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Boeger Winery: Pioneering the rebirth of wine in El Dorado County

The vineyards show off their beauty in autumn. The change of season brings on the orange and gold colors at Boeger Winery.
The vineyards show off their beauty in autumn. The change of season brings on the orange and gold colors at Boeger Winery.
Cori Solomon

The Sierra Foothills presents itself as a sleepy wine community but therein lies some fabulous wineries creating many marvelous wines. One is Boeger Winery, a winery that is one of the pioneers in El Dorado County. Established in 1973, owner Greg Boeger aspired to bring a diversity of styles and varietals to this area just northeast of Sacramento.

Boeger Winery produces a diverse selection of wines including Milagro.
Cori Solomon

The winery is situated on rolling hills in a picturesque setting. Visiting the winery in the fall presents a spectacularly beautiful backdrop of gold and orange against the pines that grow in the area. The winery features the original winery that was established in the mid 1800s and was known as the Lombardo/Fossati Winery. The original Monterey Colonial styled winery building is used today as auxiliary tasting room. This charming tasting room has artifacts from the original winery.

During the Gold Rush and continuing up to Prohibition, wineries flourished in the El Dorado County. There was quite a demand for wine. After Prohibition the wine industry lay dormant until the late 1960s when experimental vineyards began to crop up in the area. In 1972 Greg Boeger purchased the property where his winery now sits, thus becoming one the first to forge the path in reestablishing the wine industry in El Dorado County. Boeger became the first commercial winery to reemerge in the region.

Greg Boeger grew up around his grandfather’s winery, Nichelini in Napa. It was only natural from his time spent in Napa that he would pursue an interest in winemaking. After graduating from UC Davis he moved to El Dorado County to start Boeger. Today Greg oversees the vineyards while his son Justin has assumed the responsibilities of winemaker.

Boeger has a very diverse portfolio of wines, which include both Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. He also creates some Spanish and Italian wines. I recently had the opportunity to sample Boeger’s 2009 Milagro, a wine composed of the Spanish grape, Graciano. The Graciano grape is grown primarily in the Rioja region of Spain. It is known for its intense aromatic qualities. Like many Spanish styled wines, it was big, bold and full-bodied wine. The wine displayed beautiful aromas of cherry. A rich smoothly balanced wine with a deep purple color, I found wonderful flavors of black cherry, cocoa and vanilla.

What is perhaps different about this wine compared to a Milagro from Spain is the elevation in which the grapes are grown. The winery's location in the Sierra Foothills insures that the wine will have an intensity that really brings forth the expression of the fruit in a rich manner as well as the unique terrior of El Dorado County.

After tasting this wine I am anxious to try some of the other red varietals and blends from Boeger. After over thirty years of producing wine, the integrity of the winery and knowledge of the winemaking process really comes through in Boeger’s wines.

For more information or to purchase wines:

Boeger Winery

1709 Carson Road
Placerville, California 95667
Phone: 530.622.8094
Toll Free: 800.655.2634

Open for wine tasting 10 a.m.-5 p.m., daily

If you would like to follow more of Cori Solomon’s articles, she would love you to subscribe to her column by clicking the box next to her photo.

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