Wine tasting in El Dorado County is a uniquely refreshing experience for those accustomed to Napa and Sonoma. I’ve only been here 20 hours but I’m hoping that the tasting room experience is a sign of what the community is like. So far, the once popular gold rush town of Placerville has been as friendly as my first tasting experience.
Walked into the Golden Leaves Winery tasting room off a beautiful winding road and was greeted with fresh baked cookies, smiles, and pleasant conversation. The husband and wife team tell interesting stories of their history while pouring fabulous wines. Their Pinot Grigio was a bright crisp mouthful of refreshing pear flavors. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Tempranillo was a big round ripe red wine with pepper and spice on the finish. Their Merlot had a rich velvety body with dark cherry cola and a whisper of licorice on the long elegant finish. Their Cabernet Franc had ripe blue fruit flavors like plum, blueberry and a bit of cherry. They finished the tasting with a Tempranillo full of tart cherry and spice with a tiny whiff of tobacco. Their winemaker and owner John appeared happy to tell me why his grapes get so flavorful in this region.