FYI – Today’s Momtourage play date is at 10am at Bouncetown in El Dorado Hills. Hope to see you all there!
Today is a guide more than an inspiration, although I did find some inspiration while wine tasting….But the above was certainly true for our group of 16 ladies. That limo bus had never seen so much dancing, I’m sure of it! We were celebrating two lovely ladies birthdays this past Saturday by wine tasting in Amador County. Where is Amador County you ask? Well, it’s not far away…
Amador Wine Country is so close to Folsom/El Dorado Hills area that it only took us about 30-45 minutes. However, the road to get there is a two-lane windy road through a rural area, so get a limo or make sure your designated driver doesn’t drink, like at all. That road is crazy.
Our transportation for the day.
We went to Helwig Winery, Renwood Winery, Andis Wines, and Deaver Vineyards. These were fabulous places! Other wineries I would recommend are Villa Toscana, Feist Wines, Sobon Family Wines, and Cooper. We were going to taste at Dobra Zemlja and Story Winery. However, our limo bus would not fit down their vineyard roads.
The beautiful group of ladies.
Helwig has a gorgeous covered patio. They do private events there, apparently there were about 50 weddings here last year and they are on track for about that amount this year. Just beautiful!
Gorgeous girls, Leah and Callie, taking in the view.
We had a wonderful private tasting with Jack. I highly recommend the private tasting and I highly recommend Jack. It was $10 per person (pre-paid by appointment). He was awesome. This was a super informative experience and Jack was very patient with a bunch of ladies that could not stop talking! Plus, he was super fun. I mean, he takes pics like this (see below). And he told a dirty joke he learned from a 70 year old woman. What’s not to love!
Fun right?? (Natalie and Jack)
Plus we got to have our own room so (our loud discussions and laughter) we didn’t disturb the other guests.
The birthday girls and Jack. Happy birthday Candice and Danica. Jack is one lucky man!
They had adorable heart shaped crackers to cleanse our pallets.
I personally enjoyed each wine we tasted here, all very different. But my favorite is one they only have available in their tasting room. The 2011 GPS $24. This is a red blend of Grenache, Pettite Sirah, and Syrah. I’m definitely a red lover. (Unless I’m in a fancy outfit, in which case always white because it doesn’t stain and I’m clumsy.) And I do love a good blend. This is a very smooth, drinkable red blend you can enjoy on it’s own and it could definitely stand up to a steak as well. It has a jammie flavor that dissipates to leave your palate with a dry tannic finish. Loved it!
These are so cool and adorable! They are wine spouts. They help you not to spill when pouring and they aerate your wine! That regal looking jungle cat came home with me…
On such a chilly day we were all so thankful to have fire pits on the patio to warm our hands.
We had a lovely lunch spread with an even more lovely view. The ladies brought sandwiches, cheeses, salami, hummus, pasta salad, dips, fruit, and so much more! Needless to say we were not hungry. Delicious!
Clearly we were exhausted and needed to kick up our heels.
Meaghan, Natalie, and Rojan enjoying the beautiful views of the rolling foothills.
The delicious wine list at Renwood. 2010 Niceforo Zinfandel $39.99 was the standout for me. The tasting notes speak of peppercorn and toffee. I did not get that at all. I did, however, get the usual notes of a big red, followed by a very clean finish. I liked that, it was unexpected. When I drink a big red, I typically expect there to be a tannic finish. You know, that kind of pucker in the back of your mouth. Don’t get me wring, I love that! But I also enjoyed the unexpected brightness. However, this was the most expensive bottle I was into that day.
Candice and Natalie. They loved the bubbly!
Callie and I discussing the finer points of the wine offerings.
Andis had really cool modern, minimalist decor. The installation about is made of slices of wine barrels.
They had a great picnic area, but the rain kept is from being able to enjoy it.
Andis had wine on tap. What?! This was blowing some minds in the group. So they asked if they could fill a carafe themselves, and the kind people at Andis obliged. It seriously made the day for these two winos, Brandie and Missy. Love that! Also really loved what came out of the tap. The wine flow changes regularly (they have a red and white available), but that day the red on tap was a 2012 Grenache/Syrah blend. It was wonderful with a fruit forward flavor and a tannic acid finish. In my mind, the text book taste you have come to expect from a big red. The other really cool thing about this is that you can buy refillable bottles of what they have on tap. The first time you buy it it’s $24, refills are $15. Great deal! And great for the environment.
This is the long walkway we took to get to our limo. I really like that sliced wine barrel concept. I was told by one of the empoyees that this installation is all along this side of the building because this is where the afternoon sun hits the building. So the wine barrels help keep the building cool. Genius, between the refillable bottles, repurposed wine barrels, and minimalist decor, it’s clear Andis is environmentally minded.
This was the lovely lady that helped us out Saturday. Deaver had two great dessert wine offerings for us that day. A Reserve Port that they paired with a chocolate covered espresso bean and a non-fortified Late Harvest Zin they paired with a taste of chocolate pudding. Both pairings were wonderful. The chocolate covered espresso bean really brought out some interesting flavors! But the real winner at this vineyard was the Pomegranate Sparkling Wine. At $16 a bottle this festive pink bubbly is fun and flirty. Definitely a girls wine. We all loved it!
The grounds were really beautiful. They had a large pond surrounded by a grassy area that would be lovely for a picnic on a warmer day.
All in all, we had an amazing day with beautiful wines. I truly recommend Amador county for your next wine tasting trip. However, you should keep in mind that not all the vineyards in this area enjoy large tasting groups. So call ahead if that’s you. Many of these wineries re super small and simply cannot accommodate larger vehicles.