Don’t miss the final 2016 Wine Trail! | TheUnion.com

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Don’t miss the final 2016 Wine Trail!

Enjoy the view at the Lucchesi “View Forever Vineyard” on the wine trail Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Enjoy the view at the Lucchesi “View Forever Vineyard” on the wine trail Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sierra Vintners will be holding their final of three wine trails for 2016 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at six locations along the Hwy 49 and Hwy 174 corridors. Spend the day touring each location and enjoy wonderful wine tastings, delicious food, and enchanting entertainment.

This is the second year that the group is holding three separate trails, as opposed to having one big event as they had for several years, to give wine lovers the opportunity to slow down and experience all of the wineries instead of racing around the county to see as many as possible.

“We have almost 25 wineries in Sierra Vintners, and there’s no way you can make them all in one day, or even two days,” said Mario Lucchesi. “This way each winery has the opportunity to have the visitors come to each one and enjoy.”

Each winery on the trail has its own personality in both taste and décor, and they all enjoy having the public come to enjoy their wine and hospitality.

Double Oak Vineyards & Winery has been growing wine grapes since 1982 on their mountain vineyard, with a focus on creating full-bodied yet well balanced and complex fine wines. They hand-harvest their grapes in the early day and barrel age each batch for 23 months followed by six months of bottle aging.

In true Nevada City fashion, Double Oak is dedicated to sustainable and nature-friendly practices from the vineyard to the winery. “We believe it’s all about balance and harmony with nature. The song of the birds and the flight of the dragonfly inspire us as we grow our grapes and make our wine,” their website proclaims.

Katoa Cellars owner/winemaker Riki Pollock is a native Māori from New Zealand. Katoa means “for everyone,” and that is Pollock’s mission; to make wines for all palates. “The sharing of food, wine, stories, and traditions is ingrained in the Māori culture, and we want to firmly root these values in the foothills,” Pollock said.

The winery is operating under a new concept unlike any other winery in the region. The Yin Yang Project is an experimental approach to wine production that serves as a learning tool for Katoa visitors. Katoa Cellars is making at least two wines each year that will highlight the effect different techniques and approaches can have on wine production. This year’s Yin Yang Project wine is California Chardonnay, and you can try it on the wine trail.

Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery specializes in traditionally crafted wines produced in small lots to capture their varietal character and regional qualities. Grapes in their steeply terraced terrain, aptly named the “View Forever Vineyard” for its stunning vista, produce some of the finest wines found in the Sierra Foothills. The vineyard’s southwest exposure maximizes the suns’ rays, perfectly ripening the grapes with concentrated flavors, color and texture.

The care that the Lucchesi family puts into every step of the wine process, from vine to bottle, is evident in the long list of awards that they have amassed around the state and nation, including a Gold Medal, Best of Class, and Best of Region at the California State Fair Wine Competition for their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.

Nevada City Winery is proud of their role in revitalizing the wine industry in Nevada County. The Winery was begun by Allan Haley, a Nevada County native with a European wine education and a dream of bringing winemaking back to our region. In 1880 there were over 300 acres of grapes in the County. In 1980 when Nevada City Winery opened there was only one small vineyard, recently planted. Twenty years later there are again well over 300 acres of grapes and the wine industry is flourishing once more.

Not only the first to bring winemaking back to western Nevada County, Nevada City Winery has been recognized with numerous awards, including Best Zinfandel, Best Cabernet Franc, Best Syrah and Best Cabernet Sauvignon for the Sierra Foothill Region, awarded by the California State Fair.

Sierra Sky is a new winery in the Sierra Foothills and is currently open by appointment only, so this will be their first public event. With a goal to focus on making great red wines that are on the dark fruit side of ripeness but maintain balance, nuance, and complexity, Sierra Sky plans to take years to experiment with small lots until they create the perfect balance using locally grown grapes. They plan for their wines to be approachable from the beginning, yet age beautifully for years to come.

“Our belief is that if the wine isn’t to a certain standard we will try cross-varietal blending to bring them up to a level that we believe will bring much enjoyment for the consumer. We will always strive to make a wine that stands out and makes people smile,” they state on their website. “From harvest to bottling, we will always put our hearts and minds into striving for a better vintage year after year!”

Solune combines the French words for sun (soleil) and moon (lune) to convey the premium grape growing advantage they enjoy in their beautiful wooded location; an unusually large temperature difference between the warm days and cool nights. They specialize in small-lot production of intense and well structured wines thriving under these ideal ripening conditions.

Surrounded and shaded by imposing pine and cedar trees, the winery is a charming old style red barn and is a perfect starting building for winemaking. For example, a field blend (i.e., harvested and fermented together) of Muscats and Gewurztraminer produces a remarkably aromatic wine they call Fleur de Lune, to evoke an equally remarkable and fragrant flower called moonflower. Conjuring the romance and whimsy of France, Solune creates blends that tantalize.

Come out and enjoy the many wonderful wines that Nevada County has to offer. From full-bodied reds to light fruity whites, there will surely be many varietals that you fall in love with on the trail.

The cost to attend the wine trail is $35 per person or $30 for wine club members. Designated driver tickets (highly recommended) are only $15 and include food, water, and entertainment. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.sierravintners.com or at any participating winery on the day of the tour.