Tour Journal: El Dorado County, California

Located just 40 miles east of Sacramento in the Sierra Foothills, commonly known as California Gold Country.

Published: 1/05/2016

I LOVE VISITING El Dorado County! It’s located just 40 miles east of Sacramento in the Sierra Foothills, commonly known as California Gold Country. The terrain is amazingly diverse, with elevations ranging from just a few feet to more than 10,000 feet above sea level. It was here in 1848 in the American River near Coloma where someone cried “Eureka!” and the gold rush was on. Today, El Dorado County is a four-season destination with a mother lode of options for outdoor adventurers, history buffs, foodies, and wine lovers. My 2016 calendar is highlighted with trips to El Dorado County. The first is in January for The El Dorado Epicurean Collection of Culinary Adventures. Inspired by California Restaurant Month, the adventures are a series of culinary events taking place countywide all month long! They showcase locally grown products, exclusive seasonal offerings, wine pairing specials, gourmet prixfixe dinners, farm tours, vineyard hikes, cooking demonstrations with amazing and innovative chefs, and special discounts on food, wine, accommodations, and transportation. This is a foodie’s dream, and it lasts the entire month of January! I’ve often wondered if El Dorado County’s passion for food is inspired by its wide diversity of award-winning wines. With more than 70 wineries growing 50-plus grape varieties, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll discover something new each time you tour and taste. Visiting the tasting rooms here can be an adventure unto itself, driving along rugged roads, soaking in the scenery, and meeting great winemakers who are passionate about their craft. The 25th Annual Passport Event Weekends in April are also on my calendar. On the weekends of April 9–10 and April 16–17, Passport holders will have the opportunity to visit 20-plus wineries while they “taste at a higher level” with winemakers and sample perfectly paired foods in the intimate tasting rooms nestled in the Sierra foothills. The fun goes on all weekend with Winemaker Dinners on April 8 and April 15, because it’s impossible to fully appreciate El Dorado County in just one day! I’m checking for the details on these events and more at and—W. van Diver

As seen in the issue Spring 2016 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.