WINEMAKING AT A HIGHER LEVEL
Our Sierra foothills range from 1,200 to 3,500 feet and hundreds of microclimates perfect for nearly 50 grape varieties. And all our artisan winemakers have a passion for experimenting and for this place. That’s what sets El Dorado apart.
MOUNTAIN GROWN WINES
Want to know what gives El Dorado wines their intense flavors and deep colors? Our mountain vineyards are on steep hillsides with warm summer days and cool night air. It’s an environment that gives wines luscious fruit, an alluring balance, gentle tannins, and body and depth that valley floors just can’t match.
California’s Gold Rush began in El Dorado County 1848 with James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, on the South Fork of the American River in Coloma. As legions of people flocked to California to claim their fortunes, the region’s winemaking industry was born.
By 1870, El Dorado County was among the largest wine producers in the state, trailing only Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. The local wine industry flourished until just after the turn of the century when there were approximately 2,000 acres of vines in the county. Shortly thereafter, El Dorado began a gradual decline, brought about by poor economic conditions and a diminishing local population. Prohibition was but the last straw.
Between 1920 and 1960, viticulture virtually disappeared from the county. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that winegrowing made a resurgence. Following the development of several experimental vineyards, it became apparent that both the climate and soil of El Dorado County were ideally suited to the production of high quality, dry table wines. With the opening of Boeger Winery in 1973, El Dorado was once again on its way to becoming an important winegrowing region.
Today, the county has more than 2,000 acres of vines, is home to approximately 50 wineries, and produces some of California’s most sophisticated wines. El Dorado was designated an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983.
HOLLY’S HILL WAS BORN
Holly’s Hill joined the party in 1999 with the first planting of our grapes. Our tasting room opened in 2001 back when there were less than twenty other wineries. Now there are over seventy! The wineries are spread out amongst steep slopes and tall pines in four major growing regions. The Gold Hill area in the north is near the American River. Apple Hill, near the town of Placerville, is home to a dense population of wineries and tasting rooms. Pleasant Valley is just south of Placerville where our estate vineyards are planted with immense views and a great southern slope. Further to the south you’ll find another grouping of vineyards in the Fairplay region. You can hop scotch from region to region tasting wine or concentrate on just one of these areas in a single day.
We thrive on the rugged terrain, the high altitudes, the thirst for adventure, the wonder of exploration and the genuine smiles on the faces of those who visit us! Venture out to El Dorado Wine Country to see why we are so unique!