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Wine Spectator School

Class 7: New World Model: California

sierra foothills

Sierra Foothills is an umbrella AVA that covers a number of counties between the Central Valley and the Sierras.

Toward the valley, the temperature heats up; as the altitude increases, it cools down.

Although vineyard acreage is expanding and new varieties are planted, Sierra Foothills is best known for growing heat-loving Zinfandel.

Old Zinfandel vines, some dating back to the days of the California gold rush, yield ripe, concentrated grapes that make heavy, Port-like wines in Amador County. Zin can be slightly lighter in Calaveras County and more rustic in El Dorado County.









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