Rhône home

Looking for something new and different to sip? I asked Drew Moffat, one of the principals at Carpe Vino in Auburn, to name a few lesser-known local wineries and wines. He suggested looking to foothills producers of Rhône varietals:

1. “Naggiar Vineyards (www.naggiarvineyards.com), out of Grass Valley, has been producing their own wine for about four years, mostly Rhône varietals. Their Viognier is absolutely outstanding, and they also make Mistero, a blend of Sangiovese and Syrah. Their wines are well priced, under 20 bucks.”

2. “David Girard (www.davidgirardvineyards.com), out of El Dorado, is producing a Mourvèdre that’s phenomenal, and also a white blend—pretty exotic grapes for the average consumer. Their winemaker is named Mari Wells. They focus on Rhône varietals, which are a nice change of pace.”

3. “A winery called Lavender Ridge (www.lavenderridgevineyard.com), which I believe has a tasting room in Murphys now, is producing some outstanding stuff—Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, a Grenache rosé. It sells out quickly; all of these are small-production wines.”