McKahn Family Cellars is yet another winery I’ve heard all about and even follow on social media, but never had the opportunity to taste. Now, I’m not a huge rosé person. Indeed, I’m quite picky about the pink things I drink. But when I saw that this rosé was made from 100% Grenache — well this honorary Rhone Ranger just couldn’t pass it up… (more…)
Tag: Amador County
When I visited Amador Cellars back in February of 2017, I was enamored by everything I tasted that day. But what I ultimately came home with was the Amador Cellars 2012 Reserve GSM. As someone who tastes a lot of Rhone wines, attends the annual SF Rhone Ranger event, and just generally enjoys a good GSM, I was so impressed by the elegance this small, family-owned winery finessed into the blend. So when the opportunity came for me to taste the varietals individually, I snatched it. Today I bring to you the G in the GSM…
Awhile back I had the opportunity to visit Amador County, located along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and explore what this humble wine country had to offer. When I was given the assignment, my editor said to me “What do you think about Amador County?” My response: “I don’t know what that is.” Thank God I was sent on that assignment because what I discovered was a little nook in California where ancient varietals, old-fashioned winemaking, and family-owned farming live on. The humble attitude, along with the respect for tradition, is what makes the place, the people, and, yes, the wines stand out.
Travel back in time to when Zinfandel was first planted in California. It was during the Gold Rush Era, and the heart of the Era laid amongst the foothills of the Sierras. This is where the Deaver Vineyard was planted over 130 years ago in 1881.
Not long ago I had a chance to taste through Terra d’Oro’s line up of Italian-inspired varietals: Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera, and of course Zinfandel. Without a doubt, the standout is their Deaver Vineyard Zinfandel. With its simultaneous delicacy and rusticity, a sip of this Zin will have you reveling in the mysteriousness of what has become California’s heritage grape.
The Cooper family has been farming in Amador County since 1919, when “Grandpa Cooper” left his San Francisco medical practice to tend a walnut orchard. Not until current owner Dick Cooper graduated from UC Davis in the 1970s did the Coopers consider grafting grapevines. But they wanted to think outside the Zinfandel box. Friend Darrell Corti, of Sacramento’s famed Corti Brothers grocery store, gave the Coopers a tip. “Mr. Corti pulled his pocketbook out, retrieved a $1 bill and wrote ‘Barbera’ and ‘Nebbiolo’ on it,” remembers Dick Cooper. With no Nebbiolo to be found, the Coopers turned to neighbor Cary Gott of Montevina Winery, who was willing to sell a bit of Barbera rootstock.
Today, Barbera is Cooper Vineyards’s’ flagship wine, the one that customers flock to the tasting room to buy in bulk.
(Read the full Amador County article on SF Chronicle)