Placer County Wine Trail

With 20 wineries and counting, Placer County has re-embraced its heritage as a viable California wine-producing region. Located in the Sierra Foothills American Viticultural Area (AVA), Placer County wineries offer a refreshing change from the more commercialized and less personal wine tasting experiences of larger wine regions. Most Placer wineries are family-owned and operated, have small vineyards and the winemakers themselves are part of the charm, making Placer County a newly sought-after destination for a more personalized and unique wine-tasting experience.

Placer County begins in the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, approximately 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley and 30 miles east of the state capitol of Sacramento and extends to the eastern shores of Lake Tahoe. Elevations range from approximately 500 feet above sea level in the west to 6000 feet in the east. Most of the vineyards are located in the rolling, oak studded hills at the 500 to 1500 foot level. Soils are generally some combination of decomposed granite and sandy loam, making them well-drained and ideal for growing wine grapes.

The climate is Mediterranean, with warm days (average low 90’s in summer) and nights cooler than the valley below, making it ideal for growing premium wine grape varietals of the great wine producing regions of Italy, Southern France and Spain. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, most of it falling in the winter and spring. This encourages dry-farming, where, once established, vineyards receive very little artificial irrigation, resulting in wines with complex and intense flavors.
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