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El Dorado Wine Country - Any favorites?

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Hey folks, am passing thru El Dorado Wine Country and Amador and wondering what favorite wineries I should stop at. Thx

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  1. In El Dorado County, I would recommend Cedarville and Holly's Hill.
    Both are located south of Placerville. Holly's Hill makes excellent white wines,
    particularly the Patriarche Blanc, a Roussane-Viognier blend. I also like
    the Wylie-Fenaughty Syrah. Their tasting room is open every day. Cedarville
    is open only by appointment, but it is possible to get an appointment with relatively
    short notice. There is not a single weak wine in their lineup, which consists of
    grenache, syrah, viognier, petite sirah, cab, and zinfandel. At their open house
    last week, they had a vertical tasting of their syrahs, and their 2004 and 2005
    syrahs were really impressive.

    In Amador, I recommend Vino Noceto, which specializes in sangiovese, barbera and
    zin. Make sure to taste their block designate sangioveses: Marmellata,
    Dos Oakies and Hillside. Their sangioveses are very consistent across the years.
    Their Linsteadt Barbera and OGP zins are also impressive. Their neighbor is Terre Rouge/
    Easton, which makes several fine syrahs and a zin. Finally, I am also quite fond of
    Wilderotter, whose 2008 Barbera is really outstanding, and which makes a delicious
    sauvignon blanc, and of C.G. Di Arie, which has a fine barbera, syrah and several
    high quality zins.

    None of these wineries charges a tasting fee, which is quite a change compared to
    Napa or Sonoma. Finally, if you start your visit from Placerville, you might consider stopping
    at Allez to buy sandwiches to go: http://allezeldorado.com

    4 Replies
    1. re: bclevy

      What do you think about Miraflores? It's located close to Placerville. I happen to know the owner and have enjoyed the zins, the meritage, and the pinot grigio from there, but I have no idea how it's perceived among serious wine drinkers.

      1. re: Ed Dibble

        I have not yet gotten to visit Miraflores. Together with Holly's Hill, Sierra Vista
        and Narrowgate, which are all clustered in the same area, they have a
        special event in late May called Rock and Rhones, but I have never
        been free on that weekend. They are the new kid on the block, since
        Sierra Vista is the oldest winery in this area-- its owner John McCready
        founded the winery in 1972 and experimented with Bordeaux varieties
        (cab, merlot) before gradually shifting to rhone varieties (plus zin whose
        presence in the Sierra Foothills goes back to the gold mining days).
        The newer wineries, such as Holly's Hill and the most recent being Miraflores have
        followed on the Rhone track.

        By the way, there are a lot of other interesting wineries in the Placerville area,
        such as David Girard, Boeger, and Lava Cap, so it is not easy for newer wineries
        to break from the pack and gain recognition.

        1. re: bclevy

          Give it a try then. The owner is a local physician, so our local wine shop carries some of his stuff, and I've generally been very pleased. I don't know if they do Rhone style wines. If so, I've never tried one.

          1. re: Ed Dibble

            Thx for all the recs. Will definitely try them in a few weeks when passing thru:)