Lewis Grace Tempranillo – El Dorado’s Grape Gold Rush
El Dorado County Vineyards – Courtesy of El Dorado County Wine Association
In 1848 California’s Gold Rush began in El Dorado County with James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill. As people began to come to California, the wine industry was born. In 1870 El Dorado County was a significant producer behind Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. As prohibition took hold of the wine industry- along with a dwindling population and subsequent economic challenges- the vines all but dried up in El Dorado County. Winemaking made a resurgence in the 1960s after studies of the terroir showed that El Dorado County had the right soil and climate to grow over 50 varieties of grapes.
El Dorado County boasts over 50 wineries with 2,000 acres of vines and was proclaimed as an American Viticultural Area in 1983. Day 2 of the 2017 Wine Blogger’s featured over 20 family owned wineries providing tastings during lunch.
One of the highlights of the tasting was Grace Patriot Winery (www.gracepatriotwinery.com). This winery was established in 1890 as part of the original Irving Ranch on historic land. The winery was named after Lewis Grace an American Revolutionary soldier and his family carries the name on the wines. Tyler Grace, the fourth grandson of Lewis Grace, is the estate winemaker.
I had the pleasure of tasting the Lewis Grace 2014 Reserve Tempranillo. This was one of the El Dorado wines that I have continued to enjoy since returning to Texas. Lewis Grace Tempranillo is a deep purple treat with a nose that features dark fruit, mocha and spices. The palate is equally rich with medium tannins and a lasting finish. Oak fermentation is evident and well balanced, reminding me of the scent of leaves and a pit fire that we gather around in the fall and early winter.
When to Drink: Now or can hold up to 5 years
Alcohol Content: 14.1%
Food Pairing: Beef, Lamb, Pork, Spicy Foods
Average Selling Price: $30/bottle
Remember to drink what it is that makes you truly happy and always think positively!
#eldoradowines @gracepatriot #tempranillo