El Dorado (AVA)
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This is Gold Rush country...home of the Mother Lode! But these days, this storied region is cashing in on a new crop. This appellation seems to be the new promised land for aspiring California wine makers. The fortunes of this unique AVA are dictated by its elevation, with allowable vineyard land situated between 1,200-3,500 feet. Vineyards above 2,000-feet, resting on high-acid, magma-based soils, enjoy four distinct seasons. Rising above the fog line, El Dorado experiences eastern breezes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which force hot daytime air into the valley below. Land remains affordable and provides all of the attributes for successful grape cultivation. By far the most planted grape in this region is Zinfandel, however, the more profitable Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are both gaining ground, and the wineries that call this appellation home are now experimenting with classic Rhone varietals as well.

Current Feature

Besides legendary Zinfandel, Amador County has taken to Rhone, Italian and Iberian variety wines with laudable results. Now the Amador 4 Fires brings the foods of those regions to an open flame to explore a total experience  [>] continue

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Alive & Well here

Syrah | Shiraz: During the Roman occupation of Gaul you rose to fame as a captive vine turned gladiator. Your legend  [>] continue


Jean Deitz Sexton
is the Regional Correspondent for El Dorado.


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Featured Wines

Perry Creek Vineyards 2005 Syrah - Estate Bottled Grown in the high elevation FairPlay appellation. A fruity, chewy Syrah with well ripened tannins & a spicyness not found anywhere else
buy wine $17.00

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Winery sponsors of Appellation America’s coverage of the El Dorado appellation.