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September 24, 2020 | Winemaking | Team Member

Why El Dorado AVA is An Incredible Wine Region

1850 Winemaker Terry Goetze talks about his introduction to El Dorado County many years ago and what makes El Dorado County so special. 

Terry Goetze is the winemaker for 1850 Wine Cellars. He describes El Dorado County is the hidden gem in California for winemaking regions.

Terry takes us back to when he started winemaking at Rombauer Vineyards almost twenty years ago. Rombauer still sources fruit from El Dorado County for Zinfandel. Terry recalls, "The fruit was just phenomenal!"

As Terry honed his craft even more he would come to El Dorado County and go wine tasting to really understand the flavor profiles of the region. Terry shares with us how, while these other regions also make great wines, there is a uniqueness to El Dorado County where:

• Vineyards are grown at elevation
• A lot of soil is decomposed granite
• Micro climates within the county

All these features make for very unique wines that will stand out from Paso Robles, Sonoma, or even Napa. Cabernet Sauvignon for example grows really well in El Dorado County. 

A lot of the vines in El Dorado County are own-rooted. This means they are allowed to grow in the ground rather than be grafted. They start out as a cutting with buds that are placed in the ground and will naturally grow roots while buds above ground will eventually grow leaves and grapes. While grafted buds can produce fruit quicker and take root in difficult places, own-rooted vines behave more maturely many years before grafted vines will. They also will not need as much water to establish themselves.

Terry also explains how there are a lot of well established older vineyards in El Dorado County. They have a lot of character and different unique flavor profiles. "We're trying to take that and push that to the forefront and exemplify and expand those in our wines", says Terry. 


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