Imagine a hotel ballroom filled with tables of wine bloggers. Add a bunch of winery owners, marketing folk, and the occasional winemaker. How many wines can you pour for said wine bloggers in less than an hour? Not too many. But that’s okay because, for us, it turned out to be a good introduction to the El Dorado Wine Country.
It’s basically speed dating for wine at November’s Wine Bloggers Conference. You get about six to eight wine bloggers at a table and the winery person comes around with a bottle or two and has about five to ten minutes to try to be heard over everyone else.
Anne fired questions at whomever was pouring because that’s what Anne does, while Michael took tasting notes because that’s what Michael does. Alas, we only have so many hands, so pictures didn’t get taken.
We tasted wines from four different wineries. However, we’re going to (hopefully) feature one of them sometime later this year, so we’ll focus on the other three.
El Dorado County is just east of Sacramento. Most of the wineries are located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is the heart of California gold country, so it’s a pretty scenic and interesting area, in general.
Some of the Wines from El Dorado Wine Country
The first folks to visit our table were Lexi and Justin Boeger of Boeger Winery. They’re a brother and sister, with Justin being the winemaker, and their father, who started the enterprise, is the vineyard manager. According to Lexi, their grandfather had a vineyard in Napa, but their father went to El Dorado to start his.
“He just would get interested in unusual stuff,” Lexi said.
Interesting? Oh, yeah. We tasted the 2014 Migliori blend, which was made up of 62 % refosco grapes, 19 % aglianico, and 19% charbono. Michael tasted some light oak, cherry, and red berry. We both really liked the blend.
Next, Eric Hays, owner and winemaker at Chateau Davell, poured his 2014 Marguerite blend made up of 67% syrah and 33% grenache.
“To me, it’s more about the natural process,” he told us.
Michael noted that the wine had a rather light color for something with as much syrah in it as this one did. He also caught some good acidity and decent tannins.
Leanne Davis is the co-owner and vineyard manager for Via Romano Vineyards. Not surprisingly, she and her winemaker husband focus on Italian varieties. Like many of the winemakers we talked to, they want to stay a small boutique winery.
“I don’t want to make twenty-five thousand cases,” Davis told us.
We tried the Papa Roman Red, which is a Super Tuscan-style blend of 38% sangiovese, 38% cabernet sauvignon, 12% cabernet franc, and 12% merlot. Michael liked the “grippy” tannins and also the black fruit and the hint of dirt. It was very drinkable, but still very young.
And that’s a quick look at what was a very quick event.