Get in the Spirit: Taste of El Dorado County

With more than 150 years of history steeped in gold and agriculture, the El Dorado wine region is home to more than 2,000 acres of vines at the highest elevations across California and is home to over 70 wineries.


El Dorado County wineries are divided into distinct regions and what ties them all together is spectacular scenery, deep family roots and inviting, laid-back tasting experiences. The heart of the Coloma/Lotus region is the town where gold was first discovered in California. Almost 20 wineries make up the Apple Hill/Camino region; some have been around for nearly 50 years. Fair Play is its own designated AVA and is often referred to as the jewel of El Dorado.

Winemaking in the region goes back to the Gold Rush. By 1870, El Dorado County was among the largest wine producers in the state and the local wine industry flourished until just after the turn of the century, when there were approximately 2,000 acres of vines in the county. In the late 1960s, wine growing made a resurgence when winemakers discovered that the climate and soil of El Dorado County were ideally suited to the production of high-quality, dry table wines. With the opening of Boeger Winery in 1973, El Dorado was once again on its way to becoming an important wine-growing region.

More than 75 grape varietals are grown here in the Sierra Foothills, from Aglianico to Zinfandel, that thrive in elevations from 1,200 to 3,500 feet. Our mountain vineyards are on steep hillsides with warm summer days and cool night air. It’s an environment that gives wines luscious fruit, an alluring balance, gentle tannins, and body and depth that valley floors just can’t match.

For more on our region’s wineries, visit El Dorado Wines.

Wine Events

Local wineries host year-round events, including barrel tastings in the winter, harvest celebrations in the fall, and vineyard concerts during the summer. The region’s Passport event has been a springtime tradition for more than 25 years. Smaller celebrations throughout the year celebrate the sub-appellations within the county


El Dorado County is not just passionate about winemaking. Discover unique craft beers inspired by our region’s history, flavors, and natural beauty, ranging from pilsners to hoppy IPAs, and delicate Kölsch to Belgian-style ales. With local breweries spanning the county from the foothills to Lake Tahoe, you’ll never be far from an authentically El Dorado microbrew. Quench your thirst at one of these fantastic breweries.


It’s not all about farm-to-table, authentic, delicious food in El Dorado County. We make a mean drink, too – actually, we make more than a few mean and tasty beverages. You’ll find a broad range of libations worth sampling during your next visit.

Several craft distilleries like Dry Diggins, Georgetown Distillery and New Alchemy are elevating the region’s spirits game. While regional bars like Poor Red’s, The Beacon and Bricks, are mixing up cocktails steeped in history or on the cutting edge – either way, they’re local and visitor favorites., are mixing up cocktails steeped in history or on the cutting edge – either way, they’re local and visitor favorites.

Culinary Itinerary Ideas: