About Me:

Yvonne is a writer and photographer living in the Sierra Foothills of California. When they aren't wine tasting, she and her husband garden, cook (committeed foodies), and enjoy their ranch with its views of acres of rolling wine grapes.

Jodar Vineyards And Winery   0
3.5
12/19/2012

Tucked two quick turns off the freeway, Jodar offers easy access to fine quality wine tasting. The actually vineyards are about ten minutes away in Swansboro in the midst of this agricultural area, featuring vineyards, orchards and Christmas tree farms. Lower case size production allows for handcrafted quality that spans varietals and blends.

The Place:  The tasting room is a compact building set next to Hwy. 50 in the heart of the Apple Hill region. Seating outside is limited and there is no view to speak of, but a picnic on the lawn wouldn’t be out of the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
3.0

Lava Cap   0
4.5
12/17/2012

Come for the wine and stay for the view – and that’s not a tagline! Nestled in a peaceful valley with views that extend to the far horizon, Lava Cap offers a great opportunity to escape the everyday with fine wines and a comfortable setting. This is the perfect place to plan a day – and a picnic!

The Place:  Lava Cap is about ten minutes off Hwy. 50, set at the end of narrow two lane roads and a couple of turns from the main Apple Hill drag. At an elevation of 2700 feet, it gets some ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Vino Noceto   0
3.5
10/30/2012

It may look small and unassuming from the outside, but don’t pass up some of the best Sangiovese anywhere! Vino Noceto is nestled at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley and can be easily overlooked among its flashier winery neighbors. What they offer, though, are unique wines, consistent award winners in many regional and national wine competitions.

The Place:  ‘Noceto’ means walnut orchard in Italian, and the theme of leaf and walnut is used for the logos and taglines at Vino Noceto Winery. They are the premier producer of Sangiovese in its various styles in ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
3.0

Borjon Winery   0
4.0
10/30/2012

If you love luscious reds, you’ve found your new favorite place to visit! Borjón Winery (pronounced bor-hown’) lies at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley where the foothills start their abrupt climb. Everything about the winery and tasting room speaks to the family’s Mexican-American heritage and continuing influences on its wines. Don’t miss the tequila exhibit in a corner of the tasting room. Many of the wines’ names are derived from some of the same branding usually reserved for that spicy drink.

The Place:  The tasting room is comfortable and modern, with clean lines and an intimate ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Sobon Estate   0
4.5
5/18/2012

Over 150 years ago, vines from what is now Sobon Estate were already feeding California’s growing wine industry. Sobon Estate was founded in 1989, the second winery owned by the Sobon family after its older sister Shenandoah Vineyards located nearby. Today, over 160 acres provides the grapes for these estate wines, along with companion plantings of olives, nuts and other crops.

The Place:  Set in rolling hills with vines covering almost every reasonable acre from valley floor to hilltop, Sobon is a treat for a variety of reasons. Its museum gives visitors a look at winemaking and life ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
4.5

Andis Wines   0
3.0
5/18/2012

Round a corner and there it is, its metallic aerodynamic structure set on the hilltop seeming to fly through the constant breezes. Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Amador County, Andis Wines presents classy wines resulting from innovative production concepts and staged with modern appeal.

The Place:  The first thing striking feature on the drive up to the Andis winery is the wall of recycled barrel staves extending the length of the building. Geometric patterns hint at the modern winemaking techniques and the clean, crisp lines exhibited by the resulting wines. Surrounding the glass walls of the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
2.0
3.0

C.G. DiArie Tasting Room   0
3.5
5/18/2012

The gently hilly country road takes you through picturesque nurseries and vineyards on your way to C. G. DiArie’s tasting room, and a more peaceful spot would be hard to find. Set in what appears to be a former house and backed by a picnic area nestled under towering trees next to a waterfall and pond, the tasting room is compact, expanded by the deck area outside.

The Place:  The C. G. DiArie winery with its European architecture is located in El Dorado County next door, and it is only open once a month to wine club members ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
3.0

Miraflores Winery   0
4.5
5/18/2012

Driving along the private road leading to the vines and wine at Miraflores is like entering a fine estate or personal park. Towering trees dot the landscape and patches of flowers spring up in unexpected places. But round a corner, and you see it, the tasting room set on top of the hill among acres of grapes. For a moment, you believe you’ve been transported to the south of France or a Tuscan hilltop.

The Place:  With a spacious patio area overlooking the vineyards at this eastern edge of the Pleasant Valley region, the tasting room and its ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Villa Toscano Winery   1
5.0
5.0
5/18/2012

Not far from the town of Plymouth, Villa Toscano Winery offers a trip to Italy in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Northern California’s foothills. The extensive grounds, tasting room, and patios offer views both close-up and distant at every turn. Its sister winery, Bella Piazza, is another local treasure located a short distance away.

The Place:  Feel like tasting a wide selection of wines? Without a doubt, you’ll be happy here! Shopping for that special wine-related gift? They have you covered! Feel like having a pasta lunch? You’re in luck here too – on Fridays! Don’t ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Mount Aukum Winery   0
4.5
5/17/2012

Venture up the hairpin turns of the narrow driveway perched on the side of the mountain and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views from the Sacramento Valley to the Sierra Nevadas. Mount Aukum Winery is set on the top of this historic location at the southern edge of the Fair Play AVA. Their catch phrase is ‘elevation matters’, and nowhere is this more evident than in the fine blends and varietals produced at 2,615 feet.

The Place:  Mount Aukum sits between the middle and south forks of the Cosumnes River, and its granite outcroppings make the grapes work ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.5
4.0

Toogood Estate Winery   0
5.0
5.0
5/17/2012

Hidden from view off a narrow two-lane road in the heart of Fair Play, this winery takes advantage of the rocky outcroppings and protected valleys indigenous to the area. At the time of this review, a new visitors’ center with tasting room were under construction, with upcoming wine club events planned for an intimate patio set in the woods overlooking the vineyards.

The Place:  Toogood Estate Winery is unique in the Sierra Foothills because it has wine caves, the only such structures in the area! Covering 5,000 square feet, the caves are built deep into the rolling hillside. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Gold Mountain Winery & Lodge   0
4.5
5/17/2012

Set high on a hillside overlooking the vineyards, Fitzpatrick Winery and Lodge is known for its log lodge, Irish hospitality and organically produced wines. From the spacious deck and wood-burning pizza oven to the pure flavors of its varietals, blends and ports, Fitzpatrick offers something for every taste and palate.

The Place:  Fitzpatrick’s is unusual in the Sierra Foothills because of its commitment to the production of wines using organic practices. The grapes are all estate grown, and coupled with the biodynamic and sustainable practices, including extensive use of solar power and preservation of useful natural habitat, this ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Madrona Vineyards   0
4.0
3/25/2012

Madroña Vineyards, unique at its high elevation of 3000 feet, actually consists of three different vineyards, all owned by different branches of the Bush family. The tasting room and Madroña Vineyard are in the heart of the Apple Hill® agricultural region of El Dorado County. Two newer vineyards, Enyé and Sumu-Kaw, are located in the nearby Pleasant Valley area, ranging over similar high elevations.

The Place:  Don’t be scared off by the somewhat puzzling drive through High Hill Ranch – the tasting room and vineyards are set on a hillside behind this historic working farm (open from Spring ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

Boeger Winery   0
4.0
3/25/2012

Sited on historic wine grape growing land in an agricultural region of El Dorado County, Boeger Winery has been an icon of modern wine production in the area since the land was first purchased by the family in 1972. Take time to enjoy the beautiful shapes of vines dating back to the 1800’s that dot the garden areas.

The Place:  Driving along the winding two-lane road through Apple Hill® to visit Boeger Winery clues you in right away that this is a productive and lush growing area. You’ll pass apple barns, Christmas tree farms and wineries set among ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

Borjon Winery   0
4.0

If you love luscious reds, you’ve found your new favorite place to visit! Borjón Winery (pronounced bor-hown’) lies at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley where the foothills start their abrupt climb. Everything about the winery and tasting room speaks to the family’s Mexican-American heritage and continuing influences on its wines. Don’t miss the tequila exhibit in a corner of the tasting room. Many of the wines’ names are derived from some of the same branding usually reserved for that spicy drink.

The Place:  The tasting room is comfortable and modern, with clean lines and an intimate ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
4.0
4.0

Boeger Winery   0
4.0

Sited on historic wine grape growing land in an agricultural region of El Dorado County, Boeger Winery has been an icon of modern wine production in the area since the land was first purchased by the family in 1972. Take time to enjoy the beautiful shapes of vines dating back to the 1800’s that dot the garden areas.

The Place:  Driving along the winding two-lane road through Apple Hill® to visit Boeger Winery clues you in right away that this is a productive and lush growing area. You’ll pass apple barns, Christmas tree farms and wineries set among ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

Madrona Vineyards   0
4.0

Madroña Vineyards, unique at its high elevation of 3000 feet, actually consists of three different vineyards, all owned by different branches of the Bush family. The tasting room and Madroña Vineyard are in the heart of the Apple Hill® agricultural region of El Dorado County. Two newer vineyards, Enyé and Sumu-Kaw, are located in the nearby Pleasant Valley area, ranging over similar high elevations.

The Place:  Don’t be scared off by the somewhat puzzling drive through High Hill Ranch – the tasting room and vineyards are set on a hillside behind this historic working farm (open from Spring ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
4.0
3.0

Gold Mountain Winery & Lodge   0
4.5

Set high on a hillside overlooking the vineyards, Fitzpatrick Winery and Lodge is known for its log lodge, Irish hospitality and organically produced wines. From the spacious deck and wood-burning pizza oven to the pure flavors of its varietals, blends and ports, Fitzpatrick offers something for every taste and palate.

The Place:  Fitzpatrick’s is unusual in the Sierra Foothills because of its commitment to the production of wines using organic practices. The grapes are all estate grown, and coupled with the biodynamic and sustainable practices, including extensive use of solar power and preservation of useful natural habitat, this ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Toogood Estate Winery   0
5.0
5.0

Hidden from view off a narrow two-lane road in the heart of Fair Play, this winery takes advantage of the rocky outcroppings and protected valleys indigenous to the area. At the time of this review, a new visitors’ center with tasting room were under construction, with upcoming wine club events planned for an intimate patio set in the woods overlooking the vineyards.

The Place:  Toogood Estate Winery is unique in the Sierra Foothills because it has wine caves, the only such structures in the area! Covering 5,000 square feet, the caves are built deep into the rolling hillside. ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5

Mount Aukum Winery   0
4.5

Venture up the hairpin turns of the narrow driveway perched on the side of the mountain and you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views from the Sacramento Valley to the Sierra Nevadas. Mount Aukum Winery is set on the top of this historic location at the southern edge of the Fair Play AVA. Their catch phrase is ‘elevation matters’, and nowhere is this more evident than in the fine blends and varietals produced at 2,615 feet.

The Place:  Mount Aukum sits between the middle and south forks of the Cosumnes River, and its granite outcroppings make the grapes work ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.5
4.0
4.5
4.0

Villa Toscano Winery   1
5.0
5.0

Not far from the town of Plymouth, Villa Toscano Winery offers a trip to Italy in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Northern California’s foothills. The extensive grounds, tasting room, and patios offer views both close-up and distant at every turn. Its sister winery, Bella Piazza, is another local treasure located a short distance away.

The Place:  Feel like tasting a wide selection of wines? Without a doubt, you’ll be happy here! Shopping for that special wine-related gift? They have you covered! Feel like having a pasta lunch? You’re in luck here too – on Fridays! Don’t ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Miraflores Winery   0
4.5

Driving along the private road leading to the vines and wine at Miraflores is like entering a fine estate or personal park. Towering trees dot the landscape and patches of flowers spring up in unexpected places. But round a corner, and you see it, the tasting room set on top of the hill among acres of grapes. For a moment, you believe you’ve been transported to the south of France or a Tuscan hilltop.

The Place:  With a spacious patio area overlooking the vineyards at this eastern edge of the Pleasant Valley region, the tasting room and its ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

C.G. DiArie Tasting Room   0
3.5

The gently hilly country road takes you through picturesque nurseries and vineyards on your way to C. G. DiArie’s tasting room, and a more peaceful spot would be hard to find. Set in what appears to be a former house and backed by a picnic area nestled under towering trees next to a waterfall and pond, the tasting room is compact, expanded by the deck area outside.

The Place:  The C. G. DiArie winery with its European architecture is located in El Dorado County next door, and it is only open once a month to wine club members ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
3.0
4.0
3.0

Andis Wines   0
3.0

Round a corner and there it is, its metallic aerodynamic structure set on the hilltop seeming to fly through the constant breezes. Surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Amador County, Andis Wines presents classy wines resulting from innovative production concepts and staged with modern appeal.

The Place:  The first thing striking feature on the drive up to the Andis winery is the wall of recycled barrel staves extending the length of the building. Geometric patterns hint at the modern winemaking techniques and the clean, crisp lines exhibited by the resulting wines. Surrounding the glass walls of the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
4.0
4.0
2.0
3.0

Sobon Estate   0
4.5

Over 150 years ago, vines from what is now Sobon Estate were already feeding California’s growing wine industry. Sobon Estate was founded in 1989, the second winery owned by the Sobon family after its older sister Shenandoah Vineyards located nearby. Today, over 160 acres provides the grapes for these estate wines, along with companion plantings of olives, nuts and other crops.

The Place:  Set in rolling hills with vines covering almost every reasonable acre from valley floor to hilltop, Sobon is a treat for a variety of reasons. Its museum gives visitors a look at winemaking and life ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
4.0
4.5

Vino Noceto   0
3.5

It may look small and unassuming from the outside, but don’t pass up some of the best Sangiovese anywhere! Vino Noceto is nestled at the north end of the Shenandoah Valley and can be easily overlooked among its flashier winery neighbors. What they offer, though, are unique wines, consistent award winners in many regional and national wine competitions.

The Place:  ‘Noceto’ means walnut orchard in Italian, and the theme of leaf and walnut is used for the logos and taglines at Vino Noceto Winery. They are the premier producer of Sangiovese in its various styles in ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
3.0

Lava Cap   0
4.5

Come for the wine and stay for the view – and that’s not a tagline! Nestled in a peaceful valley with views that extend to the far horizon, Lava Cap offers a great opportunity to escape the everyday with fine wines and a comfortable setting. This is the perfect place to plan a day – and a picnic!

The Place:  Lava Cap is about ten minutes off Hwy. 50, set at the end of narrow two lane roads and a couple of turns from the main Apple Hill drag. At an elevation of 2700 feet, it gets some ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0

Jodar Vineyards And Winery   0
3.5

Tucked two quick turns off the freeway, Jodar offers easy access to fine quality wine tasting. The actually vineyards are about ten minutes away in Swansboro in the midst of this agricultural area, featuring vineyards, orchards and Christmas tree farms. Lower case size production allows for handcrafted quality that spans varietals and blends.

The Place:  The tasting room is a compact building set next to Hwy. 50 in the heart of the Apple Hill region. Seating outside is limited and there is no view to speak of, but a picnic on the lawn wouldn’t be out of the ... Read full review



Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance
5.0
5.0
3.0
3.0
3.0