Last weekend I spent the whole weekend doing a photography project for the El Dorado Winery Association and got to drive around the backroads of El Dorado County capturing the fun surrounding this yearly event. There are over 50 wineries in the El Dorado AVA with over 2,000 acres of vines planted. The El Dorado AVA was established in 1983 Established in 1983 and includes those portions of El Dorado County located between 1,200 and 3,500 feet in elevation and bounded on the north by the Middle Fork of the American River, and on the south by the South Fork of the Cosumnes River. El Dorado is a sub-appellation of the 2,600,000-acre Sierra Foothills AVA — one of the largest appellations in California — which includes portions of the counties of Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolomne and Mariposa. Getting to represent this wine region that is located so close to our home was such a fun adventure!
El Dorado wine country isn’t easy to find unless you know where you are going and that’s part of what keeps this region quieter than other wine growing areas of California. Wineries are mostly family-owned and have a warm welcoming approach to selling wine directly to the consumer instead of through the sales pipelines of larger wine operations. Expect small crowds and sometimes to be the only visitors are more hidden wineries in the area.
The wines here have intense flavors and deep colors due to the mountain vineyards on steep hillsides with warm summer days and cool night air. It’s an environment that gives wines luscious fruit, an alluring balance, gentle tannins, and body and depth that is different than wines from other regions. My favorite wines from El Dorado Wineries are the full-bodied Chardonnays and deep intense reds like Cabernet and Zinfandel.
One of the characteristics that we like about El Dorado wineries is that there are many wineries thet are child-friendly and encourage picnicking, hiking and spending time with the entire family. Since we live so close to the wineries they make a fun weekend destination that we don’t have to leave the kids behind to experience. Visitor guides are available on the El Dorado Winery Association website along with a list of the wineries in the El Dorado AVA.
Want to see more of our last trip to El Dorado Wine Country? See our recap post of our adventures from our winter weekend away. You can also revisit our Instagram Takeover of the El Dorado Winery Association.