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Coulson Winery has received recognition for its quality and consistency. Their Reserve Chardonnay is particularly distinguished. Coulson also produces a delicate Sauvignon Blanc and a smooth, complex Pinot Gris.

In 1972, “Mick” McGuire founded Coulson Winery. Mr. McGuire’s estate vineyards are planted between 2,500 and 3,000 feet above sea level in the El Dorado AVA.

McGuire prides himself on his non-invasive winemaking techniques. He puts a lot of stake in the region’s natural climate and terrain, and lets nature work its magic in the vineyard. In the winery, he takes the artisan approach and lets the grapes to speak for themselves, producing wine that has intense varietal characteristics.

The winery makes three white wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Roussanne, and Reserve Chardonnay. The Sauvignon Blanc and Roussanne were both aged briefly in oak while the Chardonnay was fermented and aged sur lie in French oak for 24 months.

I particularly like Coulson’s Chardonnay. McGuire intelligently uses several techniques that do not overpower the varietal’s natural characteristics. For example, he whole cluster presses the grapes to minimize any astringent tannins. He uses only French oak with a very tight grain to age this wine for 24 months. This subtly oaked Chardonnay is delicious and is a testament to restrained winemaking.

McGuire’s Pinot Gris is also quite an accomplishment. It was not malolactically fermented, which is my preference for this varietal. On the palate, it has nuanced fruit and nut flavors. This is an excellent wine for pairing with a variety of light to medium bodied dishes.

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Comments & Reviews

April 4, 2011 | coulsonpj

I visited Coulson's while staying in South Lake Tahoe. I had caught a glimpse of the name while on a day trip to either Yosemite or San Francisco - I can't remember which - but being my surname, I just had to visit. Unfortunately, Ed was up in Oregon but we enjoyed our visit and bought a couple of bottles really for the labels! Well, of course, I had to try the contents! I ended up with two empty bottles and wishing that California was a lot nearer the UK. I hope to venture that way again one day and will make sure I do a revisit and get a refill! I recommend the visit and the wine.

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