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Style Magazine

A Local Wine Lover's Guide

Our wine region has finally made it on the map. (Cheers to that!) And whether you’re looking to taste award-winning Barberas or juicy Zins amid picture-perfect vineyard views, or journey to a restaurant where you can wine and dine, we have you covered. Keep reading for some of the area’s top tasting rooms, wine trends to watch out for, best bottles for $25 or less, and more. 

What’s Trending?

From rosé all day to screw caps, it seems there’s always a wine fad waiting to be discovered. Here are some of the latest buzzwords.

Submitted by E16 Winery
8085 Perry Creek Road, Somerset, 530-620-6200,

Cans. Like 'em or kick 'em, this familiar vessel offers a new drinkability factor and price point for emerging wine enthusiasts.

E16 Winery

Rhône varietals. With changing climates globally, warm-weather varietals—such as Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Grenache—flourish, creating beautiful, fruit-forward flavors that are vibrant and rich.

Sustainability. Aligning with growers and vineyards whose goal is to not only produce great fruit but also keep regenerative soil practices and resource management at top-of-mind is paramount.

Submitted by Wise Villa Winery
4200 Wise Road, Lincoln, 916-543-0323,

Home is where the wine is. With everyone sheltering in place and the closure of restaurants and bars, people have turned their kitchens into creative zones! Reports are showing a triple-digit increase in recipe hunting and online wine purchases, as people look to pair their meals with good wines or put wine in their food.

photo by Taylor Gillespie,

Gifting. With so many people missing out on celebrations, the easiest way to celebrate together is to order wine for yourself and/or a loved one. It makes for a great happy hour on Zoom as well!

Education. People finally have time to read up on the wines they’re drinking, which lends to delightful conversations about the beverage in their glass and encourages people to explore new varietals.

Submitted by Element 79 Vineyards
7350 Fairplay Road, Somerset, 530-497-0750,

Alternative packaging. Whether it's boxed or canned wine—like Element 79's Color Sparkling Rosé—the demand for a more convenient product to bring on adventures is trending. Some wineries are even offering wines "on tap" in their tasting rooms, allowing customers to take them home in crowlers.

Photos by Nicole Picker.

Orange wine. This ancient winemaking style is becoming more widely available (including Element 79’s 2016 Amber) and gives new-or old-world wine drinkers something to talk about. The beautiful, vibrant aromatics mixed with the luscious tannin provided from skin-contact fermentation results in wine that appeals to every palate.

Balance. Young winemakers are stepping back from the big, bold, and extracted wines of their parents and working to find balance of acid, fruit, and oak by letting varietal and regional flavors take the spotlight, which allows the unique terroir of California's diversity to shine.

Submitted by Miraflores Winery
2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, 530-647-8505,

Sustainability. Wines that are crafted using sustainable practices, such as Fish Friendly Farming (a certification program for agricultural properties managed to restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality), continue to trend. Planting cover crops like legumes and rye grass, which add nitrogen and nutrients back into the earth; using drip lines to irrigate; and incorporating fencing in a way that keeps corridors open for wildlife are other ways wineries practice sustainability.

Photo courtesy of Mira Flores.

Sparkling wines. More wineries in the El Dorado AVA are starting to offer at least one sparkling wine, and the styles they’re being done in are spread across the board.

Rosé. With hot weather upon us, dry styles of rosé are still more popular than off-dry styles, but rosé as a whole continues to trend.

Submitted by Lone Buffalo Vineyards
7505 Wise Road, Auburn, 530-823-1159,

Sparkling wines. Not just for special occasions anymore, locally produced sparkling wines have become more popular as everyday wines, especially for hot summer days.  A just-right, brut-style bubbly (not too sweet and not too dry) makes every drink a celebration. If you really want to be "on trend" and treat yourself, pop the cork on a light and refreshing sparkling rosé.

Photo by Anne Doupnik

Nontraditional white wine varietals. Look beyond Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines that do great in our local climate, like Torrontés, Albariño, Vermentino, and Viongier. Light, crisp, and fruity, they’re perfect for backyard picnics and lounging by the pool. 

Chilled reds. Traditionalists—please cover your ears and avert your eyes: Red wines can be chilled! Contrary to popular myth, there are plenty of red wines that you can drink slightly chilled in the summer months—a Beaujolais, Gamay, or a light and fruity Grenache can all be experienced in a whole new way with a light chill from your fridge.

Local wine tasting. Local wineries have reopened and are offering not only wine tasting but flights and wines by the glass, too—seated alfresco in their airy spaces often overlooking the vineyards. This is a great way to get out of the house in a safe, relaxed environment while still maintaining social distance and supporting your local economy. Find maps of many local wine regions at

5 Wines We Love for $25 & Under

When it comes to wine, less (money) is more. The following bottles hail from some of our region’s most beloved wineries and promise high-quality flavors alongside less-than-premium price tags. We’ll drink to that!

2017 Round Up Red
ABV: 13.9%
PRICE: $20
PURCHASE: Helwig Winery, 11555 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-5200,
TASTING NOTES: This easy-drinking blend of Syrah, Graciano, and Tempranillo is soft, supple, and very versatile with food. Vanilla bean, blueberry, cinnamon, and candied cherry envelope the palate with a lengthy finish, making it fantastic by itself or with anything grilled.

2019 Rosé
ABV: 13%
PRICE: $24
PURCHASE: Scribner Bend Vineyards, 9051 River Road, Sacramento,
TASTING NOTES: Crisp and clean with abundant aromas of fresh strawberry and watermelon, this rosé is a celebration of summer. Keep a few chilled bottles ready for impromptu parties.  

2016 Davis Road Red
ABV: 14.6%
PRICE: $22.99
PURCHASE: Van Ruiten Family Winery, 340 West Highway 12, Lodi, 209-334-5722,
TASTING NOTES: A red blend that offers a pleasing aroma and flavor profile (dark fruits, anise, and spice) with good structure; complex, ripe tannins; and a lingering, spicy finish.

OZV Zinfandel
ABV: 14.2%
PRICE: $13
PURCHASE: Oak Ridge Winery, 6100 East Highway 12, Lodi, 209-369-4769,
TASTING NOTES: This old vine Zinfandel is enticing and jammy—a true expression of Lodi’s unique terroir. Flavors of boysenberry and mocha are prominent, with a hint of plum liqueur on the finish.

Painted Fields Cuvée Blanc
ABV: 13.1%
PRICE: $25
PURCHASE: Andis Wines, 11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-6177,
TASTING NOTES: This luscious, medium-bodied white blend of unique Mediterranean grapes grown in the Sierra foothills features a tense interplay of apple, pineapple, and peach. Crisp and dry, it’s perfect poolside or alongside sunsets.

Wonderful Wine Bars

Next time you’re craving a glass or bottle of vino alongside light bites and chill environs, look to these wine bars for a tasty time.

Cante Ao Vinho
Open Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-9 p.m., the Cante Ao Vinho Wine Bar—sited in the historic Barudoni Building—is the prime place to enjoy a glass of wine. Don’t forget to buy a bottle (or two) to go! 5250 Front Street, Rocklin, 916-824-2277,

Cante Ao Vinho

House of Oliver
There’s something special on the menu every day at House of Oliver, including wine tastings, live music, and specialized food offerings. 3992 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 140, Roseville, 916-773-9463,

Citizen Vine Folsom
In addition to “Pouring for the People,” Citizen Vine also serves a diverse selection of cuisine—including a charcuterie and cheese board with over 20 types of meats, cheeses, and other items—in relaxed, intimate environs. 609 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-932-4234,

Citizen Vine Folsom

Artisan food, beer, and—of course—wine can all be found at Flightz, where they also offer wine-by-the-bottle and gourmet meals for four or more to go. 3907 Park Drive, Suite 110, El Dorado Hills, 916-805-5128,

Citizen Vine Lincoln
Local favorite Citizen Vine offers wine, beer, and small plates in a casual atmosphere. They even offer brunch and weekly specials like Taco Tuesday and Wine Down Wednesday (20% off wine bottles). 845 Twelve Bridges Drive, Suite 145, Lincoln, 916-409-2361,

The Wine Smith
Stop by this Main Street staple for local wine and beer by the bottle (in-room dining closed for now), or order online for curbside pickup. 346 Main Street, Placerville, 530-622-0516,

Platinum Wine Lounge

Platinum Wine Lounge
With a menu that includes charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and salads, Platinum Wine Lounge also offers live music, craft beers, and a wine membership that provides discounts and access to special events. 9050 Fairway Drive, Suite 105, Rocklin, 916-780-9463,

Reset Folsom
Sourcing their wines (and beers!) within an hour of Folsom, Reset also offers flatbreads, appetizers, sweet treats, and even a breakfast menu—mimosa included. 727 Sutter Street, Suite B, Folsom, 916-358-9162,

Top Tasting Rooms

Mix up your next wine tasting adventure by venturing to a vineyard you’ve yet to experience. Pack a picnic, your closest crew, and stop at one (or a few) of the spots that follow.

Oakstone Winery


Oakstone Winery
Nestled in rolling hills, Oakstone Winery produces award-winning wines—from Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to Zinfandel and Petite Sirah—and also carries wines from Obscurity Cellars. Indulge in a glass on their second-story patio and enjoy the vineyard views. 6470 Irish Acres Road, Fair Play, 530-620-5303,

Viña Castellano
The Mendez family takes pride in their Spanish heritage and brings it to Auburn with their gorgeous estate and award-winning Spanish varietals. The property also includes plenty of picnic areas, a pond, and a wine cave. 4590 Bell Road, Auburn, 530-889-2855,

Viña Castellano; photo by Anne Doupnik.


Kehret Vineyards
Step into Kehret Vineyards’ tasting room—sited at the top of Mount Aukum—and enjoy hand-crafted, high-quality, small-production wines with one of the best vantage points in the region. Fan favorites include the 2017 Aureate, with flavors of wild blackberry, cobbler, and clove, and the 2016 KV Petite Sirah featuring notes of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, allspice, and plum. 6781 Tower Road, Somerset, 209-245-3757,

Mt. Vernon Winery
Family-owned Mt. Vernon Winery houses their tasting room in a picturesque milk house originally built in 1950 where they pour award-winning bubbles, reds, and whites. Their property also features plenty of picnic spots and a wine cave. 10850 Mt. Vernon Road, Auburn, 530-823-1111,

Distant Cellars
New-world wines rooted in old-world tradition alongside genuine service await at Distant Cellars. Sip bold, well-structured wines on their beautiful redwood deck that overlooks the vineyards. Fun fact: They’re one of only two tasting rooms in the Fiddletown AVA. 21390 Ostrom Road, Fiddletown, 209-245-8687,

Mediterranean Vineyards


Mediterranean Vineyards
Did you know that the climate in the Fair Play region is similar to that of the Mediterranean? Well, Mediterranean Vineyards does, and thus bring varietals from countries like France, Italy, and Spain right here to our region. 7449 Fairplay Road, Somerset, 530-497-0175,
Iverson Vineyards & Winery
Producing fewer than 3,000 cases per year of beautifully balanced vinos, Iverson is the epitome of a boutique winery. Be sure to pack a lunch when you come to their scenic tasting room—it boasts a spacious patio and picnic area. 8061 Perry Creek Road, Fair Play, 530-620-7474,
Rancho Victoria Vineyard
Rustic warmth, country elegance, and striking views are just a few reasons to visit this hidden, historic gem in Amador County. Sip world-class wines in their refurbished tasting room—which was once a scale house for cattle—or on their picture-perfect patio. 16920 Greilich Road, Plymouth, 209-600-2557,

Willamette Wineworks; photo by Andrea Johnson.


Willamette Wineworks
Created by Willamette Valley Vineyards out of Oregon, this microwinery blends wine and food into an experience—allowing guests to learn about winemaking and even create their own blend. You can also book a private blending experience for an even more in-depth lesson and become a wine club member for discounts and special events. 824 Sutter Street, Suite 200, Folsom, 916-542-7417,
Sierra Vista Vineyards & Winery
As one of El Dorado County’s first wineries—it opened in 1977—Sierra Vista has perfected the craft of making award-winning vinos. Just 15 minutes off the freeway, tasters can expect picturesque views of the Sierra Nevada, plus family-friendly environs, and wines that are perfectly balanced between fruit, acid, and tannins. 4560 Cabernet Way, Placerville, 530-622-7221,

Holly’s Hill Vineyards
Snack on tapas—like lemon-artichoke pesto with breadsticks or Spanish chorizo and manchego—as you sit under the misters and sip Rhône varietals like Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Counoise. Check their website for upcoming events, like a Patriarche Vertical Tasting on August 15 and 16. 3680 Leisure Lane, Placerville, 530-344-0227,

Crystal Basin Station & D'Artagnan Vineyards & Wine Tasting
Experience two tasting rooms in one location! Partake in great company, a spirited atmosphere, and an informative wine tasting experience at this new locale on Sutter Street featuring flights and plenty of outdoor seating. 813 Sutter Street, Folsom; 916-597-0158,; 916-599-4758,

Silt Wine Company; photo courtesy of Silt Wine Co.


Silt Wine Company
Whether you book a wine tasting with the friendly crew from Silt Wine Company or become a wine club member and have the tasting room open to you, you’ll get a taste of what the beautiful Delta can offer. 50870 Babel Slough Road, Clarksburg, 916-298-9409,

Jeff Runquist Wines
Named the Golden State Winery of the Year at the 2019 California State Fair, Jeff Runquist Wines is not new to receiving awards; their balanced wines consistently win myriad medals. For those who can't manage to peel themselves away from the premises, treat yourself to a relaxing stay in the “R” Vineyard House, which sleeps eight and boasts a saltwater swimming pool. 10776 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-6282,

Old Sugar Mill
Located in the heart of the Clarksburg AVA, just 15 minutes from Downtown Sacramento, sits 14 wineries under one history-filled roof. Visit one or more (favorites include Todd Taylor, Elevation 10, and Due Vigne Winery) and enjoy your selections on their scenic outdoor patio. 35265 Willow Avenue, Clarksburg, 916-744-1615,

Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers

Good food calls for good wine. Luckily, you can find both at the restaurants below.

Sienna photo courtesy of Sienna.

With so many options from California’s multiple wine regions, plus a few global picks, you can’t go wrong with the extensive wine list available at both Sienna locations. 3909 Park Drive, El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9694; 1480 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-771-4700,

Visconti’s Ristorante
Folsom favorite Visconti’s features plenty of California wines, from Plymouth and Napa Valley to Paso Robles and Monterey, as well as a few Italian options—all perfectly paired with one of their palatable plates. 2700 East Bidwell Street, Suite 700, Folsom, 916-983-5181,

Visconti's Ristorante; photo by Gino Creglia.

Sutter Street Steakhouse
A perfectly cooked steak and glass of robust red make for a memorable meal. Luckily, Sutter Street Steakhouse has plenty of local and global options to satisfy the biggest oenophile. 604 Sutter Street, Folsom, 916-351-9100,

Bennett’s Kitchen Bar Market

Bennett’s Kitchen Bar Market
From bubbles and rosés to reds and whites, Bennett’s can satisfy any wine craving with robust offerings in a single pour or full bottle. 1595 Eureka Road, Roseville, 916-750-5150,

Vaiano Trattoria
True Italian food (and drink) await at Vaiano Trattoria where they carry many wines from Tuscany (a nod to the hometown of two of the founding members) along with other Italian varietals and local selections. 7160 Douglas Boulevard, Granite Bay, 916-780-0888,

Vaiano Trattoria

Bricks Eats & Drinks
Serving a wide selection of varietals, including some local favorites, Bricks offers guests plenty to pair alongside their many delectable dishes. 482 Main Street, Placerville, 530-303-3480,

Bacchus House
Bacchus was the Roman god of wine, so there’s no doubt that Bacchus House offers a variety of the finest wines by the glass and the bottle. 1004 East Bidwell Street, Suite 100, Folsom, 916-984-7500,

Bacchus House Bistro photo by Dante Fontana.


Play (Bocce) Ball!

Have a ball at these wineries that boast bocce ball courts, in addition to wonderful wines.

Andis Wines, 11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth,

Charles B Mitchell Vineyards, 8221 Stoney Creek Road
Fair Play, 530-620-3467,

Fenton Herriott Vineyards, 120 Jacquier Court, Placerville,

Sera Fina Cellars, 17000 Latrobe Road, Plymouth,

Paul J. Wines, 10775 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth,
Rancho Roble Vineyards, 340 Fleming Road, Lincoln,

Turley Wine Cellars, 10851 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth,

Vino Noceto, 11011 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth,

Andis Wines Bocce Ball


by Emily Peter-Corey & Megan Wiskus