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Sample the Sierra: South Lake Tahoe's Signature Food & Wine Festival


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - Art, wine and exceptional dining - South Lake Tahoe will host Sample the Sierra, a festival featuring the region's best farm-to-fork cuisine and libations, Sept. 17, 2016.

The gastronomic special returns for its seventh year to celebrate locally sourced food, wine, beer, and artisanal products, as well as the area's growing culinary scene.

Just over 100 miles from Sacramento, "America's Farm-to-Fork Capital," South Lake Tahoe has become more active in the sustainable food revolution sweeping the nation. Area restaurants regularly take advantage of the bountiful resources available in El Dorado County by utilizing regional produce to craft fresh and flavorful menus for memorable dining experiences. These entrepreneurs have also tapped into the craft beer and spirits industry, creating immersive dining events that last from the first sip to the last bite. Sample the Sierra continues this trend by brightening residents' and visitors' palates with approximately 20 booths each featuring one winery, distillery or brewery, one restaurant and one farm for perfectly paired food and drink unique to the region. Some of the Tahoe South favorites returning this year include Cold Water Brewery, Riva Grill, Tahoe Blue Vodka and Blue Angel Café.

The popular event has moved to Sept. 17, 12-5 p.m. enabling more local businesses and vendors to participate. In addition to sampling paired dishes and drinks throughout the day, attendees will be treated to live music and painting, and the Sierra Chef Challenge, a cooking faceoff similar to "Iron Chef."

"Sample the Sierra is a festive event with a significant initiative," said Emily Abernathy, event director. "Our goal is to expand upon the farm-to-fork movement by introducing residents and visitors to ingredients and products, as well as building alliances between South Lake Tahoe restaurateurs and El Dorado County growers and wineries."

Festival attendees are encouraged to broaden their experience of cuisine, produce and spirits during and beyond the event by developing relationships with growers, wineries and restaurants.

"A visit to one of the farms, such as Rainbow Orchards or Hooverville Orchards, means so much in helping us become a more sustainable region," said Abernathy. "The hope is to introduce more people to produce or wines that are available next door and encourage ongoing business."

Sample the Sierra is located at Bijou Community Park, South Lake Tahoe, CA. Tickets are $40 for adults, $30 for under 21, and free for children three years old and younger and available online.

 For information about Sample the Sierra, tickets and participation, visit

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