In Amador County the winemakers create vintages with a passion not just a crush.
From growing grapes to making elegant wines they love what they do and love to share what they do.
They also believe that the first signs of spring are a great time to share the fruits of their labors and are presenting “Behind the Cellar Door.”
Taste Amador County’s wine varieties of the world, enjoy food pairings, barrel tastings, live music, seminars, winemaker dinners and more on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.
Tickets to the 36 participating wineries are $50 for both days, Sunday is $35 and designated driver is $10. There is an additional $5 each if purchased on the day of the event.
For more information and to purchase tickets for “Behind the Cellar Door” or for any of the special events visit amadorwine.com or call 888-655-8614. The Amador Vintners Association is located at 9310 Pacific St. in Plymouth.
Amador Cellars, 11093 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Flavors of the Mediterranean. Join winemaker Larry Long as he guides visitors through the impact of barrel aging on zinfandel with a comparison tasting of his 2011 Zinfandel from a selection of American oak barrels; on-going both days. Saturday, Mike Trucco, on the accordion and Sunday, the Memoirs Duo, from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm will be here for your listening pleasure. Feast on pairings of wines and small plates from Spain, France and Italy.
Amador Foothill Winery, 12500 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Italy from top to bottom. Enjoy an on-going tasting and visual tour of Piemonte, Tuscany and Campania with samples of Estate Barbera, Sangiovese and Aglianico along with Katie and Ben’s best Italian travel images. Savor Pollo alla Cacciatoria and cooking demo by Sierra Vintage Catering.
Andis Wines, 11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Andis goes Aussie. It is throwing some shrimp on the barbie and going Down Under to the land of Oz. Explore vertical tastings of semillon, a popular grape in Australia. Live music by Low Profile, both days noon to 4 p.m.
Avio Vineyards and Winery, 14520 Ridge Road, Sutter Creek — Spend “A Day in Tuscany.” Enjoy rustic Tuscan stew, polenta and “Zinful” brownies. Stop by at noon or 3 p.m. both days for a pruning demo with Stefano.
Bella Grace Vineyards, 73 Main St., Sutter Creek — Celebrez Vins Bella Grace du Rhône — Celebrate the wines of the Rhône. Enjoy our French bistro atmosphere and appetizers, while tasting the Estate French Rhône variety wines at our vineyard property and wine cave at 22715 Upton Road. Also, barrel tasting of the 2012 Syrah and Mourvedre. Live music Saturday noon to 3 p.m.
Borjón Winery, 11270 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Relish the authentic Mexican food prepared by our mother, Nora Borjón while listening to the sounds of the Rhythm Vandals Tribute to Santana on Saturday and the Mariachi Los Gallos on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Bray Vineyards, 10590 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Father and Son — explore the history and a comparative tasting of syrah and petit sirah along with pouring of library wines at noon and 2:30 p.m. both days. Eric Burns and his “Famous Chili” three ways along with Steve Waranietz and his accordion are back again for your culinary and listening pleasure.
C.G. Di Arie Vineyards and Winery, 19919 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth,
Cruise the Mediterranean from Croatia to California — a wild journey with primitivo and zinfandel. Be Zinnish — it took 150 years to find DNA connection to “Crljenak Kastelanski,” Primitivo and Zinfandel. You too can savor the magic of the magnificent blends Chaim creates: Interlude, Break Away and the American Legend while savoring the Mediterranean fare offered. Listen to Amici de Lorenzo vibes Sin Accordione music both days from noon to 3 pm.
Charles Spinetta Winery, 12557 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Italy in California — Learn olive oil (100-year-old trees) and vinegar making Italian style on Sunday at 1 p.m. Olive oil and vinegar tastings from 2 to 4 p.m. each afternoon. Enjoy XM music all day long along with our Italian varietals both dry and sweet.
Convergence Vineyards, 14650 Highway 124, Plymouth — Join us to celebrate our Irish heritage. Our families, the Concannons, were the first to bring petite sirah to the United States. We will be offering a futures barrel tasting at 2 p.m. both days. On the menu, an Irish loaded baked potato soup. Sláinte.
Cooper Vineyards, 21365 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth — Benvenuti. Enjoy Dick Cooper’s selection of Italian style wines and winemaker Michael Roser’s hospitality. Ask Mike questions while barrel tasting his 2011 Primitivo and all new Primitivo Tesoro, 11a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Enjoy barber, primitive, sangiovese, and pinot grigio paired with Cooper Primitivo marinated beef, mixed green salad with Italian vinaigrette and focaccia bread. Salute.
Deaver Vineyards, 12455 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Tour Italy with Italian varietals and foods. Experience Deaver from the barrel in the annual barrel tasting. Pick up a glass at Deaver’s and receive a free gift.
Dillian Wines, 12138 Steiner Road, Plymouth — TBA
Dobra Zemlja, 12505 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Come join us for a day of barrel tasting with winemaker Milan. Traditional Croatian fare will be served and they will have live music from noon to 4 p.m. each day.
Driven Cellars, 12595 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Early bird guests will enjoy coffee and pastries from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Swingle Meat Company and Stonewall Kitchen return with their savory food pairings and About a Bite will introduce sweet treats to tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy local artisan’s work on display.
Drytown Cellars, 16030 Highway 49, Drytown — Learn why grass-fed beef is a better choice with Sutter Creek Cattle Company on Saturday 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Sunday 12:30 p.m. Barrel samples of malice, pinot noir and more, new releases of 2012 whites will be offered along with spring lamb kabobs with vernal accompaniments. Dance at the after party at the Plymouth Hotel Saturday 8 p.m. to midnight.
Feist Wines, 14173 Old Highway 49, Amador City — California cuisine, country swing and craft wines: Slade Rivers Band Saturday 2 to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Barrel samples and new release wines, local grass-fed beef with salsa verde and mesquite grilled chicken. Learn about pairing food and wine on Saturday and Sunday at noon.
Helwig Vineyards and Winery, 11555 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Located in the heart of picturesque Shenandoah Valley, Helwig Winery features award-winning wines, unparalleled hospitality and stunning views. As part of the “Passport to the World” we are proud to be celebrating our Swedish heritage. Enjoy traditional Swedish fare paired with our delectable wines.
Il Gioiello Winery and Morse Wines, 22355 Lawrence Road, Fiddletown — Triumphe, our blend of sangiovese and Bordeaux varietals inspires our barrel tastings, blending seminar and food pairings. Enjoy cuisine from Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, and tastes to compliment Rhône and American varietals. Blending seminars at noon and 3 p.m.
Jeff Runquist Wines, 10776 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Come enjoy the most celebrated wine of Uruguay, Tannat. Savior the Spanish influence of Uruguay in the food pairing of Fabada (Asturian beef stew) served with cornbread and Alfajores (shortbread cookies with fruit). Aroma challenge – back by popular demand – try your skill at detecting aromas in wine.
J. Foster Mitchell, 10851 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Zinfandel and primitive in Croatian — Plavac Mali and Crljenak Kastelanski. Taste five 2012 vintage wines from the barrel. Endless pizza served noon to 4 p.m. One liter Grandma Betty’s Zin refill $5 from the wine tank. Visit the Zin zone and try 12 different zins.
Karmere Vineyards and Winery, 11970 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Is it sweet or fruit forward? Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dress warmly — limited to 20 people. Winemaker Dawn Martella will demonstrate how components like tannin and acid can alter the perception of sweetness and fruitiness in wine. Enjoy the music of Gary Meeker both days from noon to 3 p.m. Warm yourself with hot chili and cornbread
Nine Gables Vineyards, 10778 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — We will be serving Italian wedding soup, lasagne focaccia bread and biscoitti along with pouring three new releases. Sunday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. vineyard tour with discussion on weed control — baby doll sheep, weeder geese, vs. chemicals.
Nua Dair Vineyards, 13825 Willow Creek Road, Plymouth — TBA
Renwood Winery, 12225 Steiner Road, Plymouth — Join the “American Wine Experience” featuring premier zinfandels paired with burgers, mac and cheese and apple pie cupcakes. Groove to music performed by a Sinatra tribute band in the Renwood lounge both days from noon to 4 p.m. Don’t miss the “Zinfandel: America’s Varietal” seminar daily at 1 pm.
Sera Fina Cellars, 17000 Latrobe Road, Plymouth — TBA
Shenandoah Vineyards, 12300 Steiner Road, Plymouth — TBA
Sierra Ridge Vineyard and Winery, 14110 Ridge Road, Sutter Creek — TBA
Sobon Estate, 14430 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — TBA
Story, 10525 Bell Road, Plymouth — Story Winery returns to its roots-literally. We’ll discuss the history of zinfandel as well as our own vineyards that span 120 years. Join our seminar “Cellaring Zinfandel – a 20 year perspective” highlighting three vintages: 1992, 2002, and 2012 at noon and 2 p.m.; along with live music from noon to 4 p.m. and all day barrel tasting of the 2012 vintage on both days. Traditional Bohemian foods will be paired with the wines.
Tanis Vineyards, Pouring for this event at the Amador Vintage Market, 9393 Main St., Plymouth — Meet Andrew Tanis. He is a really neat guy with some mighty fine wine. Try his crisp Chenin Blanc and two amazing reds. Come be surprised by the Dutch food and wine pairings and Andrew’s stunning good looks. And please, come visit our tasting room at 13120 Willow Creek Road, Ione during normal operating hours! (Friday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).
Terra d’Oro/Montevina Winery, 20680 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth — Join us in the barrel room for a taste of Italy. Experience food and wine pairings that will dazzle the senses. Enjoy an Italian cheese and wine seminar each day at 2 p.m. Limited seating, reservations required. Learn why we’re rich in Amador history since 1970.
Terre Rouge and Easton Wines, 10801 Dickson Road, Plymouth — Visit the south of France with Rhône varietals and Jane’s Provençal lunch. Terre Rouge Syrah, Sentinel Oak Vineyard will be featured with vintages spanning a decade: 1998, 2004 and 2007. Play boules on the petanque court.
TKC Vineyards, 11001 Valley Drive, Plymouth — United States – Point of departure or return. Back by popular demand, we will be serving Chef Monica’s salmon chowder and an assortment of delicious appetizers to compliment the premium red wines. We look forward to seeing you on your wine world adventure.
Vino Noceto, 10111 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth — Tour Italy and California side-by-side. Sangiovese, moscato, barber and more. Saturday 1 to 3 p.m. Wine educator Donal Smith explores “Components of Chianti- blend your own” Feast on Chef Beth’s Tuscan-inspired cuisine and gourmet desserts. Jesse Christian Hendricks on acoustic guitar Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Wilderotter Vineyard, 19890 Shenandoah School Road, Plymouth — Wilderotter Vineyards will once again be representing the best of California. The signature poblano rubbed chicken tacos with barbecued onions and coleslaw pair nicely with the many varietals we grow and produce. A cool garden red potato salad will round out the menu.