My girlfriend Carolyn invited me and another friend to check out Holly’s Hill Summer wine and grilled pizza pairing a few weekends ago. Holly’s Hill is located just south of Placerville in the Pleasant Valley region of El Dorado County.
Tom and Holly Cooper fell in love with the varieties of Southern France’s Rhone Valley when they shared a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape on their honeymoon. Years later, Holly decided she wanted to live on a hill and convinced Tom to move to his family’s cattle ranch in the foothills of the Sierras. She got her hill and he got to fulfill his life long dream of planting a vineyard. (Source: hollyshill.com)
Carolyn’s sister’s kids go to school with Holly’s daughter’s kids, so that’s how this whole thing came about. They are collaborating on a summer crafting event and Carolyn mentioned how beautiful and peaceful the vineyards were. Then she mentioned pizza and wine together in said environment and I was all in. She sent a text to other girlfriends and our friend Kelly was also able to join us.
We met at Carolyn’s place and set off on our adventure. Carolyn grew up in Placerville, so it was fun being a passenger as she cruise directed us through all of the sites and scenery. We parked the car and I immediately felt my blood pressure lower. She was right, the grounds were so peaceful, the views were stunning and the smells coming from the pizza grills had me excited to dig in. Pizza is my jam and it’s definitely my “stuck on a desert island” choice for sure. I could eat it every day.
Wine Tasting this way. We checked in and grabbed our glasses and stood in the first line for part one of the pairing. The first thing I noticed was dogs, I loved that it was a dog friendly place. I even saw a cute miniature schnauzer which made me miss my two boys.
First up was a slice of Shrimp & Lemon pizza paired with Holly’s Hill 2018 Roussanne. Before reading the description, we were able to pick out hints of peach and pineapple. I recently attended a wine tasting party and actually learned a lot. We swirled, we tasted without the pizza and then with and really noticed a distinct difference. Description from their website: This vintage has creamy oak aromatics with fruity peach, nectarine, pineapple and banana. It has a floral component too and a liveliness in the mouth with lots of fruit and a creamy long finish.
I really liked the pairing and the pizza crust was perfect! Crisp on the bottom, just the way I like it. We chatted, we ate, we enjoyed our wine, and then went back for round two.
The second pairing was Holly’s Hill 2017 Fenaughty Syrah and Mediterranean Sausage Pizza. I was not able to pick out any of the flavors of this one until after reading the description.This beautiful wine has aromatics of raspberry syrup, cassis, roses, pink peppercorns, bubble gum and earthy peat. In the mouth you’ll get medium tannins and lots of fruit that finally finishes with a touch of brie. Carolyn and Kelly did much better. I did taste the hint of raspberry on my second taste.
I was glad this piece was smaller because I was saving room for the last pairing, which ended up being my favorite of the day. Tartufata Pizza with Petit Partiarche.
My best guess on the pizza ingredients were mushrooms, Parmesan, Italian parsley and truffle oil. After a few glasses of wine, I didn’t even think to ask, ha-ha.
I was enjoying time with my friends with good food and wine without questioning things.
Thank you Carolyn for organizing and introducing me to such a special place. I’m looking forward to future events.