By now, most of us have heard of Boeger Winery and Madrona Vineyards but what about the other 68 wineries in El Dorado County? We would love to tell you about a couple hidden gems that are definitely worth a visit and a glass of wine.
- Narrow Gate Vineyards (4282 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, CA 95667)
Narrow Gate Vineyards is truly something special. Their 13-acre estate is certified as biodynamic and focuses on regenerative organic farming. Rather than trying to discourage local wildlife, the way that Narrow Gate farms keeps in mind biodiversity. What does this mean? Simply translated, it means that the wine is delicious and the process is not hurting the earth. They specialize in Bordeaux style wines that are very smooth and drinkable. They also have some great blends. If you’re a chocolate lover, try their Chocolate Splash port. If you’d prefer something more traditional, try their Rhone varietals. Keep an eye out for Narrow Gate’s wine and food pairing events because they also have amazing food! If you love Narrow Gate as much as we do, join their wine club,Splash, to receive special limited release wines.
- Auriga Wine Cellars (4520 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, CA 95667)
Auriga is named after the Greek and Roman constellation now commonly called the Charioteer. The Charioteer was given a horn that blessed him with abundance. This symbol of abundance is what Auriga has chosen as the symbol of their winery. Auriga has been abundant indeed: this boutique winery produces Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Rose, Riesling, Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangiovese, Barbera, and a small amount of reds, red blends, and port. Even though this winery is a mom and pop business, they do an incredible job having taken Gold and Silver medal honors at the 2012 state fair. Their wine club is fun to be a part of because they allow you to mix and match. Next time you’re in the area wine tasting, give them a try. The owners are hospitable and love to tell you all about their wine. We are positive that you will walk away from Auriga not only with a bottle of wine but with a connection as well.
- Mastroserio Winery (7351 Fairplay Road, Somerset, CA 95684)
Before we get into how great the wine is at Mastroserio, let’s talk about how amazing the owner and winemaker, Ruggero, is. He is not only super friendly but nine times out of 10, he will even pull out his saxophone and show off some jazz for you. He’s quite good; he’s even been invited to local weddings. (We have a great video of him below.) Mastroserio has a very small tasting room but it is filled with big, bold, Italian style wines. Ruggero has won hundreds of awards both domestically and internationally, his most recent award being Gold and Silver medals in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Definitely give the Old Vine Zin and the Teroldego a try, they are fantastic! They also have great Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. Keep an eye on their events calendar for live music and join their wine club to receive 15% off bottles in their tasting room.
Each year, El Dorado County is becoming more developed as a wine region. Don’t just focus on big names, take the time to really explore. You will find incredible hosts and even better wine. Enjoy!
For more information on El Dorado County Wineries, visit: www.visit-eldorado.com