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Winery owner Beth Goodlin-Jones carries bottles wine while working the Iron Hub tasting room in Plymouth, Ca., on Sun. Feb. 17, 2019. Photo By Michael Macor/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

10 Drive-Worthy Wineries in California Gold Country

Where to find the Sierra Foothills’ best zinfandels, barbera, and more

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There are plenty of wineries and wine bars within easy driving distance from San Francisco, which means you’re probably on the hunt for an experience unlike one you’d find in the Bay Area (or at least for some wines that aren’t readily available at your local shop) when planning a trip to Gold Country. Here’s a mix of wineries that have plenty to offer the road trippin’ tourists, from very drinkable wines to gorgeous, sweeping views of vineyards, to —at least at one spot — a regulation-sized basketball court. Some of these wineries require reservations in advance, but planning ahead is a small price to pay to experience some of the region’s finest zinfandel, sangiovese, mourvedre, and more.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Delfino Farms Edio Vineyards - Apple Hill #5

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3205 N Canyon Rd Bldg 1
Camino, CA 95709
(530) 622-0184
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Delfino Farms has long been known for its apple farm and bakery, but the Delfino family has more recently added winemaking into its repertoire, growing grapes and adding on Edio Winery to the roster of businesses, named after the family’s patriarch, Edio Delfino. The tasting room is open year-round — with concerts scheduled during the summer — but visit in the fall to try a selection of apple-centric desserts at the bakery, including the walkin’ pie, a small, personal-sized apple pie perfect for (what else?) eating and walking around. Reservations are recommended.

2. Starfield Vineyards

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2750 Jacquier Rd
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 748-3085
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Although reservations are required for every aspect of a visit to Starfield Vineyards, it is worth the extra planning when the weather outdoors is lovely. There’s weekend lunch on the patio, but also a picnic menu available to take elsewhere on the grounds — for example, to the amphitheater or along the nature trails. There are some fees for certain amenities if you’re not a member, but it’s typically waived with a wine purchase.

3. Miraflores Winery

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2120 Four Springs Trail
Placerville, CA 95667
(530) 647-8505
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Miraflores Winery produces award-winning wines, but its Mediterranean-inspired tasting room and elevated views are transportive. Walk-ins can do a tasting at the bar, but if you prefer to do a flight on the patio (and you do) make a reservation and take in the gorgeous views. The winery also offers summer food and wine pairing events with guest chefs plus tours of the vineyard with a reservation.

4. Skinner Vineyards & Winery

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8054 Fairplay Rd
Somerset, CA 95684
(530) 620-2220
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The views from Skinner Vineyards & Winery alone are worth the visit, with its relaxing patio, water fountain, and outdoor fireplace — all perched at a high elevation for exceptional views. But it’s not just the scenery that makes it worthy of your time, as Skinner has some award-winning wines on hand as well; when the weather’s warm, relax with a nice glass of the grenache blanc or syrah. Reservations are recommended.

5. Iron Hub Winery

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12500 Steiner Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669
(209) 245-6307
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If you want your wine tasting with a side of gorgeous views, Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards is the place to go. Situated on a hilltop, the glass encased tasting room offers views of the Shenandoah Valley to drink in while you sip grenache or zinfandel. The grounds are family-friendly, as well, with activities like cornhole available as a fun diversion, and well-behaved dogs are welcomed on the patio.

6. Casino Mine Ranch

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13608 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669
(209) 330-0695
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Casino Mine Ranch recently added a tasting room, and while it’s only available to visit by appointment, it is a unique 60-acre property to tour. Beyond sipping mourvedres at the gorgeous house-turned-tasting room, with its expansive views of the vineyards and surrounding foothills, there’s an old gold rush-era mine still on the grounds and, oddly enough, a regulation-sized basketball court.

7. Vino Noceto Winery

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11011 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669
(209) 245-6557
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If the allure of seeing the smiling face of a Doggie Diner head greet you at this vineyard isn’t enough to draw you in, Vino Noceto’s (appropriately) dog-friendly patio might be another reason to stop if your pooch is along for the ride. Plus there’s the fact that Vino Noceto specializes in  Italian varietals, claiming a spot among the top sangiovese producers in the state. There are other wines on the menu, such as a barbera and (of course) a zinfandel, but one other draw on warm weekends are the wine slushies made with Frivolo, Vino’s moscato.

8. Andis Wines in Amador County

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11000 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669
(209) 245-6177
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While some tasting rooms can be described as quaint, perhaps embracing a farm aesthetic befitting a vineyard, Andis Wine goes in the other direction, embracing more modern sensibilities with the architecture and a green design. There’s plenty of outdoor space to lounge — and there’s a bocce court if the mood strikes — plus snacks are available alongside your wine tasting, if you need a little pick-me-up from a day of winery hopping. Reservations are recommended.

9. Yorba Wine Tasting

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51 Hanford St
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
(209) 267-8190
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Although the tasting room is situated in Sutter Creek and not at the vineyard proper, it’s worth stopping in to try Yorba Wines. The wine is made from grapes from Shake Ridge Vineyards, run by Ann Kraemer, who’s managed and consulted with wineries such as famed sparkling wine house Domaine Chandon. Shake Ridge’s grapes are used by a handful of wineries including Turley Wine Cellars, who appreciate Kraemer’s organic growing approach, while Yorba Wines is Kraemer’s own wine label. Try the tempranillo, zin, or barbera at a tasting, or with some planning, attend an event that pairs plates with Yorba’s wine. Reservations are recommended.

10. Ironstone Vineyards

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1894 6 Mile Rd
Murphys, CA 95247
(209) 728-1251
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A visit to Ironstone Vineyards goes way past wine tastings, although there’s plenty of that to be done here. Along with trying Ironstone’s selection of wines, there’s also a summer concert series at the vineyard’s amphitheater, an annual wine and art festival, an onsite bistro, gardens to stroll, and even a museum dedicated to the area’s gold mining history.

1. Delfino Farms Edio Vineyards - Apple Hill #5

3205 N Canyon Rd Bldg 1, Camino, CA 95709

Delfino Farms has long been known for its apple farm and bakery, but the Delfino family has more recently added winemaking into its repertoire, growing grapes and adding on Edio Winery to the roster of businesses, named after the family’s patriarch, Edio Delfino. The tasting room is open year-round — with concerts scheduled during the summer — but visit in the fall to try a selection of apple-centric desserts at the bakery, including the walkin’ pie, a small, personal-sized apple pie perfect for (what else?) eating and walking around. Reservations are recommended.

3205 N Canyon Rd Bldg 1
Camino, CA 95709

2. Starfield Vineyards

2750 Jacquier Rd, Placerville, CA 95667

Although reservations are required for every aspect of a visit to Starfield Vineyards, it is worth the extra planning when the weather outdoors is lovely. There’s weekend lunch on the patio, but also a picnic menu available to take elsewhere on the grounds — for example, to the amphitheater or along the nature trails. There are some fees for certain amenities if you’re not a member, but it’s typically waived with a wine purchase.

2750 Jacquier Rd
Placerville, CA 95667

3. Miraflores Winery

2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, CA 95667

Miraflores Winery produces award-winning wines, but its Mediterranean-inspired tasting room and elevated views are transportive. Walk-ins can do a tasting at the bar, but if you prefer to do a flight on the patio (and you do) make a reservation and take in the gorgeous views. The winery also offers summer food and wine pairing events with guest chefs plus tours of the vineyard with a reservation.

2120 Four Springs Trail
Placerville, CA 95667

4. Skinner Vineyards & Winery

8054 Fairplay Rd, Somerset, CA 95684

The views from Skinner Vineyards & Winery alone are worth the visit, with its relaxing patio, water fountain, and outdoor fireplace — all perched at a high elevation for exceptional views. But it’s not just the scenery that makes it worthy of your time, as Skinner has some award-winning wines on hand as well; when the weather’s warm, relax with a nice glass of the grenache blanc or syrah. Reservations are recommended.

8054 Fairplay Rd
Somerset, CA 95684

5. Iron Hub Winery

12500 Steiner Rd, Plymouth, CA 95669

If you want your wine tasting with a side of gorgeous views, Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards is the place to go. Situated on a hilltop, the glass encased tasting room offers views of the Shenandoah Valley to drink in while you sip grenache or zinfandel. The grounds are family-friendly, as well, with activities like cornhole available as a fun diversion, and well-behaved dogs are welcomed on the patio.

12500 Steiner Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669

6. Casino Mine Ranch

13608 Shenandoah Rd, Plymouth, CA 95669

Casino Mine Ranch recently added a tasting room, and while it’s only available to visit by appointment, it is a unique 60-acre property to tour. Beyond sipping mourvedres at the gorgeous house-turned-tasting room, with its expansive views of the vineyards and surrounding foothills, there’s an old gold rush-era mine still on the grounds and, oddly enough, a regulation-sized basketball court.

13608 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669

7. Vino Noceto Winery

11011 Shenandoah Rd, Plymouth, CA 95669

If the allure of seeing the smiling face of a Doggie Diner head greet you at this vineyard isn’t enough to draw you in, Vino Noceto’s (appropriately) dog-friendly patio might be another reason to stop if your pooch is along for the ride. Plus there’s the fact that Vino Noceto specializes in  Italian varietals, claiming a spot among the top sangiovese producers in the state. There are other wines on the menu, such as a barbera and (of course) a zinfandel, but one other draw on warm weekends are the wine slushies made with Frivolo, Vino’s moscato.

11011 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669

8. Andis Wines in Amador County

11000 Shenandoah Rd, Plymouth, CA 95669

While some tasting rooms can be described as quaint, perhaps embracing a farm aesthetic befitting a vineyard, Andis Wine goes in the other direction, embracing more modern sensibilities with the architecture and a green design. There’s plenty of outdoor space to lounge — and there’s a bocce court if the mood strikes — plus snacks are available alongside your wine tasting, if you need a little pick-me-up from a day of winery hopping. Reservations are recommended.

11000 Shenandoah Rd
Plymouth, CA 95669

9. Yorba Wine Tasting

51 Hanford St, Sutter Creek, CA 95685

Although the tasting room is situated in Sutter Creek and not at the vineyard proper, it’s worth stopping in to try Yorba Wines. The wine is made from grapes from Shake Ridge Vineyards, run by Ann Kraemer, who’s managed and consulted with wineries such as famed sparkling wine house Domaine Chandon. Shake Ridge’s grapes are used by a handful of wineries including Turley Wine Cellars, who appreciate Kraemer’s organic growing approach, while Yorba Wines is Kraemer’s own wine label. Try the tempranillo, zin, or barbera at a tasting, or with some planning, attend an event that pairs plates with Yorba’s wine. Reservations are recommended.

51 Hanford St
Sutter Creek, CA 95685

10. Ironstone Vineyards

1894 6 Mile Rd, Murphys, CA 95247

A visit to Ironstone Vineyards goes way past wine tastings, although there’s plenty of that to be done here. Along with trying Ironstone’s selection of wines, there’s also a summer concert series at the vineyard’s amphitheater, an annual wine and art festival, an onsite bistro, gardens to stroll, and even a museum dedicated to the area’s gold mining history.

1894 6 Mile Rd
Murphys, CA 95247

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