We spent a few days last week exploring the wineries around the Placerville area. These wineries are located in El Dorado County near Highway 50 on the way to South Lake Tahoe. We have long enjoyed visiting the wineries in the Fair Play region of El Dorado County but have had little chance to explore the wineries closer to Placerville. On our trip, we visited ten wineries and found three that we think are not to be missed. We highly recommend a visit to Holly’s Hill Vineyards, Sierra Vista Vineyards, and Miraflores Winery.
One thing we love about visiting small wineries is that you often find the owner and/or winemaker working the tasting room. This was exactly the case at Holly’s Hill and Sierra Vista. The entrance ways to these two wineries are next door to each other, so it’s very easy to visit both on the same excursion.
At Holly’s Hill Vineyard working the tasting room were owners Holly and Tom Cooper, their daughter Carrie and her husband Josh Bendick. Carrie and Josh are the co-winemakers. The tasting room had gotten busy, so a call for reinforcements brought all four into the tasting room. All the wines we tasted were delightful Rhone wines. We thoroughly enjoyed everything about this winery. Not only are the wines terrific but also the staff was very friendly and warm. Our top two wines: the Mourvedre and Grenache Noir.
At Sierra Vista, working the tasting room was owner and winemaker John MacCready. John and his wife Barbara started Sierra Vista Vineyards in 1972. The name comes from the amazing view of the Sierra Mountains. In the winter when the vines are dormant you can clearly see the snow-capped mountains. Beautiful! Matching the scenery are the wines. John MacCready’s wines are delicious throughout the entire line. Our favorite red was the Fleur de Montagne, a beautiful blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. This is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch and with our friends we sat for an hour in the peace and quiet of this wine country, enjoying our lunch with a chilled glass of the Sierra Vista Sauvignon Blanc.
The Miraflores Winery is about 25 minutes away from Sierra Vista and well worth the trek. This is a new winery and we found the wines here to match any wines we have tasted in all of California. Yes, that includes the Napa Valley. What a surprise and delight for us when we began our tasting experience at Miraflores. Every wine we tasted was delicious and well made. We purchased several wines and just last evening open the Barbera. What an amazing wine!