Here’s a fast track to the wine and produce centre of gorgeous California. The Gold Country Visitors Association has partnered with the Central Valley Tourism Association on a new mobile app for travellers focused on the northern part of the US state.
The app covers the entire Gold Country and Central Valley regions including Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, Folsom, Calaveras County, Amador County, Auburn, Placerville and beyond.
Drive through the Central Valley, and you’ll see evidence of how life here has historically revolved around agriculture. Food and wine is abundant in this region filled with orchards, vineyards and farms. Home to many of California’s finest museums and galleries, the valley offers a wide variety of live entertainment, events and attractions welcoming visitors year-round.
You’ll find farmer’s markets, roadside produce stands, and festivals that celebrate local specialties: wine, tomatoes, asparagus, cheese and more. The region’s major cities, including Bakersfield, Fresno and Stockton, offer many attractions including museums, concerts, racing, country music and unique gardens.
There’s gold in the foothills, but now it’s red wine. Zinfandel, planted not long after James W. Marshall discovered shining flecks in the river at Coloma, has always thrived in the region’s warm summer days and temperate nights. It was turned into sweet white Zinfandel, according to tourism body www.visitcentralvalley.com. Over the last decade or so, intense (red) Sierra Zins have gained a foothold in the region—and a passionate following. Creative new winemakers are migrating here, as they are discovering Gold Country is an excellent place for other reds, too, namely Rhône varietals such as syrah and mourvèdre, Italian barbera and sangiovese, and spanish tempranillo.
California would be the fourth largest producer of wine in the world if it were an independent nation, says the authorative www.california-wine-trails.com. And if you are drinking California wine—from almost any region— the chances are you’re getting at least a little bit of Lodi in your glass, say the wine experts at www.lodiwines.com. The Lodi Wine Country is situated between the San Francisco Bay Area and the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
With more than 40 per cent of the state’s Zinfandel production, and more than 30 per cent of the chardonnay production, this amazingly fertile Central Valley region, with its Mediterranean climate, is known for its high-yield, quick-ripening grape production. But until recently, it wasn’t exactly known for its wines, or really known at all by folks outside the valley, the regional bodies say.
According to ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers), the Central Valley style is described as: “…showing notes of spicy cherry liqueur, pie cherries, clove and nutmeg; the most common flavor descriptors are ripe blueberries, cranberry, dried plum, toasted almond and pepper. Central Valley wines tend toward soft, low tannins.”
The new NorCalGuide app will be made available on the iPhone app store in late May. The app is iPhone and iPad compatible and will feature 40 Northern California cities and thousands of points of interest including restaurants, attractions, wineries, cultural and historic sites, hotels, photos, videos and maps. The app will also feature local deals and events for each city.
The app is free and is produced in partnership with the Gold Country Visitors Association, Central Valley Tourism Association and the California Travel & Tourism Commission. The travel guide app can be found on the app store and iTunes under “NorCalGuide.” Look for an Android version later in the year.
More info: www.TheNorCalGuide.com.
More info on visiting California, a region of big Zins:: www.visitcalifornia.com
More info on the Central Valley: www.visitcentralvalley.com
More info on Lodi wines: www.lodiwines.com
Lots more info on California wine trails: www.california-wine-trails.com