WE ARE EL DORADO WINES

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!

MISSION & VISION

MISSION STATEMENT

To represent the unified interests of its members, promote the brand El Dorado and increase the recognition of El Dorado County’s wine region as a quality wine tasting experience and destination.

VISION STATEMENT

The El Dorado Winery Association (EDWA), governed by a Board of Directors, operates according to bylaws created to implement decisions that best serve its members. Active members, united through cooperation, encouragement, shared knowledge and education, strive to improve wine quality and the tasting experience. EDWA influences local agencies to support the expanding wine industry and its positive impact on local economic growth. The ongoing marketing of our wine region is a catalyst to advance the notoriety of El Dorado County’s wine growing regions as world-class wine destinations.

HISTORY

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.

REGIONAL HISTORY

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.

The most unusual thing you’ll notice when you visit El Dorado is the seemingly endless varieties of wine offered in our tasting rooms. Unlike other regions where they focus on a limited number of wine types, we offer nearly 100 distinct varietals. This is not a lack of focus, we do it, frankly, because we can. The terroir, or combination of soil type, climate, and topography of the El Dorado AVA is an infinitely complex one. The county’s grape growing zone has a radical elevation range of 950 to 3,500 feet, a dense, steep and maze-like patchwork of foothills that host a wide variety of micro-climates, five major agricultural soil types and hundreds of sub types, many influenced by the presence of decomposed granitic and volcanic material.

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains between the dramatic watersheds of the American and Cosumnes Rivers, the vines of El Dorado enjoy clear, warm growing days and unimpeded sun exposure which develops intense fruit characteristics in the wine. The nights, however, are very cool due to the mountain air that flows down from the high peaks as the sun goes down. The cool nights ensure good structure and acidity in the wines. The endless combinations of elevation, exposure, microclimates and soil type, give adventurous winemakers the opportunity to plant different varietals to their hearts’ delight.

Established in 1983, The El Dorado American Viticultural Area (AVA, also referred to as an “appellation”) includes those portions of El Dorado County located between 1,200 and 3,500 feet in elevation and bounded on the north by the Middle Fork of the American River, and on the south by the South Fork of the Cosumnes River. El Dorado is a sub-appellation of the 2,600,000-acre Sierra Foothills AVA — one of the largest appellations in California — which includes portions of the counties of Yuba, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolomne and Mariposa.

The El Dorado appellation is unique due to its high elevation and complex topography. El Dorado’s mountain vineyards are perched at elevations high above the valley, where cooling breezes off the Sierra Nevada and the mountainous topography create a diversity of microclimates and growing conditions not found in other regions in valley settings.

These microclimates provide ideal locations for growing a wide variety of grapes identified with the world’s finest wine regions, including Bordeaux, the Rhône, Germany, Italy and Spain. El Dorado grows approximately 50 different varieties of grapes, ranging from Gewürztraminer, which does best in the higher and cooler portions of the county, to Zinfandel and Barbera, which ripen perfectly in warmer climates.

El Dorado is cooled by elevation rather than by the fog that is common to the coastal regions. This means the grapes receive more direct sunlight, thus ripening fully without retaining excess herbaceous characters or acidity that is out of balance with the fruit flavors. El Dorado’s relatively cool temperatures also allow the grapes a long “hang time” for uniform ripening.

In conjunction with the climate, there are three basic soil types determining the characteristics of the region: fine-grained volcanic rock, decomposed granite and fine-grained shale. Varying in elevation and topography, each soil offers good drainage and the nutrients needed to encourage vines producing rich, deeply flavored grapes.

CLIMATE AND GEOGRAPHY

EDWA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Lexi Boeger, President
  • Jennifer Bumgarner, Vice President
  • Leanne Davis, Treasurer
  • Emily Hayes, Secretary
  • Elisheva Gur-Arieh, Director
  • Danica Olivo, Director
  • Lauren Rizzolo, Director
  • Stephanie Singer, Director
  • Mike Owen, Director
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