After discovering an ancestral connection to a Gold Rush-era miner, rancher, and wine grower named James Skinner, Mike and Carey Skinner purchased property in the El Dorado Hills, along with a century-old stone cellar built by James (Mike’s great, great, great-grandfather). Winemaking is headed by Chris Pittenger, whose resumé includes stints at Williams-Selyem and Marcassin.
Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills in El Dorado County, the Skinner estate vineyards—both non-certified organic—are high-elevation sites planted primarily to Rhône grape varieties, which have become the young estate’s calling card. The Stoney Creek Vineyard, with 18 planted acres, is in the Fair Play AVA, and, at 2,700 feet, is one of the loftiest vineyard perches in California. Soils are mostly decomposed granite, and diurnal temperature swings are dramatic. The 12-acre White Oak Vineyard, adjacent to the original Skinner property, is at 1,400 feet, with a mix of iron-rich volcanic loam and granite.
The El Dorado Grenache 2015 (DAILY WINE) is characterized by freshness, perfume, and balance, owing to cool-climate sourcing and Pittenger’s deft touch. The textured Seven Generations 2014 white blend includes Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and a few others. It’s a floral, beeswaxy white reminiscent of Châteauneuf-du-Pape blanc.
TASTING ROOM Walk-ins welcome, reservations encouraged.
MAILING LIST Currently open.
SALES Website and national distribution.
WINERY TOURS Yes
PRIVATE EVENTS Yes.
SOCIAL MEDIA Instagram @SkinnerVineyards, Twitter @Skinner_Wines, Facebook.com/ SkinnerVineyards
Images via Facebook.com/ SkinnerVineyards