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California Gold Country Zinfandels, Chardonnays & Petite Sirahs

Sitting in a winery reading a sign, “Let’s Make Pour Decisions,” I decided, why not. Pour me some Viognier, the white wine for red wine lovers.

Dono del Cielo Vineyard sits in California Gold Country’s Placer Wine trail near the town of Newcastle (east of Sacramento.) While the Italian name’s English translation is ‘Gift From the Heavens’ their wines are not gifts from Italy but California.

Wine tasting is $10 (complementary with membership) and they’ll sell wine by the glass and bottle at 20% discount.

Here’s what we tasted:

2021 Viognier (100% varietal) $30 ✰

2021 Chardonnay (pure stainless fermentation from Lodi grape) $30 ✰

2021 Ta Rose (Zinfandel based French style rose) $30 ✰+

2018 St. George III Zinfandel (St George is a root stock, more dry palate) $38 ✰/✰+

2018 Hummingbird’s Zinfandel (on the dryer side ($36 ✰/✰+

2018 Petite Sirah (a bolder palate) $38 ✰++ (91 pts.)

2019 The Reserve (a Zinfandel base with Petite Sirah on the bolder side) $45 ✰++ (92pts.)

2019 Pearl (late harvest Zin that was jammy but not too sweet) $36 ✰+

Wine grape farmed in dry climates like California’s Temecula and Gold Country tend to be bolder and younger. We found on two recent visits to Gold Country their increased discipline and control of the alcohol’s nose and taste along with softer tannins with more finesse. All in all, it was a good visit with tasty wines you should savor while visiting.

There are many wonderful wine countries in California and Gold Country is one ‘must visit’ in our Golden State.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

Bill & Erin Hodge write about California Wine, the estates & winemakers producing them and educational information about Vino. Living in California Wine Country provides a front row seat to the places you want to visit the most here in the Golden State.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.

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