El Dorado County Wine

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The spectacular Sierra Nevada range offers a fitting backdrop to the vineyards of El Dorado County; some of the loftiest in California (ranging from 1,200 to 3,600 feet). In this outdoor playground, a vibrant wine industry plays host to both cutting edge and traditional wineries alike.

The history of grape growing in the region dates to the 1850s when vineyards were planted in the area to quench the thirst of miners and speculators in search of gold. By 1870, El Dorado only trailed Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties in wine production. While the search for precious stone spurred the industry in its early years, the true ‘gold’ of the region is the county’s old vine Zinfandel vines which continue to produce some of California’s most expressive wines. However, despite its world wide reputation for great Zin, El Dorado County (and its three approved AVAs – El Dorado , Fairplay and the Sierra Foothills) are also home to a number of wineries experimenting with an eclectic mélange of varietals. The Read more »

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Popular wines made in El Dorado County under $20

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Varietals Produced in El Dorado County View all

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Viognier

    History of the grape: Viognier is thought to be an indigenous grape of Croatia that was brought to the Rhone in Franc...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

Subregions of El Dorado County

Popular Wineries in El Dorado County View all

  • Long Creek Winery

    Long Creek Winery is a boutique winery encompassing thirty acres neatly tucked away in the Sierra...

  • Lavender Ridge Vineyard (California)

    Rich and Siri Gilpin are the owners and operators of Lavender Ridge Vineyard. Rich has a BS degre...

  • Mount Aukum Winery

    Early in the winter of 2000/2001 three cousins from Texas, found a piece of land in El Dorado Co...

  • Clavey Vineyards

    Clavey Vineyards is a small family owned vineyard and winery located in the Sierra Foothills near...

  • Busby Cellars

    The Grahams’ dream of owning and operating a vineyard and winery was born in the early nineties, ...

  • Fog Mountain

    Boisset Family Estates is an innovative, eco-minded, family-owned producer and importer of fine w...

People getting updates on El Dorado County Wines

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El Dorado County on Snooth

  • I'm at least one person who said the merlot is best used to soften up ... ... ... from David Girard, an El Dorado County winery (Sierra Foothills, not far off I-80, the road to N. Tahoe).  It's a Mourvedre heavy (46%) S. Rhone blend.  Grenache is just 15%, and there's a little Counoise, but Syrah and Mourvedre are by far the bulk of the blend... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Pruett Lucky Lauren Red 2012


    From the back label78% Syrah/22% Cabernet Sauvignon. Subdued nose. Some barnyard hints, some prune. On the tongue, again it takes a second to detect the sensations. Again, the fruit that emerges is prunewithout the sweetness. Mushroom earthiness. Some leatherthat might be the Cabernet Sauvignon talking. Serious tannin and serious acid sug... Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Donkey and Goat El Dorado Grenache Noir 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Donkey and Goat Syrah Fenaughty 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Perry Creek Winery 'Altitude 2401 Legacy' Zinfandel NV


    Great Zin. Read More

    Wine review by RFlannery

  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2010


    Gently creamy oak frames dark balsam scented berry fruit on the nose. In the mouth this is rich and very focused with clear rusty red fruit and red cherry fruit supported by ripe tannins and good acids. The fruit pops on the finish, along with some gentle tannins and a finishing note of wood spice. 88pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2011


    Tight and earthy on the nose, musky even with aromas of capers, smoke, bouquet garni, and rich red fruit all coming together beautifully. Bright, faceted, and vaguely mineral in the mouth this displays cherryish fruit and a bit of herb on the palate. Really gorgeously balanced, this is refined, if a bit old school with its dry edge of austerity... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

  • Lava Cap Zinfandel El Dorado Reserve 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by mark

  • Easton Zinfandel California Shenandoah Valley Estate Bottled 2010


    Fairly oaky on the nose with lots of coffee accents to the black and plummy nose. Bright firm and well defined in the mouth, with bright acids supporting tart red berry fruit, framed by lovely peppery and almost gin like accents. Focused in the mouth with gorgeous fruit, fine edgy tannins and floral finish. 91pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz

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