There's Gold in Them Thar Hills...


Amador and El Dorado Counties are home to over 60 wineries including tasting rooms located on downtown Main Streets of such gold rush towns as Jackson, Placerville, Sutter Creek and quaint areas like Apple Hill. Their dedication is in producing premium-quality wines that offer distinctive regional character and outstanding value. Traditionally, Amador’s big kahuna grape varietal has been Zinfandel. There are over 2,000 acres of Zin planted there, but more recently vintners have been producing superb examples of Italian and southern French varietals. Another biggie is Barbera. Here you'll find one of the best, if not THEE best, Barbera grower and producer in the country in the person of Dick Cooper. You'll also find outstanding Rhone wines, and of course Zin, in the gold rush counties. Up in the Gold Hill area of El Dorado County you’ll find some of the best Rhone wines I’ve ever tasted from California at David Girards Vineyards. Up the road there’s a real find in the Apple Hill area. If you visit in the late fall, you’ll know why it’s called Apple Hill. Not only are there great wineries like Boeger, Lava Cap and several others, but…APPLES!! Tons of apples at many of the apple farms dotting the hills. Great to take the kids to on a cool, crisp weekend! Over in Fairplay there’s a wine road loop, that’s what I call it. Wineries like Palissandro, MV (Miller Vineyards) and Skinner hand their shingles along the road. If you want to have a bottle and have a little lunch, bring your lunch bucket to Skinner. The view is truly unbelievable. Experience wine country the way it used to be. Smaller family-owned wineries that are nestled along scenic back roads in some of California’s most picturesque rural settings, where chatting with the winemaker isn’t all that uncommon. And the hospitality? Well it's like being at home. Where gold once reigned, the new treasure is great wine, and of course a little history!