In the process, I met wonderful people who are truly dedicated to grapegrowing at altitude, and who are producing Mountain wines that are incredible: intense, unique, sometimes even experimental in terms of blends and varietals. It's certainly not about the numbers here in the Sierra, but in case you are interested, let me answer, to the best of my ability, the most frequently asked question:
So what's the current count?
In alphabetical order by county:
74 El Dorado .. oops, 75
3 - Washoe County
So the number is currently 226... and additions are being made all the time. Let me know of the newcomers, please!
For example, just yesterday, I was talking to Doug Noble, Food and Wine Writer for the Mountain Democrat Newspaper, which circulates widely in El Dorado County. He was raving about a dinner he'd had recently that featured wines from Nello Olivo. Don't know how I missed that one, but that raised the El Dorado County winery number to 75. The new Nello Olivo Wine Tasting Room opened fairly recently. It is in the historic cellar of the Sequoia Restaurant (the restored Bee-Bennett Victorian mansion) in downtown Placerville. The Winery is located in Cameron Park. They produce Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Toscanello (a blend that is primarily Sangiovese), and a Super Tuscan.
More about the winery: (a few remarks cribbed from their website, www.nelloolivo.com/ )