Entertainment

Good wine and time at Passport

By From page A6 | April 19, 2017

The El Dorado Winery Association members invite wine fanciers from expert to novice to a wine tasting sojourn in El Dorado County featuring great wine, music and food at the 26th annual Passport Wine Event on April 22 and 23 and April 29 and 30 with special winemaker dinners on the April 21 and 28.

Guests will enjoy touring through the foothills and visiting the tasting rooms, vineyards and cellars of participating winery association members from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“Each year sets a new tone and theme at passport. This year we are offering Adventures in Wine,” said Carey Skinner, owner of Skinner Vineyards and president of the El Dorado Winery Association. “We love opening our doors and setting the stage for the new theme each year.”

New this year are exclusive pre-flight tastings.

The pre-flight was introduced to incorporate additional wineries from the El Dorado wine region at a tasting at Sienna in El Dorado Hills. Attendees will have the chance to taste wines from seven wineries from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 21 and 28. Following this tasting guests can purchase tickets to a locally sourced and wonderfully paired six-course winemaker dinner at Sienna.

Participating wineries include: Cedarville Vineyards, Fenton Herriott Vineyards, Grace Patriot Wines, Oakstone Winery, Saluti Cellars, Smokey Ridge Winery and Wofford Acres Vineyard.

“We love getting the opportunity to share our wines with guests at special events,” said Ann Wofford, owner of Wofford Acres Vineyards.

Tickets for Passport and the pre-events are on sale at passporteldorado.com.

Passport Weekend participating wineries

The El Dorado Winery Association Passport is a ticket to enjoy award-winning wines. Here are some of the wineries and offerings to expect during the event.

Auriga Cellars, 4520 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, (530) 647-8078, [email protected], aurigawines.com — Auriga will be pairing dishes served with its wines and offering discounts.

Bumgarner Winery, 3550 Carson Road, Building B, Camino, (530) 303.3418, [email protected], BumgarnerWinery.com — Adventure awaits at Bumgarner Wines, where beauty and bounty meet. Explore big, bold, beautiful reds such as cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo and petite sirah along with viognier and Brian’s handmade ciders. In the Bumgarner tradition specialty food pairings from the wood-fired oven will be served.

Busby Cellars, 6375 Grizzly Flat Road, Fair Play, (530) 344-9119, [email protected] — Stop by for delicious food and award-winning wines while taking in panoramic vineyard views. Gourmet menu includes chicken marsala, garlic mashed potatoes and honey-balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts. For dessert try the port with decadent chocolate brownies. Enjoy the newest releases and old favorites.

C.G. di Arie Vineyard and Winery, 5200 di Arie Road, Mt. Aukum, Upton Road is closed to the public. Please use alternate route via Shenandoah Road and River Pines, (530) 620-6500,[email protected] — “Be A Sleuth.” Learn from Chaim to how to identify the varietal identity of a wine and win a prize. The menu will feature Mediterranean cuisine.

Chateau Davell, 3550 Carson Road, Suite E, Camino, (530) 644-2016, [email protected] — Join winemaker Eric Hays and family for a truly unique Passport experience. Hand-crafted, limited production wines paired with local, seasonal ingredients.

Colibri Ridge Winery and Vineyard, 6100 Gray Rock Road, Fair Play, (530) 620-7255,[email protected] — During Colibri Ridge’s first passport in 2005 the winery started the tradition of pairing multiple wines with each of the gourmet appetizers. Once again sumptuous food offerings will be expertly paired with the award-winning wines. This year Colibri Ridge Winery will be serving freshly baked bruschetta, fettuccine pesto with pine nuts and chicken scaloppini.

DiVittorio Winery, 3500 Carson Road, Camino, (530) 644-7734, [email protected] — Swing by diVittorio to enjoy black walnut preserves with blue cheese paired with Orange Muscat Port and Italian meatballs paired with 2013 Barbera and Sangria.

Findleton Estate Winery, 3500 Carson Road, Camino, (530) 644-4018, [email protected] — At Findleton Estate Winery guests will be greeted with a bubbly beverage as they enter into an Under the Sea Adventure. Indulge in fine wines paired with mango shrimp cocktail, roasted pork with spaetzle and zin-tastic meatballs at the “Jimmy Buffet.”

Gwinllan Estate, 7060 Fairplay Road, Somerset, (530) 723-2879,
[email protected] — There will be food pairings with four wines.

Holly’s Hill Vineyards, 3680 Leisure Lane, Placerville, (530) 344-0227,
[email protected] — Overlook the steep river canyons from the deck while indulging in savory pancakes and fried ravioli expertly paired with Rhône style wines. Then recharge at the complimentary espresso bar.

Jodar Vineyards and Winery, 3405 Carson Court, Camino, (530) 644-3474,
[email protected] — Jodar’s adventure began 30 years ago and visitors will begin in the beautiful tasting room. The Jodar family has been a part of Passport Weekend for decades and always puts out a great spread. You’ll venture past four stations with some of the best hand-crafted varietals each paired with brilliant bites.

Lava Cap Winery, 2221 Fruitridge Road, Placerville, (530) 621-0175,
[email protected] — Guests are welcome to explore the outdoor adventures of El Dorado County in an interactive wine and food journey. Enjoy Lava Cap wines paired with outdoor inspired foods from the rivers to the mountains and everything in between. Celebrate the great outdoors and amazing wines at Lava Cap Winery.

Madroña Vineyards, 2560 High Hill Road, Camino, (530) 644-5948,
[email protected] — Daring with pairings …Wine and Food … are you willing to exceed conventional wisdom, question pairing taboos and explore beyond your food and wine comfort zone? Madroña has devised a progression of courses paired with a range of wines, designed to astonish and delight through this culinary journey.

Miraflores Winery, 2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, (530) 647-8505,
[email protected] — Come join Alice in WINEderland for an adventure. It’s a very important date so don’t be late. Enter a world of zany food, extraordinary wine and enchanting surroundings. Jump through the rabbit hole and join in for this remarkable experience.

Mount Aukum Winery, 6781 Tower Road, Mount Aukum, (530) 620-1675, [email protected] — Mount Aukum Winery will feature an adventurous French menu prepared by Chef David Maestas which will tantalizingly pair with our French style wines. Listening and dancing to The Nobs Band music will enhance your experience. Attractive mix & match specials will be offered.

Narrow Gate Vineyards, 4282 Pleasant Valley Road, Placerville, (530) 644-6201,
[email protected] — Enter through the Narrow Gate and adventure through the certified Biodynamic grown wines: Rhône and Bordeaux varietals and blends, El Dorado classics and the Chocolate Splash. The wood-fired grill will be smokin’ up a ginger-garlic stir fry and the famous Passport pannini — smoked pork loin and havarti with sage aioli and caramelized onions.

Nello Olivo Wines, 643 Bee St., Placerville, (530) 409-5603,[email protected] — Meet The Grapefather and his El Dorado Wine Mob while enjoying Italian varietals paired with delicious food specialties, such as baked brie, lasagna and tiramisu. Port tasting, barrel-tasting, case specials, photo booth and more. Shari Fitzpatrick, of chocolate dipping fame will be offering her chocolate dipped fruit. She will be dipping grapes and other fruits along with her famous strawberries and rumor has it that she might even be dipping frozen tiramisu on a stick.

Perry Creek Winery, 7400 Perry Creek Road, Fair Play, (530) 620-5175,[email protected] — Perry Creek winery has teamed up with Jackson Catering to pair extraordinary wines with great food. Enjoy dipping treats in the chocolate fountain and live performances.

Rucksack Cellars, 3030 Carson Road, Placerville, (530) 644-5948,[email protected] — It’s time to throw on your rucksack and come experience the Sierra through a selection of wines from El Dorado’s newest winery. Enjoy chardonnay, barbera and zinfandel around the campfire paired with Ryan’s rustic bacon and sausage cassoulet. Then while overlooking the vineyards, barrel sample Rucksack’s first Estate Cabernet Franc and savor the view of the Sierra.

Shadow Ranch Vineyard, 7050 Fairplay Road, Fair Play, (530) 620-2785,[email protected] — Journey to Shadow Ranch Vineyard for an authentic El Dorado County wine tasting experience. Enjoy picturesque Sierra Nevada views and award-winning wines including the Sheriff red wine blend. Enjoy a hearty chicken and andouille sausage gumbo with cornbread.

Sierra Vista Vineyards and Winery, 4560 Cabernet Way, Placerville, (530) 622 -7221,[email protected] — Elevation matters — Sierra Vista offers excellent examples of these distinctive, traditional and bold mountain-grown wines. The staff is going overboard with gourmet pairings from Allez — salmon rilettes, beef Bourgogne and an assortment of other goodies paired with exquisite wines.

Skinner Vineyards and Winery, 8054 Fair Play Road, Somerset, (530) 620-2220,
[email protected] — Venture to Skinner Vineyards and Winery for some high-elevation fun during the Passport Weekends. From the Fair Play tasting room perched at 2,740 feet go on the thrilling adventure of the grape to the glass and delectable pairings of Rhône-style wines with Molto Benny’s wood-fired pizzas.

Windwalker Vineyard, 7360 Perry Creek Road, Fair Play, (530) 620-4054,
[email protected] — Selected Windwalker wines will be paired with gourmet food samples.

With more than 150 years of history steeped in gold and agriculture, the El Dorado region has unique vineyard soils and a high elevations that create a superior environment for a wide range of varietals.

For more information about El Dorado and its wines visit eldoradowines.org.

Mimi Escabar

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