California’s Gold Country is an excellent destination for history buffs and oenophiles alike as it offers a beautiful escape from the jostling crowds that frequent other places in the state. With dozens of unpretentious, primarily family-owned wineries dotting the area, visitors can easily spend a weekend exploring them and partaking in tastings. Expect to be smitten by El Dorado County’s idyllic charm and warm community spirit as you taste your way through it.



While El Dorado County is one of the more lesser-known wine regions in the state, some of the vines and wines can be traced back to the 1800s. By the 1920s, however, the wine industry had virtually disappeared. It wasn’t until a few decades later that vineyards began to pop up in the region, and the locals began to realize the potential for quality wines. Today, El Dorado County is home to some of the best wineries that offer an intimate and unique tasting experience.

If you wish to embark on a weekend wine tasting trip to El Dorado County, here is an itinerary to inspire you.

Day 1

Via Romano

Start your wine tasting journey with “a taste of Italy in the heart of El Dorado County.” Located on Carson Road, Placerville, Via Romano offers a selection of 100% Italian varietals, which includes Fiano, Dolcetto, Sangiovese, Vermentino, and others. You can also find other blends. Book a place in the winery’s tasting room, a converted tractor shed, or in the outdoor patio. Between Friday to Sunday, you can also choose from a limited food menu.

Madroña Vineyards

Located a few minutes away from downtown Placerville, Madroña Vineyards offers a unique selection of German and Italian varietals, including Riesling, Barbera, and Gewürztraminer. You can enjoy a tasting in their tasting room or outdoor forested seating area.

Day 2

David Girard Winery

For over two decades, David Girard Winery has crafted a reputation for sophisticated blends that include estate-grown Rhône varieties and blends. Spread over more than 14 hectares, it has been planted with Grenache, Mourvèdre, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc and Rolle. You can book a casual or formal tasting in its beautiful European-inspired villa and courtyard.

Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery

Another rustic little gem in Placerville, Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery, offers stunning views of the rolling hills, vineyards, and the lush green El Dorado County foliage. Open Thursday through Sunday, this place has been making Bordeaux-style reds and Chardonnay for well for three decades. Enjoy Merlot, Zinfandel, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and so much more as you sit outside on the deck and soak in the gorgeous views in front of you.

Learn more about wine trails and wineries in El Dorado County. Please note that some of the wineries may require reservations.