Like knowledge, wine cultivates interesting conversation, improves over time, and can be forced out of its container with a vigorous shake. Pop open a bottle with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a reserve-wine tasting for two (a $30 value) and a bottle of Le Grand Pere 2009 (a $46 value) at Naggiar Vineyards & Winery in Grass Valley (a $76 total value). The tasting room opens every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at noon and by appointment only during the week.
Viticulturist Mike Naggiar and his family have scratched out a stately, picturesque vineyard amid the rolling hills of Grass Valley, producing a bumper crop of handcrafted wines worthy of KCRA 3's 2011 Best Winery award. The liquid bill of fare spans across 17 different varieties, striving to achieve a perfect balance of tannins, taste, and color, with a special focus on Bordeaux, Rhone, and Italian vinos. Along with a sampling from the vineyard's delicious stash, visitors leave with their very own bottle of an earthy red Le Grand Pere 2009, which won the gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco International Wine Competition and the World's Best Grandpa award from the farm's younger varietals.
The stunning estate lies in historic Gold Rush country, capturing visitors with pastoral scenes of breezes rippling through sun-kissed fields and country lanes winding through its 60 acres of grapes. As guests drink in the scenery, they can sip their wines amid live music taking place most weekends through September. The winery also houses a Tuscan-style tasting room, accented by dark, varnished wood, rough-hewn slate, soft yellows, and Machiavellian intrigue.
Naggiar Vineyards and Winery
The atmosphere in which one tastes a wine can be just as important as the wine's actual taste. Knowing this, the owners of Naggiar Vineyards and Winery housed their tasting room inside a picturesque Tuscan-style stucco building on the shores of a small pond, accenting its interiors with heavy wood ceiling beams, polished tile floors, and long tables surrounded by ornately upholstered chairs. Outside on the patio, servers ferry appetizers and tapas between wrought-iron café tables and around a monolithic stone fireplace. In this outdoor space, live bands play every weekend, and warm-weather wine festivals spill out onto the lawn when mom kicks them out of the basement.
Voted number 1 for an unprecedented seven years in a row by KCRA-3 A-List voters, it's no surprise that Naggiar Vineyards and Winery puts even more care into its wines. Aided by in-house wine consultant and U.C. Davis graduate Derek Irwin, the staff cultivates more than 160 acres of vineyards. They harvest the grapes by hand and only at night, ensuring the fruits are packed when it’s cool, arrive at the cellar for pressing early in the day, and don't fall prey to vegetarian hawks. This painstaking process results in a spectrum of small-batch wines from the estate's best grapes—which include varietals native to Italy, Rhone, and Bordeaux. The winery also hosts an annual winefest.
18125 Rosemary Ln.
Grass Valley, California 95949