Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming


The Sierra Foothills have a young, rapidly growing wine industry, composed of small vineyards and a few small wineries. Most of our grapes are grown between the elevations of 1000 and 2500 feet, which gives us just the right day-night temperature differential to produce very high quality grapes. Most of the grapes grown in the foothill counties are red, but we grow a wide range of varieties, many of them the lesser known varietals that are in demand for blending.

Ongoing courses are offered on vineyard establishment, irrigation, etc through the UC Davis Extension program.
Here are some resources to help you as you get started. Additional information can be found at your County Extension offices.

Grape Production

  • Growing Grapes in the Foothills - an overview of getting started in growing grapes, compiled by the UCCE Placer/Nevada.
  • UC Integrated Viticulture - publications, video seminars, and useful links on relevant topics from research by the University of California.
  • UC IPM Online - Integrated Pest Management information for grapes.
  • Importing Grape Planting Stock - from UCCE, information on restrictions and quarantines for grapes due to disease and pests.
  • Powdery Mildew - powdery mildew has a particularly high impact on grape production.  Read this UCCE publication for the key points in powdery mildew management. 
  • UC Cost Studies - sample costs to establish and produce wine grapes in various regions.
Soil Testing Laboratories
Grape Grower Associations

Other Useful Links...

Sustainable Production Practices

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance - promotes the benefits of sustainable wine-growing practices, enlists industry commitment, and assists in implementation of the Sustainable Wine-growing Program.
Grapes: Organic Production (ATTRA) - This guide presents organic management options for diseases, insects and weeds, discusses cultivar choices in terms of disease resistance, and briefly presents marketing ideas for organic grapes.

UC Publications and Classes

UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Grape Growing Publications.  
UC ANR Publications are available in the county Cooperative Extension office.  Come on by to check out a copy of one of these publications.
UC Davis Extension Classes
Vineyard management and wine-making classes.  From integrated pest management and cover crops to wine chemistry and filtration, learn about the cultivation of grapes and the science of wine and winemaking in the following courses.
Crush Reports
Information on varieties, tonnage, prices paid for wine grapes for a particular year.  If you are interested in historical data. reports date back to 1976.  For reference, Placer and Nevada Counties are in Crush District 10.
UC Davis Foundation Plant Services
Grape importing program with both quarantine facilities and a disease detection/elimination lab.
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