Fall provides bountiful harvest of appetizing events in foothills

By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal staff writer
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Fall brings with it a bountiful crop of food-and-wine-inspired events in the foothills. You’re sure to work up an appetite just reading about and marking your calendar with any number of these events, categorized by dates. Sept. 13 The Caring Hearts Society hosts Vino de Art from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at the Creekside Business Park, located at 11601 Blocker Drive in Auburn. This event, benefiting Placer Kids, features food from local restaurants, wine tasting, exotic cars, art for purchase, and music by Lucky Lei. Among local restaurants participating in the event are Latitudes, Joe Caribé, Bootleggers and Pacha Mama’s … So Much Love. Tickets are $35 in advance and available at Cherry Records in Auburn. Tickets at the door are $45. Call (530) 305-5957 or (530) 823-0526 for information. Looking to get out of town to taste some wine? The Northern Sierra Wine Country Association presents its 10th annual Gold Harvest Wine Trail, from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14, at 12 Nevada County wineries. Tickets are $40 for both days $25 for Sunday only. Designated drivers pay $10. Anyone 21 or older can buy tickets from Nevada County wineries or online at Call (866) 355-9463 for information. Sept. 14 Auburn’s Riding High Equestrian Program will be holding their Blue Jean Ball from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at their 10-acre ranch at 11685 Lorenson Road, featuring horse demonstrations and live music dinner by The Revolving Doors Band. Dinner includes appetizers crafted by The Club Car and Rubino’s and a main course of ribs, chicken, salads and beans. Tickets are $45. Call (530) 888-8891 or visit for information and tickets. Sept. 19 Auburn Rotary grills up a storm next weekend at the 26th annual Spirit of Auburn BBQ, which will be held 5:30-8 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, located at 1273 High St. in Auburn. On the menu are chicken, tri-tip and ribs. Tickets, available from Rotary Club members, are $25 for adults and $10 for children 13 and younger. Call (530) 268-2857 for information. Sept. 20 A Slow Food Placer Cookout will be held from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Rancho Roble Vineyard, a quiet country oaks setting, located at 340 Fleming Road in Lincoln. This dinner features Flying Mule Farm’s Highland Farms grass-fed leg of lamb, appetizers and seasonal side dishes from Persimmon Café and Placer plum/triple-crown blackberry pie. Tickets are $55 and available at the Persimmon Café, 415 A St., Suite 100, in Lincoln, or at Call (916) 645-3322 for information. Oct. 4 Loomis celebrates its favorite purple pal with the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce 20th annual Eggplant Festival, to be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Loomis Station Plaza on Taylor Road between Horseshoe Bar Road and Webb Street. Try a taste of everything eggplant — even eggplant ice cream. See for complete details. Oct. 11 Local wineries and restaurants take over Old Town and Downtown Auburn for one fantastic afternoon during the Auburn Wine and Food Festival. Sample area wines as well as taking bites of culinary creations by restaurants ranging from Old Town Pizza to The Monkey Cat. Tickets are $35 until Oct. 1, at which point prices go up to $45. Designated drivers pay $20 for food only. “People come with their friends and family and have a good time,” said Teri Gibson, who is selling event tickets out of her High Street shop, teh Christmas Village. Call (530) 885-9644 or visit for more information. Nov. 8-9 Local vintners open up their vineyards and wineries to the public during the Placer Hills Winery Tour, held in conjunction with the Autumn Art Studios Tour (Nov. 7-9) and The Cowpoke Fall Gathering (Nov. 7-8) during one big Art, Verse and Vines weekend. “It’s a wonderful event,” said Jill Maddux of Lone Buffalo Vineyards. “It’s such fun. Everybody can make a weekend out of it.” Learn more at or Nov. 21-23 A celebration of all things citrus, the 15th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival offers fans of this refreshing fruit their pick of locally grown Mandarin oranges, a cooking contest, professional chef demonstrations, crafts, live entertainment and more. The festival will be held Nov. 21-23 at the Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High St. Friday preview admission is $1 for everyone 16 and older, and the cost to get in Saturday and Sunday is $5 for anyone 16 or older, and $3 for seniors. Call (916) 663-1918 or for more information.