While Napa County may get the lion’s share of the attention and glory when it comes to California wineries, serious aficionados would be remiss without an expedition to El Dorado wine country.
Located in the northeast greater Sacramento area, El Dorado wine country remains a hidden gem for wine lovers looking to broaden their horizons.
El Dorado County Wineries
There are over forty different wineries in El Dorado wine country. Each one offers visitors something unique and worth making a trip for. The region grows some of the most sought-after grapes in the world, from areas including:
- The Rhône
When combined with the area’s unique climate and geography, these grapes are used to grow a wide range of varietals that produce flavors unique to the region and unavailable anywhere else.
What Makes El Dorado Wine Country Special
The El Dorado American Viticultural Area (AVA) was established in 1983 and is still going strong. El Dorado wine country is special in that it is comprised almost exclusively of mountain vineyards perched high above the surrounding Sacramento Valley.
Thanks to the elevation’s cooling breezes and rugged topography, a diverse range of microclimates allows growers to develop and experiment with conditions not found in other regions in the valley.
Held over consecutive weekends in April, the El Dorado wine country’s Passport Weekend gives visitors a chance to blaze their own trail through the region’s 2,000+ acres, 70+ grape varietals, and hundreds of high-altitude microclimates.
Winederlust, to be held in 2019 on September 7th, is a festival celebrating amazing wine, craft beer, gourmet cuisine, live music, and local art all together.
The festival is held annually. This year’s location is Henningsen Lotus Park. The park is a popular put-in location for those who raft and kayak the South Fork American River.
Visiting El Dorado Wine Country
Planning a trip to the El Dorado wine country couldn’t be easier. Many of the wineries are located just off Highway 50, with a few more tucked away a bit further south.
The heart of the region is less than an hour from downtown Sacramento. It’s about the same distance from South Lake Tahoe.
For those interested in in exploring all the area has to offer, there are a number of different wine trails. These trails offer a variety of ways to experience El Dorado wine country. From the Wineries of Fair Play trail to the the Rhône Rangers–each trails offers a unique take on the region that will amaze both new and returning connoisseurs.
Regardless of how visitors choose to experience El Dorado wines, there is always something for everyone. El Dorado wine country is a year-round destination. There is never a shortage of great wine and amazing culture to enjoy.