When you make your way northeast of Sacramento into the old gold mining territory in the Sierra Foothills in search of prime Zinfandel, you will definitely want to explore the Apple Hill Growers District of Placerville which has become a formal association of small scale ranchers, farmers and wineries.

Among the very best wine estates – and farm #26 – is the Jones family’s winery – Lava Cap. The Jones are geologists who decided to plant vines in 1981 and establish their winery in 1986 on this unique site – a distinctive volcanic lava ash deposit that they call a “Lava Cap.” There is no debating that volcanoes and great wines have an ancient friendship and synergy, and at Lava Cap Winery you will find old vine and Reserve Zinfandel that define and illustrate the point. Benefitted by sustainable farming by Charlie Jones and the Sierra’s sun and chill, these are world-class, deeply flavored and complex wines to be savored. Winemaker Joe Norman’s beautifully- crafted Lava Cap Estate Old Vines is a classic expression of Zinfandel done right. Call ahead to make a reservation for a tasting at a table overlooking the vineyard.