The gold rush town now known as an AVA is located in El Dorado County, in the Sierra Foothills of California. Fair Play's granitic, sandy loam soils coat the landscape, with vineyards found on rolling hillsides and rounded ridge tops from between 2000 and 3000 feet in altitude. Late spring frosts can be a problem in the area, so most vineyards are situated on ridge tops or hill sides to allow the cool air to move through to lower ground. The area receives between 35 and 40 inches of rain per year. The growing season averages between 230 and 250 days each year.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the primary grapes in the region. But Barbera and Rhône varietals are quickly being planted by vignerons in an attempt to quench the market’s thirst for Rhône Rangers. Rumor has it that Gamay Noir may have finally found a good growing location here in Fair Play.