"True Vine" taken from John 15:1 where Jesus says "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." He is the source of our life!




All About True Vine

The Vineyard – The Landscape of El Dorado

Tucked back in the rolling hills north east of Sacramento and south of Lake Tahoe is an area called the foothills of El Dorado County. It is a diverse terrain that ranges from sloping countryside speckled with scrub oaks to that of a landscape that gradually ascends into a blanket of dense forest pines of the Sierra Foothills.

The elevation rises from 1,000 to 3,000 feet creating dramatic soil variations that, partnered with its unique climate, are unlike other regions found in California, creating distinguishing tastes found in the various varieties of grapes that are harvested in this region.


Many of the vineyards took root back when the Sierra Foothills saw the excitement of the Gold Rush. When the rush ended, the vineyards declined. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the area began to see a boom in business. The Sierra Foothills AVA was approved and now is the third largest wine region in California.

This rustic area is a gateway to Lake Tahoe, but stands alone with its rich history that is deep-seated in this region from the days of the old miners. Drive through the winding roads and find yourself quickly transported from the bustling city life into another world where nature descends upon you in the vast wilderness and transcends you.

Enjoy a summer sunset, warm 60 degree temperatures, quiet still of the landscape, and the serenity of the foothills of El Dorado County.

Marco Cappelli, Winemaker

Marco became interested in wine in a most genial way: through a college girlfriend, whose roommate was an Enology student. During their first year in the dorms they made wine together from diluted honey. Seeing the transformation that took place during fermentation got him hooked. He took the next fall quarter off from school and worked at the Louis Martini Winery in St. Helena. It was a life changing experience. Tons of grapes rolling in, being crushed, fermented and pressed. All the sights, smells and flavors! It was the most exciting thing he had ever experienced.

He returned to U.C. Davis, acquired his B.S. in Enology in 1984 and took off to Europe for more practical training: one year in Italy and six months in France. While Davis had given him a solid theoretical foundation in winemaking, Europe helped refine his palate and gave him a deeper understanding of what wine is and how to enjoy it. He learned in Italy that wine is food, as important a part of the daily meal as bread and pasta. France taught him to recognize how soil, climate and human factors influence the character and personality of wine.

He returned from Europe in January of 1986, ready to embark on a winemaking career in Napa Valley. He landed his first job at Saintsbury Winery in Carneros as cellar worker and soon had the good fortune to meet and become friends with Andre Tchelistcheff. It was Andre who, one year later, introduced him to Clarke Swanson. In March of 1987, Clarke took a chance and hired him, an inexperienced twenty six year old, to make wine for Swanson Winery. Andre provided the winemaking expertise and Clarke the patience to get him through the first few years. He remained at Swanson for 17 years as winemaker and vice president.

In the spring of 2004, a new chapter opened in his life when he purchased and moved to a 42 acre parcel in Somerset, previously owned by Beverly Herbert. In addition to owning and operating Herbert Vineyards in Fair Play, Marco consults for a number of wineries in the foothills, including True Vine Winery.

Proprietors Camille & Dennis Fike
It is with great pleasure and pride we share with you this first issue of our newsletter, which is a true story of how ordinary, everyday people can realize their dreams.

Once upon a time, long ago, there was a lovely young woman named Camille and a handsome young man named Dennis who met and fell in love.  They courted, got married, raised a family and all was well.

Having lived in Lafayette for some years, they decided it was time to spread their wings and try a new venture: buying a B & B in Carmel-by-the-Sea.  And what they created, only three blocks from the gorgeous beach, was a dream:  a highly personalized haven of escape, romantic, cozy, welcoming with warm hospitality and great attention to detail.  Here they shared their love of wine with guests, hosting wine tastings, and quickly developed a loyal following.

They had always been lovers of fine wines and over a period of 40 years had developed an extremely educated, refined palate.  Dennis had long desired and dreamed of someday owning a vineyard where he could create a wine so special and fine, he would be proud to share it with his friends and family.

And so Dennis & Camille Fike created True Vine Vineyard, a manicured, undulating piece of land planted with disease-free root stock, not cuttings, sitting high on a hill surrounded by forests in Happy Valley, outside Placerville, California, where grapes thrive.  It was all they had dreamed of and more, and  only one thing remained to complete their dream:  to share their wine with other connoisseurs.

Their unique wine quickly began winning awards at wine competitions.   The crowning jewel was the honor of receiving an excellent  review from the highly esteemed Wine Spectator.

Consulting Chef Teri Hardy

Teri Hardy was born and raised in Carmel, California and began cooking at an early age, even before she could read.  She is extremely passionate about food and travel, which she has been fortunate to combine for much of her life.

For several years she lived in the Mediterranean region of Europe, where she worked for a period of time in a private restaurant on the island of Ischia, Italy. She travels off the beaten path, and by meeting the local women she has been able to study authentic cuisines by cooking with them in their kitchens. During her travels, she has met many remarkable cooks, had interesting and unusual experiences and has tasted a large variety of unfamiliar and delicious foods. From these experiences she has developed her own collection of unique recipes, always adhering closely to authentic ingredients and preparation.

She has cooked on the sands of the Sahara; over campfires in Kenya; on the shores of the Aegean Sea; on a traditional narrowboat on the canals of northern Wales; and in sailboat galleys in Italy, Greece and Mexico. She is currently working on developing recipes which best pair with True Vine wines.

The pleasures of dining have a long history of social as well as health benefits. Her emphasis is on healthy, delicious food of high quality, using fresh, seasonal ingredients.