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"Wine and Words, a Love Affair"

  by Fred McMillin



Jolene Teresi  
"Every year, to my dismay, my parents loaded us into the family auto and we did the non-optional Fiddletown trip. This was torture.

"Little did I know that in the future one of the most cherished parts of my career would be visiting Fiddletown [and similar stops in the 56-winery Sierra Foothills wine district].

"Not only that, I have a companion when I deliver my Vine Times newspaper throughout the region. He's my 'Senior Distribution Specialist' who knows the roads well...my 84-year-old father!"

...Jolene Teresi, Editor of the Sierra Foothills Vine Times (pictured).  

The Rest of the Story

Little wonder that Joline appreciates Fiddletown today. She and dad are invited to taste as they travel, and here are some critical opinions of what is offered.

    Grape Guru Bob Thompson: Fiddletown's ancient vines have produced some stunning Zinfandel.

    Prof. John Baxevanis: Fiddletown's unirrigated, phylloxera-free soils contribute to producing what are considered the finest wines in the Sierras.

    My S.F. Independent column of Nov. 1, 1994: In a blind tasting of 18 California reds, the only Double Gold was the Fiddletown Zinfandel by Sobon Estate.

Birth of a Paper

We flash back to 1985. Here is Jolene in Placerville, surrounded by the most colorful history of any region in the state (the Gold Rush) and an equally colorful array of low-profile, high-quality wineries, with numbers increasing rapidly. She had been gone for a while, and upon returning "the first thing I noticed was that there was not enough to read about this exciting wine region."

The Sierra Foothills Vine Times was born! Initially on sale at 65 locations, they've grown to 222 today. If you're planning a visit, there's absolutely nothing as useful as her paper...maps, accomodations, scoop from all seven Foothills counties..."don't leave home without it." To order, phone (916) 988-8451, or write P.O. Box 2075 at Folsom, CA 95763-2075.


The Name Game (from an earlier WineDay)
A group of Missouri gold miners settled in Amador County, fiddles in hand. Often, one would play while others worked. Thus, Fiddletown. Nearby was another town that Jolene doesn't use in her publicity...it was called Puckerville.

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