MV Winery, Miller Vineyards

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Appellation: Fair Play Viticultural Area
Location: 7261 Fair Play Road
Fair Play, California 95682
Phone: (530)620-1067
Winemaker: John Miller
Tasting Room: Small
Days/Hours: By Appointment Only
Parking: Medium
Picnic Facilities: N/A
Red Wines: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Barbera, Nebbiolo
White Wines: Sauvignon Blanc
Production: Less than 1000 cases

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The Winery

MV is a new winery in the Fair Play region with a lot to offer to the wine tourist. The estate is set in the rolling oak woodland and pine forests of southern El Dorado County. The cozy new tasting room, with its high ceilings and natural light, enjoys scenic views of the estate. A larger tasting facility is in the planning stages amidst the towering pines and oaks near a seasonal stream along the Fair Play Road frontage.

The Vineyards

The 46 acre estate has 11 acres planted to the grapes that do best in this high elevation growing region of decomposed granites. The varietals include Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel. But the winery is not content to grow these more often seen grapes, and has planted two additional varietals that are pretty rare in the Foothills, Pinotage and Lagrein. Pinotage is a cross between the Cinsaut and Pinot Noir grapes, created in South Africa in 1925. Lagrein is an Italian grape from the Alto Adige region where it is used to make wines that range from light ros├ęs to rich, deeply flavored red, almost black wines. Both grapes are a natural for the local Mediterranean-like climate.

The Wines

John Miller has achieved significant success with his small production wines. His Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Barbera all recently won gold medals at distinguished wine contests, and the 2005 Syrah was named the Best of Class and Best Syrah at the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition. The wines have a big, bold style, with good acidity levels, ripe fruit flavors, and lots of spice amidst a soft toastiness. These varietals all boast a long finish that changes and evolves as it lingers. The winery has a Nebbiolo in the wings that promises to be something special.

The Winemaker

John Miller started as a wine collector and later a home wine maker with a love of fine wines. After purchasing the estate in Fair Play he began working with such locally popular winemakers as Lance Campbell and Marco Cappelli. John believes that to make a great wine you must use the best grapes and age in the best barrels available, utilizing primarily new French Oak in the aging of his wines. 

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