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El Dorado AVA... Revealed...

A hidden gem, located just 60 minutes east of Sacramento, California.

Our recent trip to a magnificent lesser-known wine region with incredible wines was none other than El Dorado County.

El Dorado AVA
El Dorado AVA

El Dorado was designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983. El Dorado County has more than 2,000 acres of vines, is home to approximately 50 wineries, and produces some of California's most sophisticated wines. These wines range in height from 950 to 3,500 feet.

The local artisan winemakers love to experiment and have a very evident passion for this beautiful region. A characteristic of El Dorado wines is their intense flavor and deep color. Located on steep hillsides, mountain vineyards have cool nights and warm summer days. Wines from this area show luscious fruit, an appealing balance, gentle tannins, and a depth and body unmatched by valley floor regions.

When you visit El Dorado, you'll notice that the tasting rooms offer seemingly endless varieties of wine. Unlike other regions that specialize in a small number of types of wine, they offer nearly 100 varieties due to the complexity of the soil, climate, and topography. This abundance of variety is not due to a lack of focus on a select few varietals.

This county's grape-growing zone has five major agricultural soil types and hundreds of subtypes. These soil types are all influenced by decomposed volcanic and granitic material, ranging from 950 to 3,500 feet in elevation. The county's grape growing zone has dense, steep, and maze-like patches of foothills, which host a wide variety of microclimates.

Map of California AVAs
Map of California AVAs

El Dorado's vines enjoy clear, warm days and unobstructed sun exposure in the Sierra Nevada mountains between the American and Cosumnes River watersheds. This results in wines with intense fruit characteristics. The nights, however, are very cool due to the mountain air that flows down from the high peaks as the sun sets. The cooler nights ensure excellent structure and acidity in the wines. The endless combinations of elevation, exposure, microclimates, and soil type allow adventurous winemakers to plant different varietals to their hearts' delight.

Visit El Dorado Wine Country to discover why they are unique! Check out the official El Dorado Wines Association to learn more about what the region has to offer.


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