1869 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyard in Amador Wine Country

1869 Old Vine Zinfandel vineyards – Oldest Zin When in Amador, visit wineries making wine from the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in the U.S. The 1869 Old Vine Zinfandel vineyard is located in the Shenandoah Valley of Amador County. It is the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in California. It is also known as the Original Grandpere Vineyard. … Read more

Wine Spectator on Amador Valley – what they missed

amador and wine spectator

Wine Spectator on Amador Valley – what they missed Having traveled to Amador County on many occasions since 2002, I consider myself a decent authority on the wine country of Amador. I have seen Amador grow steadily over these years and evolve from a destination mainly for Gold Country buffs to now a wine country … Read more

Vino Noceto Winery

Vino Noceto Winery – Sangiovese specialist

The Amador wine country has so many fascinating wineries to explore, but one in particular that we like is the Vino Noceto winery on Shenandoah Valley Road. Coming from Plymouth, the winery is just 5 minutes away off to the left. It’s a beautiful setting with rolling vineyards and spectacular oak and olive trees. It’s a cheerful winery where wine country travelers can taste good wines, enjoy a picnic lunch and even play a game of Bocce.

Vino Noceto winery is one of the older wineries in Amador, established in 1987 by Suzy and Jim Gullet. Vino Noceto specializes in the Sangiovese grape, the famous grape of Tuscany. Can you believe Vino Noceto produces eight different Sangiovese wines? These range from the lighter Chianti style to the much bigger super Tuscan style of wines. The Vino Noceto winery also produces other Italian varietals and a Zinfandel wine, but it is the Sangiovese that attracts the wine aficionados.

noceto-marmellataWe started our tasting with a light, crispy and fruity Pinot Grigio. This is the only wine produced from grapes that comes from outside Amador County and the Noceto vineyards. The Pinot Grigio vineyards are located in Clarksburg, CA, where a good variety of white wine grapes grow. After warming up our tasting palates, we moved on to the Sangiovese wines. The Noceto Shenandoah Sangiovese is their flagship wine. You see it in wine shops and fine markets throughout California for about $16. We then tasted the Riserva Sangiovese, the Dos Oakies, and the Marmellata Sangiovese wines. It is really fun when you can taste these wines side-by-side to fully understand the differences in flavors and styles of this Italian grape. We purchased a few of the wines and served them with dinner later in the week. Wine always tastes better with the right food match. By and large we thought the Marmellata was the best of all the wines. But that is our palate and yours might be much different. Get to the Vino Noceto winery and sample the wines to see which your favorite Sangiovese wine is.

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Sutter Creek Winery Update

Each time we visit this area of the Sierra Foothills there are new wine adventures to be discovered. This time we found a couple of new wineries and revisited some of our old favorites. We always make our home base the town of Sutter Creek and stay at the Hanford House Inn. Even though the town lacks a really good gourmet restaurant, there are several places to dine within walking distance that offer good meals. Most of the wineries are about a 15-minute drive away on the beautiful backroads of the Shenandoah Valley. Almost all the wineries in this area are small family-owned wineries, and rarely do any charge a fee for tasting wine. Napa Valley, take note!

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