Aug. 10th, 2011

Miraflores Winery: Tuscan Escape in Northern California

Although Miraflores is relatively new on the wine tasting maps, it has already earned a place at the top of the savvy wine tourer’s list of places to visit. It’s just a short drive along winding country roads from the old gold rush town of Placerville until one comes upon the majestic winery, perched on a hill above undulating vineyards.

First-time visitors often remark that the winery building, reminiscent of a Tuscan retreat, looks as though it has been there for decades. They are surprised to learn that Miraflores is only eight years old. The winery was founded in 2003 by wine aficionados Victor and Cheryl Alvarez who believe in doing everything right. They pinpointed several hills on the property that offered the best exposure for the initial planting, and hired Vineyard Manager Rick Wickham who grew up on his family homestead farm just a few miles away. Rick has a profound understanding of the vineyards, ensuring that they deliver quality fruit.

They also had the good fortune of engaging Marco Cappelli as winemaker for Miraflores. He studied with André Tchelistcheff and is known for his Old World, artisan style of crafting wine. Marco’s commitment to producing wines of distinction reflecting the vineyards’ unique terroir has not gone unrewarded. More than ten Miraflores wines have already earned 90 points or above from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and Wine Spectator.

Many of these wines are Zinfandels with rich, peppery profiles, and muscular, complex Syrahs. But Miraflores has many more varietals to discover, including the 2009 Barbera which pairs beautifully with spaghetti or beef satay. There are also some very unique sweet wines, like the Botricelli and the Black Muscat, to intrigue the palate.

Miraflores sits on exquisite grounds, which beckon wine lovers, picnickers, and brides and grooms looking for a singular spot to say their vows. Once they visit, they usually return, to enjoy the serenity and fine wines that make Miraflores one of the area’s most appreciated wineries.

  • ’09 Barbera - Black cherry, chocolate, toasted oak, vanilla, cedar, briar patch, forest floor $18
  • ’08 Zinfandel - Ripe raspberry, spice, mulberry fruit, toasty oak $22
  • ’06 Syrah - Smoky, meaty, spice, blueberry, vanilla, toast, black cherry, anise $30

    Miraflores Winery
    2120 Four Springs Trail
    Placerville, CA 95667
    Tasting Room Open Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

    SPECIAL NOTES: Private tastings and tours by appt, barrel tasting daily, food pairings in summer by appt, weddings and receptions, picnic grounds
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