Wineries in El Dorado County have much to celebrate in 2022 after a devastating 2021, which included the historic Caldor fire another year of reduced capacity due to COVID restrictions. To mark the promise of the new year, the region is welcoming visitors back with their popular festival, Passport to The Great Out There, the weekend of April 22–24. “Our goal with The Great Out There is to create an event where the public can connect with the real character of our wineries and be immersed in unique, engaging, meaningful experiences,” says Kara Sather, Executive Director of the El Dorado Winery Association.
Attendees can purchase tickets for one to three days, at a cost between $50 – $135 if purchased by April 1st, and then schedule tasting times at the locations they’d like to visit. Each of the nearly 30 participating wineries has two offerings, VIP and general admission. For a slightly higher cost, VIP ticket holders are given access to a unique and limited experience, in addition to the general admission offerings.
Those interested in attending the Passport to the Great Out There can peruse event offerings on the El Dorado Wines website, where listings are arranged by sub-region for easier scheduling. Examples of the offerings include:
GOLDEN LEAVES VINEYARD & WINERY (Fair Play)
General Admission: Enjoy four of our outstanding wines paired with homemade fresh bread, gourmet cheeses and chocolate. TGOT ticket holders can also take advantage of a 10% discount on all wine purchased.
VIP Experience: VIPs will enjoy five of our elegant wines carefully paired by the winemaker with gourmet food bites guaranteed to delight your tastebuds: 2020 Chardonnay or 2021 Estate Tempranillo Rosé with smoked salmon; 2017 Fair Play Merlot with mushroom polenta; 2017 Fair Play Cabernet with duck canapés; 2017 Malbec-Petit Verdot blend with prosciutto, blue cheese, cucumber; 2017 Fair Play Petit Verdot with a fresh fruit tart and chocolate 20% discount on wine purchased.
MADROÑA VINEYARDS (Camino/Apple Hill)
General Admission: At Madroña, we will be showcasing our style of Estate Grown wines with food pairings from around the world. Bold in structure, balanced with elegance, each pairing will highlight a new flavor sensation while always keeping the focus on El Dorado. And, of course, we’ll be having our annual sale on a longtime Passport favorite red, El Tinto (Lot 41) at $120/case. Come join us and experience our 49 years of family farming!
VIP Experience: One of the exciting aspects of growing grapes in the same vineyards since 1973 is the ability to bring out something special. This year, VIP guests will be tasting three cellared Estate Grown Cabernet Francs from our vast library collection. Cabernet Franc does exceptionally well in the El Dorado appellation, and this will be your chance to taste wines aged to perfection (as well as understand why we love growing grapes at such high elevations). We look forward to seeing you here!
MIRAFLORES WINERY (Pleasant Valley)
General Admission: Join us for a Luau in the Mountains! A roasted pig will be on display and tropical delights such as Kahlua Pork with Pineapple Fried Rice & Hawaiian Beef Stew will be served, perfectly paired with our estate red and white wines. There will be even be a “Sparkling Pia Colada” slushy machine! The Chocolate Architect will be here, serving their specialty “Chocolate Silk chocolates, hand-crafted in tropical flavors, just for this weekend, to pair with Miraflores dessert wines. As a Passport General Admission ticket holder, enjoy 30% off all wine purchases.
VIP Experience: Enjoy all of the perks of the General Admission experience but in your own separate covered area with private tables and seated flight pairings of five Miraflores wines, selected to perfectly pair with island-themed appetizers of Kahlua pork with pineapple fried rice, Hawaiian beef stew, and tropical themed “Chocolate Silk” chocolate from Chocolate Architect. We will be offering an additional appetizer of Lomi Lomi salmon, paired with our not-yet-released 2021 Estate Barbera Rose and an additional wine pairing of our 2019 Estate Black Label Cabernet Franc to pair with Hawaiian beef stew. Plus, as a VIP ticket holder, receive 35% off all wine purchases.
Because reservations are required at all participating wineries, tickets are limited. Groups wishing to enjoy the event together should purchase tickets together. For a complete overview of the event, attendee policies and tickets, please visit https://eldoradowines.org/great-out-there/.