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Wine Time

With award-winning wineries at our fingertips, there’s no need to leave to savor delicious vino in stunning spaces. Next time you’re looking for a “grape” escape, look to this local wine lover’s guide for a small taste of our favorites.


Pretty places to taste the day away
There’s something about sipping wine in nature that makes it extra special. Here are a few places to soak in some especially spectacular views. Hold onto this list for the fall, too; our region is particularly pretty when the leaves begin to change.

Bogle Family Vineyards: Bogle has a storied history and detailed photos in their indoor spaces, but you can’t beat a seat on their Home Ranch deck for a gorgeous view. Located in Clarksburg, enjoy the cool Delta breeze along with sights of their sprawling chardonnay vines while enjoying high-quality, sustainably produced wines. 37783 County Road 144, Clarksburg, 916-744-1092,

Bogle Family Vineyards


Lava Cap Winery: This spot is simply spectacular and tops the charts for incredible views. Pictures don’t do it justice either; it’s something that needs to be experienced in person! Choose between their redwood deck, lower patio, garden, or outdoor lawn settings while you sip on mountain-grown grapes. 2221 Fruitridge Road, Placerville, 530-621-0175,

Lava Cap Winery


Bumgarner Winery & Vineyard: Sitting at 2,750 feet of elevation, you’re guaranteed some magical views at Bumgarner’s Fair Play locale where “beauty and bounty meet.” There’s also a bocce ball court and cornhole, so you can challenge your fellow tasters to a little friendly competition. For $15, you’ll receive a classic tasting, charcuterie, and a wine glass as a (functional) keepsake! 7380 Vineyard View Drive, Fair Play, 530-957-7495,

Smokin’ Barrel Winery: Located along Lincoln’s Wise Road, this new-kid-on-the-block spot offers a chill, sprawling outdoor space that feels akin to a cozy, well-maintained farm. Did we mention it’s also dog-friendly, has ample seating, and offers rosé and zinfandel wine slushies for those warm NorCal summer days? 3700 Wise Road, Lincoln, 916-759-9330,

Smokin’ Barrel Winery


Lewis Grace Winery: Though their indoor tasting room is a lovely spot, the outdoor views—where you’ll see the Crystal Mountain Range—can’t be beat. Originally Irving Ranch, this historic property named its wines after patriot and soldier Lewis Grace. (The Irving family was also part of founding Apple Hill!) Stop in for a tasting or plan to visit for one of their patio summer events. 2701 Carson Road, Placerville, 530-642-8424,

Lewis Grace Winery


Fenton Herriott Vineyards: Snag a spot under Fenton Herriott’s picturesque gazebo to savor the Placerville air and sprawling sights from the shade. Wine flights and vino by the glass are available at this popular spot that also boasts a bocce ball court. Special events this month include a sangria weekend (August 5-6) and Hawaiian luau (August 26). 120 Jacquier Court, Placerville, 530-642-2021,

Miraflores Winery: No matter the season, Miraflores’ elegant, award-winning wines, relaxing pond, and stone patio overlooking 42 acres of vineyards doesn’t disappoint. Escape the summer heat and sit under their wooden-beamed arbor while enjoying gourmet food and wine pairings; when temps dip down, warm up next to their centuries-old fireplace with a glass of red and steaming bowl of soup to soak in the autumn hues or snow-covered vineyards. 2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, 530-647-8505,

Miraflores Winery


Iron Hub Winery & Vineyards: Bring your pups (so long as they’re leashed and friendly!) and kiddos to Iron Hub’s picture-perfect patio. In addition to killer views, they have activities like Giant Jenga and cornhole to keep the littles entertained while grown-ups enjoy small-batch whites and reds (like the estate-grown rosé or full-bodied old vine zinfandel). 12500 Steiner Road, Plymouth, 209-245-6307,

Iron Hub Winery & Vineyards



Spots to eat and drink
Although BYO picnics are allowed at most wineries, sometimes you want (and need!) more. From quick lunches to sit-down dinners, these wineries offer drool-worthy meals when cheese and crackers just won’t cut it.

Di Stasio Vineyards: Italian roots run deep at this gorgeous Plymouth winery. After sipping on offerings like arneis (flavors of stone fruit and pear) and sentieri (cocoa powder, sour cherry, and vanilla), order an antipasti platter to cap things off. On weekends, dig into a caprese salad or your choice of several paninis, like the Emilia, which includes artichoke hearts, mortadella, lettuce, mozzarella, and pesto on toasted focaccia. 10788 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 916-870-3563,

Di Stasio Vineyards


Wise Villa Winery: Sit down and savor high-quality, seasonal food (before or after your tasting)—alongside a bottle (or two)—at Wise Villa’s gourmet, Tuscan-style bistro. For lunch, their Atlantic salmon BLT and arugula salad with peaches and goat cheese can’t be beat; dinner brings promises of juicy filet mignon and seasonally inspired risotto. 4200 Wise Road, Lincoln, 916-543-0323,

Wise Villa Winery


Starfield Vineyards: During the summer months, there are several food options to choose from at Starfield Vineyards. While sipping vino on their upper patio, munch on favorites like chicken Waldorf salad, spinach dip, and crispy katsu beef sliders. A “Wine & Dine” dinner event is also held Wednesday evenings, complete with live music. 2750 Jacquier Road, Placerville, 530-748-3085,

Starfield Vineyards


Villa Toscano Winery: The Villa Toscano Bistro is a lunchtime paradise. Nosh on sandwiches served with spicy apple-mandarin slaw, pizzas, or a half-pound burger—all in a picturesque garden setting—seven days a week. Just don’t forget to pair your meal with a bottle of vino; their white sangiovese and reserve zinfandel are always crowd-pleasing picks. 10600 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-3800,

Twin Rocks Winery: Explore Twin Rocks’ staple food truck, Farm Fusion, every Friday-Sunday, with extended hours on Fridays so you can properly ring in the weekend after work. Despite their rotating menu, they often dish up offerings like loaded fries, deviled eggs, heirloom tomato salad, and warm apple tarts. 6635 Cavitt Stallman Road. Granite Bay, 916-587-0618,

Twin Rocks Winery


Helwig Winery: Lunch is served at Helwig’s new kitchen—and it’s really, really good! With items like a Korean spiced pork wrap, brisket-chuck burger, beer-battered onion rings, and ample vegetarian offerings (made using produce picked from their on-site garden), a meal here doesn’t disappoint. 11555 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-5200,

Helwig Winery


Myka Estates: Enjoy creative summertime bites at Myka Estates, like refreshing lettuce wraps filled with cucumbers, strawberries, and brie; duck confit nachos; and house-made French onion dip. Thoughtfully paired with their approachable and unpretentious wines made from sustainably farmed grapes makes for a truly memorable (and mouthwatering!) experience. 3405 Carson Court, Placerville, 530-644-3474,

Myka Estates


Sentivo Vineyards: When hunger strikes, turn to chicken flatbreads, basil pesto paninis (with or without prosciutto), and pulled pork sliders at Sentivo Vineyards. As far as sips go, try their malbec or tribute blend, both of which respectively scored 96 points on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale. 7460 Fairplay Road, Somerset, 916-936-3306,

Edio Vineyards: Edio Vineyards—sited on the same property as Apple Hill favorite Delfino Farms—doesn’t technically have a full kitchen, but from August-November, Joan’s Apple Bakery is open and on-site. Get yourself a portable (and popular!) walkin’ apple pie with vanilla ice cream and cider sauce to end the day on a sweet note. 3205 North Canyon Road, Building 1, Camino, 530-622-0184,

Casque Wines: Casque Wines shares their property with Flower Farm Café, and you’re welcome to enhance your wine experience with a few bites from them. Try the mandarin chicken salad or the house-made veggie burger; if the kids tag along they’ll love the cheese quesadilla or PB&J. 9280 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis, 916-652-2250,


Raise a glass to these stunning spaces
When you enter a tasting room, sometimes it’s primarily to beat the heat or escape the rain, or to go directly toward the wine. But a tasting experience can be so much more when you’re in an environment that truly transports you to the style, mission, and passion of the business. Check out a few of our favorites below.

Casino Mine Ranch: “It feels like you’re walking into Kim Kardashian’s house,” says Danielle Seagraves of Amador Event Co. And she’s not far off. Modern and new (we’re talking opened in February 2023), Casino Mine Ranch features high ceilings and plenty of impressive, light-filled windows. The clay wall behind the tasting bar is especially noteworthy, as it was artistically designed to represent the property’s various soil colors. 10690 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-330-0695,

Casino Mine Ranch


Château d’ Estienne: Though the patio at Château d’ Estienne is incredibly scenic, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to mention their tasting room: an amazing, custom-designed space that’s bright and ultra-modern, with picturesque views of the Sierra foothills, making it a great spot to take in the scenery when you’d rather sip indoors. 2700 Omo Ranch Road, Somerset, 530-620-7960,

Château d’ Estienne


Bonitata Boutique Wine: Calling all history buffs! Built in 1874, Bonitata's Auburn tasting room shares a space with their production facility and barrel storage area. In addition to reds and whites, sparkling fruit wines are also available. Another reason it gets our vote? It’s located on Auburn Folsom Road—within walking distance to both Old Town and Downtown Auburn—so no need to hit the curvy country roads to get your sip on. 291 Auburn Folsom Road, Auburn, 530-305-0449

Lone Buffalo Vineyards: This space sits atop historic Placer County farmlands and has a Southwestern, rustic ranch feel with plenty of merch to boot—a space that’s “fit for both cowboys and kings” per their website. Their wines all follow a buffalo-themed naming process that honor the mighty animal’s resilience and strength, such as the Bison Blanc Viognier, Where the Buffalo Roam (Rhone-style red blend), or the Dreamcatcher Sparkling Rosé. 7505 Wise Road, Auburn, 530-823-1159,

Lone Buffalo Vineyards


Rombauer Vineyards: This is a quintessential stop for chardonnay lovers. The inside is spacious and impressive, thanks to a cheese shop with wine pairing recommendations, cool photos, and a modern fireplace with a golden quote above it that reads: “The magic of winemaking is that you create something with your own hands, from your own piece of earth, that lasts for years—Koerner Rombauer.” 12225 Steiner Road, Plymouth, 866-280-2582,

Rombauer Vineyards



Where to snooze after a day of sipping
Who says you need to take a long car ride or hop aboard a plane to take a vacation? Here are a few local spots where you’ll feel worlds away and be in proximity to some of the region’s best wineries.

Eden Vale Inn: Located in Placerville, this bed and breakfast is currently top-of-list for local luxury retreats on Tripadvisor. It’s a good choice for something quainter than a large hotel chain without sacrificing amenities, like an on-site spa and complimentary breakfast (with offerings that often includes souffles and hot-from-the-oven scones). But with only seven rooms on the property, it’s best to book ASAP! 780 Springvale Road, Placerville, 530-621-0901,

Eden Vale Inn


Hotel Sutter: Old West romance meets modern-day living at this charming hotel that’s “the” place to stay in Sutter Creek. The on-property restaurant—whose outdoor deck overlooks Main Street—serves hearty meals like chicken marsala, seasonal pastas, and steaks. If you want to switch from wine to whiskey, check out the property’s Copper Bar, a speakeasy-esque spot whose curated selections represent some of the world’s finest. 53 Main Street, Sutter Creek, 209-267-0242,

Hotel Sutter


The Murieta Inn & Spa: Grab a complimentary early morning “breakfast bag” before heading off for a day of wine tasting at this newly opened hotel in Rancho Murieta. If you need a bit more local vino in your life, the on-site Gate Restaurant offers extensive El Dorado and Amador selections. Be sure to ask the front desk about the hotel’s shuttle services to local vineyards, too! 7337 Murieta Drive, Rancho Murieta, 916-354-3900,

Flower Farm Inn: Step back in time while connecting to nature at this historic space in Loomis. The property is adjacent to the Flower Farm Cafe and Casque Wines, making it a one-stop-shop for food and tastings. There’s also a nursery and gift shop to explore! A pond, orchards, and lush gardens await steps outside the 1905 farmhouse accommodations (cottages and private cottages are available as well). 4150 Auburn Folsom Road, Loomis, 916-652-4200,

Park Victorian: Overlooking Downtown Auburn and sitting atop Snowden Hill, this inn is close to all the Auburn action. Before or after wine tasting, have a casual meal at nearby Auburn Alehouse or plan for an elevated evening with French fare at Restaurant Josephine. Each of the six rooms is named after early local pioneers, such as Viola Wrigley and Leland Stanford. Old-school mansion charm meets modern upgrades for a unique and comfortable stay. 195 Park Street, Auburn, 530-330-4411,

Park Victorian


SpringHill Suites by Marriott Auburn: Want to be closer to the winery action but prefer a more classic, familiar hotel experience? Look no further. This isn’t your typical chain hotel, though—every room is a spacious suite, equipped with a separate living/seating area, a mini fridge, and a microwave. Connecting rooms are available upon request, making this a nice option if you plan to wine taste with a group. 13535 Bowman Road, Auburn, 530-492-5656,


Intimate Underground Tastings
The climate of caves bodes well to regulating the temperature of wine bottles—not to mention, they’re cool (in all senses of the word). Here’s a roundup of our region’s underground tasting opportunities, along with some private cellar spots for a more intimate experience.

Viña Castellano Vineyards: Check out Viña Castellano’s cave that was cut into the side of a hill. Large rocks composing the cave’s wall are natural to the property and were used to make castings for the ceiling then painted to match—a lengthy process with a big payoff. It’s a must-see—and their wines are equally impressive, too! 4590 Bell Road, Auburn, 530- 889-2855,

Bella Grace Vineyards: Built in 2011, Bella Grace’s “cave” in Plymouth is a sight to behold. Custom designed and engineered, it features barrel storage that’s 12 feet tall. Though this isn’t their actual tasting room, you can make a reservation to tour the cave while you’re there. Visitors can sample both wine and olive oil during their trip to this winery that’s named after two grandmothers in the family. 22715 Upton Road, Plymouth, 209- 418-5040,

Toogood Estate Winery: Among Toogood’s 40-acre estate sits a 5,000-square-foot, naturally climate-controlled wine cave. This is where you’ll get to sip on familiar favorites like zinfandel or more unique varietals such as teroldego, a dark, fruity red that we’re currently crushing on. 7280 Fairplay Road, Somerset, 530-620-1910,

Toogood Estate Winery


Helwig Winery: For those with 6-15 people in their party looking for a private, unique experience, book a tasting in Helwig’s impressive wine cave. While sipping on five of the vineyard’s finest wines, you’ll enjoy food pairings and be surrounded by illuminated wine bottles. Cheers to that! 11555 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, 209-245-5200,

Helwig Winery


Dobra Zemlja Winery: Underneath a historic, rustic barn in Plymouth, you’ll find Dobra Zemlja’s tasting cave—the first in Amador County—that’s dug into a hillside. It’s an excellent choice for those who are fans of big, bold reds. 12505 Steiner Road, Plymouth, 209-245-3183,

Dobra Zemlja Winery


Boeger Winery: If you need a private space that can hold 20 people—for a birthday, bridal shower, or just because—head to the cellar at Boeger Winery. Dating back to 1872, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places and features fieldstone walls and romantic, soft lighting. 1709 Carson Road, Placerville, 530-622-8094, 

Boeger Winery



Bogle Family Vineyards photo courtesy of Bogle Family Vineyards. Lewis Grace Winery photo by Trevor Grace. Myka Estates photo by Amber Sellnow-Frere. Château d’ Estienne photo courtesy of Château d’ Estienne. Casino Mine Ranch photo by Melissa Gayle Photography. Lone Buffalo Vineyards photo by Taylor Gillespie ©stylemediagroup. Rombauer Vineyards photo by David Ortega at Chrome Visuals. Eden Vale Inn photo by Unique Angles Photography. Hotel Sutter photo by Farrell Photography. Photo by Marie Clark of Permanent Glimpse Photography. Photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.