At 2615 feet elevation, the air is clear, the Central Valley spreads far below and the mighty Sierra Nevada lifts its snowy peaks just an arm's length away.
The soil and climate are the inspiration for Mount Aukum Winery's always popular Zinfandel and its award-winning Bordeaux blends and Rhone varietals.
Vines cling to the hillsides between outcroppings of crumbling granite in a perfect world for wine grapes - red dirt, rocky drainage - what the experts call "Holland Series," 36 inches deep. Days are sunny and nights are crisp on Mount Aukum, developing wine grapes with rich fruit, depth and complexity.
Within El Dorado County's rugged sub-appellation of Fair Play ("Wines with Altitude"), Mount Aukum uses its own hillside vineyards as well as sourcing fruit from the local growers who nurtured the explosion of Zinfandel's fame in the Sierra foothills.
Winemaker Tashia Rynearson continues the legacy of her father-in-law and founding winemaker Michel Prod'hon who developed Mount Aukum Winery's signature El Dorado County Zinfandel and French-influenced Rhone varietals and blends. Rynearson's passion and devotion places her among the Winemakers to Watch by Touring and Tasting magazine.
With a changing kaleidoscope of superb single varietal Rhone offerings made one hundred and fifty cases at a time and our utterly fantastic blends, 2615 is more than the altimeter reading at the tasting room door and the name of the already flourishing wine club, it's the source and the refuge, the goal and the inspiration.
It's all about the mountain.
Mount Aukum Winery is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media