Gold Hill Vineyard and Brewery is a family-owned winery where both first and second generations manage the estate. Gold Hill has enjoyed state-level awards for decades as well as a following of wonderful customers, some of whom have been married on the site and who return to renew memories of their special event.
The winery and tasting room are located approximately 1 mile from Coloma where gold was discovered. The gold rush of the 1850's created a population in Coloma which exceeded San Francisco. The soils in the area were farmed to produce food to feed the rapidly growing population. The gold rush subsided, but the farming continued. The gravely and alluvial soils provide the perfect environment for grapes. Five acres of the property has produced grapes for many decades, and in 1980 Hank Battjes realized a home winemaker's dream when he bought the property and expanded the vineyard.
The spirit of cooperation that is such an important element in the growth of quality production by El Dorado wine growers is in evidence at Gold Hill, where other pioneers such as Greg Boeger helped Hank. Since the early 80s, Hank, in turn, has helped develop new wineries providing experience-based advice on chemistry, wine storage, cave construction, brewing equipment and events. With the recent arrival of his daughter, Bryna, the next generation of owner management has begun.
The wines are produced from estate-grown grapes and beer is produced using the finest hops, grain and other ingredients in batches not exceeding in unique small lots not exceeding 200 gallons.
Hank continues to refer to his decades-old vineyard as "my hobby". He personally tests wine from barrels periodically, checking product quality both objectively through chemical tests and subjectively by taste. Driving the 80 acres in his electric cart, he directs that each vine be examined and pruned numerous times during the year and every barrel is topped off, tested, tasted, emptied and refilled as his experience suggests. Hank invites patrons and other vineyard owners to respect consumer preferences. Gold Hill employees gladly accommodate customers who prefer wines sourced from wineries around the world. We like to hear stories about the best Chardonney ever, the 1945 Port or the box wine that surprised everyone. Gold Hill celebrates the complex permutations created by drink and partaker.