Fortezza Winery and Popie Winery shares one tasting room. From sun drenched Viognier made of Lodi grapes, Napa Malbec to the dry Dolchetto or a robust Barbera each winery mans their own tasting table. Bring a picnic to enjoy with a glass of wine while gazing at the placid setting of hillsides of vineyards.

Lone Buffalo Vineyards

Photo Credit: Linda J. Bottjer

Lone Buffalo Vineyards
2682 Burgard Lane
Auburn, CA 95603
(916) 663-4486
Hours: Fri to Sun – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Directory listing

Follow signs with silhouetted buffaloes to discover this family-run winery off a private road. The Maddux
family celebrates their Western heritage with such wines as a Cabernet Sauvignon called “Noble
Beast”, “Where the Buffalo Roams” -a Rhone inspired red wine of Syrah, Mourvedre, & Grenache and
their estate grown Zinfandel with the equally rousing name of “Thunder Beast”.

Linda Bottjer is a full time writer whose love of California wine leads her to many grape adventures. Her work can be found at www.words4sail.com.
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