Benchmark Wineries

Boeger Winery

Founded in 1973, Boeger was the first commercial winery in El Dorado since the repeal of Prohibition in 1933. And although it produces more than 30 varieties today, Barbera remains its core acclaimed wine. In 2018 Greg Boeger received the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award from the California State Fair (joining greats like Napa’s Robert Mondavi, Paso Robles’ Jerry Lohr, and Bob Gallo).

Cedarville Vineyard

UC Davis grads Jonathan Lacks and Susan Marks craft exceptional Rhône wines from their 15-acre (6-hectare) organically farmed vineyard.

C.G. Di Aire

The tasting room might be in neighboring Amador County, but the production facility is in Amador, where former food innovator Chaim Gur-Arieh crafts an array of notable wines, from Zinfandel and Barbera to Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Edmunds St. John

While Steve Edmunds makes his wines in Berkeley, the vineyards he has sourced from for many years now are primarily in El Dorado. Look especially for Bone-Jolly and Heart of Gold wines.

Holly’s Hill

Situated at 2,700 feet (823 meters) overlooking picturesque vineyards, Holly’s Hill has been a champion of Rhône varieties from the get-go, with the likes of Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Viognier, masterfully produced by founders Tom and Holly Cooper’s daughter Carrie and son-in-law Josh Bendick.

La Clarine Farm

Committed to the most natural winemaking possible (native fermentations, few inputs in vineyard or cellar, and no new oak), Hank Beckmeyer of La Clarine brings a deft hand to minimalist practices. 


Situated at about 3,000 feet, Madroña was founded by pioneer Dick Bush. Under his son Paul’s guidance now, the winery grows more than 25 varieties in its three estate vineyards, with great success among Bordeaux and Rhône wines.