Spend Labor Day weekend sampling the flavors of the Sierra Nevada at the Farm-to-Fork Festival in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, Sept. 1.
The highlight of the weekend, the food and wine tasting festival on Ski Run Boulevard between Larch and Tamarack is from 1 to 5 p.m. This is ground zero for the farm to fork movement.
The festival brings in more than 1,500 food and wine lovers ready to sample delicious finger foods paired with the diverse flavors of El Dorado County wines.
Since its conception in 2010, South Lake Tahoe’s only Farm-to-Fork Festival, Sample the Sierra, has continued to grow and evolve.
Starting out as a one-day street festival, this event has expanded into an entire weekend of festivities celebrating the bounty and heritage of the Sierra Nevada region.
This year is no exception with even more added to the Labor Day Weekend line up.
For the first time in the festival’s history, there will be a variety of beverages to sample including beer, spirits and locally made kombucha. These flavorful additions will further highlight all the Sierra Nevada has to offer.
The Bumgarners, Jennifer and Brian, are participating in Sample the Sierra for the third year.
Bumgarner Winery, at 3550 Carson Road in Camino, will host the festival kick-off dinner on Friday, Aug. 30. Chef Giovanni Gaudio will pair four Bumgarner wines and one of its Silver Fork ciders with a five-course gourmet dinner.
From an organic carrot formati with blue cheese sauce paired with Silver Fork Hard Cider to the tomato tartlets paired with the Silver Fork Rose, the oven roasted figs from Bumgarner’s fig tree paired with the Silver Fork Zinfandel, the beef short ribs paired with Bumgarner’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon to the chocolate and peanut butter lava tortino/walnut torte and Tempranillo sorbetto paired with Bumgarner’s 2011 Tempranillo, the combination of locally sourced food, locally produced wines and ciders and the expertise of a well-known chef will be exquisite.
Tickets are $85 and space is limited.
Bumgarner Winery will also be pouring at Sunday’s Sample the Sierra festival.
“We’ll probably bring two of our most popular wines, the 2011 Tempranillo and the cabernet sauvignon,” said Jennifer.
Bumgarner has two different lines of wine: the Silver Fork label with wines on tap and in refillable flip-top capped bottles and the Five Fingers label — more traditional cork finished reserve wines like the double gold award-winning Tempranillo.
The winery also offers a hard cider made from Apple Hill apples and pears.
“It’s surprising how many Tahoe residents don’t know about El Dorado County wineries and after the festival, they come down to visit,” said Brian.
“We’re right off Highway 50 and we’ve built a great market in Tahoe with the restaurants and with business people who come down for a day of wine tasting,” said Jennifer. “And we get tourists who’ve gone to the festival and tasted our wines.”
“The festival is on Ski Run Boulevard so you’ve got South Lake Tahoe in front of you, Heavenly behind you and some great restaurants all around,” said Brian.
To make reservations for the kick-off dinner at Bumgarner Winery call Chef Giovanni at 530-391-6980 or e-mail ChefGiovanniGaudio@gmail.com.
In addition to stellar foods and wines, Sample the Sierra attendees will also enjoy live music performed by Dennis Johnson and the Mississippi Ramblers, a cooking competition, a marketplace full of locally handmade goods and the breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
On Saturday, Aug. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. get a preview of Sunday’s “Sample the Sierra” at Apres Wine Company, 3668 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe.
Three different wine tastings with wines from C.G. di Arie in El Dorado County are paired with finger foods prepared with local products. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Also on Friday and continuing on Saturday, Aug. 31 taste Lake Tahoe Olive Oil Company’s olive oil for free, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Red Poets and Skyhawk Lanes Tasting Room, 1001 Heavenly Village Way in South Lake Tahoe. Drop-ins are welcome throughout the day.
On Sunday, peruse booths with unique handmade products including: jewelry, alpaca apparel, herbs, spices and gourmet chocolates.
Festival admission is $30 and includes a full tasting ticket and commemorative tasting glass.
Sample the Sierra is a cooperative effort of El Dorado County organizations, growers, producers and businesses to increase awareness of the region’s bounty, heritage, culture and activities.
For festival information visit samplethesierra.com or call the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce at 775-588-1728 ext. 303 or e-mail Emily@TahoeChamber.org.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.