Sierra Foothills AVA

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Sierra Foothills AVA
Wine region
Vineyards near Vallecito, California
TypeAmerican Viticultural Area
Year established1987
CountryUnited States
Part ofCalifornia
Sub-regionsCalifornia Shenandoah Valley AVA, El Dorado AVA, Fair Play AVA, Fiddletown AVA, North Yuba AVA
Climate regionMediterranean
Total area2,600,000 acres (10,522 km2)[1]
Size of planted vineyards5,700 acres (23.1 km2)[1]
Grapes producedZinfandel (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))[1]

The Sierra Foothills AVA (established in 1987) is an American Viticultural Area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the U.S. 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 its boundaries.

Geography and climate[edit]

The Sierra Foothills AVA contains portions of eight California counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and Yuba. The total area is 2,600,000 acres (10,522 km2), one of the largest viticultural areas in the state of California.


Wine grapes were first planted in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada during the California Gold Rush of the late 1840s and early 1850s. Federal recognition of the viticultural area occurred on November 18, 1987.[2]


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 and 3,000 feet (460 and 910 m) above sea level.[1]

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.

See also[edit]

Wikipedia articles about wineries in the Sierra Foothills AVA[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Appellations Of California Wine: Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, Delta, and Sierra Foothills". Wine Institute. 2007. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  2. ^ "§ 9.120 Sierra Foothills" (Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Part 9 — American Viticultural Areas; Subpart C — Approved American Viticultural Areas). Code of Federal Regulations. Retrieved October 3, 2007.