This is Gold Rush country...home of the Mother Lode! But these days, this storied region is cashing in on a new crop. This appellation seems to be the new promised land for aspiring California wine makers. The fortunes of this unique AVA are dictated by its elevation, with allowable vineyard land situated between 1,200-3,500 feet. Vineyards above 2,000-feet, resting on high-acid, magma-based soils, enjoy four distinct seasons. Rising above the fog line, El Dorado experiences eastern breezes from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which force hot daytime air into the valley below. Land remains affordable and provides all of the attributes for successful grape cultivation. By far the most planted grape in this region is Zinfandel, however, the more profitable Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are both gaining ground, and the wineries that call this appellation home are now experimenting with classic Rhone varietals as well.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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BLUE BOOK PROFILES
Blue Book Taste Profiles for the El Dorado AVA
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All hail the King! But a king doth not a gentleman make. A temperamental prince in youth, you’re