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A Guide to Wine Tasting in Northern California

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

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People come from all over the US to enjoy the incredible taste of northern California wines. From farm wineries to destination wineries, there are wineries in the foothills and along the winding rivers in the north part of the state.

Each one is within 60 miles of Sacramento, the state capital. You’ll appreciate each of these wineries’ distinct characteristics that offer some of the best sips of wine. And some of the best-kept secrets in the Sunkist state.

The Best Places to go for Wine Tasting in Northern California

  1. Bogle Winery
  2. Heringer Estates
  3. Windwalker Vineyard and Winery
  4. David Girard Vineyards
  5. LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards
  6. Oak Farm Vineyards

1. Bogle Winery

bogle winery

Recently voted American Winery of the Year and nestled along the Sacramento Delta, enjoy the peaceful and comfortable setting of Bogle Winery.

The staff warmly greets you, giving you tasting choices delivered near a shaded tree setting with picnic areas. The wine tasting is by reservation and the size of your party. 

The Bogle family farmed in the Clarksburg region for six generations. The wine business spans 50 years dedicated to quality wines, offering affordably priced wines without skimping on the quality.

Phantom Red Blend is a wine enthusiast treasure as a hauntingly delicious wine. Its sister Phantom Chardonnay also haunts spicy flavors and imparts a creamy mouthfeel.

Other wines include Merlot, Rose, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Old Vine Zinfandel, and Sauvignon Blanc. The winery presentation for tasting is quite extensive, with “only available in the tasting room” reserves.

Prepare for an afternoon of sipping and strolling around the vineyard. The Bogle Winery will host events and adventures during the evenings, including live music, movie nights, and hikes along Elk Slough.

2. Heringer Estates

heringer estates

Wine country in Clarksburg is one of the best-kept secrets for wine lovers. Heringer Estates is a fine example of the best quality, with panoramic views of the Sacramento Delta.

They offer an escape from the bustling modern life with a wide selection of lush wines in the countryside. While sipping wine, you might see tractors roaming, and roses bloom.

Cultivating bliss and rich love for the community and land, the Heringer family has farmed in Clarksburg since 1868.

The 150-year-old Heritage Barn, a newly renovated tasting room, shares a part of the family estate. Guests can now enjoy the wine tasting of 100% sustainable wines, private weddings, and events.

Under a canopy of 300-year-old oak trees, Marjorie’s Garden has unique places to refresh and celebrate love, presenting a rose garden and two gazebos.

Open daily from 11 AM to 5 PM. The winery offers tastings, shopping, and even curbside pickup. Reservations are a must so you and your friends can experience the beauty of Heringer Estates.

The wine menu has wines by the glass, nibbles and a la cart, reserves tasting, and themed tastings for a fee.

3. Windwalker Vineyard and Winery

windwalker vineyard and winery

One of the oldest wineries in El Dorado County, you may feel you are in the middle of nowhere, but it’s positively worth the trip.

Jim and Alanna Taff took over the ownership in 2007. Before that, they were volunteers who exchanged their wedding vows on the tasting room deck.

They won two awards at the California State Fair four years later: Shady Lady Primitivo won Best of Show Red, and Windwalker won the Golden Bear Award.

Since that momentum summer, the winery has won high honors at all state and county competitions. The Taffs enjoy the winemaking process, relying on their talented winemaker, Ben Parrett.

Guests can bring a picnic lunch, sipping their wine selection by tasting Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Alicante Bouche, Barbera, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more, including blends and ports.

You’re encouraged to try Windwalker’s Wine Dinners, orchestrated by Chef Jonathan, featuring six gourmet dishes. It’s a special evening with their wines.

The wine tasting room is open daily from 11 to 5 without fees. Just bring your palate.

4. David Girard Vineyards

david girard vineyards

Tastings are available by appointment yet unnecessary, but worth the effort since guests can take a tour of the 90-acre estate. Waiting for them on their return is a cheese and wine pairing or a pleasant tasting.

Under the guidance of vineyard manager and winemaker Grayson Hartley, the winery offers a portfolio of handcrafted wines, like Viognier, Roussanne, Syrah, Vermentino, Mourvèdre and Grenache.

The Rhone-style wines signify the true meaning of El Dorado County and David Girard Vineyards.

Nestled at 13,000 feet elevation among the rolling hills of the Gold Country, Girard took the first ten years growing Merlot grapes for Robert Mondavi Winery. He soon branched his vineyard to accommodate the true meaning of a winery.

Today, you can join the Wine Club or hold a grand wedding based on Ceremony Only or Galleria Venue.

The vineyard offers events throughout the year, including private events, seasonal releases, and theatre productions presented by the local community college.

5. LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards

langetwins family

This fifth-generation winery is family-owned and operated. This fifth-generation winery produces an authentic grape-to-glass experience when you visit their tasting room. 

Take a tour of the Press Room tucked underneath an elevated crush pad. Stunning concrete and stainless water fountains welcome visitors.

Here in the warm and inviting Press Room, behold the excitement of the crush as you sip one of the vineyard’s new releases. You’ll notice the winery’s dedication to sustainability as you wander the room.

Wander the cellar and experience the cheese and wine pairings on leather couches if you’ve made an appointment.

Reserve, estate, and single barrel wines are accessible to taste and even purchase. Wines include Zinfandel, Rose, Corsaire, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Barbera.

Bring your four-legged friends, boasting a large nature area to meander for you and your friends. Some signature events are quarterly release parties and an all-family Easter Celebration.

Some businesses use the grounds for meetings, tasting wine while eating the box lunches they brought with them. Visit the winery during the week and avoid the crowds.

The Tasting Room is open Thursday through Monday, 12 PM to 5 PM.

6. Oak Farm Vineyards

oak farm vineyards

Once you arrive at the end of a rural country road, just shy of the Mokelumne River in Lodi, you’ll experience the unparalleled wine tasting destination.

Winery owned by Heather and Dan Panella, the historic 70-acre estate with the majestic century-old oaks to behold. Dates back to 1863, the plantation-style mansion and barn offer ten acres for its guests to enjoy.

The Oak Farm Vineyards is open daily from 11 AM to 5 PM by reservations only. The experience is worth it because the winery specializes in small-lot, handcrafted, single-vineyard varietals.

All grapes that make Oak Farm Vineyards’ wine comes from the estate vineyard or local vineyards.

Winemaker Chad Joseph skillfully crafts food-friendly, well-balanced wines. You can taste the wine and reflect on its supple structure, never overworked or over-oaked.

The 2015 Winemaker’s Challenge International Wine Competition awarded 94 points to their 2014 Albarino, garnering Platinum/Best, and the 2012 Zinfandel earned 93 points.

The vineyard opened in 2014, producing 10,000 cases a year, including a tasting facility. Vineyard goes through changes and growing pains. The overall goal is to make all its wines from the grapes grown in the vineyard.

Some of the vineyard’s wines include Merlot, Padrone, Petit Verdot, Barbera, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Guests enjoy sipping wine and transferring back to a bygone era, with each historic building having its own story. Take a red or white glass of wine, roam the grounds and find a comfy spot near the might oak or fishing pond. Here, relax and savor the charms of country life.

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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