Gold Country

Once a hotbed for gold mines, California’s Gold Country stretches through the counties of El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, and beyond. Wine lovers from San Francisco and Sacramento happily make the drive to the region on weekends to explore the delightful family-owned wineries, orchards, antique shops, restaurants, and spectacular scenery. Here, the grapevines, planted at elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 feet, enjoy a myriad of microclimates which yield an amazing diversity of grapes. Come harvest, there is much gold to be reaped and savored from these bountiful hills.


Featured Wineries

Andis Wines

Founded in 2009 by Andy Friedlander and Janis Akuna, Andis Wines was quickly recognized by leading wine critics, bloggers, and major wine competitions. In 2016 Wine Enthusiast awarded 91 points to the 2012 Painted Fields Red blend and 90 points to the 2012 Original Grandpere Old Vine Zinfandel, while the 2014 Semillon received Double Gold and 98 points at the California State Fair commercial wine competition.

David Girard Vineyards

Dedicated to creating classic Rhône-style wines that capture the true character of El Dorado County, David Girard Vineyards was founded by David Girard, who believed in the great potential of El Dorado County for growing winegrapes. 

Miraflores

In the heart of the Sierra Foothills, acclaimed for interesting and historical places to visit, Miraflores is dedicated to helping write a new chapter in its history as a world-renowned viticulture area.

Mount Aukum Winery

Elevation, soil, and climate inspire the spirit and produce exceptional wines at Mount Aukum Winery. The friendly family winery sits at an altitude of 2,615 feet, with sweeping 100-mile views of Mount Diablo and the Sacramento skyline to the west, the rolling Sierra foothills and the Sutter Buttes to the north, and the mighty Sierra Mountains to the east.

Nello Olivo Wines

Founded in 2007 by Nello Olivo, a second-generation Italian-American with a passion for excellent wine, the reputation of Nello Olivo Wines grows each year as a producer of superior Italian varietals.

Perry Creek Winery

Established 36 years ago in the heart of the Sierra Foothills’ Fair Play appellation, Perry Creek Winery has earned an excellent reputation as a leading producer of wines crafted from high altitude fruit.

Vino Noceto

Vino Noceto is a renowned Sangiovese specialist, producing eight different premium Sangiovese wines as well as an array of Italian and foothill varietals, including Pinot Grigio, Barbera, Zinfandel, and Moscato.

Windwalker Vineyard and Winery

When Jim and Alanna Taff became the owners of Windwalker Vineyard and Winery in 2007, it was the culmination of a longtime love affair.

Notable Wineries

Boeger Winery

In 1973, the Boegers began building the Boeger Winery on the very spot homesteaded by the Fossati-Lombardo family.

read more +
Boeger Winery

Greg Boeger, grandson of early Napa Valley wine pioneers from the 1880s, brought the family winemaking tradition to El Dorado County by founding Boeger Winery in 1972

read more +
Chatom Vineyards

Upon first meeting Gay Callan, the petite owner of Chatom Vineyards, it’s hard to believe she’s a farmer and self-made businesswoman.

read more +
Gold Mountain Winery and Lodge

Situated at the heart of El Dorado County’s Fair Play AVA, Gold Mountain Winery & Lodge is set on a hilltop at an elevation of 2,500 feet with vista views in every direction.

read more +
Gwinllan Estate Vineyard and Winery

“Gwinllan,” Welsh for vineyard, is fitting for this family winery, whose goal is to create great wines with minimal environmental impact.

read more +
Hatcher Winery

Matthew Hatcher’s winemaking talents have put Hatcher Winery on the “don’t miss” list of Foothill Wineries.

read more +
Hovey Winery

For more than 30 years, Chuck Hovey has consistently crafted exceptional award-winning Sierra Foothills wines worthy of international recognition.

read more +
Ironstone Vineyards

On a far edge of the charming gold rush town of Murphys, Ironstone Vineyards offers visitors a genuine experience that only begins with its approachable wines.

read more +
Lava Cap Winery

At the end of a tree-lined road in Placerville, California, Lava Cap Winery greets guests with a simple charm all its own.

read more +
Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery

Twenty acres of grapevines grow on the steeply terraced terrain of Lucchesi Vineyards & Winery

read more +
Madroña Vineyards

Paul and his wife Maggie of Madroña Vineyards continue the Old World winemaking practices Paul’s father began.

read more +
Newsome-Harlow Winery

Newsome-Harlow Winery claims to be all about Bacchanalian hedonism –wine, food, friends, and copious amounts of laughter.

read more +
Renaissance Vineyard and Winery

Renaissance Vineyard and Winery is a wine writer’s delight. Many have made the one-and-a-half-hour drive from Sacramento and written rave reviews.

read more +
Renwood Winery

Surrounded by rolling hills in the heart of Amador County, Renwood Winery has long enjoyed an enviable reputation for crafting excellent wines.

read more +
Skinner Vineyards

Skinner Vineyards & Winery’s stunning new tasting room is perched atop a ridge at 2,700 feet. It offers panoramic views and ample patio space for guests to enjoy a picnic.

read more +
Terra d'Oro

Terra d’Oro, Italian for land of gold, is credited with planting a different kind of treasure: the region’s first Zinfandel and Italian grape varieties.

read more +
Truckee River Winery

The ability to merge two seemingly opposite passions into one reality is not often an easy feat, but for Russ Jones, owner and winemaker at Truckee River Winery, it has been a success for more than 20 years.

read more +

Featured Accommodations

The Victoria Inn

The Victoria Inn is an intimate, 19-room luxury bed and breakfast in the heart of California’s gold country.

More Sierra Foothills Accommodations

Other inns and hotels we recommend visiting in the region.

The Historic Cary House Hotel

Opened in 1857, such legendary guests as Mark Twain, Buffalo Bill, and Elvis Presley have stayed in this charming hotel in the heart of downtown Placerville.

National Hotel

Perfectly positioned in Jackson, with easy proximity to the wineries and attractions of Amador and Calaveras Counties, the National Hotel provides splendid accommodations for wine tourists as they discover all the fun Gold Country has to offer.

Featured Businesses

We Olive Folsom

Dedicated to informing and delighting guests with the benefits and deliciousness of California olive oil, We Olive offers an unforgettable olive oil experience.

Featured Destinations

Sierra Vintners

There’s a little gem of a wine country just about halfway between Sacramento, California and Reno, Nevada that’s too easy to find to call hidden.

Videos

Events

Top Stories

Tour Journal: El Dorado County, California

1/5/2016

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

View Story +
Tour Journal: Amador County, California

1/5/2016

Just 45 miles east of Sacramento, Amador County beckons with beautiful rustic vistas, historic downtowns, and rolling scenic vineyards. 

View Story +
Tour Journal: Calaveras County, California

6/15/2015

Until recently, the only thing I knew about Calaveras County was there’s a short story written by Mark Twain with frogs and Calaveras in the title. I had no idea how beautiful and rustic it is.

View Story +
Tour Journal: Amador County

6/15/2015

Located about 45 miles southeast of Sacramento, this scenic county at the heart of Gold Country offers great wines, fabulous food, charming small towns, and a warm, welcoming attitude.

View Story +
The Treasures of Gold Country

6/15/2015

Tucked away in the folded foothills of the Sierra Nevada, California’s Gold Country is an unforgettable destination where the state’s past, present, and future come together.

View Story +
Close-Up: El Dorado County

6/15/2015

Just 40 miles east of Sacramento, El Dorado County is located in the breathtaking Sierra Foothills in the heart of California’s Gold Country.

View Story +
Behind the Bar in the Sierra Foothills

1/13/2015

One of the many pleasures of wine touring in the Sierra Foothills is the relaxed, convival attitude we find in its tasting rooms.

View Story +
Blazing New Trails in El Dorado County

6/24/2014

In the heart of the Sierra Foothills wine region, between Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County’s history in wine dates back to 1848, when gold was first discovered at Sutter’s Mill.

View Story +
Vistas and Varieties in the Sierra Foothills

12/24/2013

Today, while Zins remain impressive, Rhône and Italian varieties have found a happy home in the Sierra Foothills and Gold Country’s diverse terrain.

View Story +
Four Romantic Wine Getaways

6/6/2013

There's nothing like spending a few days in wine country to spark or rekindle romance. Here are four regions we love, offer- ing exceptional wine, great food, and beautiful scenery—everything you need to get your heart thumping on your next escapade.

View Story +
Spelunking and Tasting in the Sierra Foothills

12/21/2012

Join Editor-in-Chief, Wendy Van Diver on her editor's tour of the Sierra Foothills. 

View Story +
What Sierra Foothills Winemakers Enjoy Most About Their Craft

6/19/2012

Here we ask some of the Sierra Foothills’ inspired winemakers what they enjoy most about winemaking and the Sierra Foothills.

View Story +
Wine Trails of the Sierra Foothills

12/13/2011

When we’re talking about the sierra foothills, the first word that comes to the visitor’s mind is “breathtaking.” Pick a trail and drive through hills, valleys, old mining towns, and untouched fields.

View Story +