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Monday, 12 March 2018 19:28

Wine Pick of the Week

Montevina 2013 Barbera Picmonkey

2015 Barbera



Amador County

Alcohol: 13.5%

Suggested Retail: $12

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 23:48

Big Crush 2017

By Dan Clarke

When I first started visiting the Shenandoah Valley of California, there were wineries, but not nearly so many.

By Darrell Corti

This 2015 Amador County Zinfandel is a commemorative wine.

It commemorates the 1965 Amador County Zinfandel made as a home wine that, in 1968, convinced Bob Trinchero of Sutter Home Winery in Napa Valley to begin buying Amador County grapes. A lot has happened in the last fifty years.

Barbera Fest 16 crowd scene Picmonkey2Tasters have room to stroll at Terra d'Oro

TASTE News Service, June 15, 2016 — With an enhanced venue at Terra d’Oro Winery/Montevina Vineyards and a new format providing wine tastings by region at this year’s event, the sixth annual Barbera Festival on Saturday, June 11, continued to delight the palates of festival goers.

At Saturday’s event, Barberas were presented by nearly 80 wineries from all over California.

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."

Monday, 16 May 2016 20:01

Wineries Share Barbera Recipes

Chris Leamy PicmonkeyChris suggests Portabella burgersTASTE News Service, May 17, 2016 - Blessed with a generous acid structure and smooth tannins, Barbera is known for its ability to pair with a wide variety of cooking styles, from pizza to haute cuisine.

Taking up the challenge of such versatility, three wineries participating in the upcoming sixth annual Barbera Festival have shared favorite recipes. Each dish represents one of three dining experiences: formal, last-minute gathering, and the backyard gathering.

These wineries, among the 80 from all over California that will gather June 11 to pour their interpretation of this Italian varietal, appreciate this food-friendly variety’s signature characteristics: a dark pigment with lots of berry flavor that can range from bright with tart cherry, raspberry and spice flavors to riper, deeper wines with black cherry, blueberry, blackberry and vanilla flavors. It is exactly these traits that make it such a food-loving wine.

Thursday, 12 May 2016 16:16

Amador Rains Don’t Dampen Four Fires

Crowd Am4Fires 2016It wasn't raining all the timeBy Jen Sleppy

May 12, 2016 - Saturday’s Amador Four Fires was well organized. The only glitch was the rain, but as I've seen happen at other festivals, the rain became a positive . . . it created camaraderie and quick friendships as people crammed in together under the tents.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 13:41

Amador County's Five Springtime Finds

wildflowers at Volcano3 PicmonkeyWildflowers at Volcano

TASTE News Service, April 26, 2016 — The small towns of the Sierra Nevada foothills are inviting all year round, but springtime reveals a bounty of natural and culinary spectacles to Amador County. This low-key county tends to stay out of the limelight, but lately it has been catching the eye of discerning travelers for its spectacular spring colors and an array of fine wines and foods. Below are just five of the many reasons to visit Amador County now.

Friday, 01 January 2016 12:04

49er Icon Signs 1869 Bottles

Joe Montana signs 1869 bottles PicmonkeyJoe Montana signs a bottle of 1869By Dan Clarke

Nearly 30 years ago Randy Cross called San Francisco 49er fans a “white wine sipping crowd.” The comment from the all-pro guard came after a loss in which he felt the team’s fans exhibited a less than enthusiastic attitude. It was a derisive comment, but maybe not inaccurate.

Fans of many teams might be more likely to be beer drinkers or maybe shot-and-a-beer drinkers. However, 49er fans live close to the nation’s most significant wine regions and have a reputation for relative sophistication. It’s likely that they do drink more white wine than other football fans, though data on such matters is sketchy.

Amador Four Fires 2015 picture Picmonkey

TASTE News Service May 9, 2015 – Amador Four Fires, a new concept wine and food event launched its inaugural festival on Saturday, May 2 at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth. Nearly 2,200 wine and food enthusiasts came to sip and savor at a unique festival designed to showcase Amador’s finest products and to benefit the Amador Fair Foundation.  

The exceptional attendance at a first-time event surprised even its co-producer Deidre Mueller who said “We were hoping to get some local and regional interest, but the attendance was far beyond anything I could have hoped for.”

The event offered a wealth of sensory activities. Over forty wineries poured 140 wines from the four wine regions that inspire Amador winemakers and growers: Southern France, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula and one dubbed “Heritage California.” Cuisine traditional to these regions was prepared on site over open-flames. Attendees could enjoy food and wine seminars, cooking demonstrations including all-day Cowboy Chuck Wagon cooking and tastings of olive oil, honeys, candies, cider and beer from local purveyors, while hearing music by two favorite local groups.

Buoyed by the success of its first Four Fires event, organizers have already announced May 7, 2016 as the second annual gathering. More information can be had at amadorfourfires.com.

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