The Greater El Dorado Wineries area covers locations to the south and west of Placerville, through the Gold Discovery town of Coloma, and onto the Georgetown Divide. Although this sub-region is fairly large, the wineries are connected by easily driven roads through some really beautiful countryside and can easily be visited within one day. Click here for the El Dorado Winery Association map of the area.
Hart 2 Hart Vineyards opened their beautiful tasting room in 2013 with an offering of premium estate wines produced from their Pilot Ridge vineyards near the winery. Additional vineyards surrounding the winery are being restored adding more capacity to produce wines that exemplify the best of the El Dorado Region style. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a fine example of this variety and is among the best in the region. Simply wonderful! The Petite Sirah is bold and dark with tremendous fruit and varietal characteristics. They also offer an excellent Bordeaux, Italian, and Rhone blends, Primitivo, Merlot, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, gold medal Viognier, CA 49 picnic wine, and dessert wines. Winemaker, Dominic Mantei, has just released the new premium Everhart Cellars label and has scored two double-golds with outstanding Barbera and Sangiovese. Their convenient location offers a beautiful vacation home and event venue for weddings, or just a simple picnic. Located at 5821 CA Highway 49 in Pilot Hill. Open 11:30 to 5:30 Thur thru Sun. (530-885-9463) Website here.
Cielo Estate is a recent addition to the El Dorado Region's wineries, but is located on property dating back to the late 1800's and the restored Victorian mansion still stands on the estate. Cielo occupies the western edge of the region at a much lower elevation and has easy access to highway 50 in Shingle Springs. It has 17.5 acres of vineyards planted to Rhone and Italian varietals out of about 40 acres for the overall property. The vineyards are spread out beautifully below the tasting room and the property also has beautiful facilities of weddings and functions. The tasting room is spacious and well appointed. The wines of Cielo Estate are excellent and they have many of the varieties common to the region like Syrah, Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Petite Sirah, Barbera, and Zinfandel. However, I think their best efforts are their red and white blends as well as their dessert wines, especially the Boccagazzmo Sauterne style 100% Semillon. This wine is a true rarity in California. Located at 3040 Ponderosa Road in Shingle Springs. (530) 672-8575 Open 11am to 5pm Thur thru Sun. Click here for website.
David Girard Vineyards consistently produces among the best wines made in the El Dorado wine region. The winery provides excellent examples of classic estate grown Rhone varietals that are particularly well suited to their vineyards located outside Placerville at a 1200 foot elevation. The extensive lineup of outstanding Rhone style wines crafted by their talented winemakers include Roussanne, Grenache, Syrah, Viognier, Mourvedre, to name a few plus a number of wonderful blends of these varietals. DGV also has opened a beautiful event center that is available for large weddings, concerts, and other functions. The winery is located at 741 Cold Springs Road in Placerville. Click here to visit the website and obtain directions. Tasting is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and usually takes place 11am to 5pm. (530-295-1833)
Gold Hill Vineyard was founded in 1980 by Hank Battjes as a labor of love. Hank learned wine making as a hobby and progressed to owning 50 acres of vineyards, a wonderful tasting facility, a beautiful wedding and event facility, and a small beer brewing operation along with the winery. While it is easy to forget in wine country, do not pass up tasting the beer! Gold Hill has won many awards for both red and white wines. They make wine from both Rhone and Bordeaux grapes as well as Zinfandel and Barbera. One of my favorites is their Cabernet Franc and their NV California Champagne made from Chardonnay and French Columbard is a real winner for a summer day. Located at 5660 Vineyard Ln. in Placerville. Open Thur thru Sun 10 to 5. Click here for website. (530-626-6522)
Nello Olivo Winery tasting room is located beneath the historic Bee-Bennett House in Placerville in an almost cave like nook. Adjacent to the tasting room is the romantic small dining area where their great wine dinners are served with the food prepared by the chef and staff upstairs in the neighboring event center. While the vineyards for Nello Olivo are located outside El Dorado Hills, the cozy tasting room offers a broad array of award winning fine wines. On a recent tasting, I enjoyed a wonderful Barbera, Sangiovese, and probably the best Primitivo I have ever had. The hybrid white Symphony grape goes into their Sinfonia and represents this emerging variety very well. I also want to point out an unusual blend of Fiano and Arneis called Bianconello. Wonderful. Finally, their Toscanello red blend of Cabernet, Sangiovese, Merlot, Barbera and the rare Sagrantino is just fabulous. Located at 643 Bee St. in Placerville. (530) 409-5603 Click here for website.
Rome Valley Vineyards is perched atop a hill that has incredible views in almost every direction, especially to the west. There is an elegant lawn area in front of the building where you can relax, sip wine, and watch the amazing sunsets in style. There is a fountain and gazebo that perfectly compliment the scene. The winery offers personalized service for private wine tasting, events, parties, and weddings. The staff will work with you to provide exclusive concierge service, catering, and special arrangements. They currently offer an outstanding Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and a White Lotus blend that is great for summer sipping as the sun goes down. The wine is sold only at the winery and PRIVATE TASTING IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Located at 5869 Traverse Creek Road in Garden Valley. Telephone 530-295-9260. Click here for the website and details on upcoming events.