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El Dorado Winery Association Tasting: March 20, San Francisco

One of the trends in the wine industry I'm happiest about involves the increasing initiative that wine regions are taking in making themselves visible to the public. Such activities by individual AVAs, or American Viticultural Areas, produce two important results: increased awareness of the individual region, and increased awareness of the difference between regions for consumers. I'm in full support.

Public tasting events are one of the chief ways such wine regions are producing this visibility. These events are not only a lot of fun to go to, they are a wonderful education. While visiting the region is the best way to understand the wines, not everyone has the time, the energy, or the means to visit many of California's wine regions. Even those who do can't visit more than five or six wineries in a day's tasting. But at these large tastings, the curious consumer can taste the efforts of twenty, fifty, or a hundred different wineries, and very quickly get a read on a specific region.

Which brings me to the little tasting going on in about a week at Postrio Restaurant here in San Francisco. Twenty-four wineries from El Dorado County, a small AVA nestled into the Sierra Foothills, will be coming to San Francisco to showcase their wares.

This very manageable tasting offers the opportunity to taste some excellent Zinfandel, among other things, from some of California's off-the-radar producers. If I wasn't going to be out of town, I'd definitely be there to calibrate my palate on the good, bad, and otherwise of this little wine region.

The tasting will include passed hors d'oeuvres like Moroccan braised short ribs, proscuitto-wrapped squab and hamachi crudo, as well as live Jazz. Classy!

Wineries that will be pouring include:

Auriga Wine Cellars
Boeger Winery
Busby Cellars
Cedarville Vineyards
Chateau Rodin
Colibri Ridge Winery & Vineyards
Crystal Basin Cellars
David Girard Vineyards
Fenton Herriott Vineyards
Fitzpatrick Winery & Lodge
Gold Hill Vineyard
Granite Springs Vineyards
Holly's Hill Vineyards
Latcham Vineyards
Lava Cap Winery
Madroña Vineyards
Miraflores Winery
Mount Aukum Winery
Narrow Gate Vineyards
Perry Creek Vineyards
Sierra Oaks Estates
Sierra Vista Vineyards & Winery
Single Leaf Vineyards & Winery
Windwalker Vineyard

El Dorado Winery Association Tasting
Saturday March 20, 2010
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Postrio Restaurant at the Prescott Hotel
545 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

Tickets for the event are $38 per person and should be purchased in advance online.

My usual tips for such tastings apply: get a good night's sleep, drink lots of water, don't taste on an empty stomach, wear dark clothes, and spit if you want to learn anything.

Comments (4)

Jon Bjork wrote:
03.12.10 at 8:52 AM

We've been happy with a number of the Rhone varietals produced by this group. Cab Franc has also been very interesting - in a good way.

Mark wrote:
03.12.10 at 1:32 PM

Interesting to hear an AVA that seems like it wants to produce a Cab Franc, almost everywhere it is a complete afterthought. Although a huge risk, I do wonder if one of these smaller AVA's could push themselves into the wine press by focusing more on a lesser known varietal. I have heard some good things in regard to Single Leaf, without having tried them myself.

Jon Bjork wrote:
03.12.10 at 2:16 PM

Honestly, I couldn't tell you what El Dorado wants to be known for. There are still wineries in the "we'll show you we can make a great Cab" quest. So I'd describe them as still in discovery mode, though, as Alder pointed out, this is an excellent opportunity to see what they are particularly gifted at growing.

By the way, I've been hearing great things about Cedarville, but since they are by appointment, we've missed them on our last two trips.

Alder Yarrow wrote:
03.12.10 at 3:21 PM


Thanks for the comments. I've had more Cedarville than any other winery in El Dorado, and really enjoy their wines. Jonathan and his wife are wonderful folks and I'm sure they'd be happy to have you over the next time you're out there.

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