Nestled near the sierra foothills between the El Dorado County, Amador County and Lodi wineries, Rancho Cordova is a vacation destination that's magical, to say the least.
Ideal for any wine lover, these regions all boast something unique. One day, you can taste the Old Vine Zinfandels of Amador County. The next, you're enjoying the fine wines of El Dorado County and bold Lodi reds. And rather than confining yourself to one wine region, enjoy multiple all in one stay when you visit Rancho Cordova.
Since fall begins September 22, there are only a few more weeks left to fit in a leisurely summertime wine tasting tour! Keep reading our Local Wine Tasting Guide for an insider's take on the regions' best wines.
Amador County is known for having some of California's best Old Vine Zinfandels. The region boasts intense, full-bodied reds, particularly Zinfandel. With more than 40 grand-to-family-sized wineries, choosing a starting point is harder than you think. The region is rather large, so make sure to plan your tour ahead of time.
Amador County also captures the Gold Rush era and immediately brings you back in time. It's impossible to visit this region and not appreciate the era's history, especially near Sutter Creek.
Some of the most notable wineries are located in Plymouth. We'll start with Dillian Wines, this family-run winery infuses 'family' into every aspect of the tasting experience. The tasting room is even dog friendly! The next stop, Dobra Zemlja, specializes in 'big Amadors' such as Syrah and Barbera. To top it off, the tasting room is even a cave! But if you're looking for a more unique tasting experience in this region, visit Andis Wines. This small-production winery has some seriously impressive sparkling wines.
In comparison to Amador, El Dorado County wineries are on the more scenic side of things. With most of its wineries in the mountains and hills, this wine region is perfect for a relaxing getaway with wine tasting and a picnic. This region is also extremely diverse; there are plenty of wineries to visit and wines to taste.
Start off the tour in Camino. In this region, you can explore different wineries nearly every step of the way. Make a pit stop at Crystal Basin Cellars for a refreshing fruity twist on Zinfandel, Bordeaux and Rhône varietals. Grab a bite to eat next door at the Crystal Basin Bistro before heading out. Remember, you're on vacation. So take some time to enjoy the tranquility of Apple Hill while you're in Camino!
Plan to continue your wine tasting to Placerville and Fairplay. There, make sure to visit Boeger Winery, which is one of the oldest wineries in the county. They produce an incredible Italian grape Barbera. Lava Cap Winery is also worth a visit. Not only is it an exceptionally beautiful backdrop, but Lava Cap's wines have a unique flair, all thanks to the volcanic soil it sits upon.
Lodi is not the most well known of wine destinations, but it's emerging as one of California's best. A predominately red wine growing region, Lodi was actually voted the 2015 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. But before you head out for a day of wine tasting, make sure you have an up-to-date list because new wineries are opening all the time.
What's special about this region is the downtown area that features a few tasting rooms within walking distance of each other. Jeremy Wine Co. is a small, boutique winery known for its dry and fruity Zinfandel. When you visit, purchase one of Jeremy's refillable wine jugs and the tasting room staff will fill it up with your favorite wine to-go.
Adventure further out, however, and you'll understand why Lodi is the Zinfandel capital of the world. Visit Borra Vineyards to taste its many red varietals and stop at Klinker Brick Winery before heading back for the night. Klinker Brick has been in business for six generations now, and the rustic barn turned tasting room has an endearing quality of its own.