Foothill Celebration pairs food, wine, shopping for benefit of downtown |

Foothill Celebration pairs food, wine, shopping for benefit of downtown

Photo Courtesy of Jack Starr

For those interested in sips, samples, and a stroll, the 12th annual Foothill Celebration is right up your alley.

The event will take place 1-3 p.m. today in downtown Grass Valley, where attendees can enjoy local wine from 32 wineries, food samples from 25 restaurants and vendors for the ticket price of $40, which contributes toward the improvement of the downtown Grass Valley.

“It’s a huge, huge event,” said Julia Jordan, executive director of GVDA. “People enjoy it because our whole little motto is you get to come downtown and you stroll, you sip, you sample and you shop.”

The event is sponsored by Sierra Vintners Association, on organization of 16 wineries which will be paired with nearly all of the food items offered.

“The way it works, we pick our restaurants and wineries, then we put our retail stores together, in most venues there’s a pairing of a winery and also a food product,” Jordan said.

“Nevada City Winery has been there 12 years, so they stand alone and Cirino’s will do his signature Bloody Mary’s.”

Some of the ticket sales go toward the restaurants to prepare the food.

“We pay our restaurants per ticket they collect and then with the wineries, because they are a partner, we just give them comp tickets to give away, because we share in the profit and they also use their portion of the money to advertise tourism in the area,” Jordan said.

Local business see the event as an opportunity to promote their businesses and support the community.

“It’s a really fun event,” said Phil Starr, owner of Sierra Starr Vineyard, which has a tasting room at 124 Main St. in Grass Valley.

“Since our tasting room is in Grass Valley, we are able to sell wine, so that’s also an added benefit. There’s a lot of good exposure and it’s always fun to see folks having a good time and enjoying themselves.”

The traffic into the downtown is helpful for businesses, said Carl Brenner, co-owner of Bear River Pasta at 109 Bank St. in Grass Valley.

“It’s convenient for us since the beginning is at the hotel and being a newer business, people get to see us for the first time,” Brenner said.

“We try to be involved in everything that has to do with the community and anything to help promote downtown.”

The food and wine pairing allows for businesses to work together and complement each other, said Susan Meagher, owner of Nana’s Artisan Bakery at 17045 Round Valley Circle in Grass Valley, which will offer a selection of pastries at the event.

“I told the winery that is paired with me that I was doing desserts, so they’re bringing dessert wines which gives us the opportunity to meet each other’s customers,” Meagher said. “It’s been so neat how people are partnering together for this.”

The event is meant to highlight local businesses and raise funds for downtown.

“It’s not intended to make money,” Meagher said. “It’s more just incredible publicity and a chance to be out there.”

Tickets can be purchased at the GVDA website at or at the door, if tickets are still available.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

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