Villa Vallecito Vineyards has a small tasting room, but don’t let that stop you. Her wines across the board are big award winning wines. Her awards from various wine competitions are too numerous to list. I became aware of their wines when she entered their Cabernet Franc in the 3rd Annual Cabernet Franc Wine Competition for the first time in April 2022. They won Best of Class ($31 to $50) and won overall Best of Show competing against all categories from the Professional Wine Judges (wines included over $100).
They started their winery adventure in 2001 with purchasing land in Vallecito. After years of selling the grapes, they decided to make their own wine! The have another award winning winemaker Nathan Vader making their wines from Vina Moda. The balance of the entire operation is essentially family chasing the energetic and engaging Ghee Hagedorn about the winery and tasting room. Her husband Alan, described as Co-CEO and Quality Control Manager continual tasting the wines. Their son Gil Munoz, Wine Club Manager and Photographer with his striking pictures adorning the tasting room round out this small management team producing some of the best wines in Calaveras County.
(Photo ©Michael Kelly)
The story on El Rey (The King being a blend and so named for her father’s influence and character) is a 50/50 blend of Syrah and Cabernet Franc). Deep rich color and layers upon layers of enjoyment from two “uncommon blended grapes”. We had two of her best varietals with aromas and tastes swirling and culminating a mouth filling experience. First tasted this with some friends and we all left carrying lots of wine back home! This was opened the other evening and was so enjoyable on this cool night!