Located in Northern California at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Placer Valley is a wine-producing region that really stands out from other areas of California. The majority of the 19 wineries here are family-run, meaning that they offer a much more personalized and less commercialized experience than the state’s larger wine-producing regions, making Placer Valley a top destination for those who want to tour a few Californian vineyards.
Amour Prive Winery
The Amour Prive Winery focuses on premium red wines that have a Bordeaux influence, making use of old world European techniques and materials to create them. In addition to taking a tour of the winery, visitors will also have the opportunity to stop off at their exclusive tasting room, which can be found within Sip, a multi-winery tasting room in Old Town Auburn.
Bonitata Boutique Wine
Bonitata Boutique Wine has a few different vineyards sprinkled around the Sierra Foothills, and the grapes here are hand-picked at just the right time, ensuring the perfect balance of sugar, acid and pH. The winery itself is located in a beautiful historic building that dates back to 1874, and used to be home to the original Bernhard Winery. In addition to touring the winery and the building’s unique architecture, visitors can also explore the Bernhard Museum to learn more about the history of this winery, and about the region in general.
Surrounded by incredibly scenic views of the Sutter Buttes, the Coastal Mountains, and, of course, the Sierra Foothills, the PaZa Winery is one that offers some of the best panoramas in Placer Valley, as well as exquisite wines. The winery is open for public tastings every weekend, and personalized tours can also be arranged by appointment. This is a great winery to relax for the afternoon, as the owners encourage visitors to bring along a picnic so that they can have a bite to eat along with a couple of glasses of wine, with the gorgeous backdrop making the experience even more memorable.
Cristaldi Vineyards Estate
Located in Loomis, overlooking the Loomis Basin, the Cristaldi Vineyards Estate specializes in hand-producing limited production wines. These are usually single-vineyard or field-blended wines, making use of old world traditions to create beautiful wines that have been slowly fermented and aged for lengthy periods of time. There are 15 different grape varietals grown here, meaning that there is plenty of diversity in the wines produced.
Casque Wines is a new winery that released their first wine in 2008. This wine, which was a Rhone style blend, was the start of the many awards that the winery would win in subsequent years for their hand-crafted products. Making use of the French wine-producing technique of blending several different varietals together, the wines that are produced by Casque Wines are usually Rhone and Bordeaux style, each one making use of grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the California Sierra Foothills.
The wineries in the Placer Valley each specialize in their own unique style of wine-making, which is why it is always fascinating to tour a few different vineyards rather than just one. From sampling world-class wines to learning more about the different traditional production techniques, a visit to the Placer Valley wineries is a must for any wine enthusiasts visiting California.