Our mantra here in El Dorado Wine Country is Taste at a Higher Level. That's because our high altitude mountain grown fruit has qualities, complexities and character that our winemakers accentuate to produce high quality, sought after wines from El Dorado.
Elevation does wonders for wine grapes and its impact changes dramatically as you climb. Our El Dorado Wine Country vineyards range from 1,200 to 3,500 feet in elevation, which is why you can find such a vast variety of single varietals, blends and styles among our wines.
One clear benefit of the high altitude is that our vineyards experience longer warmer growing days than wine growing regions in lower altitudes and then cool off quickly at night. Any hiker in the Sierra can tell you these mountains are known for their quick temperature swings, which are something of a concern for a hiker, but are a welcome growing condition for our El Dorado Wine Country fruit. These warm daytime temperatures help the fruit to fully ripen, however, this rapid change from warm to cool stresses the grapes which, according to the book Grow Better Grapes, "…creates the acidity needed to produce such intense colors, flavors and tannin."
El Dorado Wine Country vineyards also benefit from the well-drained soils of the hillsides on which they are planted. With soils ranging from fine grained decomposed granite, rich volcanic rock or fine grained shale the vines can enjoy a myriad of microclimates as they follow the contours of the land. Grapes that originally hail from Rhône Valley wine region in Southern France such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier and Roussanne, thrive here as well as Italian varietals such as Barbera and Sangiovese. Of course Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon love these high-altitude growing conditions and produce wine grapes with classic mountain fruit character offering both balance and complexity.
There is something else you get from altitude – spectacular views. That's why on any trip to our wine country you'll find all the grandeur of the Sierra Foothills in El Dorado Wine Country combined with so many unique and delicious wines available for tasting at over 40 charming and hospitable wineries. Come taste our wines, and discover for yourself what it means to Taste at a Higher Level.