McConnell Estates Winery
McConnell Estates is a truly family owned business. These nice folks have been farming this area for five generations and still going strong. The McConnell Winery is a bit of an oddity because it is considered within the Lodi appellation but the winery is 18 miles to the North in Elk Grove. Elk Grove is an incorporated city/subdivision at the southern border of Sacramento where suburbia is quickly gobbling up farm land.
Directly off the freeway, its hard to miss this charmer. The historic McConnell/Wackman house is home to the wineries tasting room and barrel cellar. My first time visiting, they were hosting their winter holiday party and it was decked out and full of festive cheer. Describing this 150+ year old house as quaint is an understatement. You will walk in at the front of the house and find your self a bit lost. You will be instantly enthralled in the home’s charm and character. Once I made it back to the tasting counter in the back, I passed all sorts of people wandering the front rooms just investigating the shelves, walls and tables all full of chachkies and pictures that are really pull you back in time. The idea for the tasting room is genius. Hard cores can babysit the counter and taste while “casuals” can get their pour and wander the rooms. I think it really speaks to the vision.
McConnell is a traditional winery. They offer a good selection of varietals as well as a few bubbles. I love that their production is so low and they are content with that concept. Wine club, a few web sales and serving locals monopolizes their allotments. These folks are about good farming and good local wine. Great business model.
When I visited in winter of 2013, their 2012 Chardonnay spoke to me most which is surprising since I usually run from Chards. I thought the structure was very creative and was a steal at the price point. It goes to show you should alway taste everything. You never know when something will surprise you.
10686 West Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA 95757
916.685.5368 FAX: 916.685.0728
How to get there:
Drive south on CA-99 from Sacramento. Take Exit #283/Eschinger Road (next exit after Grant Line Road). Make an immediate right turn, heading north, onto the frontage road (W. Stockton Blvd.). McConnell Estates Winery is on the left about 300 yards.