How to Enjoy Central Valley’s Backcountry and Bottles

How to Enjoy Central Valley's Backcountry and Bottles

Beyond the vineyards, look to the east and you’ll spy one of the Central Valley’s stunning backdrops. The Sierra Nevada home to Yosemite and Lake Tahoe.

At Tahoe, resorts cater to visitors—whether in snow season or the glorious summers and falls—who enjoy a fine meal and a fine wine. Start at The Village at Northstar, which hosts an annual Autumn Food and Wine Festival in September. 

PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn boasts great wines on the list, and the PlumpJack Café also organizes spectacular seasonal wine-tasting dinners. 

Claiming to be the state’s highest and coldest vineyard site, the Truckee River Winery grows vines along the Truckee River. It produces wines from grapes grown both nearby and as far away as the Santa Lucia Highlands. In summer it features bocce lessons and a Full-Moon Glow Ball (the bocce balls light up) plus other events throughout the year. 


At Yosemite, the views won’t be the sole source of your swooning.

Wine tasting near Yosemite centers on the Madera Wine Trail, a collection of wineries around the town of Madera. Both Quady and Ficklin are on the trail as is Westbrook Wine Farm. Also, be sure and trek theYosemite Sierra Wine Road which focuses on Fäsi Estate Winery in the town of O’Neals and Idle Hour winery in Oakhurst. Specializing in Rhône varieties from six acres along the Fresno River, Idle Hour also has an eight-room inn and wine bar.

And Don’t Miss…

The Vintners’ Holidays series at Yosemite is a must for wine lovers. Held at the luxurious Ahwahnee Hotelevery November into December, events showcase winemakers and chefs from around the world. Seminars and wine tastings sell out quickly, so book ahead.

Published on November 25, 2013
Topics: California Travel Guide
About the Author
Virginie Boone
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California.

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and reviews the wines of Napa and Sonoma. Boone began her writing career with Lonely Planet travel guides, which eventually led to California-focused wine coverage. She contributes to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine, and is a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond. Email:

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