South Lake Tahoe, CA/NV – Those searching for an inclusive and unique experience this Labor Day weekend should look no further than Sample the Sierra, South Lake Tahoe’s farm to fork festival that showcases local restaurants, farmers, artists, wineries, breweries and more. The festival, which celebrates its fifth anniversary at Bijou Community Park on August 31, is preceded by a series of events on Friday and Saturday that include a tour through Apple Hill and a special pop-up dinner at Lake Tahoe Community College. These events, much like the festival, focus on the rich heritage and bounty of the region while highlighting the talent that resides in the Sierra Nevada.
The weekend festivities commence on Friday, August 29 with a Pop-Up Dinner sponsored by Red Carpet Events & Design and benefiting Let It Grow! at the Lake Tahoe Demonstration Garden. The Pop-Up Dinner will feature a meal prepared by renowned Chef, Stephen Moise of The Ridge Tahoe. Chef Moise will prepare a three-course meal with locally sourced ingredients served with regional wine while guests enjoy Elevate Tahoe, a documentary that highlights the innovations of growing food at high elevations. Given the extreme challenges of life at 6,000 feet, Elevate Tahoe aims to uncover the community’s attempts to overcome these hurdles. A portion of the proceeds from the Pop-Up Dinner will be donated to Let It Grow!, a Growing Domes project from Sierra House Mountain Academy. Guests’ contributions will help maintain and manage four season geodesic greenhouses. The produce generated from this project will be used in school lunches and also in an ecology lab for students to study verimculture, soil and more. The dinner is $75 per person with a portion of the proceeds donated to Let It Grow! Tickets are available at www.samplethesierra.com.
Experience more of the Sierra Nevada region on Saturday, August 30 on the Farm-to-Fork Bus Tour through Apple Hill. The tour will leave from South Lake Tahoe and visit Rainbow Orchards, famous for their delectable apple doughnuts, in Camino, California then continue to Madroña Vineyards where attendees will blend individual bottles of wine with one of the most celebrated winemakers of the Sierra Foothills’ AVA, Paul Bush! Attendees will learn about bouquets, balanced textures and depths of flavor while blending a bottle fulfilling each individual’s unique taste. Lunch will be provided by Smokey Ridge Charcuterie and include Apple Hill produce. The tour begins at 9 am and ends at 3pm. Tickets are $65 per person and includes bus fees, lunch, samples and wine. Tickets are available at www.samplethesierra.com.
The weekend closes out with the Sample the Sierra Festival on Sunday, August 31 from 12pm until 5pm. The festival includes tasting booths featuring 15 different collaborations between wineries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants, chefs, farmers and providers of the Sierra Nevada region. The festival will also include live music, an art marketplace, kid friendly activities and corn hole competitions. Full tasting tickets for Sample the Sierra are $40 and under 21 tickets are $30 (excludes alcohol). Children 3 and under are free. Entry includes 15 tasting tickets and your commemorative tasting glass. Tickets are currently available to purchase at www.samplethesierra.com.
Sample the Sierra is presented in partnership with TahoeChamber, Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and El Dorado County. Sample the Sierra is made possible through the support of our sponsors, including Festival Wine Glass Sponsors Corporate Nevada and Mann Urrutia Nelson, CPAs and Associates, LLP; Festival Napkin Sponsor South Tahoe Alliance of Resorts; Main Stage Sponsors Winters Construction Group, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, Tahoe Beach & Ski Club, Zephyr Cove Resort and Lake Tahoe Cruises and Cardinale Way; Sierra Chefs Challenge Sponsors Sierra Meat and Seafood and Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel; Sierra Stage Sponsors South Tahoe Refuse and Recycling Services, South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association, Granite Rocx, Deb Howard & Co. and One Trust Home Loans. It is also presented with support from Media Sponsors Tahoe Daily Tribune, KOWL/KRLT, Sierra Heritage, Lake Tahoe Television, K-TAHOE and Sierra FoodWineArt.