Romance, Wine and History in California’s Gold Country
Amador County, located in the Sierra Foothills, was the site of a two-day wine event with over 34 participating wineries. Driving though the rolling hills containing pastures, creeks and gnarled old Oak trees was restorative. And sampling the region’s famed Zinfandels was good for the soul. This region became home to fortune seekers the world-over during California’s Gold Rush days.
Behind the Cellar Door afforded wineries the opportunity to offer food parings with their showcased wines in either the barrel or bottle. Entertainment ranged from Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day theme festivities to great food and live music. The wineries hosted visitors in their tasting rooms, barrel rooms and production facilities. A warm welcome and outstanding wine were available at every stop. In addition to the barrel samples, ranging from current vintages and those from last year, many wineries were pouring some of their most unusual wines.
At Renwood Winery they offered a vertical tasting of Zinfandels spanning 16 years from the Grand Pere Vineyard, famed for its old vine Zinfandels. Wine was paired with everything imaginable: savory foods, cheeses, chocolate fondue and other decadent desserts. It was evident by the collection of awards, ribbons and medals in the tasting rooms that this is a significant wine region.
After a day of indulging in wine and food, dinner seemed like an afterthought. Twisted Fork in Sutter Creek was the perfect solution. Choices of seafood, meats, poultry, pasta and salads in ample servings to share were just right. The short wait before dinner passed quickly while the lounge singer crooned Frank Sinatra tunes.
After dinner it was a short stroll from town to the Hanford House Inn where relaxation awaited. The historic-looking property features modern decor in the guestrooms with comfortable beds, bathrobes and chocolate turn-down service. Opt for one of the Cottage Rooms with an in-room fireplace, deluxe tiled-shower built for two and the outdoor private jacuzzi. Breakfast was divine. Each morning a basket of fresh scones with coffee was left outside the door by 7 am. Later a gourmet breakfast was served in the dining room. Every evening complimentary wine and snacks was available to guests.
California’s Gold Country boomed in the 1850’s, originally attracting gold-seekers to make their fortunes. Small towns sprang up and flourished catering to the miners. Many of these historic gold towns still exist and cater to a different kind of visitor. Wine grapes were planted to satisfy the thirst for wine by the European miners. Now 150 years later, Amador Wine Country is still making wine, to critical acclaim.
Amador Wine Country has several wine events each year: Behind the Cellar Door held March 5-6 and Big Crush Harvest Festival – October 1-2, 2011. For two days during the heart of the grape harvest season, Amador aficionados can partake in great wine, food, music and other harvest festivities amidst the scenic beauty of Amador Wine Country. More information about Amador Wine Region can be found here.
Hanford House Inn is located at 61 Hanford Street, Sutter Creek, CA 95685, phone 209.267.074, info @ hanfordhouse.com