Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lava Cap Pairs Wine and Events at their Placerville Winery

All in a day’s trip from Lake Tahoe, Placerville’s Lava Cap Winery offers the chance to taste incredible wines and participate in events like white water rafting, painting and sipping in the vineyard, sunset concerts, cooking classes, Wine 101 seminars, Harvest 101 seminars, and more.

Aimee Rebmann guides us
Barbara "paints"

I enjoyed the Lava Cap "Sip Wine & Paint" Event a few weeks ago. I was guided through painting a vineyard scene by Aimee Rebmann. “No experience needed to create an amazing painting--all while you sip your favorite Lava Cap wines!” The event lived up to the promise. The next event is August 25.

Lava Cap is one of my favorite Sierra Foothill wineries. Their Barbera is one of my few “! AHA !” wines. It is typical of the varietal but oh so good. At $25 a bottle (less for wine club members), it’s a spectacular find. But beyond the good wine, Lava Cap has made a point of helping wine lovers enjoy a tasting experience. Get on their newsletter list! Upcoming events include:

Wine & Sunsets. Every Saturday, August 18 through September 29, 2012, 4-7pm . Sip Lava Cap wine, watch the beautiful sunset views from their deck and garden area, and enjoy live music until dusk.

Red Wine, Whitewater Adventures This is a two-day red wine and white water adventure. Rafting the South Fork of the American River and visiting Lava Cap for wine tastings. Now finished for 2012, but sure to resume in 2013!

Lava Cap Winery began in 1981. The Jones family purchased an old 64-acre pear farm after a year-long state-wide search for premium vineyard land. David Jones, a professional geologist at USGS and later UC Berkeley, knew the critical role that soil plays with premium wines. This land has volcanic soil of modest depth, gentle sloping terrain with numerous microclimates, a high elevation providing moderate temperatures for even ripening, and an abundance of pure mountain water. The residual “lava cap” topography eroded from the volcanic activity in the Sierra Nevada millions of years ago.

Tom Jones, winemaker
Lava Cap Winery has always been a family affair, and sons Tom and Charlie and their wives and now children are all involved. The first varietals planted were Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, then Charlie assumed the role of vineyard manager and added Petite Sirah, Barbera, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Tom got his MA in Enology & Viticulture at UC Davis, and is a talented winemakers.

The Lava Cap style is one of elegant, textured-driven wines. The wines continue to win awards, including recent accolades for the Syrah 2009, Barbera 2009, and Cabernet Sauvignon 2009.

Visit Lava Cap Winery at 2221 Fruitridge Rd, Placerville. The tasting room is open 11 to 5 daily. For maps, directions and to register for events or buy wines online, go to www.lavacap.com

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