Why are all the wine lovers groaning? Because the premier Amador County wine tasting event in March is done for 2013 and fans have to wait another year to roam from winery to winery in the company of thousands to sample the featured wines and paired foods. However, the wine-wise know that Amador County has one of the rarest of all wine tasting events known as the “Big Crush” that will take place in October. Smiles return and anticipation blooms.
Those who attend the “Behind the Cellar Door” and other Amador Vintners Association special events understand the joys and often return annually from local lands as well as from across the states. The 2013 BCD was attended by annual fans like Gregg M. Truman who love the wine, the company, and the entire affair. The beautiful lady named Gregg typically rents a cabin and meets with the same group of friends every year whether fellow cabin renters or RV drivers. According to Truman, who promptly spoke up when Charles Spinetta Winery was criticized for offering no food during BCD, not even a cracker, the beautiful labels and great wine warrant including them as a must-stop on the 36 participating winery list.
The tough part of BCD is the dream to be able to visit every single winery. This is the most unlikely dream and actually creates cause to return another year or for the event held in harvest October. The other tough part is the distracting views. The views are so photographable and relaxing that one is tempted to linger looking and pull out the camera at every stop. There is nothing more regrettable than getting home and finding your camera full of photos and your palette left wondering what might have been missed. This woe is easily remedied by making sure your designated driver prods you along. Yes, designated drivers are recommended and they can participate for a mere $10 and enjoy all the fantastic and varied food offered at nearly every designation … except perhaps at Spinetta.
One of the great features of BCD is the informative seminars, demonstrations and short talks offered at various vineyards. Those who enjoy personality and personal stories have been thrilled to visit C.G. DiArie and listen to the owner tell his winemaking story. Born in Istanbul, Turkey and then immigrating to Israel and finally to the United States, Chaim Gur-Arieh has a Masters and Ph.D. in food science which was obtained after achieving his BS in chemical engineering. With a distinguished career in food science including creating a database of over 5,000 flavors for his California Brand Flavors company, Chaim turned to winemaking in 1998 and sought out the Amador foothills as well as rounding out his extensive education by adding winemaking classes at the University of California, Davis. The cumulative results of Chaim’s background and attention to flavor are a huge success and make C.G. DiArie among the highly sought destinations in the Amador wine tasting events.
How one approaches the wine tasting in Amador County depends on personal preference but there is never a shortage of great wine and great people ready to talk about the wine, the land, the careers, and the joys of creating each year's new releases. Please see following articles to get a taste of other “Behind the Cellar Door” personalities and charms including Convergence Vineyards, Dillian Wines, and Drytown Cellars.