Sure, Northern California boasts some breathtaking mountains and valleys that make for scenic road trips. It also boasts the best wine-making regions in the country. Some of those are very popular – and get busy as a result. If you want to avoid the crowds, especially during peak season, consider exploring some of the state’s hidden gems and head to El Dorado County.
El Dorado County, known for its stunning landscapes, incredible gold rush history, and charming small-town vibe, is one of California’s oldest wine-producing areas. It’s home to over 70 wineries, most of which are family-owned. Each winery offers a selection of distinct and flavorful wines that are always guaranteed to leave you asking for more.
However, with so many wineries to choose from, it can often seem a tad overwhelming to know where to start. So, we’ve made a list of a few popular spots in Fair Play, one of El Dorado County’s premier wine destinations.
Located at around 2,400 feet elevation in the Fair Play AVA appellation, Perry Creek Vineyards specializes in Rhone varietals and Zinfandels. Visit this 13-acre winery to sip on outstanding handcrafted artisan wines with a distinct Californian character and a modern European twist. Spend the afternoon in their tasting room, enjoying their diverse selection of wines and a charcuterie spread of gourmet meats and cheeses as well as freshly baked baguettes. In addition, they have a verandah and wine park that offers plenty of space for a small picnic with your loved ones.
Toogood Estate Winery is the go-to destination for wine lovers to make case wine purchases. It sits on 40-acres of rolling foothills, out of which 12 acres are planted with numerous varietals like Zinfandel, Primitivo, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Sirah. They also offer vintage wines from 2002, including Primitivo, Tempranillo, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. When you are there, don’t forget to try their signature red wine, Foreplay.
Windwalker Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in El Dorado County. Although it has a following of loyal club members, Windwalker is also popular among visitors and oenophiles who want to taste delicious wines that cater to all kinds of palettes. Although slightly out of the way, on Perry Creek Road, this unpretentious winery offers an unmatched wine tasting experience with its soothing ambiance and rustic outer area. If you love red wines, including Tempranillo and Petite Syrah, this place needs to be on your bucket list.
These are only a few of the many unique wineries that dot the area. El Dorado wine country is home to dozens of wineries, big and small, that boast stunning vistas and a diverse range of award-winning wines. If you want to know more about them, check out our detailed information on El Dorado County wineries here.