If you’re one of the region’s many enophiles, you already appreciate that Sacramento’s relative proximity to Napa, Sonoma and closer wine-producing areas such as Amador, El Dorado and Nevada counties provides endless opportunities for wine-centric (and entertaining) day trips. But did you know that there’s a handful of first-rate, friendly wineries right here in Sacramento and Yolo counties? With gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon, it’s a great time to start exploring and enjoying the distinctive wineries flourishing in our own backyard—most of which offer complimentary tastings or samples for a very nominal fee. Here are 10 of our favorites.
Miner’s Leap Winery (above)
If you’re seeking the quintessential al fresco California wine tasting experience, you need look no further than Clarksburg’s Miner’s Leap Winery. Located directly off South River Road, this congenial family-owned winery has a free-standing outdoor tasting bar for its patrons (unless it’s raining, in which case the wines are tucked under a tent, still outside). The attractively manicured grounds of this property wrap around the production facility (not accessible to the public), which is housed in a rustic barn that’s more than 100 years old—the perfect setting for a lazy picnic on a warm afternoon. Cars whooshing by on the road above can be a distraction, but sip a glass of the winery’s light, invigorating Pinot Grigio with some crackers and cheese, and let your worries float away.
Try: 2011 Lodi Rosé
Tasting bar hours: Friday 1–6 p.m., Saturday–Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
54250 S. River Road, Clarksburg; (916) 641-7944; minersleap.com
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