Winederlust: Fair Play Area, El Dorado County

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Greetings, Fellow Closet Wino!

Recently, the Closet Wino Team revisited one of our all time favorite wine regions — the Fair Play area of El Dorado County in California. Nestled among the rolling hills in what was once the Gold Rush country, east of Sacramento off of Highway 49, it is where you will find some of the state’s finest Zinfandels. It’s scenic, historic and uncrowded.

After enjoying a restful night and a fabulous breakfast at the Grey Gables Inn in Sutter Creek. We headed off to some of our favorite wineries. But first we checked out a new place (to us) in Plymouth, called Amador Vintage Market. The deli creates the most wonderful sandwiches, so we loaded up with yummy supplies for our day of wine tasting. The store also has a wine bar, a good selection of retail wines, and they do catering and special event planning as well.

Off we headed to Latcham Vineyards and Granite Springs Winery. They are sister wineries and each has an extensive tasting list, with many award-winning wines from Chardonnay to Port. We especially love their Zinfandels (and Port brownies)! Between the two wineries there were nearly 20 pours and, as always, NO tasting fee. Best of all, most of their incredible wines are $20 or less!

Time to recharge and eat. We stopped at another secluded favorite, Oakstone Winery. We grabbed our deli lunch and sat on the covered porch and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings, just long enough to watch a gentle rain turn to hail. Quickly finishing we went into the tasting room to warm ourselves. Our pourer knew her wines well. And we enjoyed the samplings of mustards along with the delicious wines. Keeping to tradition we again purchased their crisp and unique apple wine and more of their signature Slug Gulch Red.

El Dorado County and its neighboring Amador County are wonderful areas for wine enthusiasts to visit. There are over 40 small wineries within easy driving distance. There are also many quaint bed and breakfasts for lodging, and terrific restaurants abound. It is well worth making a special trip to this yet-to-be-discovered wine region.

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Head Wino