One of the things that makes Folsom such an attractive place to live is its proximity to the many wineries in the Sierra Foothills. Within a half-hour’s drive, you can enjoy award-winning wines in Amador, El Dorado, and Placer counties. To say we’re spoiled for choice is putting it lightly. 

But, despite the density of wineries and genuinely excellent wines adjacent to Folsom, there had never been a locally judged wine event.


We set out to change that when we created the Foothill Wine Fest a few years ago. Our goal? To showcase the best wines in the region, as judged by the experts, with awards for the best white, red, and sparkling wines.

Open to wines from the Sierra Foothills AVA, including Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, Nevada, Placer, and Tuolumne, it’s quickly become an annual event that attracts wineries and wine lovers from Greater Sacramento and beyond.


Judges featured media, sommeliers, and wine buyers from California and Nevada, including Rick Kushman, a wine commentator for Capitol Public Radio, Mike Dunne, a longtime Northern California-based wine journalist, and Stacy Briscoe, senior editor of Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Our panel of experienced all-star judges assessed just under 400 entries this year. They awarded five Best of Show awards, 29 Best of Region wines (the top competitors in each category of wines entered with a Gold and above), 36 Double Golds, 103 Gold, 168 Silver, and 54 Bronze medals! These are record numbers, and the wineries deserve serious kudos for their work.


But we wanted to take it one step further and celebrate our region’s exceptional wines. On November 11, I hope you’ll join us at the Foothill Wine Fest, where we’ll celebrate all the wines that participated in the competition.


The event, to be held at Palladio Folsom, will feature tastes from award-winning Sierra Foothill wineries with over 300 wines, including Best of Show winners Casino Mine Ranch, Jeff Runquist Wines, Rosa Lucca Winery, and Gwinllan Estate Winery.  

Whether you consider yourself an oenophile, are curious about what a Best of Show wine tastes like, or love good wine, you won’t want to miss it.


The evening will be an ideal balance of wine tasting and an opportunity to connect and reconnect with community members. I hope you’ll join me.

And, if you’re coming from outside Folsom, I invite you to consider our new wine weekend package, which includes a two-night stay, Palladio and Lyft gift cards, Foothill Wine Passes, and discounted Foothill Wine Fest tickets. It’s a terrific value and an opportunity to explore the region’s wineries. 

An event like this doesn’t come together on its own. The Choose Folsom team has worked hard to ensure it’s a success. Thanks to all who have supported the event, including presenting sponsors Prime Real Estate and SAFE Credit Union, Gold Sponsors Elliott Homes and Palladio.

See the complete list of participating wineries and buy tickets at

Joe Gagliardi is the CEO of Choose Folsom and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce. Folsom Times is a proud Chairman’s Circle Partner with the Chamber of Commerce.

Joe Gagliardi
Author: Joe Gagliardi