POSTED ON July 23, 2013 | IN Amador County | BY Joe Becerra

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.

To get the full enjoyment from your visit we suggest you arrange a tour along with your tasting. Bobby Gullet, who heads sales and marketing, led our tour through the vineyards and the cellars, but normally it’s either Bobby’s Dad, owner Jim Gullet, or winemaker Kevin O’Neil who lead the tours. The tours include a short wine-blending seminar or another hands-on session depending upon the time of the year, the vineyard walk, and possibly some barrel samples. Tours are available at 10:30 am with 24 hours advanced notice.

Sangiovese Vineyards

Noceto Sangiovese Vineyards

We suggest you stop in at the Amador Vintage Market in Plymouth and buy your lunch goodies. Do your tour and tasting at the Vino Noceto winery and then enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch gazing out at the vineyards and oak trees. Play a little Bocce or just sit back and relax and enjoy the serenity of the beautiful Amador wine country.

See the Shenandoah Wine Trail for other nearby wineries to visit. We also have a list of recommended Amador restaurants and places to stay in the area. Enjoy!