EL DORADO COUNTY, CA - It is no secret that El Dorado County has been hit hard this year. First with a drought that has been called California's worst in the past century. Then the King Fire burned more than 97,000 acres. One industry that is trying to recover is the local wineries that have made adjustments during this year's harvest.
"We had about 20% of our planned grapes, over in an area called Swansborough or Mosquito, that sat in the smoke and those grapes are unusable,” said Mike Owen, owner of Crystal Basin Cellars and Bistro. “Worst part of that is that you got to cut them off the vine and throw them on the ground because the smoke elements in the grapes will be sucked back into the plant."
Though winemakers say they will have to adjust their yields, they are still boastful about their small case production of varietals like syrah and grenache. Their motto is El Dorado County is Reno-Lake Tahoe's backyard winery.