Tahoe’s Farm-to-Fork Festival Highlights Bounty of Sierra Nevada Region
Friday, August 31st kicks off Sample the Sierra with a Winemaker and Chef’s Table dinner at Crystal Basin Bistro in Camino on the Western Slope of the Sierras. Saturday, September 1st hosts a Sip & Shop at Après Wine Company featuring the award-winning wines of Synapse “Microwinery” and locally made gifts. The weekend culminates Sunday, September 2nd with the food and wine tasting festival from 1 to 5 p.m. on Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. Festival goers can sample food and wine from 15 tasting booths, peruse a marketplace consisting of over 20 local artists, and enjoy a variety of live entertainment. Festival admission is $30 which includes full food and wine tasting and a commemorative tasting glass.
Sample wineries including Auriga Wine Cellars located in El Dorado County. Their wines have earned Silver and Gold Medals at both the California State Fair and the El Dorado County Fair. This year, the 2008 Shiraz received Double Gold and Best of Class at the California State Fair and a Gold Medal at El Dorado County Fair. Auriga winery will be paired with Primo’s Italian Bistro, a wonderful new restaurant in South Lake Tahoe. Specializing in homemade pastas, hand tossed pizzas and weekly specials using seasonal ingredients, Primo’s is quickly becoming a local’s favorite. Add in fresh herbs from Sacred Paths Farms, an organic and bio-dynamic farm in Camino, and this triad is set to delight even the pickiest of palates.
Another exciting pairing of flavors combines Lava Cap Winery, The Getaway Café, and Overland Meat & Seafood Company. Lava Cap Winery has been in operation since 1986, and their wines have been winning medals across the country year after year. This year, the 2009 Estate Bottled Barbera took home Gold at the California State Fair and the Tasters Guild International. Their tasting booth partner, The Getaway Café, opened in Meyers in 2006 and specializes in “Alpine Comfort Cuisine.” Their fresh, unique dishes, including Mushroom Meatloaf and Southern Fried Chicken, have earned this place 4.5 stars on Yelp! Overland Meat & Seafood Company is the only full-service meat market on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. Featuring all natural meats, free range and organic poultry, fresh seafood and daily specials, the friendly crew at Overland has won Blue Ribbon Awards for their excellent service.
The next tantalizing trio pairs Café Fiore and Amber Oaks Raspberries, alongside Bumgarner Winery. Café Fiore is an intimate seven-table Italian restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, with a wine list that has earned Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence since 1992. They have also been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle as well as the Sacramento Bee, and were noted as one of “The Best Places to Kiss in Northern California”. Amber Oaks is a family farm in Auburn that has been in operation since 1980. Berries, chestnuts, tomato, kiwi and pumpkin are just a few of the offerings that you will find year-round at the farm. Bumgarner Winery in Camino is family owned and operated, allowing each of their unique wines to be personally handled from fruit, to barrel, to bottle. The rich, bold flavors of a 2008 Tempranillo were named Double Gold, Best of Class at the San Francisco International.
This is just a sampling of the 15 tasting booths to look forward to at the festival; each featuring a different restaurant, winery, and farmer. The festival marketplace will showcase unique, handmade products made right in the Tahoe area, including soap, spices, jewelry, photography, pastel paintings and more. Live entertainment will include the Trey Stone Band as well as the Inaugural Sierra Chef Challenge. Onstage, two local chefs will go head-to-head as they are each presented a box of fresh produce and asked to come up with their best dish.