Sunday, April 7, 2019

THE COCKTAIL HOUR: Tasting A Trio of New Motherlode Wineries

Now that we're pretty much settled into our new digs in Northern California's Amador County, it's time to visit a few new neighbors. Specifically, three wineries that we've never visited before...plus a quick stop at an old favorite for a fill-up.


First, it's a short seven minute drive to Tanis Vineyards, run by Andrew and Jill Tanis. Andrew is manning the tasting bar today and we taste some exceptional whites...Sauvignon Blanc and his nice, dry Muscat Canelli.

Watch the Video!


The reds are very good, too. We especially liked his Petite Syrah and the Dynamite Red blend.


We take a few bottles and thank our new neighbor for his hospitality and move on just as a limo full of tourists amble into the driveway.


Back up on the other side of highway 124, the closest wine neighbor to Tanis is Convergence Vineyards. The tasting is still free here (as it is at Tanis, also) but the wine is not quite in the same league as the similarly priced winery across the way.


We did enjoy their Killer Syrah, their port, and petite syrah. I asked for a bottle each of the port and the Killer Syrah but the overwhelmed lady at the tasting bar put in the El Diablo red blend instead of the syrah. I noticed when we got home...I'll drive back up tomorrow and trade it in for the one that I really wanted.


Before our next new winery, we pop up to the nearby Shenandoah Valley to one of our long time favorites, Bray Vineyards. Bray always keeps a barrel of a red blend handy that has a tap on it to fill growlers. I bring in two of mine for a quick refill and then we're on our way.


Our final stop is Avio Vineyards, up on a ridge overlooking Sutter Creek and Jackson near the Amador County Airport on Ridge Road.


It's slightly crowded in the tasting room but we get our samples to taste. We are pleased with the wines, they're very good and the icing on the cake is the pricing is 1/2 to  2/3 the price of the last two wineries we visited.

We ended up taking their zinfandel, barbera, and estate grown pinot noir home.

These three new-to-us wineries are great additions to our collection of frequently visited Sierra Foothill vineyards but we still have a long way to go until we visit them all.

Cheers!

Darryl Musick
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