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  • Writer's pictureStaff Writer

El Dorado County Wineries: The Secret is Getting Out

Updated: Jan 4

For wine lovers who live between El Dorado Hills and South Lake Tahoe and who like to buy locally, El Dorado County is fortunately home to many excellent wines and great tasting experiences.


Many area residents are now realizing just how good the wines are in this region.


El Dorado County Vineyard Pedestrian Walk
Pedestrian Walk Entrance at Starfield Vineyards & Winery

The El Dorado County AVAs


The El Dorado American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983 and is contained within the Sierra Foothills AVA.


The Fair Play AVA, established in 2001, is a sub-region of the El Dorado AVA.


The Wines of The County


El Dorado County wine country is unique because it is made up mainly of mountain vineyards hundreds to thousands of feet above the surrounding Sacramento Valley — in the Sierra foothills.


There are over 70 different wineries in El Dorado wine country. Each one offers visitors something unique and worth making a trip for.


The region grows some of the most sought-after grapes in the world from countries like France (Bordeau & Rhône), Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Germany.


Combined with the area’s unique climate and geography, these varieties mean a wide range of unique flavors, ideal for wine tasting.


Wineries to Visit


Here is a partial list of El Dorado County wineries. We included a link to each winery's visitor information page and also provided the tasting room address.


Some tasting rooms are only available by reservation. Other wineries encourage visitors to drop in.

 

Boeger Winery


Boeger Winery is a family-owned winery in Placerville, California. They produce various wines, including Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignons, and Chardonnays. They also have a Tempranillo.


Founded in 1972, Boeger Winery was the first post-Prohibition winery in the El Dorado AVA.


The winery is known for its relaxed atmosphere and commitment to sustainable winemaking.


Tasting Room Address




 

Bumgarner Winery


Bumgarner Winery is a family-owned and operated winery in the El Dorado AVA of California. The winery was founded in the early 2000s by Gary and Judy Bumgarner, passionate about winemaking and creating high-quality wines.


Bumgarner Winery has two tasting rooms, one in Camino and one in Fair Play. The tasting rooms offer a variety of wines to taste, including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.


The winery also offers events throughout the year, such as winemaker dinners, barrel tastings, and live music.


Camino Tasting Room Address

3550 Carson Rd., Bldg. B, Camino, CA 95709


Fair Play Tasting Room Address

7380 Vineyard View Dr, Fair Play, CA 95684




 

Busby Cellars


Busby Cellars is one of the Fair Play wineries. Busby is unique among most wineries because it has an on-site lodging rental.


A Level 7 Local Guide on Google said Busby has excellent service and superb wines at a reasonable price point.


Tasting Room Address

6375 Grizzly Flat Rd, Somerset, CA, 95684




 

Chateau Davell


Chateau Davell is a small, family-owned winery in Camino founded by Eric and Davell Hays in 2007.


The winery specializes in handcrafted wines made in small lots, using sustainable vineyard management methods and old-world winemaking techniques.


Chateau Davell is a popular event venue, hosting weddings, corporate events, and other gatherings. From May through October, live music starts at 5:00 PM on Fridays.


Tasting Room Address

3020 Vista Tierra Dr, Camino, California 95709




 

Crystal Basin Cellars


Tasting Room Address

3550 Carson Road Camino, CA 95709




 

David Girard Vineyards


David Girard Vineyards is located two miles from Coloma, in the South Fork American River Valley. It was founded in 1998 by David Girard.


The winery specializes in Rhone-inspired wines, made from grapes such as Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Viognier, and Roussanne.


David Girard Vineyards is committed to sustainable farming practices and has been following organic farming practices since 2014. The winery is also known for its beautiful estate and warm hospitality.


Tasting Room Address

741 Cold Springs Rd, Placerville, CA 95667




 

E16 Winery


E16 Winery is a family-owned and operated winery in El Dorado County, California. The winery was founded by Robert Jones, inspired by his grandfather's passion for winemaking.


E16 is committed to sustainable farming practices, and the grapes are hand-harvested and fermented with the lightest possible touch. The wines are expressive of the terroir and are made to be enjoyed with food.


Tasting Room Address

8085 Perry Creek Road Somerset CA 95684




 

Element 79 Vineyards


Element 79 is located on a seventy-acre property 2,400 feet above sea level. Thirty-two acres are planted with grapes. Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirah are the top three varietals.


A "Tour to the Top," a hike from the lower to the upper vineyard, can be reserved ahead of time. The winery hosts private events for up to thirty people.


In this video, co-owner Les Heinsen provides an excellent overview of the El Dorado County wine region.


Tasting Room Address




 

Fenton Herriott Vineyards


Fenton Herriott is a family-owned Apple Hill grower. The winery is located on the old Pony Express route.


Wines include Zinfandel, Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer.


Fenton Herriott Tasting Room
Fenton Herriott Tasting Room Building

Tasting Room Address

120 Jacquier Ct, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Gold Hill Vineyard & Brewery


Gold Hill is known for its beautiful vineyard views. It is located a mile from the historic gold mining town of Coloma.


Tasting Room Address

5660 Vineyard Lane, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Hart 2 Hart Vineyards


Tasting Room Address

5821 CA HWY 49, Pilot Hill, California 95664




 

Holly's Hill Vineyards


Holly & Tom Hill, their daughter Carrie, and son-in-law Josh focus exclusively on varieties from France's Rhone Valley.


The Hill family's Rhone varieties include Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Viognier.


Tasting Room Address

3680 Leisure Lane, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Kehret Vineyards


Bill and Bonnie Kehret purchased the old Mt. Aukum winery property in 2018 and reopened a renovated tasting room at Kehret Vineyards in 2019.


In 2020, the Kehrets hired winemaker and viticulturist Steve Leveque. Steve had been a vintner at Robert Mondavi for a decade.


Kehret Vineyards' wines are limited-production, handcrafted wines that showcase the unique terroir of their mountain-top vineyards and Steve's attention to vineyard expression and balance.


Tasting Room Address

6781 Tower Rd, Somerset, CA 95684




 

Lewis Grace Winery


Lewis Grace is a family operation led by retired plastic surgeon Steve Grace. Bea Grace runs operations. Sons Tyler and Trevor are the winemakers.


The Graces are descendants of Lewis Grace, a patriot who served in the 4th Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War.


The winery has produced over 25 award-winning wines, ranging from Roses to Petit Syrahs to Mourvedres.


Lewis Grace Winery Barn
Lewis Grace Winery

Tasting Room Address

2701 Carson Road, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Madroña Vineyards


Madroña is made up of three family-owned vineyards — one in Apple Hill and two in Pleasant Valley. Between the three vineyards are over 26 varietals.


Hillside and Signature wines are a product of all three vineyards, but Madroña also offers small lot single Vineyard wines.


Madroña Vineyards Tasting Room
Madroña Vineyards Tasting Room

A shout out to vintner Paul Bush, who provides excellent tasting videos, including recommended wine pairings. The videos are accessible via a QR Code on the wine-tasting menu.


Tasting Room Address

2560 High Hill Road, Camino, CA 95709




 

Mediterranean Vineyards


Mediterranean Estate vineyard is an excellent choice for those who enjoy Italian wines.


The previous winery owners planted all Italian varietals across 6.25 acres — Pinot Grigio, Nebbiolo, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon (an Italian clone), and Corvina.

The only non-Italian varietal is Charbono, originally from the Savoie region of France, which was planted in 2019.


Tasting Room Address

7449 Fairplay Road, Somerset, CA 95684




 

Miraflores Winery


Miraflores Winery has 42 acres of vineyards and features a large tasting room building that was completed in 2010.


The winery was established in 2003 by Dr. Victor Alvarez, a retired pathologist who grew up in Colombia farming country.


Over the years, Miraflores has produced over 50 wines that have gotten at least 90 points from Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator.


Among 16 grape varietals are Trilegato, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Canelli.


Tasting Room Address

2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Narrow Gate Vineyards


Narrow Gate was founded in 2004 by Frank and Teena Hildebrand. In 2010, the winery received its Demeter Biodynamic Certification.


Tasting Room Address

4282 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, CA 95667




 

Nello Olivo Winery


Nello Olivo, a.k.a. The Grapefather, strives to make "the best Italian wines under the California sun."


The winery grows 11 varieties in its vineyards. Its wine club is affectionately called the Wine Mob.


Camino Tasting Room Address

3544 Carson Rd, Camino, CA 95709


Placerville Tasting Room Address

643 Bee Street Placerville, CA 95667





 

Saluti Cellars


Saluti provides visitors with a great experience while using a small footprint.


Current wine release single varietals and blends include Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Grenache, and Mourvèdre.


Tasting Room Address

7505 Grizzly Flat Rd, Somerset, CA 95684



 

Skinner Vineyards


Skinner is one of the first U.S. wineries and is now in the hands of its sixth generation.


In this short video, Carey & Mike Skinner discuss the family's winery history and talk about their modern-day approach and wines.


Somerset Tasting Room Address

8054 Fairplay Rd, Somerset, CA 95684


Rescue Tasting Room Address

3790 Green Valley Rd, Rescue, CA 95672




 

Starfield Vineyards


Starfield is a 31-acre hillside property owned by third-generation wine grower Tom Sinton. The property features over three miles of paved paths and roads.


There are varieties from the Rhone, Spain, and Italy.

Starfield Lot

Tasting Room Address

2750 Jacquier Rd, Placerville, CA 95667



 

Via Romano Vineyards


Jon Chewing and Leanne Davis grow Nebbiolo grapes, a fruit originally from the Piemonte region of Northern Italy, in their winery's estate vineyard. They plan to plant several additional rare Italian varietals.


Non-estate wines include those made from Primitivo, Aglianico, and Dolcetto varietals.


Tasting Room Address

2875 Larsen Drive, Camino, CA 95709




 

Visiting El Dorado Hills Wineries


Like other parts of California, many El Dorado County wineries rely on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales. So your 'buy local' patronage is appreciated by winery proprietors.


Nancy Light, when she was the spokesperson for Wine Institute, told Emily Hamann of the Sacramento Business Journal, "The vast majority of California’s 3,900 wineries are small, family businesses that depend on tasting room visitors and derive significant revenue from DTC sales."


Baja Limo and Neumann Enterprises are among the companies that provide El Dorado County wine country tours.




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