The day after New Years we did a little wine tasting up in Amador Valley (east of Sacramento). Our first stop was Convergence. Oh, just before turning into the driveway here we spotted a bald eagle sitting in the trees. Very cool. We were greeted by River the dog and winemaker Stephen Concannon poured for us. We liked pretty much every wine we tried here as evident by the case of wine we left with (and I had planned on keeping the credit card safe in my pocket all day…) It’s a very cozy tasting room and it sounds like Stephen and Jamie put on some pretty cool wine tasting parties. www.convergencevineyards.com. I wish I lived closer. I’ll give description on their wines when we enjoy them at home. Stephen suggested we head over to Bray Vineyards. So we did. Another fun tasting room. Their trademark is a man drinking a bottle of wine while driving a tractor, doing a pop-a-wheelie. We left with another case, including a bottle of Barbera Rosato, which is kind of like a white zin (don’t be scared) but better…cooler . Third we stopped at C.G. DiArie. It was really busy here. And we tasted a ton (maybe 10-11) of their wines, including 6 barrel tastings. We didn’t buy anything here but the atmosphere was fun for the Italian designed/decorated room we were in. After stopping for some lunch at InCahoots we headed back out to Nine Gables. Not much to say about them. I don’t think they thought we’d buy any wine…so…we didn’t. With time winding down we stopped at Runquist Vineyards.
Jeff Runquist went to UC Davis pre-med. Two weeks in he decided that wasn’t for him and ended up working in a winery. Long story short he ended up making wine. How do we know this? Because Pops told us. Pops poured us the wine with his special “rinsing of each glass with the new wine so it coated all sides so we can appreciate the bouquet more” technique. While this takes a while, and uses more wine then the winemaker may appreciate, it allowed us to ask lots of questions. We came away with a case of wine here too. Which is why I started this blog… Last night we opened a 2006 R Petite Sirah. As with most Petite Sirahs, it has an intense dark purple color. It’s blackberry, boysenberry, rasberry…just good. It is very well balanced and easy to drink on it’s own. At $26 we probably should’ve bought another bottle(s). www.jeffrunquistwines.com Their tasting room looks fairly new, huge wine bar with lots of room for lots of people and Pearl the dog. They also served us bread and cheese with our tasting.
More on the other wines we bought as we drink them. I didn’t take notes during our tastings but was overall really impressed with Amador Valley. The tastings were all free. The wines all had lots of flavor. And the wines in general were reasonable in price. I hope everyone drank a lot of good wine over the holidays and drinks even better wine in 2009!