2nd Annual Sample The Sierra is September 4 in South Tahoe, California

photos courtesy of Sample the Sierra

Close to 2,000 foodies and wine aficionados are expected to converge on Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe, California on Labor Day Weekend for the 2nd Annual Sample the Sierra.

This farm-to-fork festival will showcase the best in El Dorado County growers, products, wineries and restaurants.

Festival going couples may want to consider arriving early as the event producer, TahoeChamber.org, recently introduced a number of new programs as part of the lineup, including the Sample the Sierra Dinner Cruise (Friday, September 2), 7:30 p.m., with guests boarding a historic Mississippi paddle wheeler and dining on Tahoe’s crystal waters while enjoying featured wine from Lava Cap Vineyards. Cost is $89/person.

David Girard Vineyards in Placerville, California (northeast of Sacramento along Highway 50) is also offering a Friday, September 2 Sample the Sierra occasion – a Winemaker’s Dinner at 6:30 p.m. The winery specializes in Rhone-style wines and will host a special tasting complimented by a five-course meal prepared by Chef Giovanni Gaudio of Bocconato Trattoria of Fair Play, California. Tickets are $110/person.

Black Bear Inn, one of South Lake Tahoe’s finest restaurants and B&Bs, will offer the first-ever Sample the Sierra Cooking Demonstration Saturday, September 3, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Guests will harvest produce for their salads from Black Bear Inn’s garden and then take part in hand rolling fresh tortellini with roasted squash, aged parmesan and sage butter. This class is limited to 10 and runs $70/person.

Culinary enthusiasts get hands on September 3, 11 a.m., with a free working tour at Jollity Farm located in Garden Valley, California (off Highway 50 and one hour northeast of Sacramento). The farm offers a variety of goat cheese and lavender products produced using ingredients grown onsite. This event is free.

Also free of charge is a tour of Retiredice Alpacas Ranch in Fair Play (off scenic Highway 49 and about one hour northeast of Sacramento) September 3 at 2 p.m. The ranch offers a gift shop of 100% handmade alpaca apparel.

Sample the Sierra tickets are $25/person, which includes admission, food and wine, as well as a $5/person admission ticket with the option to purchase dishes from the food booth provided by the Boys & Girls Club. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.SampletheSierra.com or in person at the event via cash or credit card.

photos courtesy of Sample the Sierra

Couples will enjoy approximately 30 vendors, from South Lake Tahoe restaurants to El Dorado County-based wineries and growers, as well as live music, art activities, marketplace and art on display from local artisans.

Special Sample the Sierra lodging packages are also available at a variety of properties. Click  for details.

Event officials are encouraging attendees to travel green to Sample the Sierra by walking or biking from their lodging or taking public transportation via BlueGo, South Lake Tahoe’s public transit system.

For more information about Sample the Sierra, a list of participating vendors, map to the event, along with local lodging options, click to the event’s official website.