Eileen Boeger came across my Beaver Vineyards' Instagram page in the early days. She’d been following along with my progress for a while, and we started making a real connection through the vineyard. Some people think social media has made us less social, but for me it’s built relationships I would’ve never had before.
This past weekend AJ and I headed up to Placerville to meet Justin and Eileen at Boeger Winery. Their winery and property are breathtaking. Their winery is the gateway to Apple Hill, you can’t miss them on your way in. As you drive in their gates you see rolling hills of vines, an old homestead house, a pond, green grass, and their beautiful tasting room.
When meeting Justin and Eileen I instantly knew I was going to like them. You know that feeling? When you just know people are good people? That’s the feeling I got from them. We sat down at a picnic table and got to know each other. Justin told us about how he grew up in the vineyard and how he grew into Boeger Wine.
Their family dates back to the 1890’s in Napa, founding Nichelini Winery. In the 70’s Justin’s dad, Greg, bought their current property from the family who had originally built the homestead. They were able to collect so much of the original’s family history and have much of it on display at the winery.
After chatting for a bit, we hopped in Justin’s topless orange jeep and drove through the vineyard. (If you know me, you know this was my favorite part!) We got a preview of all the different varieties they had growing in their hills. Driving through the rows, we got to the best view of the property; it was spectacular.
After riding through the vineyard, we went back to the tasting room to taste! Justin served us some of his best wine. I personally loved his White Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. And, surprisingly, I really liked their Barbera. The only reason I say ‘surprisingly’ is because I haven’t built a palate for red wine yet, and the Barbera proved to me that I would be enjoying reds more often in the future.
We wrapped up our afternoon by talking about our farming dads, their love for old cars and tractors. We laughed about all our similarities in farming and in life in general. Justin and Eileen Boeger were absolutely wonderful to meet. And my hopes are to learn about grape harvesting by helping Justin in the coming weeks. Their operation and region may be completely different than mine, but knowledge is knowledge, and when it comes to farming, I am always eager to learn!