AWG Correspondent

Yvonne Kochanowski

Gold Mountain Winery & Lodge Photos

Gold Mountain Winery & Lodge Review

Regions: Sierra Foothills AVA, El Dorado County, Fair Play AVA, El Dorado AVA, California

Reviewed: March 30, 2012 by Yvonne Kochanowski
Published: May 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 produces wines in which the care for the characteristics of the fruit is evident. This is a great place to learn how small changes can minimize the carbon footprint while creating terrific tasting wines. The tasting room and lodge rooms have been newly remodeled for the upcoming season.

The Experience:  Pull up to the hand-hewn log tasting room and lodge, and you will immediately notice the personal touches of the owners and winemaker. The tasting room is intimate, and it is almost always staffed by one of the owners or member of the family. The long wooden bar opens up to a seating area that’s great for enjoying the ploughman’s lunch offered on the weekends. The deck area features reservations-only Friday night pizza parties and live music during the summer, a great venue to enjoy Fitzpatrick's stunning views.

The Wines:  For some palates, wines produced using organic practices can be a learning experience; the flavors and textures can be a little different than those in wines produced using non-organic practices. Fitzpatrick is best known for its reds, and the Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Zinfandels, in particular, are rich and yummy. In its varietal wines, 100% of the grape is the variety – no blending of small amounts of other grapes is included. Try the port-styled dessert wines as well, as the fortifier is made specifically for these treasures. The tasting list is extensive and constantly updated, with reds favored.

The People:  As the owners like to say, they’re Irish 365 days a year! The people are warm and friendly, knowledgeable about the farming practices that produce their grapes, and happy to share information about the production styles that result in their unique wines. Frequent food pairing events and Irish-styled food available on the weekends round out the overall tasting experience.

Insider’s Tips: This is a wonderful place to stay in the heart of Fair Play for an overnight tasting experience. The five lodge rooms are spacious and comfortable with balconies overlooking the valleys. Make reservations early for any event weekends, as people tend to book a year or more in advance for popular time periods.

Address & Contact Information: 7750 Fairplay Rd. Fair Play, California 95684. Telephone: 530-620-6888, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Wed-Mon 11:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

Red Wine White Wine Service View/Ambiance

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