AWG Correspondent

Yvonne Kochanowski

Mount Aukum Winery Photos

Mount Aukum Winery Review

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

Reviewed: March 31, 2012 by Yvonne Kochanowski
Published: May 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 hard for every bit of flavor, growth and development. This results in wines that truly do taste of the terroir in this region. All of the grapes are either estate grown or locally sourced within the Sierra Foothills, and this results in a great representation of the range that this region offers. Rapid elevation changes create microclimates that allow the grapes to develop differently depending on the sourcing slope and vineyard.

The Experience:  The winery is perched on a windy peak that is treated to fine breezes and varying terrain, and the small corner tasting room looks out over the valleys and mountains. Large groups can crowd the tasting counter, but in most cases people tend to settle outside once they have their pour. A large patio area overlooks the scenic panoramas and makes a great spot for a leisurely picnic with some of the Mount Aukum wines for accompaniment.

The Wines:  Mount Aukum is known for its Petite Sirahs and its Zinfandels, winning numerous awards and accolades. The upcoming Sangiovese and two remarkable but different Zins will be real favorites! Their blends are made in the Bordeaux style and are immediately drinkable but will still benefit from aging. The extensive tasting list is regularly updated as new wines are released, and barrel tastings of futures are also available. Don’t miss the port-style dessert wines, perfect with a bite of dark chocolate!

The People:  Tasting room staff are friendly and welcoming and can tell you all about the vines and wines and the processes that marry the two. It’s the norm to find one of the owners or extended family on site, ready to offer a spontaneous tour.

Insider’s Tip:  The experience here is a little more informal than one might find at other local wineries, and if you want some time to enjoy a laid back tasting, this is the place. There is no rush, and staff can tell you as much or as little as you’d like to know about the sources for the grapes, many of which have been repeat favorites for many years. The winery offers regular food pairing events, barrel tastings, and holiday bashes such as the Fourth of July Fireworks viewings, so check their website to see what’s happening when you want to visit.

Address & Contact Information: 6781 Tower Rd. Somerset, California 95656. Telephone: 800-591-9463, email:, website: Tasting Hours: 11:00-5:00.

Overall Rating:  

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