When people think of the California Gold Rush back in 1849, San Francisco comes to mind. However, where was the actual gold that helped build the city coming from? Enter, The Sierra Foothills, the flat land just below the Sierra Nevada mountain range that separates California from Nevada. The history of wine cultivation here goes hand-in-hand with the gold rush because as immigrants started move here and the small towns saw a boom in population with folks looking to strike it rich, people began to plant vines in the rigorous terrain. Because of the warm to hot climate, the famous Zinfandel as well as Rhône varietals such as Syrah and Grenache do particularly well in Sierra Foothills. Most of the vineyards are planted in higher elevation, between 460 - 910 meters above sea level. Encompassing 8 counties and many sub-AVAs within the counties, the Sierra Foothills is definitely a truly exciting wine region and one that will continue to gain more attention in the international wine community!
Fair Play AVA
Located in El Dorado county, one of the 8 counties within the Sierra Foothills AVA, Fair Play AVA enjoys a truly unique terroir when compared to the other regions surrounding it. The vineyard sites are situated on high elevation, between 610 and 910 meters above sea level, making it one of the highest elevation growing sites in California. Besides the altitude, Fair Play AVA has a high concentration of granitic soil composition, which is similar to the soil structures of the Rhône Valley in France, making it extremely well-suited for Southern Rhône varietals like Syrah and Grenache. While it may not be a common household name just yet, Fair Play AVA wines are rockstar wines in the making!