The Boeger Winery estate was homesteaded during the gold rush by the Fossati-Lombardo family. Though the family initially tried their luck in the gold fields, they quickly learned – as many others did – that there was more fortune to be made from selling goods and services to the miners than in the mining itself. The estate was turned into a fruit and nut farm as well as a winery and distillery. The family made wine from Mission grapes and an early clone of Zinfandel, a small block of which still remain and produce fruit to this day. Greg and Sue Boeger bought the property in 1972, decades after the last winery in the county was shut down due to Prohibition. Boeger was the first modern day (post-Prohibition) winery in the El Dorado AVA. But Greg was not a newcomer to the wine industry at this time. His grandfather Anton Nichelini had founded Nichelini Winery in Napa in 1890. Spending a good portion of his youth at his grandfather’s vineyard and winery, Greg developed an intimate knowledge of the craft that by 1972 was second nature.
Like the Fossatis and his grandfather, Greg Boeger became a pioneer in his own right by experimenting with underdog varietals such as Barbera, Carignane, Refosco, Charbono, and Aglianico, just to name a few of the over thirty varietals that the winery produces. Barbera emerged as the winery’s golden child early on and has garnered hundreds of awards over it’s lifetime under the Boeger label.
As the founder of the El Dorado commercial wine industry, promoter of unique varietals and life-long advocate for farm life and agricultural rights, Greg Boeger was awarded the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 by the California State Fair. Joining the ranks of other California greats such as Robert Mondavi, Jerry Lohr, Bob Gallo and University of California, Davis.
Boeger Winery continues its multigenerational family tradition as son Justin Boeger is the head winemaker and daughter Lexi Boeger is the Director of Marketing and Design.share