The Delfino family has a long history in El Dorado County. Since 1964, they’ve been welcoming guests to their Apple Hill farm and bakery. This year, in the middle of the COVID-19 shutdown, they added to their offerings and opened a new tasting room and winery on the property called Edio Vineyards, named after the late Edio Delfino, the grandfather and patriarch who founded the farm.
Edio Delfino grew up on a 20–acre dry-farmed vineyard in St. Helena in the Napa Valley. He went off to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he studied and graduated with a degree in agriculture. He ultimately made his way to El Dorado County where he bought property and established the family farm. Today, his son and grandchildren carry the torch and continue his tradition of working the land.
Three of the four grandchildren followed in their grandfather’s tradition and attended Cal Poly. Christine studied agricultural marketing; Peter studied enology; and Derek studied viticulture. Ben stayed on the farm and learned its inner workings. Always dreaming of returning home and opening a winery, they each continued to hone their craft before making the journey back to El Dorado County. Christine and Peter learned the ropes working at wineries in and around San Luis Obispo, and Derek spent time at wineries in Santa Rosa. The siblings originally envisioned their own vineyard planted with Rhone varieties, however, the soil spoke of a different story. When making the final determination of what grapes would do best, they chose albarino, grenache, mourvedre and primitivo. Twelve years ago, the dream started to manifest as they planted vineyards on the family property, and in 2018 they produced their first vintage of wine under the Edio label.
Wine lovers are invited to visit the newly opened tasting room, which is perched on a ridge with an expansive view overlooking Joan’s Apple Bakery (named for the late family matriarch, Edio’s wife), vineyards and orchards. The winery offers seated outdoor tastings by reservation, with a collection of wines sourced from the El Dorado County vineyard, many of which are estate bottlings, and a pinot noir and chardonnay from the Edna Valley.
I had the opportunity to taste the Edio Vineyards 2018 Estate Blend El Dorado Albarino, 2018 Estate Grown El Dorado Grenache, and 2018 Estate Grown Primitivo. Across the board, the wines show a richness of texture and purity of fruit, while retaining appealing levels of acidity. The wines are clearly well-made. Production levels are low and the wines are currently only available at the winery.
Go here to learn more about Edio Vineyards and Delfino Farms.