Region Information

Region Information

Region Facts

  • Total Crop Value (2013): $8,010,833
  • Wine grape acreage (2013): approx. 2,343 acres
  • Total wine grape acreage, as well as the value of the county's grapes, more than doubled in the last 10-15 years.
  • Average price per ton of wine grapes sold in 2013: $1,449.
  • Amount of wine grapes grown (2013): 5,740 tons
  • Total wine grape tonnage sold outside of El Dorado County (2013): Nearly 2,556 tons
  • Average yield per acre (2013): nearly 2.6 tons
  • Number of grape varieties grown: 25 major varieties, in addition to nearly 30 other, lesser-known varieties
  • Top 5 grape varieties grown in El Dorado (in order, based on total tons produced): Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah. Barbera and Chardonnay also are predominant.
  • In the El Dorado Winery Association (41 family-owned wineries, representing El Dorado's major vintners), the largest growers are: Boeger Winery, Madroña Vineyards and Lava Cap Winery.
  • Elevations at which premium wine grapes are grown in the El Dorado Appellation: 1,200 to 3,500 feet above sea level.
  • El Dorado Appellation established: 1983
  • Number of bonded wineries in El Dorado (as of June 2010): More than 60 and growing – ranking El Dorado one of the largest regions in the state. While several of these wineries do not have public tasting rooms, this growth represents significant interest in the El Dorado wine market.
  • Agriculture's impact on El Dorado's economy: $383 million (estimated, 2009)
  • El Dorado wine industry's economic impact: $175 million (estimated, 2009)
  • The number of wineries in El Dorado more than doubled in the last 10 years.
  • In 1870, El Dorado County was the third largest wine producer in the state, behind Los Angeles and Sonoma Counties.* In the late 1800s there were approximately 40 commercial wineries operating in the county.* The industry plummeted during Prohibition.

Sources: El Dorado County Department of Agriculture. Figures reflect numbers reported by El Dorado County growers in the 2013 Wine Grape Survey. The Wine Institute "A Brief History of Winegrowing in El Dorado County," Eric J. Costa.

Wine Pairings

Summertime Watermelon Salad

Compliments of David Girard Vineyards
Pair with: David Girard Rosé

10 cups chopped and chilled watermelon or 1 medium sized watermelon
1 bulb fennel, sliced
2 white onions, chopped
2 cans black olives
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar
Fresh oregano
Salt and pepper to taste


Mix watermelon, fennel, white onion, and black olives in a bowl. For dressing, blend 3 tablespoons olive oil with 1 cup white wine vinegar and 1 cup rice wine vinegar. Add fresh oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

Spinach and Romaine Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts

Compliments of Lava Cap Winery
Pair with: Lava Cap Sauvignon Blanc


1 large head Romaine lettuce
1 large bunch fresh spinach
1 pound feta cheese (French feta if you can find it)
1 cup walnuts
2 sweet red apples
Ample chopped thyme, tarragon, or parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
Juice of one large orange
1 T white wine vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
3 small green onions, sliced on diagonal for presentation


Clean, dry, and tear up the leaves of Romaine and stem, clean, dry spinach. Put both greens in a bowl. Set aside. Quarter, core, and cut apples into small spears and put in bowl. Pour orange juice over apples and add garlic and vinegar and toss. Add herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and toss again.

Toss the greens, cheese, walnuts, dressing with apples, and serve up on plates. Garnish with green onions. Serve with your favorite baguette or sourdough loaf.  Note: Using juice in the dressing makes it less acidic so it does not compete with the wine.  Serves 4.

Parchment-wrapped Salmon with Ginger, Fennel & Viognier-Roussanne

Compliments of Narrow Gate Winery
Pair with: Narrow Gate Viognier, Roussanne or Viognier-Roussanne blend, or non-malolactic fermented Chardonnay


4 4 oz. fresh salmon fillets (skinless/boneles
4 8” – 10” square sheets of parchment paper (available on the plastic wrap & foil aisle)
3 T Extra virgin olive oil
1 Medium fresh fennel bulb, fronds removed, thinly sliced
1 Medium sweet, white onion, cut in half, sliced thin
1 ea. Red, Yellow & Orange bell pepper, sliced thin
2 T peeled, grated, fresh ginger (do not use jarred ginger)
1 t fennel or anise seeds
1 t honey
1 cup white wine (Narrow Gate Viognier-Roussanne) for deglazing the pan
Sea Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


In a stainless steel bottom sauté pan (do not use  a “non-stick” pan) set on medium high heat, add olive oil, heat olive oil and add fennel, onion, bell peppers, fennel or anise seed & cook through about 15 minutes, until light brown bits begin to form and stick to the bottom of the pan. When all begins to soften & brown add 1 cup Viognier Roussanne (or other aromatic white wine) and scrape up browned bits on bottom of pan, cook until wine is reduced and almost fully cooked off.  Remove from heat and stir in fresh ginger & honey, sprinkle with sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste.

Lay salmon fillet in middle of parchment paper, and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

Top each fillet with 1/3 to 1 cup of vegetables.  Pull up opposite sides of parchment until the sides touch evenly; make a double 1” fold so the salmon is encapsulated in the parchment.  Twist both open-ended sides of parchment tight, so it looks like a giant candy wrapper.  Place parchment wrapped salmon on a cookie sheet and either bake in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 15 minutes or in a barbeque, setting the baking pan right on top of the grate.

Make Ahead:  Sautéed topping can be made 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container.   Fully assembled, parchment wrapped fish can be made 24 hours in advance & removed from refrigeration 30 minutes before cooking

Variations: Any good quality fish can be used.  Also, you can add shrimp w/shell, whole
clams & mussels.  Make appetizer size using smaller pieces.

Note: This is amazingly tasty and simple to prepare because the salmon actually poaches in the parchment and stays moist. Serves 4 as main course; more as appetizer.

Ratatouille Stuffed Tomatoes

Created by Chef Christian Masse, Allez!
Pair with: Miraflores Pinot Grigio or Rosé


Small, round vine ripe tomatoes
4 oz. salted pork
3 medium zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper
3 medium size yellow squash, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 green bell pepper, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 small eggplant, diced into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. diced tomatoes (fresh)
2 oz. chopped garlic
2 oz. chopped onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh Herbs: 1 sprig fresh rosemary, 1 sprig fresh thyme, (you may substitute dried Herbes de Provence), 6 large leaves basil
Optional: pine nuts, cheese (feta or goat)


Cut salt pork into 1-inch cubes, using large sauté pan, put olive oil and salt pork into pan and brings to high heat, and cook until golden brown. Add onions and garlic, and sauté to a golden brown color. Add tomatoes, and herbs, cook for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, then stew at medium heat until liquid is reduced, stirring frequently. Do not cover. Adjust seasoning to taste. Refrigerate about 1 hour.

Directions for tomatoes:

Cut off tops of tomatoes, set aside. Hollow out center of tomato with a melon baller or spoon. Sprinkle finely ground sea salt into center, set upside down on a paper towel to drain.
When the ratatouille is cooled, use a small scoop to fill the tomatoes, and add cheese, if desired. Replace the top. Keep chilled until ready to use.

Salade de Pommes de Terre de Michel Prod'hon (Makes 8 Servings)
(Michel's French Potato Salad)

Salade de Pommes de Terre de Michel Prod'hon
(Makes 8 Servings)

2 lbs Small potatoes (new potatoes, Yukons, or fingerlings), scrubbed but not peeled
1 tsp Salt
1 Red onion, peeled, halved, and either thinly sliced or finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp Olive oil
>2 Tbsp French mustard (Dijon rocks!)
2 Tbsp Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover them. Add the salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender when pierced with a fork. This will take 15-25 minutes depending on the type, size and freshness of the potatoes.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. Whisk together the olive oil, mustard and wine vinegar in a large bowl, blending well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion and garlic to the same bowl and combine with the dressing.

3. Drain the potatoes. If needed, cut them into smaller pieces once they are cool enough to handle. Toss all of the still warm potatoes with the onion and dressing. Mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations: Mix in cooked bacon cut or broken into small pieces – thick sliced bacon works best. (The bacon rendering can be used in place of some of the olive oil.) Fresh herbs make a nice addition – think Herbs de Provence components like lavender, rosemary, tarragon and oregano. And olives – any French variety of course!

“Lamb Provençal” Grilled Rack of Lamb w/ Herbes d’Provence

Compliments of Holly's Hill Vineyards

Pair with: Holly’s Hill Grenache

  • 2 Racks of Lamb, fat removed
  • 2 tsp Herbes d’Provence
  • Salt and Pepper


Heat grill to medium (about 350 degrees).  While the grill is heating, sprinkle the Herbes d’Provence all over both racks along with salt and pepper to taste. When the grill reaches 350 degrees, cook the lamb to desired doneness.

Note: Herbs that are heavy with lavender help to pair the “big” meat with the “floral” wine. If you want to go all out, top with Olive Tapenade. A recipe can be found at  Serves 8.

Seared Sea Scallops with Ginger Lime Sauce

Compliments of Crystal Basin Cellars

Pair with: Crystal Basin Cellars ROU-MAR-NIER (a blend of roussanne, marsanne and viogneir or a white Rhone wine.  Not a Chardonnay pairing.


1 lb. fresh sea scallops
1 cup Crystal Basin Cellars ROU-MAR-NIER
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
1 cup unsalted butter, cut in to cubes
1 cup heavy cream
Juice of two limes
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Optional: Deep fried leeks for garnish


In a heavy sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add ginger and wine and heat to boil. Reduce heat immediately to simmer. Add cream and lime juice.  Continue to simmer on low.

Rinse sea scallops and pat dry with paper towels.  In a large skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium high heat.  Place scallops in pan and turn after 2 minutes or until firm.

Transfer scallops onto plates and drizzle with ginger lime sauce. Garnish with deep fried leeks, if desired.

Citrus and Red Wine Marinade

Created by Dave Fleuti, Boeger Barberian

Pair with: Boeger red wine of your choice


1/2 bottle of Boeger red wine
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
6 or 8 cloves of garlic
1 each: Lemon, lime and orange
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes


Squeeze juice of citrus, then roughly chop rinds to be added to the marinade.

Combine all ingredients and marinate your choice of meat for two hours or longer.  This marinade is great for tri-tip and other steaks, but is also great on lamb.

Note: For pork and poultry, use a Boeger white wine instead of red.

Memphis Style Ribs

Created by Patty Mastracco, Raley’s
Pair with: El Dorado Zinfandel


2 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
1-1/2 tsp. pepper
1-1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 rack pork ribs
Soaked wood chips

Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 2 to 3 hours


Stir together seasonings in a small bowl. Rub over the surface of ribs, putting most of the mixture on the top. Place soaked chips in a wood chip basket and place directly on coals or on gas grill over high heat. When chips begin to smoke, place ribs on grill over indirect heat. (Using indirect heat is important to not char the outside of the meat.) Cook for 1 to 2 hours, turning once or twice and adding more wood chips as necessary to maintain smoke. Remove from grill and place in a large shallow pan. Add 1 inch of water to pan and seal well with heavy duty foil. Return to grill and cook over very low heat or in 300°F oven for 1 hour. Cut into individual ribs and serve with Memphis Moppin' Sauce (recipe below). ­Makes 6 servings.

Memphis Moppin' Sauce:

1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup minced onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. yellow mustard
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes


This is a basic sauce to brush over ribs during cooking, or serve with cooked ribs as a dipping sauce. Add a little beer or Worcestershire sauce to taste, if desired. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve with Memphis Style Ribs (see  recipe above). Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Grilled Chile, Chorizo and Avocado Pizzas

Created by Patty Mastracco, Raley’s
Pair with: El Dorado Grenache


1 link chorizo, casing removed 

3/4 cup Corn and Poblano Salsa 

1 cup shredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese 

2 tbsp. chopped poblano or diced green chiles 

1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 burrito size flour tortillas 

1 ripe but firm avocado, peeled, pitted and 
thinly sliced 

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 10 to 20 minutes


Crumble chorizo into a small skillet and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and drain well, blotting between 2 layers of paper towels; chop into very small pieces. Spread equal amounts of salsa, cheese, chorizo, chiles and green onions onto tortillas, in that order. Grill over indirect heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, rotating pizzas occasionally with tongs to avoid burning tortillas. Remove from grill and top with avocado and cilantro. 
Makes 4 servings.

Smoky Tomato Tapenade Steaks

Created by Patty Mastracco, Raley’s
Pair with: El Dorado Syrah


2 (8-oz.) steaks, such as sirloin, New York or coulotte 

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 cup Basil and Garlic Bruschetta
1 tbsp. Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Chopped fresh basil

Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: about 12 to 15 minutes


Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season steaks on both sides with pepper and sear well on both sides in hot skillet. Reduce heat and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes on each side or until steaks are cooked to your liking. Drain any excess fat and add bruschetta and tapenade to skillet; swirl to coat skillet and cook for 1 minute more. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 2 servings.

Grilled Scallops with Banana and Avocado Salsa

Prepared by Chef Diana Greer of The Barkley Historic Homestead near Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards

Servings: 4


24 large scallops
4 lime wedges (for garnish)
4 wooden BBQ skewers, soaked in water
Marinade for scallops:
1/2 cup Riesling
Juice of one orange
Sesame oil
1/4 tsp. cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste


1 banana
1 avocado
1 ripe mango
1 bunch cilantro (reserve a few sprigs for garnish
1 passilla pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 small red onion
3 scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of one lime
1/3 cup Riesling
Salt and Pepper to taste

To prepare marinade:

Whisk together Riesling, orange juice, 1 or 2 drops of sesame oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Marinate scallops for a minimum of 4 hours

To prepare Salsa:

Chop first nine ingredients into approximately 1/8 inch pieces. Combine with last four ingredients. Let flavors combine for at least 1 hour prior to serving. May be served chilled or heat quickly in sauce pan just before serving.

To Grill Scallops:

Remove scallops from marinade and place 6 pieces on each BBQ skewer. Place on grill, on high heat for approximately 2 minutes. Turn over, finishing cooking until the scallop is no longer translucent.


Divide salsa into 4 parts, placing each part on one plate. Top each plate with one skewer of scallops. Garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.

Grilled Chicken With Cilantro Pesto

As Prepared by Chef Diana Greer, Charles B Mitchell Vineyards


6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Rhone Style Red Wine (Charles Mitchell Vineyards Cotes du Cosumnes)

For Cilantro Pesto:

2 Cups Olive Oil
1 Bunch Cilantro
4 Cloves Fresh Garlic
Juice of one Lime
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Pumpkin seeds, Roasted and Salted
½ tsp. Oregano
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Pepper

For Pesto:

Combine all ingredients in food processor until thoroughly processed.


Remove half of the pesto from food processor and reserve. Add the wine to the remaining pesto and process again. Use this mixture to marinate the chicken breasts for 4-6 hours.

On BBQ Grill, over medium-high heat, grill chicken breasts for approximately 4-6 minutes on each side. Heat the reserved pesto and place over the top of the chicken. This dish is great served alone or over pasta which is tossed in with the cilantro pesto. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro, a slice of lime and a few pumpkin seeds.

Salmon With Tamari Butter Sauce


4 Salmon Steaks or a large Fillet for 4 people
2 Cloves minced garlic 1 Cube Butter
1/4 C Catsup
1/4 C Tamari or Soy Sauce
1/4 C Sherry


Melt the butter, and stir in the minced garlic. Simmer so gently that it doesn't get brown. Add the catsup and soy sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the sherry for a couple minutes more. Use this as a baste, not a marinade.

Baste the salmon just before BBQ-ing

If steaks, do both sides, and baste while turning.

If it's a fillet, put it on a double thickness of tin foil. Baste the top. BBQ it with the lid down, 15 minutes or so, until it's done how you like it. Baste it just before removing.


Serve with a bed of Spinach or Swiss Chard, and Basmati rice.
This is delicious with Boeger Pinot Noir.

ZinMan Steak Salad


1 pound boneless steak
1 cup of ZinMan Zinfandel
2 clove garlic minced
2 T olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 pound large mushrooms
1 large red onion thick slices
Bell peppers-combine red, orange, green peppers
1 bag of salad greens
Your favorite dressing


Combine wine, garlic, olive oil & salt and pepper. Marinade steak in mixture overnight. Grill steak along with mushrooms, red onions and peppers. Slice grilled meat and vegetables and serve over salad greens with your favorite dressing.

Holly's Hill Summery Savory Crab Bites


8 oz. cream cheese
6 oz. fresh or canned crab (drained)
1 tsp Summer savory
1 Tbsp Holly's Hill Chardonnay
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
Juice of ½ lemon
5 drops of Tapatio or any hot sauce
25-20 small square pasta wrappers (such as Azumaya)
Lemon, cut into wedges (optional)
Cilantro, chopped finely (optional)


Combine all ingredients. Place by rounded teaspoon into center of pasta wrapper. Wet two adjacent edges to help seal. Fold wrapper in half to form a triangle and pinch sides together. Lightly spray with olive oil and cook on the BBQ over an even low temperature for 1-2 minutes until lightly browned. Place on a platter an garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Enjoy with Holly's Hill Chardonnay.

Single Leaf Stuffed Mushrooms


24 2 1⁄2 inch diameter portobellini mushrooms (or 4 Large portabello mushrooms), stems chopped, gills removed, caps wiped clean.

4 Tbsp butter
1 large bunch spinach, stemmed and cleaned
1 cup chopped green onions
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup dried breadcrumbs
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
4 large eggs
3⁄4 cup whipping cream


Melt butter in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, spinach, green onions, oregano, and nutmeg. Sauté until stems are brown and mixture is dry, about 15 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sauté another 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and mix in 1 cup chees, salt and pepper. Cool at least 15 minutes. (Mushrooms and filling can be made 1 day ahead to this point, wrapped separately and refrigerated.) Mix in eggs and cream.

Preheat oven to 375°. Arrange mushroom caps rounded side down on the baking sheets. Spoon filling into mushroom caps and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until centers are set.

These mushrooms are a wonderful accompaniment to grilled sausages, or if using the large size, great paired with a salad and foccacia for a light summer meal.

Grilled Abalone

Courtesy of Josh Bendick, Holly’s Hill Vineyards

Measurements are approximate. Adjust to taste.

3-inch, farm raised abalone* cleaned, sliced in half and pounded until tender. Allow 3 per person.


1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste


1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 bunch chopped cilantro
salt & pepper, to taste

Marinate the abalone overnight. Grill over very hot coals for about thirty seconds per side. Remove from grill and serve immediately with the sauce.

Suggested pairing: Holly's Hill Vineyards Roussanne

*For abalone, contact:
The Cultured Abalone in Goleta, Ca at 805.685.1956 or

Grilled Panko Crusted Goat Cheese on Organic Greens with Grilled Olive Bread

Courtesy of Teena Hildebrand, Narrow Gate Vineyards

Shallot/mustard dressing:

2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provence (or fresh or dried herbs of your choice)
2 Tablespoon Dijon, brown or course grain mustard


1 Cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 Tablespoon each chopped fresh thyme, parsley, basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
11 to 12 oz. log of refrigerated (cold) Goat Cheese, sliced into approximately 2 oz rounds (use thin, oiled knife)
2 large egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus additional olive oil for brushing bread
6 3/4 inch-thick slices kalamata olive bread
12 oz mixed organic greens

Serves 6

For Shallot/Dijon dressing:

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass measuring cup or bowl

For Bread:

Brush sliced bread with olive oil and grill in oven or on  bbq rack until toasted.

For Salad:

Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.  Heat teflon skillet to med high and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Dip each cheese round into egg whites, turning to coat, then dredge in panko mixture. Place breaded goat cheese round in hot oil and fry until browned. Gently turning rounds to brown. 

Toss greens in shallot/Dijon dressing and divide among 6 plates, top with goat cheese and grilled olive bread. 

Suggested pairings: Narrow Gate Vineyards 2006 Estate Viognier Roussanne or 2006 El Dorado Chardonnay

Grilled Panko Crusted Goat Cheese on Organic Greens with Grilled Olive Bread

Courtesy of Teena Hildebrand, Narrow Gate Vineyards

Shallot/mustard dressing:

2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Herbes de Provence (or fresh or dried herbs of your choice)
2 Tablespoon Dijon, brown or course grain mustard


1 Cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 Tablespoon each chopped fresh thyme, parsley, basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
11 to 12 oz. log of refrigerated (cold) Goat Cheese, sliced into approximately 2 oz rounds (use thin, oiled knife)
2 large egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus additional olive oil for brushing bread
6 3/4 inch-thick slices kalamata olive bread
12 oz mixed organic greens

Serves 6

For Shallot/Dijon dressing:

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass measuring cup or bowl

For Bread:

Brush sliced bread with olive oil and grill in oven or on  bbq rack until toasted.

For Salad:

Mix first 4 ingredients in medium bowl to blend.  Heat teflon skillet to med high and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Dip each cheese round into egg whites, turning to coat, then dredge in panko mixture. Place breaded goat cheese round in hot oil and fry until browned. Gently turning rounds to brown. 

Toss greens in shallot/Dijon dressing and divide among 6 plates, top with goat cheese and grilled olive bread. 

Suggested pairings: Narrow Gate Vineyards 2006 Estate Viognier Roussanne or 2006 El Dorado Chardonnay

ZinMan Steak Salad

Courtesy of Perry Creek Winery


1 pound boneless steak
1 cup of ZinMan Zinfandel
2 clove garlic minced
2 T olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 pound large mushrooms
1 large red onion, thick slices
Bell peppers-combine red, orange, green peppers
1 bag of salad greens
Your favorite dressing


Combine wine, garlic, olive oil & salt and pepper. Marinade steak in mixture overnight. Grill steak along with mushrooms, red onions and peppers. Slice grilled meat and vegetables and serve over salad greens with your favorite dressing.

Suggested pairing: Perry Creek Zinfandel

Grilled Porterhouse Steak

Courtesy of Conti Estate / Charles B Mitchell Vineyard & Winery


1 (2-3/4 lb)  Porterhouse steaks,  cut 2-3/4 to 3 inch thick
1/4  cup olive oil
7  large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped


Place steak in glass baking dish.

Whisk oil and next 5 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Pour half of marinade over steak. Turn steak over; pour remaining marinade over steak. Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill, (medium heat).

Remove steak from marinade; shake off excess.

Place steak on grill; cover grill.

Grill steak to desired doneness,(until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of steak registers 115 F to 120 F for rare,about 15 minutes per side,or 125 F to 130 F for medium-rare, about 18 minutes per side),occasionally moving steak to cooler part of rack if cooking too quickly.

Transfer steak to platter; cover to keep warm. Let stand 5 minutes.

Using sharp knife, cut meat away from bone. Cut each meat section into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

Serving suggestion: Charles B Mitchell 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grilled Shrimp with Basil and Lemon 

Compliments of Paul Bush, Madroña Vineyards


2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper


Put shrimp into two large, zip-style plastic bags.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, blend the olive oil with the lemon juice, basil, garlic parsley, salt, oregano, and pepper until smooth. Pour half of the marinade into one plastic bag and the other half into the other plastic bag.  Mix the marinade well with the shrimp until each shrimp is coated. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. While marinating, toss the shrimp carefully in the bags a couple of times.

Lightly oil the grilling grid with olive oil or cooking spray prior to igniting the grill. Set the grill on medium (or medium –hot coals).

Lay the shrimp on the grilling surface and grill for 3-5 minutes on each side. The shrimp may char ever so slightly. Serve immediately.

Suggested pairing: Madroña Vineyards Dry Riesling or Chardonnay

Wood-Fired Pizzas

Courtesy of Brian Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Winery

If you can’t make it to one of Fitzpatrick’s Friday Wood-Fired Oven Pizza Nights, try your own twist at home by grilling these ingredients on top of your favorite pizza dough.

St. Brendan’s Seafarer:

Place oven roasted salmon on top of a garlic cream sauce, caramelized onions, and top it all with mozzarella and feta cheese.

Suggested pairings: Fitzpatrick’s 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, 2003 Grenache or 2003 Pinot Noir

The Popeye:

Place bunches of fresh spinach softened into a garlic cream sauce with first a smearing of soft goat cheese and olive oil, then the creamy spinach, topped with a mix of provolone, jack and cheddar cheeses and toasted pine nuts.

Suggested pairings: Fitzpatrick’s Sauvignon Blanc, 2006 Chardonnay, or dry rose Sangre de Montana

Recipes to pair with Syrah From El Dorado Wineries

Holly's Hill Lamb Chops

Tom Cooper, Holly’s husband and co-owner of Holly’s Hill, prefers his Syrah with his signature dish Lamb Chops. It’s a quick and crowd-pleasing entrée.


Just douse the lamb with pepper, Italian seasonings and garlic-salt. Then simply barbeque.

It’s so simple yet Tom claims it is a family recipe having been passed down from his father.

Holly's Hill Pork and Syrah Anisette

A take on the classic Boeuf Bourguignon, altered here to complement the complex flavors of Syrah.


Serves 2 but can easily be doubled and so on.


4 oz. Bacon
1 lb. Pork roast, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves
6 oz. Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Bottle of Syrah + 2 tsp
1 Rosemary sprig
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Anise
salt and pepper


Cook bacon until crispy and remove from pan leaving 1 tsp of the drippings behind. Add the pork roast to pan with salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned. Remove pork and add chopped onion and whole garlic cloves. Cook until lightly browned and add sliced mushrooms. When mushrooms are tender, put onion/mushroom mixture in a crock-pot along with the bacon, pork, and remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 2 hours to all day (The longer it cooks the more tender it will be). Just before eating, add 2 tsp of Syrah, season with salt and pepper, and serve with crusty bread and a glass of Holly's Hill Syrah. Bon Appetite!

Syrah soaked cherries dipped in dark chocolate

Years back I needed to pair something with our Syrah to show it off during the El Dorado Wine Passport Weekends. The rich dark cherry character moved me to create a new delicacy. Organically grown dried bing cherries soaked in our organically grown Syrah (for days and even months), then removed to a parchment lined sheet pan, patted dry with a towel, then finally hand dipped in tempered Belgium dark bittersweet chocolate. I personally make thousand of these every year during Passport Weekend to show off our Syrah. - Brian Fitzpatrick

Recipes to pair with Zin From El Dorado Wineries

Succulent Steak with Zinfandel Sauce & Vegetable Sauté


6 Small thick Steaks
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup Zinfandel
1 T tomato paste
1 lg colve garlic-chopped
1 tsp dark chocolate


Put in hot sauté pan. Sear steaks on both sides, transfer to warm pan in a 350 degree oven. Add beef stock, zinfandel, tomato paste, and garlic to sauté pan, reduce by half. Add chocolate and stir to melt. Continue to simmer until mixture is reduced to a creamy consistency. Salt & pepper to taste.


1 T olive oil
1 red onion cut into wedges
2 lbs. summer squash cut in chunks
2 sweet peppers (red or yellow) cut in chunks
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tsp fennel seeds


Heat oil in a large pan over medium hat. Add onion and cook about two minutes. Add squash, peppers, and garlic. Saute until tender-crisp. Add tomato sauce and fennel seeds. Salt and pepper to taste. Arrange in center of warm platter with steaks over top. Pour sauce around outside and serve.

Sierra Vista Crab Cioppino

This is a favorite Zinfandel dish at Sierra Vista. The cioppino pairs beautifully with Zinfandel if the wine is not too alcoholic. Our Reeves Vineyard Zinfandel is usually 14.5% or less in alcohol making it an ideal match.


2 T olive oil
1 onion peeled and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup Sierra Vista unoaked Chardonnay
½ can of tomato paste (6 oz. Can - you can freeze the rest on wax paper)
2 tsp marjoram leaves crumbled
2 tsp dried basil
¼ tsp white pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp cayenne
1 T oregano leaves
2 tsp thyme
2 Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned and cracked


Heat olive oil in 6 quart pan over medium high heat. When oil ripples and is fragrant add onion and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add broth, wine, tomato paste and spices. Bring to a boil stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer 20 to 25 minutes to blend flavors. Salt to taste.

Break crabs apart. Cut body in fourths and crack legs. Add to soup and simmer until hot. About 5 to 7 minutes.

Cover your table with old newspapers and serve the hot soup in bowls with Sierra Vista Reeves Vineyard Zinfandel and crusty sour dough bread. Use the newspaper tablecloth for the crab shells and when you are done, just roll up the shells in the newspaper and discard.

Sierra Vista Black Beans

This is a favorite winter dish served with a glass of robust Zinfandel. The cooked beans freeze beautifully and make great tostadas or tacos for lunches.


1 pound black beans
4 ½ cups water
3 T olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 medium onion, minced
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced.
1 bay leaf
1 T California chili powder
1-2 tsp New Mexican chili powder (hot)
2 tsp cumin
¾ tsp cayenne
¾ tsp white pepper
8 cups chicken stock
salt - to taste


Soak beans in water over night. Drain and rinse. Cover beans in large soup pan with water. At least an inch above top of beans. Boil for 20 minutes and drain.

Heat olive oil in large soup pan until fragrant. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add the celery and carrot, cook until tender. Add jalapeno and bay leaf , chili powders, cumin and spices and heat until aromatic and fragrant. Add beans and broth. Bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat to a slow boil and cook about 2 hours until beans are tender.

Top the hot beans with grated sharp cheese, sliced avacado, sour cream and diced tomatoes. Serve with Sierra Vista Zinfandel and warm tortillas.

Boeger's Stuffed Pork Tenderloin


1-2 lb Pork Tenderloin

2 T Minced Garlic

3 Green Onions/chopped

3-4 oz. Blue cheese/crumbled

Olive oil



Fillet the Pork Tenderloin down the center lengthwise, making sure not to cut all of the way through.  Spread the meat wide open and lightly drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the meat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Evenly distribute the garlic, green onions and blue cheese down the entire length of the pork.  Tie the loin closed in at least six secure areas using twine or string.  Give the complete loin a drizzle of olive oil.

Place on baking pan in a pre-heated 400ºF oven and bake for approximately one hour, or until the thickest part of the meat reaches 170ºF.  Remove from oven, and allow to sit for at a minimum of five minutes.  This will give the cheese a moment to settle.  Slice loin into 1” chunks and serve. 

p.s. Don’t forget to remove the string!

Serve with Boeger Walker Zinfandel

Recipe courtesy of: Steve De La Rosa

Single Leaf Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Pizza Crust:

Loaf of frozen bread dough (I use Bridgeford)
1/4 cup olive oil

Bleu Cheese:

4 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
4 ounces cream cheese

Caramelized Onions:

2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons currants


Thaw the frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator. Let dough rise until about tripled or almost forming a “crust”. Dough should be very sticky. Knead slightly and push into ungreased 9 X 13 inch pan. Use a fork to poke several holes in the crust.  Brush with olive oil.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until beginning to turn golden. Cool slightly.

Combine bleu cheese and cream cheese in a glass bowl and place in microwave for about 2 minutes. Cream together.

Use about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in large pan and add onions. Cook until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add all other ingredients and stir well.

Spread bleu cheese mixture over the pizza crust. Top with caramelized onion mixture.  Bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool slightly and cut into wedges.

Pairs well with a hearty El Dorado Zinfandel.

Madroña Grilled Peaches with Chevre


2 Fresh Peaches
8oz Chevre (Fresh Goat Cheese)
French Baguette  
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Slice baguette into thin slices.  Toast in oven until crisp.  Gently brush with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and spread with a thin layer of chevre.  While baguette is toasting, slice peaches into 1-inch segments.  Grill over medium heat for 1 minute on each side, then place directly onto chevre.  Serve immediately.

Pair with:
Madroña Vineyards 2005 Zinfandel

Sierra Vista Creamy Chicken Enchilada


2 T. butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cups diced cooked chicken
6 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
3-4 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
   (available in the ethnic aisle at the supermarket)
Corn tortillas
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded Monterey jack and Cheddar cheese


Cilantro, black olives and guacamole


In a wide frying pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and just beginning to brown (about 20 minutes). Turn heat to low and add chicken, chipotle chiles and cream cheese. Mix lightly until blended. Season to taste with salt; set aside.

Heat cream over medium heat. Add 2-3 teaspoons of the adobo sauce from the chiles. When cream is hot, dip each tortilla into the cream for a few seconds until tortilla becomes limp. Place on a plate and spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken filling down the center of each tortilla; roll to enclose. Place enchiladas, seam side down, in a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Spoon remaining cream mixture onto enchiladas; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a 375º oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Garnish with olives, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and guacamole. Serve with Sierra Vista Fleur de Montagne.

Perry Creek's Quick Curried Chicken Salad


2 C cooked, diced chicken
4 TBS mayonnaise
1 TBS curry paste
Juice of one lime
1/2 C grapes, halved
1/4 C sliced raw almonds
1 stalk diced celery
6 C mixed salad greens


Divide salad greens among four plates. Combine remaining ingredients and serve over greens.

Sierra Vista's Green Curry Chicken

This is especially delicious with Sierra Vista Viognier.

Note: the curry paste and the fish sauce are both available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Lemon grass is becoming more available in supermarkets and it is found in the produce department. The Curry paste that is readily available is fairly spicy so experiment with the amount to get the spice level you like.


1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 T. Green curry paste or to taste
1 stalk lemon grass, cut in 1 inch pieces and bruised with a knife
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
3 T. brown sugar
1 small can bamboo shoots, julienned
2 Kaffir lime leaves sliced (or substitute lime zest from one lime)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. ground tumeric
2 T. Fish sauce
1/4 cup Fresh basil chopped
Optional: 2 cups Fresh basil for frying


Allow coconut milk can to sit upright until opening. Do not shake the can. Separate the thick coconut cream (which rises to the top) from the milk. In a sauce-pan heat the coconut cream until just simmering. Add curry paste and lemon grass. Simmer until fragrant. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, sugar, tumeric and lime leaves. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining coconut milk and bamboo shoots. Continue to simmer until bamboo shoots are hot. Remove from heat and add 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil. Caution: Do not boil the coconut milk or it will separate. Optional: While the chicken simmers, fry 2 cups of fresh basil leaves in hot vegetable oil. Top each serving with these basil leaves if desired.

Serve green curry chicken over jasmine rice with a glass of Viognier.

Other vegetables may be used in addition to bamboo shoots; green beans, peas, diced fresh tomatoes or slivered carrots for example.

Susan Boeger's Spanish Paella

In 1969 I bought my first Gourmet Magazine because it had a chocolate mousse on the cover. But the issue was devoted to the fabulous food of Spain – tapas, gazpacho, and paella. This led soon after to a mouth watering trip to San Sebastian, Pamplona , and Barcelona, and eventually, over the years, to the following recipe.

Serves: 8


1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breast & thighs, cut into bite sized pieces with bones
1 1/2 lbs. Country Spareribs, cut into bite sized pieces, with bones
1 1/2 lbs. large Shrimp, shelled & deveined
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
24 Clams
1 large Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Cups short grained Rice, rinsed & drained *see tip
1 large Tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 6-oz. package of frozen Petite Peas
1/2 lbs. Asparagus or Green beans, blanched and cut-up
4 1/2cups liquid (water plus clam liquor)
2 tsp salt, 1 tsp Saffron, and 1 tsp Paprika


Wash clams and put in kettle with about 1 inch water. Add a little garlic, parsley, & oil to enhance the flavor, and steam for about 6 - 8 minutes. Reserve the liquid and set the clams aside.

In a paella pan, or very wide skillet, sauté the meats & shrimp, a little at a time, until barely done. then set aside. In the drippings, sauté the onion and garlic, then the rice. Turn off the heat and arrange artfully on top of the rice... the meats, clams, shrimp, and vegetables. The pan should be heaping full and beautiful. Bring the clam liquor, plus enough water to make 4 1/2 cups, to boil, with all the seasonings. Pour over the hot rice mixture and cook over moderately high heat for 10 minutes, lower heat to medium for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. You may need to add liquid. It's done when the rice is done. Do not cover, do not stir.

Great with crusty bread, green salad vinaigrette, and Boeger Tempranillo.

Precede it first with hors d'ouvres of Manchégo cheese, bread, Anchovy stuffed olives and dry Sherry. Then Gazpacho. End with a flan.


Use mussels and Crayfish for their stunning color on the rice.


Sometimes the rice on the bottom burns and sticks, so I usually, increase rice & liquid (some for the pan, so to speak.)

Enjoy! Susan Boeger

Madroña's La Crème de Tomates en Croute

This recipe is a specialty of Madroña Winery's Kurt Burris.


3 lbs. Fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 lb. Yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
pinch thyme
4 Tbs. Butter
3 C. heavy cream
salt and white pepper
2 Tbs. Tomato paste, depending on ripeness of tomatoes


Cook onions in butter until soft, then add tomatoes and seasonings. Cook slowly, uncovered, for four hours. Run through a blender or food processor and strain. Add the cream and correct the seasonings, bring to a boil and set aside.


Preheat oven to 450.
2 lbs. Frozen puff pastry. Roll out pastry to about 1/8" thick. Paint the surface with an egg wash. Cut circles of pastry about 2" larger in diameter than the soup crocks (ovenproof) in which the soup will be served.

Cool the soup slightly; place it in the crocks. Lay the circle of puff pastry on top of the crocks. Make sure the pastry is very cold or slightly frozen so it does not sink into the soup. The egg wash should be down so it helps form a seal between the bowl and the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes in a 450 degree oven, or until golden brown. Do not open the oven during baking, as this will cause the pastry to fall. Serve immediately.

Perry Creek's Dinner for Six

Green Salad, Stuffed Mushrooms, Broiled Duck Breast, Berry Shortcake

Pair with: Mourvedre or Cabernet Franc

Stuffed Mushrooms:

12 Large Mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
2 Sprigs Italian parsely, chopped
2 Sprigs basil, chopped
2 green Onions, sliced thin
½ Cup breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper


Remove stems from mushrooms. Melt butter in a baking pan. Put mushrooms cap side down, into pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Chop stems and add rest of ingredients. Remove mushrooms from pan, reserving pan and it's juices. Place stem mixture in pan and stir to make a moist stuffing. Fill caps with stuffing. Heat and serve.

Broiled Duck Breast:

4 Whole duck breasts, split in half
4 Cloves garlic, sliced thin
Salt and Pepper


Remove tendons and trim duck to an even thickness. Insert garlic under skin. Broil about 4 minutes on each side to desired doneness and skin is golden crisp. Season to taste.

Berry Shortcake:

2 Baskets of fresh berries: blueberries, rasberries, blackberries, and strawberries
¼ cup of sugar
6 biscuits or shortcakes
2 cups whip cream


Wash berries, drain, sprinkle with sugar. Split biscuits, put berries and cream on bottom half. Top with the other half and serve.

Beoger's Bistecche di Calamari
“Poor Man’s Abalone”

Recipe provided by: Nicolino Trattoria Italiana


1/2 c. of Butter (1 cube)
“Splash” of Boeger Pinot Gris (1/2 glass)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 T. Capers
“Sprinkle” of Fresh Parsley
Salt & Pepper (white) to taste


In a medium size pan, melt butter. Add wine, lemon juice, capers, parsley, and salt & pepper. Cook and reduce mixture to half.  

Calamari Steak(s)


“Light” Oil (vegetable oil)
Sliced Fresh Mushrooms
Sliced Raw White Onion


Butterfly the calamari steak into two equal portions. Place calamari fillets in egg wash mixture, making sure to cover the entire steak. Transfer egg washed steak into flour, and coat. Place battered steak(s) into heated oil and lightly pan fry (approximately two minutes per side). Remove from pan, and place on serving plate. Garnish with freshly cut mushrooms and onion. Carefully pour wine reduction sauce over steak.  Mangia!!

Serve with fresh vegetables and a glass of Boeger Pinot Gris

Thai Tofu in Red Coconut Sauce

Serving size: ¾ cup tofu mixture and ½ cup rice

Serves 4


2 tsp. Peanut Oil
1 ¼ cups Green Onion, sliced
1 T. fresh Ginger, minced & peeled
2 large Garlic cloves, minced
2 T. Soy Sauce
1 T. Red Curry Paste
½ T. Salt
1 can Coconut Milk
1 package firm tofu, cut ½ inch thick
2 T. fresh Basil, chopped
2 cups hot cooked rice


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions, ginger, and garlic: stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce, curry paste, salt, milk, and tofu: bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; cook 2 minutes. Stir in basil and serve with a glass of Boeger White Riesling. 

Use low-sodium soy sauce, light coconut milk and reduced fat for a “healthier” recipe. 

Autumn Duck Saute


5 pounds duck
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon butter
2 cups porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Charbono
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons butter blended with 1 Tablespoon flour


In a large skillet slowly brown the duck on all sides in oil for 20 to 25 minutes so that the fat is extracted. Remove duck from pan and let it cool until it can be handled. Quarter the duck and set aside.

Pour the residual fat from the pan, leaving approximately 2 tablespoons. Saute the onion and add mushrooms until tender.

Heat the wine and reduce it by 1/3. Add it and the stock to the sauté pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Put in the pieces of duck.  Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the duck is tender. Remove the duck and arrange on platter.

Whisk butter and flour into the sauce and bring to a boil, stirring until it thickens. Taste for seasoning. Coat each piece of duck with sauce. This should leave enough for those who prefer more.

Recipe courtesy of CONSORZIO CAL-ITALIA

Serve with Beoger Charbono

Jodar’s Bruschetta

The key to good bruschetta is good tomatoes. We don’t measure these ingredients but have given you some ball-park amounts to get you started; we just combine until we have a nice color combination. Don’t be fooled by the consistency; the longer it sits, the juicier it becomes. Also, the more acidic your tomatoes, the more basil you may think about adding.




1.5 lbs

tomatoes, diced

Use a variety of colors, types. We mix heirlooms and hybrids

Seed them well. Some people peel them before seeding


1/3 cup

olive oil

Use extra virgin, good quality

1 (at least)

garlic, finely chopped

If clove has a green center, remove it; it’s bitter


1/3 cup

fresh basil leaves, see right

Roll the leaves like a very tight cigarette (yikes!), sliver, finely then coarsely chop

to taste

salt and finely ground pepper


variations: finely chopped red onion or capers instead of garlic; well rinsed and drained bay shrimp

For classic bruschetta, slice ciabatta bread in generous slices, brush with olive oil, rub with garlic clove, and grill until you’ve got good grill marks. Let your guests spoon the sauce onto the grilled bread. They won’t stop eating until the bruschetta is gone.

Serve with almost any red wine, especially Jodar Sangiovese and Barbera.

Eggplant Caponata

From the kitchen of Tara De La Rosa, Boeger Winery

1 large eggplant, cubed
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. capers, drained
1/4 c. Boeger red wine, such as Primitivo
1 c. Italian tomato sauce
1/4 c. kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
1 baguette, thinly sliced & toasted

Quarter eggplant lengthwise and scoop out very seedy parts and discard.  Cut eggplant into cubes and place in colander.  Sprinkle with salt and lightly toss until all pieces are evenly coated.  Set colander in sink and top with a sturdy, weighted plate and let drain for one hour.  Rinse the eggplant cubes of excess salt and pat dry.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the eggplant on a greased cooking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, or until nice and brown.

In a large skillet add the 2 T. of oil.  Add onion and cook over moderate heat, until tender.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Return eggplant to the skillet.  Stir in capers, olives, balsamic vinegar and red wine and cook until the liquid has reduced to half.  Add the tomato sauce and continue to cook over low heat until thickened.  Taste mixture, and then season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Spread the caponata on baguette toasts and garnish with basil.

Serving suggestion:
Boeger Primitivo

Braised Lamb a la Ali

Rhone wines from El Dorado are great food wines, packed with a broad spectrum of fruit and spice flavors and a food-friendly acidic balance that harmonizes with a variety of cuisines. I came up with the following recipe after being treated to the sensual Persian dishes our friend Ali Esteghalian learned from his mother in Iran. The complexity of the spices and fruits match the vibrant flavors of El Dorado Rhones in particular.

This lamb dish, and its chicken variation, is easy to make ahead, and everyone, regardless of whether they know a Mourvedre from a Marsanne, goes back for seconds. There's no marinating overnight, and the dish uses just one pot. The secret is to let it cook slowly, and let the flavors gain integration and intensity much like the flavors in wine over time. The best method I've found is to throw all of the ingredients together, plop it in the oven, and then go out to a meeting or a winetasting. When I come back, I just whip up some cous cous and a salad, and dinner is served. A Sante,

Elaine Smith, Wine Consultant

Ingredients: Feel free to improvise!

4-6 Lamb shanks, cracked by your butcher if possible. Approx. 4 lbs.
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup shallot, minced (or just use two cups onion total)
10-12 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, whole or smushed with the side of your knife
Spices: 1/2 Tsp Cardamon, 1Tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 Tsp Clove, 1 Tblsp Coriander, 2 Tsp Cumin, 1/2 Tsp White Pepper
4 cups tomatoes, quartered. Romas work great. Or use a 12oz can of chopped tomatoes with juice.
Zest and juice of two lemons, or 1 lemon and one orange. Save some curly zest for garnish.
16 prunes 1 cup dried cherries or mixed dried berries
1/2 cup roasted salted almonds, chopped or slivered.
4 cups to 1 bottle of dry white El Dorado wine, such as Madrona Marsanne
1/2 cup chopped flat leafed parsley. Save some nice sprigs for garnish.


Preheat oven to 300 F. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper to taste.

In a large oven-proof casserole, braiser, or skillet with tight fitting lid, brown lamb shanks over medium high heat in olive oil, working in two batches if necessary. When both sides are browned, remove shanks to a dinner plate or glass bowl.

Add onions, shallots and garlic in remaining olive oil and saute in lamb drippings until almost translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and zest the citrus.

Add spices, and saute until they become fragrantly toasty, but never burnt, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, chop almonds and parsley.

Add tomatoes, citrus zest and juice, prunes, dried cherries, raisins, and almonds to the pan. Saute until tomatoes begin to release juice. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Add parsley.

Carefully add lamb shanks, easing each one so that they are tucked in among the fruit and the liquid. Each should be submerged halfway or more.

Bring back to a simmer, cover tightly, and place in oven.

Pour yourself a glass of El Dorado Rhone varietal wine, such as the Perry Creek El Dorado Viognier, and go about your business for about three hours. A heavenly smell will take over your home. Come back in the kitchen and check on your creation. The meat should be falling from the bones.

Serve over cous cous* whenever you are ready. This dish keeps well in the refrigerator, made a day or two ahead.

*Make cous cous by pouring boiling water over an equal part dry cous cous. Add a dash of salt, cover and let soften for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and taste. Add a little more boiling water if it seems too stiff, and cover until time to serve.

Wine Pairing:

I served this lamb dish to rave reviews recently with three red Rhones from El Dorado.

Fitzpatrick Grenache El Dorado
Granite Springs Syrah El Dorado
Sierra Vista Syrah El Dorado

Mushrooms with Garlic and Herbs from Perry Creek


1lb. fresh mushrooms
5 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Garlic cloves
4 Tablespoons dry red wine
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon of Fresh Rosemary
2 Tablespoons chopped parsely, for garnish


Remove stems.

Heat large fry pan and add half way with oil.

Lightly brown caps on high heat and set aside.

Chop stems. Sauté in remaining oil 3 or 4 minutes.

Add garlic and rosemary, salt & pepper to taste.

Sauté for 2 minutes.

Place mixture in the Mushroom caps, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Madroña's Meatloaf
"What's for Dinner?"


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal
2 eggs
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh green pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Mix ingredients while cold. Do not overwork.

Cook on indirect hot grill for approx. 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

Sierra Vista Apricot Brandy Chicken Thighs

In the summer we grill most every day — keeping the kitchen and the cook cooler. Here is one of our favorite summer recipes.

1/2 cup apricot preserve
Marjoram leaves (not ground)
Red pepper
1 T. brandy
black pepper
thyme leaves

Melt the apricot preserves in the microwave.  Blend until smooth. Add the brandy, stirring well.  Season chicken thighs with salt and black pepper. Spread with the brandy apricot sauce, then sprinkle with marjoram, thyme and a touch of red pepper.  Marinate for about 1 hour.  Grill,  brushing with more sauce in the last 10 minutes. 

Finish the dish with fresh, grilled apricot halves.

Enjoy with a cold glass of Sierra Vista Roussanne. 

Strawberry and Feta Summer Salad

Try this refreshing salad as an accompaniment to Grilled Polenta
Courtesy of Mari Wells, David Girard Vineyards

4 servings mixed greens

1 Cup chopped strawberries
1/2 Cup slivered almonds
1/2 Cup feta cheese
Balsamic dressing:
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 Cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Plate with grilled polenta slices for a sizzling summer BBQ.

Serves 4

Suggested pairing: David Girard Vineyards’ 2006 Rose

Single Leaf Vineyards
Asparagus Spring Roll-ups 


1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 lb. loaf white bread
4 ounces blue cheese
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1-2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 cup butter, melted

To prepare:

Blanch asparagus in microwave oven or in a steamer until al dente.  Set aside and let cool.  Cut bread crusts off of bread and roll wxith rolling pin to flatten.  Mix cheeses together with mayonnaise until smooth.  Melt butter.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of cheese mixture on a slice of prepared bread.  Cut asparagus in half and lay at one end of the bread.  Roll up and cut in half with a sharp knife.  Brush both sides with butter and place on a non-stick baking pan.  Cook for about 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.  Cook until golden brown.  Cool to room temperature before serving.

Serve with an El Dorado Viognier

Fitzpatrick’s Scallops Eire Ban


1 lb. scallops
1 medium carrot
1 leek, white part only
1/2 small celery root, peeled
Fresh tarragon to taste
¼ cup cream
1/4 lb. butter, plus 1 tablespoon
2 shallots, chopped
½ cup Fitzpatrick Eire Ban

Cut carrot, leek & celery root into julienne. In a skillet, over moderate heat, slowly sauté vegetables in 1 tablespoon butter until tender but still crisp. Salt to taste & set aside. In a clean skillet, sauté scallops briefly over moderate high heat. Remove scallops to a warm plate. Add shallots to pan and sauté briefly. Add wine & tarragon; bring to boil. Reduce liquid by half. Add cream & continue cooking until mixture thickens. Whisk ¼ lb. butter into a sauce, 2 tablespoons at a time. Do not let sauce boil.

Place divided scallops in the center of warmed plates & arrange vegetables around the scallops. Pour sauce over scallops and serve with Fitzpatrick Eire Ban Sauvignon Blanc.

(Serves four)

Vintners' Summertime Recipes

  • Summertime Watermelon Salad
  • Spinach and Romaine Salad with Feta Cheese and Walnuts
  • Parchment-wrapped Salmon with Ginger, Fennel & Viognier-Roussane
  • Ratatouille Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Salade de Pommes de Terre de Michel Prod'hon (Michel's French Potato Salad)

Vintners' Favorite BBQ Recipes

  • "Lamb Provencal" Grilled Rack of Lamb with Herbes d'Provence
  • Seared Sea Scallops with Ginger Lime Sauce
  • Citrus and Red Wine Marinade
  • Memphis Style Ribs
  • Grilled Chile, Chorizo and Avocado Pizzas
  • Smoky Tomato Tapenade Steaks
  • Diana's Grilled Scallops with Banana and Avocado Salsa
  • Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Pesto, from the Barkely Homestead
  • Boeger's Salmon with Tamari Butter BBQ
  • Perry Creek's ZinMan Steak Salad
  • Holly's Hill Summer Savory Crab Bites
  • Single Leaf Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Grilled Abalone
  • Grilled Panko Crusted Goat Cheese on Organic Greens with Grilled Olive Bread
  • Grilled Porterhouse Steak
  • Grilled Shrimp with Basil and Lemon
  • Wood-Fired Pizzas

Recipes to Pair with El Dorado Rhone Wines

  • Succulent Lamb a la Ali
  • Mushrooms with Garlic and Herbs from Perry Creek
  • Madroña's Meatloaf "What's for Dinner?"
  • Sierra Vista Apricot Brandy Chicken Thighs
  • Strawberry and Feta Summer Salad

Recipes to Pair with Syrah

  • Holly's Hill Lamb Chops
  • Holly's Hill Pork with Syrah Anisette
  • Gold Mountain's Syrah-soaked Cherries Dipped in Dark Chocolate

Recipes to Pair with Zinfandel

  • Succulent Steak with Zinfandel Sauce & Vegetable Sauté
  • Sierra Vista Crab Cioppino
  • Sierra Vista Black Beans
  • Boeger's Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
  • Single Leaf Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion Pizza
  • Madroña Grilled Peaches with Chevre

Recipes to Pair with a Diversity of El Dorado Wines

  • Sierra Vista Creamy Chicken Enchilada
  • Perry Creek's Quick Curried Chicken Salad
  • Sierra Vista's Green Curry Chicken paired with Viognier
  • Susan Boeger's Spanish Paella
  • Madroña's La Crème de Tomates en Croute
  • Perry Creek's Dinner for Six
  • Boeger's Bistecche di Calamari
  • Boeger's Thai Tofu Curry
  • Autumn Duck Saute
  • Jodar's Bruschetta
  • Boeger Eggplant Caponata

Recipes to Pair with El Dorado White Wines

  • Single Leaf Vineyards Asparagus Spring Roll-ups
  • Fitzpatrick's Scallops Eire Ban