The Boeger Winery estate was homesteaded during the 1849 Gold Rush by the Fossati-Lombardo family. Like many of that time, they tried their luck in the gold fields, only to learn that there was a bigger fortune to be made from selling goods and services to the miners than in mining itself. Thus, their land was turned into a fruit and nut farm, then a winery and distillery as well. They made wine from Mission grapes and an early clone of Zinfandel, a small block of which still remains…producing wine to this very day.
In 1972, decades after the last winery in the county was shut down due to Prohibition, Greg and Sue Boeger stumbled upon this magical place and decided to call it home. As a result, Boeger Winery became the first modern-day (post-Prohibition) winery in the El Dorado American Viticultural Area. Greg, however, was no newcomer to winemaking. His grandfather, Anton Nichelini, founded the 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 before him, Greg Boeger became a pioneer in his own right by experimenting with lesser-known varietals such as Barbera, Carignane, Refosco, Charbono, and Aglianico, just to name a few of the over thirty varietals that the winery grows. Barbera emerged as the winery’s magical gift early on and has since garnered hundreds of awards 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. His son Justin continues the family tradition today as the head winemaker.