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Jan 14, 2008 06:52 PM

Favorite Wineries Amador/El Dorado County

I'm going wine tasting this weekend and I'm looking for some new places to try out in either Amador County or El Dorado County. I like the Fairplay area best and am thinking of starting in Amador, near Plymouth, and then heading up towards Fairplay. I've made a few trips up that way and now that I'm familiar with the area I'd like to hear what your favorite wineries are.

I think the best wine in the region is at Cedarville and we've already made our tasting appointment. I also like the wines at Vino Noceto.


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  1. Cedarville and Vino Noceto were two I was going to suggest.
    C.G. DiArie, Terre Rouge/Easton and Sobon Estate make some good wines in Amador County. Sobon Estate has a simple museum that was free last time I was there. It's worth a quick visit, but it's nothing major.
    In El Dorado County I also like Boeger and check out the three that make up the EldoRhone area: SIerra Vista, Narrowgate and Holly's Hill. Holly's Hill has a tasting room with a spectacular view, but I'm not sure how it will look in January.

    1. I would second the motion for Vino Noceto, Boeger and Holly's Hill. I am especially fond of the Holly's Hill mourvedre. Sierra Vista does good work, too. If you want to head down to Calaveras County, I'd recommend a trip to Murphys, and to the Twisted Oak winery.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gamecook

        I'm really surprised to see Boeger mentioned twice on here. I stopped there once and while I found the facilities beautiful, I thought the wine was all quite weak tasting. I've grown to expect big bold flavors from the reds in the area and didn't like the wine at Boeger. I'm wondering if it was too late/early in my day...perhaps I should give it another chance??

        1. re: Bcakes

          I like Boeger zin and barbera. They make a lot of wine.
          If you go to Calavaras County, I like Twisted Oak and Stevenot.

          1. re: Bcakes

            I found the 2005 Boeger "Walker Vineyard" Zinfandel was excellent to my taste. I was drinking it with two friends who prefer "big" wines. I had not thought it was that good in previous years and had favored their plain estate zin. Perhaps there has been an improvement in the wines, which produced the mutiple recommendations, mine included.

        2. I've had some Lava Cap zin in the past that was quite good. Not sure about the vintages of the last few years, but maybe someone else does. I see where their Chardonnay has taken some awards, fwiw, I'm not big on the grape at least in the current CA style.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PolarBear

            Lava Cap has a great Petite Sirah right now. It won some award as well (Orange County Fair I think).

          2. Montavina is known for it's zin's. I also enjoy Charles Mitchel, Fitzpatrick, Charles Spinetta. Love the zinetta at Charles Spinetta. Fun yummy zinfindel that has a sweet taste.

            1. Wineries in Amador: Just got back from tasting at a number of Amador wineries. Overall the quality has dramatically improved since the last time we there (.10 yrs....) Our list:
              1. Terra Rouge/Easton (the best…)
              2. Wilderotter (True to the grape essence)
              3. Bray (Unexpectedly good)
              4. Sobon
              5. Karly
              6. Youngs (Not our taste, still doing fruit bombs, but if you like sweet big red wines you might like these)

              3 Replies
              1. re: DaveLaf

                Next time try Renwood. They have a very cool tasting room and some very nice wines too.


                1. re: Gail

                  Often overlooked is northern El Dorado County. David Girard Winery is in a beautiful setting above the Gold Rush State Park town of Coloma. Beautiful views of the Divide can be had by walking a few hundred yards up from the tasting room to the garden. It is located on Cold Springs Road about 2 miles south of Coloma.

                  My personal favorite is the Venezia Winery which is on Highway 49 in Pilot Hill, which is between Coloma and Cool. It is a family owned and operated winery and very informal with a friendly tasting room. By the way the owners are the Venezia family and not named for Venezia, Italy.

                  1. re: hungerpains

                    You are so right about the David Girard Winery. Beautiful facility, beautiful wines, exceptional staff, and service.Their grenache and syrah are worth the trip. If you go, use the directions provided by their website. Ignore any directions from Google, Mapquest, or your GPS!