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'Behind the Cellar Door' 2014 highlights revealed

Drytown Cellars
Drytown CellarsSusan Raines

The 2014 Behind the Cellar Door is set to take place on March 1st and 2nd and will once again be filled with lush offerings of wine tasting, food pairings and educational seminars as well as the beauty of Amador County. Thirty-nine wineries will be participating in the annual extravaganza and be providing wine tasting from a vast variety including Old-Vine Zinfandel, Syrah, Sangioveses, Barbera, Viognier, Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and many more. The outstanding wines from Amador County include both mainstream and off-the-beaten track varieties.

Each winery will feature wines of their choice from both bottle and barrel and no wine lover will go away feeling parched or void of finding a new favorite. Purchasing specials will be available with select discounts from 15-20% and more with a super special being offered by Driven Cellars. Driven's early bird special from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. goes all out with 45% off Viognier and Petite Syrah and drops to a 30% discount after 1:00 p.m.

Visitors will encounter seeming endless options for getting to know the land, the wine and the people as they travel the hills and curves along the wine tasting route. Because the region is abundant with vineyards, natural beauty and indisputable charm, the event is an annual favorite for thousands. This year some old favorites will stand alongside some new food pairings and includes cheeses, desserts, soups and stews, breads, meatballs, sliders, dippers, grilled meats, fowl and vegetables, and more.

Music is also an important feature at many of the BCD wineries. Big names include The Rhythm Vandals - Tribute to Santana who perform at Borjon Winery on Sat., Mar. 1 from noon to 4:00 p.m. Fine acoustics will serenade visitors at Drytown Cellars with the music of Darcel Hunter and Pat Keene on Saturday and Manny Sosa on Sunday. Andis Wines will bring in live Karoake with DJ Gavin from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. each day.

The BCD event is always a feast for the tongue, the eyes, and even the ears. It also a feast for the mind with the numerous demonstrations, tours and seminars. Some of the smart offerings include Amador Cellars' seminar "Aging to Perfection" with winemakers Larry and Michael Long conducting guided tastings of their 2012 barrel futures at 11:00 a.m. Amador Foothill Winery offers the "GSM" seminar discussing the art of blending Rhone varietals and offering participants to try different blends and guess the dominant varietal in each.

New this year is the Friday Feb. 28 Winemaker Reception inside the Terra d'Oro barrel cellar. The reception is a separate ticketed event and is a fundraiser for the American River College Culinary Arts Program and Amador Vintners Association. The classy affair will feature tasting stations with specific food affinities to match the region's signature varietals and intimate opportunities to meet and chat with Amador's star winemakers from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

The fun and flavors of the BCD event are vast. Those who return each year understand the necessity to pick and choose and take their time. Newcomers will either plunge in or take it slow but either way they will be met with deliciousness born of the vine and hard work by owners, winemakers, family and friends. You can find more information at the Amador Vintner's Association website here. Please see the links below for prior year's event coverage and photos.