Wendy Van Diver
September 19, 2012 | Touring & Tasting Magazine, Wine & Food Pairings | Wendy Van Diver

Editor’s Tour Preview: El Dorado County

Linda Blue and me in
El Dorado County 

I’ve just returned from more road research. This time it was the mother lode: the Sierra Foothills, my five day Editor’s Tour for T&T’s Spring 2013 issue. I brought Contributing Photographer Linda Blue along, so she could capture the beauty and fun in her lens, and make me laugh along way. She definitely succeeded!

El Dorado County was named for the fantasy land where gold and precious stones are as common as pebbles and where wine flows freely from fountains. I didn’t find any of that, but I did discover many great wines, unique places to stay, and fun museums and gold mines to explore. I highly recommend a three-day visit to this wine country. You’ll find a concentrated number of wineries in Apple Hill (just outside of Placerville) and Fair Play.

Thank you, Gold Hill Vineyard, David Girard Vineyards, Bella Vista Bed & Breakfast, Skinner Vineyards, Perry Creek Winery, Charles B. Mitchell Vineyards, and Mount Aukum for your gracious hospitality. I thoroughly enjoyed your wines, views, and meeting each of you. I also want to thank Matricia Haigood of Miraflores Winery for forgiving us for being late and sending us off with a lovely cheese platter she prepared herself, so we wouldn’t go hungry as we toured El Dorado County.

I owe a special thank you to Eden Vale Inn and Visiting Innkeeper Gayle Ballard who bent over backwards to see that we properly pampered. Eden Vale Inn is a slice of heaven, located on the westernmost end of Placerville. It’s an exquisite bed and breakfast with ultra-exclusive guestrooms featuring gas fireplaces and private decks with deep soaking tubs. Gayle provided me with a home remedy (vinegar) for a bee sting as well as a wonderful breakfast the following morning. I wish I could have stayed for a whole week.

Serenity at Eden Vale Inn A private soaking tub at Eden Vale Inn

Another special thank you goes to Maggie and Paul Bush of Madroña Vineyards. Although Maggie promised me over and over that she wouldn’t go to any trouble, she greeted us at the winery at sunset with a goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto on the grill followed by a beautiful Cobb salad. Paul greeted us with juice from his freshly crushed Gewürztraminer, followed by several of his exquisite wines. We talked and shared wisdom until it was quite dark and then Paul went back to his winemaking, assuring us that he wouldn’t have it any other way.

madrona vineyards

Paul and Maggie Bush at Madroña

Between wineries, we visited both Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and Gold Bug Park and Mine. They have activities to please all ages. Gold Bug Park has hiking trails. Linda and I walked the short loop, which was the closest I came to a work out all week long.

No worries. I’m home now--back to the gym and the hiking trails--with sweet dreams of my visit to El Dorado County.


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