Sierra Foothills AVA
|Type||American Viticultural Area|
|Sub-regions||California Shenandoah Valley AVA, El Dorado AVA, Fair Play AVA, Fiddletown AVA, North Yuba AVA|
|Total area||2,600,000 acres (10,522 km2)|
|Size of planted vineyards||5,700 acres (23.1 km2)|
|Grapes produced||Zinfandel (2,300 acres (9 km2)), Cabernet Sauvignon (600 acres (2 km2)), Syrah (560 acres (2 km2)), Chardonnay (289 acres (1 km2)), Merlot (287 acres (1 km2)), Barbera (239 acres (1 km2))|
The Sierra Foothills AVA (established in 1987) is an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the state of California in the United States. Wine grapes were introduced to the area in the nineteenth century during the California Gold Rush. Over 100 wineries are located within the boundaries of the AVA.
Geography and climate
The Sierra Foothills AVA contains portions of eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area of the appellation is 2,600,000 acres (10,522 km2), one of the largest AVAs in the state of California.
Wine grapes were first planted in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains during the California Gold Rush of the late 1840s and early 1850s. Federal recognition of the AVA occurred on November 18, 1987.
5,700 acres (23.1 km2) of the appellation are planted to grapevines. The most common grape variety is Zinfandel, which accounts for 2,300 acres (9 km2). Cabernet Sauvignon is planted on 600 acres (2 km2), and Syrah is planted to 560 acres (2 km2). The most common white grape variety is Chardonnay, planted to 289 acres (1 km2). Other grape varieties are grown in smaller quantities. Vineyards are generally planted in locations between 1,500 feet (457 m) and 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level.
There are over 100 wineries located within the Sierra Foothills AVA. Many are small, boutique wineries, often family-owned.The first known planting in the Sierra Foothills was in the Coarsegold Gulch area during the Gold Rush period.
- Wine Institute, The. (2007). "The Appellations Of California Wine: Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, Delta, and Sierra Foothills". Retrieved Oct. 3, 2007.
- Code of Federal Regulations. "§ 9.120 Sierra Foothills." Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2007.