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Local Vineyard (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

When  conversations come up about the best wines produced in California, the regions typically mentioned first are Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino, the three counties that primarily represent the renowned California Wine Country, and rightfully so. But California also boasts a host of other prominent wine regions that should also be part of the conversation, including the Paso Robles Wine Region, Santa Barbara, the Santa Cruz Mountains and of course, the superb appellations in and around the Inland Valley and Sierra Foothills regions , which include the Sacramento Valley, the Delta, El Dorado and Sierra Foothills. With a rich history of winemaking that stretches well back to the Gold Rush era, this agriculturally rich area is home to more than 200 exceptional wineries that produces a significant number of popular wine varietals, such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, and pinot gris, as well as rosés and sparkling and dessert wines. For a very brief look into this breathtaking region, here are five outstanding wineries to visit this spring and beyond  for award-winning wine tasting.

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Bogle Vineyards (credit: Randy Yagi)

Bogle Vineyards
37783 County Road 144
Clarksburg, CA 95612
(916) 744-1092
www.boglewinery.com

Tasting Room Hours

Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just a short drive from downtown Sacramento, Bogle Vineyards is an acclaimed family-owned business situated within the acclaimed Clarksburg AVA, also known as the “Gem of the Delta”. Founded in 1968 with just 20 acres of grape vines, this successful family-owned business has grown to become a nationally acclaimed winery with multiple awards, including Wine Spectator’s “Top 20 Value Brands in the World”, Wine & Spirits’ “Top American Value Brands of the Year” and “Top 100 Best Buys of 2016” from Wine and Spirits Magazine. While the winery is on the verge of celebrating 50 years in the business, the Bogle family has a rich history of farming in the area, dating back to the mid-1800s and today is led by proud sixth generation family members Chris, Jody and Ryan. Bogle Vineyards currently produces an impressive collection of value brand wines, including old vine zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlot. Today the home ranch resides on 110 acres near the Sacramento River features a tasting room, wine store and a quiet picnic area with breathtaking views of the estate’s vineyards. Noteworthy selections to sample at the wine tasting room include the 2014 merlot, 2014 petite sirah and 2014 chardonnay.

 

Delicato Family Vineyards
12001 CA-99
Manteca, CA 95336
(209) 824-3600
www.delicato.com

Tasting Room Hours

Daily 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., tasting until 5 p.m.

Family owned and operated for more than 90 years, Delicato Family Vineyards is considered one of the fastest growing wine companies in the entire country. Led by third generation family member and CEO Chris Indelicato, the company is headquartered in Manteca within the Lodi AVA and produces 16 premium wine brands from vineyards in the Napa Valley, Monterey County and Lodi. The winner of several wine awards and a previous selection as California Winery of the Year by the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, as well as Wine Star Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast, Delicato Family Vineyards operates a wine tasting room and gift shop at its corporate headquarters just north of Manteca. Among the top selections for wine tasting lovers are Delicato shiraz, Black Stallion cabernet sauvignon, 181 and 337 from Noble Vines and cabernet sauvignon from Z. Alexander Brown, better known as the Grammy Award-winning artist Zac Brown.

 

Frasinetti’s Winery
7395 Frasinetti Road
Sacramento, CA 95828
(916) 383-2444

Tasting Room Hours

Tuesday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday – Monday: Closed

Founded by Italian immigrant James Frasinetti in what’s described as the southern edge of Sacramento in 1897, Frasinetti’s Winery is the oldest family owned and operated wine producer in the entire Sacramento Valley. At it peak, the historic winery had over 400 acres of grapevines but halted production during the Prohibition era but survived this difficult time by selling table grapes, producing altar wine and maintaining the farm. Decades later, the popular winery has since gone back to its original six acres and now hosts a tasting room, gift shop and a restaurant with a decidedly Old World feel and complimentary wine tasting inside its historic East Cellar, that’s also available for weddings and banquets. Under the leadership of third generation family members Gary and Howard Frasinetti since the 1970s, Frasinetti Winery produces a number of signature varietals at very affordable prices, including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and riesling.

 

Heringer Estates
35265 Willow Ave. Ste 203
Clarksburg, CA 95612
(916) 744-1919

Wine Tasting Hours

Wednesday – Monday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

With more than 140 years of farming in the agriculturally rich community of Clarksburg, Heringer Estates is led by sixth generation family members Mike, Stephen and Stacy Heringer. Featuring nearly 400 gorgeous acres of vineyards along the Sacramento River Delta, this award-winery winery produces 25 varieties of  moderately priced handcrafted wines, including chardonnay, petite syrah, merlot and malbec and available through its online store and on location. The estate’s wine tasting room is located within the Old Sugar Mill along with more than 10 other well-known local wineries. Private tours and tastings are also available upon request. Staff members of Heringer Estates also makes regular appearances at local farmers markets including the Central Farmers’ Market and many of its signature wines are also available at prominent Sacramento restaurants like the Grange Restaurant and Mulvaney’s B&L.

 

Naggiar Vineyards 
18125 Rosemary Lane
Grass Valley, CA 95949
(530) 268-9059
www.naggiarvineyards.com

Tasting Room Hours

12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Complimentary Tasting

12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Quietly tucked away in the Sierra Foothills, Naggiar Vineyards has been named the No. 1 Winery in the Sacramento area for an astounding seven consecutive years from a respected local reader poll. But the recognition of this family-owned business extends far past the regional level, winning several national and international awards, along with earning 90 points or higher for seven of its premium wines from Wine Enthusiast, including its 2014 petite syrah and 2014 Dahlia Noir. Founded in 1998 by Mike Naggiar and his wife Diane, Naggiar Vineyards is situated atop a large knoll encompassing 135 acres within the Sierra Foothills AVA and features a gorgeous Tuscan-style tasting room and bistro and a spacious outdoor patio with breathtaking views of the flowing vineyards and pastoral landscape. Featuring traditional Rhone, Bordeaux and Italian wines, Naggiar Vineyards hosts a number of ongoing events throughout the, including live music on Friday and Saturday and the popular Winefest Tribute shows over the summer.