David Girard Vineyards is perfectly situated at 1,300 feet elevation in El Dorado County, not only for the benefits the land can provide to the grapes grown here, but also the history and culture that surround the winery.
The rolling hills of our 85-acre estate vineyards provide unique micro climates for producing exceptional Rhone varietals. Focusing on Syrah, Grenache, Roussanne and Viognier, wine lovers can immediately get a sense of these great vineyards. The wines have an intensity and balance that seem to be special from grapes at our elevation with our soils.
Nearly all the wines we make are estate-grown and small-lot productions, making our tasting room a focus of our winery. At a mere 5,000 case annual production, we also sell grapes to several local wineries, spreading the character of this amazing location. Although the trend in El Dorado County for many vineyard plantings has been to move up in elevation, David Girard decided the Gold Hill region, ripe with mining and wine making history from the 1800s, was the perfect location.
But this connection to history is not limited to farming. The winery through the Okei-San Project hopes to aid in the telling of the stories of the local history. In 1869, a young Japanese girl named Okei traveled with six other Japanese immigrants to what is now Gold Hill Ranch, boarding David Girard Vineyards. This site was the location of the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony from 1869 to 1871, recognized by the State of California and Japanese American Citizens League as the first Japanese settlement in the United States. We chose to honor Okei San by making her the namesake of our Cotie-Rotie style Syrah. A portion of all profits from this wine are donated to the American River Conservancy Wakamatsu Colony Preservation and Restoration Project.
David Girard Vineyards has also embraced the artistic culture of the area. Shows ranging from local school choirs to rock bands, ballet performances, and Operatic arias have graced the hilltop stage. Local artists have been celebrated and showcased at fun events like Girls Night Out, book signings and art shows.