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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunday Sips in Shenandoah /Amador County

Cheers to another good day! 
This past Sunday, Father's Day as it would have it, lead to another day of wine tasting with hubby and our middle daughter Rebecca. As has been the case on many occasion, we headed down HWY 16, then onto HWY 49, towards the Shenandoah Valley portion of Amador County. It takes us just a mere 45 minutes or so by car, from our home here at Muse Cottage in Sacramento to reach this historic and lush, not to mention valley "in our own backyard" .  Along back country roads, with vast open fields, farm land filled with crops of sweet corn and livestock and later vineyards, it is an easy and relaxing drive, and one worth it to sample some fine wines and just take a breather from city life. 

Hubby and myself have been checking off winery by winery over the last few years that we have been exploring this particular wine region. We try to not visit anywhere twice ( well with the exception of the tasting rooms in Sutter Creek that is) until we have managed to work through the roughly 40 different wineries. It is a labor of love... and since wine is my husbands only real hobby, one that obviously we do quite often. We never really plan which ones we will pop into, and this day was no different. Sometimes it is a quick turn into or a quick turn around and go back to one that strikes our fancy that day. Either the look of the tasting room, the lack of crowds or a pretty vista that draws us in and some days we just pop into each one in a row, this day it was a combo of all of the above.  We try to limit it to three wineries, unless we decide to pour out more and or share tastings. Sunday we stopped at four, the first being Stonehouse Vineyards and Winery, then driving right next door to Turley Wine Cellars and Vineyards, then it was onto Amador Cellars and finally Karmere Vineyards

Each winery had a variety of wines to appeal to all wine lovers, be it white, red or sparkling, from big fruity "bombs" to peppery, tannin forward and every profile in between. At Stonehouse, after tasting all that they had to offer, we decided that the Mikayla's Cuvee Red was what we wanted in our own wine fridge at home. A lovely blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Zinfandel, hit all the right notes we look for in a good table wine for us.  At Turley, we decided on a lovely 2012 Napa Valley Zinfandel , Zin being one of our favorite varietals, Turley was also where we decided to stay and have our picnic lunch as there was a lovely area overlooking the vineyards to sit in the shade and have a much needed bite to eat.  Over at Amador Cellars, we also purchased a 2012 Zin, in this case it was one that my hubby actually bottled, something he had a great deal of fun with. Our last stop, Karmere, though we sampled many great wines, both from the bottle and the barrel, we decided on a sparkling wine, Cuvee Marta Karla Almond.. we spent quite awhile there just enjoying the interior art display and the grounds as well. The grounds were filled with whimsical metal sculptures, also sculpted hedges and views that would take your breath away. Once we had soaked it all in, we headed on home. Between the weather that was cool, for mid June, high 70's with a comfortable breeze, the lack of crowds, and getting to spend time with our daughter, and of course some really good wine, it was a wonderful day. Below are the photos from the day... hope you enjoy re-living it with me. 

Taking time for a fashion shot... this brings back childhood memories, where I used to
ride on and behind ( on a bench attached to the back) of my Grandpa's tractor. 
The offerings.. always made better with chocolate!

On to the next place for more wine and lunch under the trees. 

Perfect view from the picnic tables! 

Great place for some new couples photos too! 
After lunch was time for more sips! 

Time to belly up to the (tasting) bar. 

Ready to bottle.... making sure to follow the
exact steps given to him .. first the gas....

Then the wine.....

Time to cork it ....

Then the foil.. only one small wrinkle, not too bad
for a first timer! 

Carefully applying the labels ....

The final product and the happy hubby, pleased
with the results. 

Breathtaking views a constant while in the valley! 

Middle daughter and myself greeting one of the residents
at Karmere. We both love a man with a beard. 

Someone feels left out! 

A lovely day in the country! 

Smile and be happy! 

Tasty offerings at Karmere ...

The caretaker of the lovely grounds?? 

Look at that view!!
Once inside it was time to celebrate the day
a bit more.....
A story behind this jug wine was one of a strong and
determined woman...brave too! 
Caught in the act of tasting wine from the barrel without me! 
 Thanks for sharing our day with us.....

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