There’s nothing more delightful than driving through the Sierra Foothills and embracing the picturesque pastoral scenery replete with farms selling baked goods, cider, and wine from family-owned farms and wineries. Ahhh, the pleasure of spending the weekend with your family and friends, meandering along the winding roads lined with pines and oak trees.



After a long and hectic work week, there’s no better way than to spend a weekend wine tasting and enjoying the scenic beauty of Fair Play wineries. As one of El Dorado County’s premier wine destinations, this quaint area is home to nearly 20 wineries, with most scattered between Fair Play and Somerset. Each winery offers a selection of distinct and flavorful wines that will satiate your inner wine connoisseur!

What makes the wineries of Fair Play unique?

Over the past two decades of grape-growing, Fair Play has garnered a reputation for high-quality wine grapes that yield intensely flavorful wines made from diverse grape varieties.

Features of the Fair Play wineries’ appellation include its deep, well-drained decomposed granite soils and its higher elevation of 2,500 feet which results in moderate temperatures. The upshot? Exceptional wines, ranging from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc to Zinfandel, Barbera, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Sirah.

What are the best family-owned wineries in Fair Play?

If you’re a wine connoisseur, you’ll be familiar with the difference a family-owned winery can make in your wine tasting experience. From the taste to the ambiance and the service, you can expect nothing but the best! And you’ll support a small business while sipping incredible wine. We’d call that a win-win (or is that a sip-win?).

Here are some family-owned wineries to check out on your next visit to Fair Play:

Bumgarner Winery – This small-production family-owned winery in Fair Play boasts an array of award-winning wines, along with wines on tap and hard cider. They offer several unique wines, including Alicante Bouschet, Rhone blends, a Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc, and a Marsanne. Their winery and estate vineyards are in Fair Play, where their tasting room boasts spectacular sunsets and stunning views.

Medeiros Family Wines – It says something when ‘not white wine’ people rave about Medeiros’ Chardonnay. This small winery, owned by Ted and Tammie Medeiros, produces unique Bordeaux blends along with Malbec, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and the aforementioned Chardonnay. Enjoy a tasting in their modern, open tasting room that overlooks the wine-making room, or head outside for views of the vineyard!

E16 Winery – If you want to experience serenity and calm, E16 winery in El Dorado County is your happy place. Established by Robert Jones and winemaker Daniel Moore, E16 Winery celebrates Jones’ initial label — Firefall – and Moore’s Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley.

The winery epitomizes the legacy of Jones’ grandfather, with a commitment to blending an exquisite winery experience with sustainable farming. The hand-harvested grapes are fermented and aged with the lightest possible touch to create wines that convey a sense of place and distinction in the bottle.

Element 79 Vineyards – Situated at 2400 feet above sea level, the Element 79 Vineyards sits on the rolling hills of Somerset in the Fair Play AVA, with a surrounding forest rife with fallen, moss-covered oaks, a pond, and blackberry bushes.

Upon visiting this family-owned winery, you can expect the owners to pour you their award-winning Syrah. If you visit Element 79 Vineyards in Fair Play, you should try the tank-fermented, barrel-aged 2018 Chardonnay, made from grapes grown on Stonehaven Ranch in Placerville.

Are you looking to beat the crowds and escape the clamor of city life? If you have had a long week at work, you deserve to take a few days off for yourself to unwind and restore your senses.

From wineries to orchards, b & bs to intimate restaurants, Fair Play has a lot to offer to help you relax. Learn more about Fair Play.