Lava Cap Winery

This third-generation family farm in Placerville has a terrific location to enjoy the scenery – and for growing grapes in its unique volcanic soils. The outdoor seating area provides views of rolling vineyards, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and neighboring Apple Hill™ wineries and farms. It’s impressive to see first-hand the elevation, topography, and volcanic soil that shapes their wines while you’re tasting them.

Insider Tip: Their annual ‘Dust Off the Bottle’ library wine event gives you the opportunity to taste and purchase past vintages, which always include a few pleasant surprises.

wine tasting at el dorado county vineyard near placerville
Holly’s Hill boasts views that are best enjoyed with one of their Rhone-style wines.

Holly’s Hill Vineyard & Brewery

Just a hop, skip, and a jump south of Placerville is a low-key winery and brewery. Located at 2700 feet elevation, Holly’s Hill offers a range of Rhone-style wines that pair exceptionally well with the panoramic views from their patio. Come for the tasting, but stay for a bottle and a picnic at one of their many outdoor tables.

Insider Tip: They host several annual wine and food pairing events that feature their recipes, including the ever-popular Paella weekends in early summer.

David Girard Vineyards

Located a mere mile from where gold was first discovered in 1848, David Girard Vineyards is set on in the hills above the South Fork American River Valley. It boasts sweeping views in all directions, and its Tuscan Villa-style winery feels like you’re in Italy’s foothills. Their patio is ideal for soaking in the views over a tasting.

Insider Tip: They partner with a local whitewater rafting outfitter for a Wine and Whitewater Rafting Trip held in early summer.

Skinner Vineyards Stoney Creek

Perched on the top of a hill, Skinner Vineyards’ Somerset tasting room offers incredible views of the surrounding foothills. Enjoy a tasting on the upper balcony before heading to the picnic tables for another view to pair with the wines.

Insider Tip: The family-owned winery boasts Gold Rush roots, carrying on the tradition of ancestor James L. Skinner, who created one of the first wineries in El Dorado County, J. Skinner Winery.

Wofford Acres Vineyard, Apple Hill winery near Placerville in El Dorado County, California
The views pair well with a wine flight at Wofford Acres Vineyard in Apple Hill.

Wofford Acres Vineyards

Located on the edge of a gorgeous canyon overlooking the South Fork of the American River, Wofford Acres Vineyards specializes in small-batch wines only available in its tasting room. Sample a flight outside on their grassy outdoor area or buy a bottle to enjoy with a picnic.

Insider Tip: During October weekends, they offer a special Barrel Tasting to Fight Cancer. Join Mike or Paul in the cellar to sample wine in the barrel for a small donation to help fight cancer and support cancer patients.