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Taste the History at Skinner Vineyards & Winery

Kari Jensen57 views

Discover the Skinner Family Legacy: Elegant Wines Rich in Family History

Let’s travel back in time to the 19th century Gold Rush era. A time where settlers scoured the Sierra Foothills hoping to strike it rich. Like many immigrant miners, James Skinner made his way west and was fortunate enough to establish Skinner Ranch in the small town of present-day Rescue, CA. Although, Skinner’s township still appears on some maps today.

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/SkinnerVineyards.


Perched atop El Dorado’s mountain range, a viticultural gold mine, James Skinner planted the first commercial vineyard, and in 1861 founded J. Skinner Native Wine and Brandy Co. By 1883, J. Skinner was the largest winery in the foothills, growing some of today’s most renowned regional grape varietals and producing over 6,000 cases a year. Operations ended in the early 20th century, leaving traces of the original winery and the Skinner family name behind.

Then, in 2006, with a stroke of luck, Kevin Skinner and his wife Kathy discovered the family legacy passing through the area on vacation—they saw their family name on a map and were curious. After several phone calls to Kevin’s dad, Mike Skinner, and a local cemetery commission, they discovered they were in fact descendants of this historical winemaking family.

An exciting newfound heritage, Mike, and his wife Carey’s enthusiasm to revitalize a family business sprung into action. By the end of that same year, they purchased land in “Skinner,” CA and planted their own vineyards. The following year, they purchased more land in El Dorado County and began building today’s Skinner Vineyards & Winery, where family philosophy runs deep, shining through in their nationally acclaimed wines.


SkinnerVineyardsWineryRed, white, Rosé, Estate—  they have it all. Committed to carrying on the J. Skinner reputation, maintaining the quality and elegance of the region’s fruit is key.

Winemaker Chris Pittenger brings the family’s vision to life by capturing the depth and complexity of Rhône varietals. Having worked in famous wine regions around the world such as Napa, Australia, and New Zealand, his illustrious techniques showcase passion and dedication for the art of winemaking.

Expect to taste from a portfolio of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Viognier, and proprietary blends reflecting the historic terroir of the Fair Play American Viticulture Area (AVA).

Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/SkinnerVineyards.

Tasting Room


A short drive from the original J. Skinner winery, elevate your experience with the exceptional wines and 360-degree views of Skinner Vineyards & Winery’s estate vineyards, sitting just shy of 2,500 feet. A sleek modern rendition of a rustic past, guests can choose whether to relax on the patio overlooking the Sierra Foothills or lounge in front of the fireplace on cooler days.

Tip: Don’t hesitate to book a private tour and tasting. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience!  

What to Buy


2013 Dry Diggings– Full-bodied, Syrah-based, extra barrel aged blend

2013 Eighteen Sixty-One- 90 points Wine Enthusiast, Grenache-based blend

2015 Grenache Blanc- Naturally acidic, subtle richness, intense fruit flavors

2016 Rosé, El Dorado– Crisp, refreshing, Mourvédre and Grenache blend

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Available for purchase in the Skinner Vineyard & Winery tasting room or online at flywithwine.com.  

Kari Jensen
A young professional in the digital marketing field, passionate about all things wine, beer, and travel. I enjoy the adventure in discovering the unique stories & trends within California's life & style. Having a knack for creativity, the challenge persists to keep writing, designing, capturing, and creating. Cheers!

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