Ah...David Girard Vineyards! One of those places that you just hate to leave. Hidden from the road, you enter through stately gates that tell you something very special lies ahead. The first thing you’ll notice is the new Events Center perched on a hill overlooking the vineyards. Perfect for weddings! Once over a small rise, you'll get your first glimpse of the winery, nestled in a small vineyard valley next to a tranquil lake. You'll feel like you fell asleep and woke up in the south of France! Entering the tasting room you might be greeted by Sandy, Rod, Stephen or another one of the friendly staff, eagerly waiting to pour some of the finest Rhone wines you'll taste anywhere. There's a picnic area out on the patio, but if you join the wine club, which was a no-brainer for me, you'll also have access to a beautiful, secluded, hillside picnic area complete with impeccably landscaped grounds, a fantastic view of the vineyards, and even a waterfall! Like I said, you won't want to leave, especially after spending an hour or so having lunch and a bottle or two of their wine, while taking in the view of the lake and hillside vineyards. Perfect.... simply perfect! Consulting winemaker extraordinaire, Mari Wells Coyle. Sure that's a big statement, but wait until you taste the wines! Mari has a great resume including her start at Gloria Ferrer in Napa, working with the acclaimed winemaker Merry Edwards in Sonoma, and she also crossed the pond to give New Zealand a shot. She then headed for the hills...the gold rush hills of the Sierra's that is. After working as winemaker for a major vineyard in Calaveras County, Mari next became the winemaker for David Girard in El Dorado County in 2004. Thank you Lord!!! She, in my humble opinion, now creates some of the greatest, elegant and impressive Rhone wines that I've tasted. This year, as Mari moves into the consulting position, she is joined by winemaker Grayson Hartley. No stranger to winemaking and vineyard management, Grayson brings those talents to David Girard from his work at the iconic Stagling Winery, Schramsberg Vineyards, Manifesto Wines and vineyard manager at Terre Rouge Vineyards in Amador County. So, take a look at this team! I can just imaging the juice that will flow from this fantastic team in about two years!