Oldest Documented Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyard in the Americas

I've been researching Zinfandel for some time now, learning what is so special about old vine Zinfandel. When I saw an opportunity to visit the oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard in the Americas, planted in the 1860s, I knew I had to go.

You may have read elsewhere on the blog that I’ve been working on a post about old vine Zinfandel for some time. When I saw an opportunity to visit the oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard in the Americas, planted in the 1860s, I knew I had to go. The 3-day OGP Zinfandel Weekend event included an optional tour of the Original Grandpère Vineyard on Saturday and Sunday. I joined the tour on Saturday which was led by Rusty Folena, winemaker at Vino Noceto.     OGP Zinfandel Weekend, Shenandoah Valley, Plymouth, CA Only four wineries are privileged to produce wine from grapes grown in the Original Grandpère Vineyard (OGP), also called Vineyard 1869. The OGP Weekend is put on by the three wineries located in the…

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Wilderotter Vineyard and Winery: From Small Beginnings

Jay and Maggie Wilderotter, owners of Wilderotter Vineyard, want you to feel as welcome in their tasting room as you would in their home.

Jay Wilderotter is one of the lucky ones. He found his passion a long time ago and lives it every day. He told me, “I never feel like I’m going to work.” Jay and his wife, Maggie, own Wilderotter Vineyard and Winery in the Shenandoah Valley in Plymouth, California. Jay says, “My business is threefold: vineyard, winery and hospitality [referring to the Grand Reserve Inn which I’ll tell you about in another post] and every day is different.” Wilderotter Vineyard and Winery Jay has been in the wine business for 27 years. For the first 15 of that, he was a grower and sold to other wine producers. He participated in the production of the wines made from his grapes and, with the help of…

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Shenandoah Schoolhouse Road Progressive Picnic

You don't need an excuse to go wine tasting but a special event like the Schoolhouse Road Progressive Picnic in Shenandoah Valley adds to the fun.

7th Annual Schoolhouse Road Progressive Picnic You don’t need an excuse to go wine tasting but an event or special occasion can add to the fun. On Labor Day, six of the businesses on the Shenandoah School Road loop in Shenandoah Valley participated in the 7th Annual Schoolhouse Road Progressive Picnic. Labor Day Progressive Picnic Locations Wilderotter Vineyard My first stop was at Wilderotter Vineyard for gourmet hot dogs (from Evergood Foods in San Francisco), baked beans and Kettle chips. I have to tell you, I haven’t eaten anything like this since I started my keto journey in January. This was such a non-keto friendly meal but I had to at least try it. I don’t know if it was because I hadn’t eaten so…

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Dobra Zemlja Celebrates 22 Years in Shenandoah Valley

The beautiful grounds with a lake; delicious, robust wines and super friendly staff make Dobra Zemlja Winery a great place to visit in Shenandoah Valley.

When I learned that Dobra Zemlja was having an event to celebrate 22 years in Shenandoah Valley, I decided it would be a good time to pop in. I had visited once before during Spring Fling and loved the grounds but I wasn’t able to photograph them. It was cold and raining that day, in stark contrast to the clear skies and 102 degree heat the day of the celebration. I also thought it would be good to taste their wines when they weren’t my fifth stop for the day, like during Spring Fling! I had a great time visiting with General Manager, Laura Irmer; Tasting Room Manager, Mary Jo Pingree and my pourer, Carol. They gave me the low down on the winery and…

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Wine and Food Pairing Event — Scott Harvey and Taste

The Scott Harvey Wines and Taste Restaurant wine and food pairing for wine club members and guests was a hit. Wine club membership has its privileges!

You’ve heard that membership has its privileges. Well, that is very true when it comes to wine club membership at local wineries in Gold Country. Scott Harvey Wines had its February Wine Club Release Extravaganza for wine club members and their guests this past weekend with food pairings from Taste Restaurant in Plymouth. A sign outside the winery welcomed wine club members for the wine and food pairing event. As you may know, I love my bubbly and the Jana Mendocino Blanc de Blanc is delicious. We arrived a little early and Jack poured the Blanc de Blanc for us while we waited for the food stations to finish setting up. Wine and Food Pairing We looked over the wine and food pairing menu while we…

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Schmitz 24 BRIX Wines and Barrel Cellar Tasting Room

Schmitz 24 BRIX Wines Tasting Room is relatively new to the Shenandoah Valley. All their wines are highly rated with the Winemaker's Blend the most popular.

24 BRIX is a relatively new kid in the Shenandoah Valley. We watched over a period of weeks this past year as the old antique store on Highway 49 in Plymouth was transformed into the Schmitz 24 BRIX Barrel Cellar Tasting Room. When the Vineyard Vixens visited, we got a warm welcome from the owner and winemaker himself, Paul Schmitz. The 24 BRIX Vineyards I love learning new things about wine and winemaking when I go wine tasting. The name of the winery comes from the fact that they harvest their grapes when the sugar content is at or close to 24 brix (brix is a measure of the sugar content of an aqueous solution). They feel this natural sugar level is the optimal ripeness for the fruit…

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It’s All In My Head! – Food, Wine and Travel

A preview of what's coming on the blog in food, wine and travel - a field trip to Allspicery, some wine tasting and a couple of terrific recipes.

It seems I’ve been on a bit of an unintended hiatus from the blog. I’ve been so busy doing research, photograpy and coming up with ideas for content that I haven’t had (taken) the time to write it down. Now I have so many things in my head it is almost overwhelming but I will start getting it written! Here are some of the things I’m working on in food, wine and travel that you can expect to see on the blog in the next few weeks. When I wrote about my Wine Lovers Vino de Mocha Fudge, I promised an easy, microwave version. I’ve made several batches, including one I took to Thanksgiving dinner, and am very happy with the results. I’m also making a batch of it to add to a…

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The Vixens Play at Bray: Bray Vineyards

Earlier in September, the Vineyard Vixens toasted another year of wine tasting adventures, beginning with Bray Vineyards.

The Vineyard Vixens, the wine tasting group of the Mother Lode Newcomers, goes on hiatus for the summer. Earlier in September, we toasted another year of tasting adventures, beginning with Bray Vineyards. Some members of our group had been before but most had not, including me. We started our day with lunch at Villa Toscano as we often do. The buffet included a pasta dish that we all fell in love with. I asked Executive Chef Tim Benham for the recipe so he came out to our table and explained how he made it. It was so delicious and relatively easy. He didn’t give us any specific amounts of each ingredient so I will be working on replicating that recipe to include on the blog…

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Best Amador County October Activities

With summer activities winding down, there is still so much to do that it is hard to choose. Here's my list of best Amador County October Activities.

With fall just around the corner, one week from today in fact, outdoor summer activities are starting to wind down in Amador County. Even the weather has given us a taste of fall the past few days, but just because summer is winding down doesn’t mean there will be any shortage of things to do! There will still be plenty of theater productions, festivals and fairs, art and craft shows, comedy nights, fundraisers, parties, parades, mine and cavern tours, and of course wine tasting. Some weekends it is difficult to choose what to do. Here are my thoughts on the best Amador County October activities. The Big Crush Harvest Festival The 45 member wineries of the Amador Vintners’ Association host two group events every year. The first weekend in…

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Amador Flower Farm Daylilies

Amador Flower Farm daylilies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and bloom cycles. They are easy to grow and are just about the perfect perennial.

I’ve said it before, but I just have to say it again. I’m discovering that plants from bulbs have the most spectacular blooms. I guess this is becoming more apparent to me as I have more time to explore places like Amador Flower Farm, where the daylily reigns supreme. Although I think irises are my favorite bulbs, daylilies are right up there at the top of my list of flowers. Did you know that there are more than 35,000 daylily cultivars? Amador Flower Farm daylilies are stunning. With over 1200 of the most popular varieties available, you are sure to find something you love. Daylilies are said to be very easy to grow. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes and bloom cycles, so you can…

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