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Wednesday, 01 June 2016 13:30

Barbera Festival Celebrates 50+ Years of History

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Chris Leamy and Darrell Corti PicmonkeyTerra d'Oro winemaker Chris Leamy (left) and Darrell Corti discuss Barbera at retrospective tasting

TASTE News Service, June 1, 2016 – Barbera fans have an opportunity on June 11 to congregate and enjoy many tastes of this classic food-friendly wine. At the Barbera Festival, held at Terra d'Oro/Montevina Vineyard in Plymouth, Amador County, more than 80 wineries will pour glass after glass of a wine that boasts a compelling story in the history of California wines.

"The story begins at Montevina in 1974," said Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers, a Sacramento-based wine merchant. Corti is internationally known as a wine and food expert. "Both in 1943 and 1960, viticulturists from U.C. Davis had recommended barbera as a compatible grape for California. In the Sierra Foothills, Cary Gott, owner of Montevina in Amador County, planted Barbera in 1972."

In 1976, Italian oenologist Giacomo Tachis came to California from Tuscany, Italy, for the first time. Over dinner at a restaurant in Sonoma, Corti served him the 1974 Montevina Barbera, which had been bottled in Spring 1976. Tachis was astounded at the high quality of the Montevina Barbera. The rest is history. Barbera from Amador and other Sierra Foothill counties continues to please wine drinkers.

There are more producers of Barbera in the Sierra Foothills than anywhere outside of Italy, but the 80-plus wineries pouring at the Festival include wines from other California regions and some wines imported from Italy too.

About the festival: The Barbera Festival was founded in 2011 to celebrate this native Italian variety. The event quickly garnered attention throughout the West and in 2015 moved to the grounds of Terra d'Oro Winery/Montevina Vineyards, the original home of Barbera in Amador County. The festival, which also helped launch the immensely successful Amador Four Fires festival, features more than 80 wineries from across California, fine local cuisine, live music and regional artists. Terra d'Oro Winery/Montevina Vineyards is located at 20680 Shenandoah School Road in Plymouth. All proceeds benefit the non-profit Amador Community Foundation. This year’s event takes place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat., June 11, 2016. For more information, go to BarberaFestival.com.

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