SacBee: MikeDunne on Four Amador Wineries

Mike Dunne, one of my most favorite of writers, as an article in today’s SacBee on his recent visit up to Amador:

GwinllanEstate is a new one to me. Focusing on SparklingWines, a rarity in the Foothills.

And also IronHubWnry, which turns out to be the old AmadorFoothill property of Ben & Katie Zeitman (who, I understand, now live down in Jackson).

And a shout-out to BillEaston’s “1852” (when Zin first came to Calif) Zin.

Particularly interesting is AndisWines. They have a Semillon (a wine I always thought would do well in Amador), and a skin-contact Viognier. Particularly interesting is they are making Schioppettino, one of my most favorite of grapes. It is, of course, not a “real” Schioppettino…just another Calif imposter.

Anyway, good read. I need to get back up to Amador again.

Thanks for the link, Tom. Gwinllan is not in Amador County - it’s in the Fair Play AVA of El Dorado County, and just about next door to Cedarville Vineyard. Actually, you’d know about Gwinllan if you ever read my Grape-Nutz write-ups on the Sierra Foothills! [wink.gif]
Visit to Gwinllan Estate Winery, November 2014

Gordon & Chris Pack of Gwinllen

I’ve been intrigued by Andis for several years but haven’t made it there yet - perhaps later this year. Iron Hub sounds like it’s worth checking out too. And a stop at Easton / Terre Rouge should be be a no-brainer for anyone visiting Amador County wine country.

I’m pretty sure Andis uses Dillian Vineyard for the Semillon. It’s been good the few times I’ve tried it. The other wines have been variable, but generally well-made. I understand they’ve changed winemakers recently. Not sure how that’s affected their wines.
Easton is, indeed, a no-brainer.

Dunne seems to accept the notion of acacia barrels being common in France. I’ve hardly seen one there whereas here many wineries have one or two. J Lohr has been fermenting SB in acacia for some time.

So, Mel…what special does acacia brls bring to a wine? Or does it just make for a good story?

Awwww. Ken…you know full well that I read all your Grape-Nutz reports. I just don’t always commit to memory everything,
every wnry, you mention in them. You have to remember that my memory is only about the size of that in the IBM 1620…20,000 bits…
and probably just as fast!! But my head does have a USB port that can connect directly to the punch card reader.

Just giving you a hard time, Tom! Some of the wineries I visit are not really worth committing to memory anyway, though I thought that Gwinllen was quite promising and it’s probably time to make a return visit there.

Acacia barrels… I don’t see anybody ageing red wines in them so I take it they bring something awful to the wine in the long run

Supposedly the staves are porous so making the barrels usually involves a lot of stave replacements.

I suppose using them on sauv blanc adds some exotic character to the wine. Usually people keep the wine barrels under four months