Scott Harvey Wines

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Jana Harvey
 
November 20, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Cooking Video: Scott Harvey Barbera and Mary's Chicken

Poussin in the Shape of a Pear Paired with 2015 Scott Harvey Mountain Selection Barbera by Estate Chef Brian Overhauser

Scott’s 2015 Mountain Selection Barbera merges beautifully with the richness of this impressive bird dish. The youthful structure of the 2015 vintage transforms your palate and prepares you for the next wonderful bite without skipping a beat.

Serves 4

  • 2 Mary’s Poussin (baby chickens)
  • 1 cup fresh black trumpet mushrooms
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ cup Barbera
  • 4 cups rich poultry stock
  • 1 cup cauliflower puree

Method:

To make the poussin: Bone each bird to produce two servings per poussin. Begin by cutting down along the breastbone, scraping along the bone to keep the meat intact. Disjoint the wing and continue boning along the wishbone. Turn the bird over and cut along the backbone, carving out the meat from the bone. Disjoint the thigh and continue to remove an entire half of bird with the skin intact. Cut off the wing at the first joint leaving only the shoulder bone attached. Scrape meat off this remaining wing bone to remove the bone, leaving the meat and skin attached to half the bird. Remove the thigh bone, leaving the meat attached to the poussin half. Cut around the knob end of the leg, releasing the skin and tendons. Press the leg meat and skin firmly toward the thigh so that 1-1/2 to 2 inches of leg bone is exposed. Cut the knob off the end of the leg bone and salt and pepper liberally. Repeat with the second half of the poussin.

Next, press the poussin half fold-side-down on a flat surface so the leg bone sticks straight up and the chicken forms a pear shape. Place the leg with the bone up in the baking pan and brush with melted butter. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

While the bird is cooking sauté the mushrooms in butter for approximately 5 minutes.

Take the birds out and remove from pan and drain off the fat. Deglaze with the wine and reduce to a syrup then add the stock and reduce to ½.

To serve:
Using a large, warm, shallow pasta bowl, place the purée in the center then take the mushrooms and place on top of the purée. Take the reduced stock and ladle over mushrooms then place the roasted poussin on top in the center and garnish with the rosemary placed into the leg cavity. For an extra effect, light the rosemary just before taking the plate to your guest.

 

 

Time Posted: Nov 20, 2018 at 9:58 AM
Jana Harvey
 
October 22, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Visit the Best of Amador County

Rolling hills, rustic charm, and world-class wineries await you in Northern California!

If you haven’t already, enter our Wine Country getaway contest to win a three-night/four-day trip for four in Amador County Wine Country.

Liquid Gold

Once home to Gold Rush prospectors, Amador County is back on the map, this time for its award-winning wines and friendly hospitality.

Winemaking isn’t new to Amador County. Vines were planted in the mid-1800s to satiate the many Europeans that were seeking riches in the area. The volcanic and sandy loam soils are extremely well-suited for creating flavorful and luscious wines. While Prohibition resulted in abandoned vineyard plots, some sites survived due to the resilience of the vines and today are producing spectacular old vine reserve Zinfandel.

In addition to Zinfandel, the local wineries have been successful in producing varieties with Italian, Spanish, and Rhône origins such as Barbera, Aglianico, Tempranillo, Viognier, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.

Be Our Guest

The team at Scott Harvey Wines, along with our partners Baja Limo, Taste Restaurant & Wine Bar and FlyWithWine, looks forward to welcoming our sweepstakes winner. Together, we’ve cultivated a handful of VIP food and wine experiences to make your trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The winner and guests will be hosted by winemakers and owners Scott and Jana Harvey at the Scott Harvey Winery in Plymouth... Scott grew up in the Sierra Foothills region and has been involved in winemaking for over 40 years. In 2005, he and his wife Jana–also a wine industry veteran–began making wine under their own labels. They now run two tasting rooms, one in downtown Sutter Creek and the other at their winery in Shenandoah Valley, welcoming thousands of guests for tastings, pairings, tours, and events.

Wine Country Itinerary

The winner will enjoy a long weekend with accommodations in the winery’s estates guest house. We’ll delight them with a guided vineyard tour with Winemaker Scott Harvey, as well as a private dinner with Scott and Jana Harvey. Good company requires great food, and Estate Chef Brian Overhauser will deliver just that. Additionally, Chef Brian will prepare a VIP Food & Wine Pairing experience to showcase our food-friendly, Old World style wines. A special offer to purchase Scott Harvey Wines at the discounted Wine Club member pricing will allow guests to take home memories to be shared long after their trip.

Scott & Jana Harvey

The weekend will continue with a guided winery tour through Amador County’s sun-drenched hills.

Ride in style with Baja Limo, the premier luxury transport service of the Bay Area and Northern California Wine Country. Courtesy of Baja Limo, the group will receive a $250 gift card allowing them to splurge along the way!

Taste Restaurant & Wine Bar, the most flavorful, local favorite, will treat the winner and their guests to a decadent lunch with the freshest, seasonal ingredients.

FlyWithWine will help the winner continue to create fond memories by supplying a gorgeous, durable 12-bottle VinGardeValise® wine suitcase to transport their award-winning Amador wines home to share with family and friends.

Experience a Dream Vacation

With over 40 wineries and tasting rooms and a plethora of wine varietals to taste, we know you will have a unique and unforgettable adventure in Amador County!

Take a moment to enter online: Wine Country getaway. And don’t forget to share with your friends and family!

We hope to welcome you to Amador County Wine Country soon!

 

 

 

Time Posted: Oct 22, 2018 at 9:05 AM
Jana Harvey
 
October 4, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Cooking Video: End-of-Summer Sauvignon Blanc & Your Best Tomatoes

Seasonal changes are a breath of fresh air. Here in Northern California wine country, we ease into the cool, fall weather much later than our Midwest and East Coast friends. But whether it’s still a dry 80 degrees or a balmy 60, Sauvignon Blanc makes for a deliciously drinkable wine all year long – especially when paired with end-of-season tomatoes! Enjoy this delectable dish created by Estate Chef Brian Overhauser. Cheers!

 

Heirloom Tomato Stack Paired with 2017 Jana Winery Sauvignon Blanc, Lake County

This wine-friendly appetizer is nicely balanced by the crisp refreshment of Jana’s 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County. It provides appropriate fruit and acidity for this rather clean and fresh salad.

Serves 4

  • 6 Heirloom tomatoes approximately the same size
  • 1 Package pre-sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 1 garlic cloves pressed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup fresh micro basil
  • ½ cup EVOO

Method:

Cut the tomatoes as thin as possible to get 24 pieces and layout in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.

Salt and pepper each peace and then drizzle some EVOO as well. Now, take the cheese and distribute on top of every other tomato. Distribute the garlic evenly on top of all the slices.

Now, stack one at a time to get 4 stacks with six pieces each containing two slices of Mozzarella

To serve:
Transfer the very cold plate and top with micro basil and enjoy with a bottle of 2017 Jana Sauvignon Blanc on a warm, late summer day or by the firepit on an early fall evening.

 

 

Time Posted: Oct 4, 2018 at 10:00 AM
Scott Harvey
 
September 10, 2018 | Scott Harvey

Barbera in Amador County

 

I’m convinced, and it is rapidly becoming known, that Amador County is the best wine growing region in the world for Barbera – and the proof is in the high-quality wine that flows out of here season after season.

When you look at the natural origins of Barbera, it hails from a region in Italy called the Piedmont or Piedmonte, which translates to “foothill” in Italian. And much like the Alps above Italy, the Sierra Nevada flanking Amador are huge granite, monolithic uplifts born from continental drift. These foothill regions are full of decomposed granite soils coming off the sides of the mountain range. Amador’s terrain is like a home away from home for Barbera.

The biggest difference between the two winegrowing regions is that Piedmont is very close to a marine influence – the Mediterranean Sea. During the growing season, Piedmont receives a nourishing fog from the Mediterranean, creating the best varietal known as Nebbiolo (named after the fog). The most expensive wines, Barolo and Barbaresco, come from this region. And while Nebbiolo is a fog-loving variety perfect for the misty Piedmont region, Barbera is a sun-loving variety that is dealt the second-best vineyard sites in Piedmont.  

Now, take it around the world to right here in Amador County, a very similar foothill region up against a very similar fast-growing, granitic mountain range. The Sierra Nevada’s marine influence, the Pacific, is too far away for the fog to roll in during the growing season, making this a more suitable territory than the Italian Piedmont. Barbera thrives in Amador like no other place on earth.

My favorite red wine to make is Barbera. I first cut my teeth making Barbera at Montevina Winery in 1974, and it struck a passion in me that’s never faltered. I’ve been producing Amador County Barbera ever since, under our own Scott Harvey label. It’s my favorite because it makes, undoubtedly, the best wine in the region.

Cheers,

Scott Harvey
Winemaker

 

Time Posted: Sep 10, 2018 at 2:57 PM
Jana Harvey
 
August 1, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Say Hello to Sekt Series Part 3

Sparkle Through Summer - Say Hello to Sekt Series Part 3

This sparkler was practically made for a summer soiree, with its juicy crush of stone fruit flavors and waves of refreshing minerality coupled with racy acidity. The Jana Blanc de Blanc holds its own during a meal thanks to its complexity and voluptuous body, and complements a variety of cuisines perfectly. To finish out this bubbly blog series, we’re sharing some of our favorite summer dishes to enjoy with our Sekt-style Jana Blanc de Blanc!

Fresh Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Crunchy, fresh, and satisfying, this simple Vietnamese-inspired dish begs for hot summer days and a glass of Jana Blanc de Blanc. The salad brings a hint of acid to complement but not overpower the wine’s pronounced acidity on the palate, and its touch of fiery spice serves as this bubbly’s perfect foil. Grill some chicken or pork to serve on alongside the salad, pop a bottle, and you’ve got yourself a perfect evening, if you ask us.

Easy Moo Shu Pork

Packed with vibrant sweet and savory flavors, this dish is as delicious as it is simple, allowing for maximum time to enjoy the summer evening with a glass (or a few) of Jana Blanc de Blanc. The dish’s straightforward elements delightfully contrast the wine’s intricate mosaic of flavors on the palate.

Grilled Veggie and Meat Skewers

Think seasonal delicacies like eggplant, mushroom, squash, red onion, and bell pepper skewered alongside chicken, pork, you name it! The wine’s crisp flavors and bright texture bring out the same qualities in the vegetables you choose. A sip of Jana Blanc de Blanc after a bite of grilled goodness strikes the perfect gastronomic balance.

So whether you choose to sip your sparkler solo this summer or alongside one of these simple summer specialties, we hope you feel a little extra sparkly!

Time Posted: Aug 1, 2018 at 11:33 AM
Jana Harvey
 
July 24, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Reading Between the Vines

Putting wine into words tends to elude even the most talented philosophers and linguists. Ancient Greek playwright Euripides came close when he said, “Both to the rich and poor, wine is the happy antidote for sorrow.” Centuries later, author Paulo Coelho encourages readers to “accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.”


Mosel, Germany

Wine speaks without words, though humans try to translate its language with every sip, every layer of flavor, every year in the cellar. Perhaps what’s most difficult to grasp about wine’s existence is its terroir, which has no direct English translation. (Terroir, in English, combines 5 traits: climate, soil, terrain, vintage, and in some areas with a long history of winemaking, tradition.)

Grapevines grow in some of the most fascinating and geographically treacherous places in the world–whether it’s Riesling rooted inside blue slate on staggering grades in the craggs of German mountain towns or Assyrtiko curled into nests rooted in volcanic ash on the Santorini coast, wine is not just a product of where it came from, it is a time capsule, a bottled poem written by the wind, the rain, the soil, and sun. We carefully craft wines of distinction that tell their story of place, variety, tradition and vintage. Our wine is a true expression of terroir.

Santorini, Greece

A winemaker like Scott Harvey tends to the vines and makes the resulting wine to best express terroir. He is the winemaker, after all. But most European languages don’t even have a word for winemaker–the closest translation equates to “wine grower.” By definition, wine and its terroir transcend the passage of man. Scott Harvey, however, has found a balance between using traditional methods to bring out the best of the grapes’ character and allowing the grapes and the resulting wine to speak for themselves.


With his dynamic background in winemaking beginning with his training in Rheinland Pfalz in Germany, Scott has sharpened his terroir-translating skills with old-world winemakers whose families had been making wine for generations. He approaches his vines and wines through an old world lens, allowing for their bright, California character to shine through the old-world influence of minimal oak and balanced winemaking techniques.

During Scott Harvey experiences, you have the chance to immerse yourself in Amador terroir. Feel the soil beneath your feet on a walk around the vineyards, let the sun’s rays warm your skin, and taste in the winery nestled in the rolling hills and valleys of vines. Listen as the master of the old world himself, Scott Harvey tells you what is happening at that moment in the vineyards and how it affects the wine in your glass. And if you’re a 3&3 wine & food pairing guest or enjoying a vineyard tour with Scott, you’ll taste the wine these very vineyards birthed. So read between the vines–allow terroir to be translated by all of your senses, and discover Scott Harvey.

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2018 at 9:21 AM
Jana Harvey
 
June 19, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Sparkle Through Summer Series: Say Hello to Sekt!

Enter Scott Harvey: Master of Old-World-style Wines in the New World

Scott’s interest in winemaking took hold when he was a high school exchange student in Rheinland Pfalz, Germany. It was there he discovered the artisanal method of not just producing but crafting wines, through a delicate balance of art and science. After college, he returned to Germany to apprentice at K. Fitz-Ritter and simultaneously attend the prestigious Weinbau Schule in Neustadt.

A Study in Sekt

Throughout his studies, Scott found that there were distinct quality differences between the sparkling wines that were made using the tank or transfer methods, and those that were crafted in the traditional method. Greater still, he noticed, the divide between Sekt made with more abundant, affordable varieties like Muller-Thurgau or Silvaner, and those whose base wine was difficult-to-manage, costly Riesling.

The most highly-regarded German Sekts are called Winzersekt and are dry, usually made with estate-grown Riesling grapes. Scott Harvey, now in his fourth decade of winemaking, has perfected the art of old world Sekt in the new world of wine with his Jana Blanc de Blanc.

In his own words:

“I love making and drinking sparkling wine. When Jana and I travel I always throw in a bottle of sparkling wine in to enjoy somewhere along the way. Great on a long hike to a distant mountain peak.

I was trained in the art of making sparkling wine at the third oldest sparkling wine house (K Fitz Ritter Sekt Kellerei) in Germany. That was 45 years ago when we still hand riddled all the bottles. I learned how to produce a dry brut style Riesling Sekt. Ever since then I have been producing ‘Methode Champenoise’ sparkling wines in California. Our current release is 100% Riesling, three years on triage and produced as a high quality brut just like we did at K Fitz Ritter and as it is done in Champagne France.”

—Scott Harvey

The Place

Scott sources the Riesling grapes for the Jana Blanc de Blanc, named for his wife Jana Harvey, from one of the last Riesling vineyards left in Mendocino County, Nelson Ranch. Nestled in an upland side canyon, the 40-year-old vineyard births small, intensely flavorful grapes.

The Wine

After its second fermentation, Scott allows this dry Sekt-style wine to rest en Tirage (on the lees) for three years, creating a deep, complex tessellation of aromas and flavors once the wine hits the glass. Racy yet delicate, the Jana Blanc de Blanc bursts onto the palate with flavors of lychee, brioche, fresh cream, juicy peaches, and apricot blossom, tied together with buoyant acidity, elegant bubbles, and shimmering minerality, which meld into a long, fresh finish. It’s summer’s soulmate, pure freshness in a bottle. The Jana Blanc de Blanc is anything but ordinary. We can't wait for you to pop a bottle this summer, and make your summer extraordinary. 

Time Posted: Jun 19, 2018 at 1:50 PM
Jana Harvey
 
May 31, 2018 | Jana Harvey

Sparkle Through Summer Series: The 3 Methods of Sparkling Winemaking

The three methods of sparkling winemaking

Fizz, pop, clink, sip. This ritual is one bubbly-lovers hold sacred, and many look to Champagne for their fizzy fix. Made with mainly Chardonnay grapes, Blanc de Blancs from Champagne has enjoyed a lifetime of prestige, so much so that many French Champagne houses have grown to be international brands whose wine is made on multiple continents, including our own.

What few realize is that German winemakers have been making sparkling wine, or Sekt, in an off-dry style, using affordable varieties from more economical regions such as Muller-Thurgau. Most producers of the boozy bubbly beverage use the economical Tank Method (like Prosecco). Larger houses (rarely in Germany) produce their bubbly through the slightly more complex transfer method. Less use high-quality and pricey Riesling grapes and lesser still use the labor-intensive and time-consuming traditional method of production. So what exactly are the differences between the three methods of sparkling wine production? In the first of a three-part series, we’ll break down the three most commonly-used means of production.

Photo Credit: Wine Folly

Traditional Method

The Traditional Method of sparkling winemaking goes by many names: Méthode Champenoise, Méthode Traditionelle, Méthode Cap Classique, to name a few. Whatever the alias, the finished products are some of the most celebrated due to the sheer amount of time, labor and money that went into their creation. The most magical part? The entire transformation from still to sparkling wine takes place inside the glass walls of each bottle. 

 

 

Base Wine

First, grapes are picked (usually sooner than grapes used solely for still wines, to preserve acidity) and fermented to dry as usual. The winemaker blends multiple base wines together to create a cuvée (blend).

Tirage

Next, the base wine is bottled and a precise mixture of yeast, wine, and sugar called liqueur de tirage is added to the base wine to each bottle, which are capped with a crown cap (like a beer bottle). This triggers the second fermentation.

Second Fermentation

The second fermentation creates about 1.3% more alcohol and carbon dioxide, and spent yeast cells that remain in the bottle.

Aging

The wine is then left to age on these spent yeast cells, or lees (sur lie, or en tirage) to develop texture, complexity, and autolytic character in the wine. This process is entirely subjective and can be anywhere from 9 months to 5 years, depending on quality. Many believe the longer the wine rests on the lees, the better.

 

 

Riddling

Once the winemaker decides the wine is close to finished, it’s time to Riddle! Riddling traditionally takes place in riddling racks; rectangular wooden boards hinged at the top, both sides with holes to hold the necks of bottles. The bottles are placed neck-down into the racks at a 45-degree angle. Every day for several weeks, the riddler rotates every single bottle a few degrees, gently shifting the lees closer to the neck of the bottle. At the end of the process, the bottles are slanted a 60-degree angle and are completely neck-down in their holes, and all the lees are collected in the neck.

Disgorgement

This process removes sediment from the bottle without wasting wine or compromising quality. After riddling, bottles are placed upside-down into a freezing solution for several minutes which causes the residual yeast particles to freeze. The crown caps are then popped off which allows the frozen plug of lees to shoot out. The minimal amount of wine lost in the process is replaced with a slightly sweet mixture of wine and sugar, or dosage, which balances the acidity in the wine.

Photo Credit: Wine Folly

Transfer Method

The transfer method is identical to the traditional method until the aging process is complete. After aging, the bottled wines are emptied into a large, pressurized tank and filtered immediately to separate the lees from the wine. This method sidesteps the costly and difficult riddling and disgorgement of the traditional method, yet the resulting wines still may have delicious autolytic flavors and textures.

Photo Credit: Wine Folly

Tank Method

Also known as the Charmat Method, the tank method tends to be the fastest and most affordable and uses (you guessed it) a stainless steel tank to turn a still base wine into a sparkling one, rather than a bottle. Finished wine is added together with liqueur de tirage, a sugar, wine, and yeast mixture, triggering a rapid fermentation within the pressure-resistant tank.

As the fermentation goes on, carbon dioxide released from the fermentation causes the tank to pressurize, and the resulting sparkling wine is filtered, dosed with a solution of sugar and wine, and bottled.

Wines made using the tank method are inherently fresher in character as they are not aged at all. Large-volume producers of sparkling wines around the world utilize this method as it allows for the quickest turnaround (approximately 10-12 days from base wine to bottle) of the three methods.

Time Posted: May 31, 2018 at 9:31 AM
Monica Bennion
 
March 14, 2018 | Monica Bennion

Amador County Wine...California's Second Gold Rush - Part 2

Wine_ArrowsIn our first installment of "Amador County Wine...California's Second Gold Rush", we took a stroll through the history of some of California's oldest vineyards, planted during the Gold Rush in the 1850's.  When mining became less profitable and surface gold was depleted, many miners abandoned their claims and went on to find greener pastures.  With this exodus from gold country, most vineyards were also abandoned and left unattended, some dying away and others going dormant.

It wasn't until the 1960's and 1970's when Amador County saw it's second "gold rush", this time in the form of the wine industry as a whole.  In addition to the vineyards, wineries began popping up throughout the Shenandoah Valley.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
While not quite the tourist destination at that time, heck, even Napa Valley was still budding, winemakers in Amador County began producing world-class wines to sell commercially and to individuals.  Some of the first wineries in Amador County include Montevina (est. 1973) and Story Winery (est. 1973), both of which Scott worked at before and after his winemaking education.  Read more about Scott's History.  While wineries, such as Cooper, Dillian and Spinetta, didn't open until after the 1980's, these families have been growing grapes in Amador County for decades, thus firmly earning a place in the Amador County wine history books.

Amador County is home to the third oldest winery in the state!  The D’Agostini Winery was started in 1856 by Adam Uhlinger.  In 1911, the winery and its 125 acres of vineyards were purchased by Enrico D’Agostini, for whom the winery was named for.  In 1984, Armagan Champagne Cellars purchased the business and the Amador County vineyard and wine cellar were sold to the Sobon family in 1989.  The original wine cellar still exists today, and is now the Shenandoah Valley Museum.

Shenandoah_Museum

WHERE WE ARE TODAY 
Today, there are more than 40 active wineries that make up the Amador Vintners Association with faciliites throughout the Shenandoah and Fiddletown AVAs, along with a handful of others outside of those AVAs.  Many of these wineries are family owned and operated, and have been for generations. They always welcome you in with a smile and the desire to show off their home grown and hand crafted wines.  Visit the Amador Vintners Association website.

Amador_Wine_Map
 

Scattered throughout Amador County, you'll find a number of private tasting rooms featuring award-winning gold country wines.  Up and down Main Street of historic Downtown Sutter Creek, you'll find more than seven tasting rooms nestled among unique shops, fine and casual dining and top-notch lodging facilites.  Visit the Sutter Creek Business Association's website and Wine on 49.

WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER
While Amador County is known for its tasty, award winning and historical Zinfandels, the rising and shining star in Amador’s vineyards is Barbera.  An Italian variety that hails from the Piedmont region of Italy, this grape variety is unknown to many in California and most of the United States; unless of course you’re a Scott Harvey fan, then you've already established your love affair with Barbera.  Amador County Barbera has become so popular, it even has it's own event!  Learn more here about the Barbera Festival.

SH_Barbera
 

Amador’s volcanic soil, made up primarily of sandy clay loam as a result of decomposed granite, is ideal for growing Zinfandel and Barbera, as well as Syrah, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah, among other lesser-known red varietals.  While Amador County is not known for its white wines, you’d be surprised to know that it is home to some award winning Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.

Just recently, the Sierra Foothills region made headlines when Wine Enthusiast contributing editor, Jim Gordon, wrote about his experience in "The New & Improved Sierra Foothills".  Mr. Gordon highlights some of the rustic charm mixed with relaxed luxury as well as some of the old vine gems scattered throughout Amador County and the Sierra Foothills; including a Cellar Selection rating on our Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel.

SierraZinfandel-700x461

RETHINKING CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY
Let's revisit our word association game.  This time when we say "California Wine Country", maybe you'll think of Amador County.  When we say "Award Winning California Wines", you can easily name a handful of Gold Medal winners from the Sierra Foothills.  When we say "Barbera", you think "YUM!".  As for "Old Vine Zinfandels", you, as a Scott Harvey fan, know first hand that these are must-haves for your collection!

When you're getting ready to plan a trip to “California’s Wine Country”, think Amador County.  In addition to the fantastic wines and wineries, you will also enjoy the rustic charm of historical towns such as Sutter Creek, Jackson and Plymouth.  Take in all that Amador County has to offer, including fine dining, shopping, gold mine excursions, art events and much more!

 

Visit Scott Harvey Wines

 

ANNUAL AMADOR COUNTY WINE EVENTS

BEHIND THE CELLAR DOOR
First Weekend in March

BHTCD

 

WILDFLOWERS & WINE
SUNDAY, APRIL 3rd 2016

LEARN MORE & BUY TICKETS HERE

Wildflowers_and_Wine

 

 

AMADOR FOUR FIRES
SATURDAY, MAY 7th 2016

LEARN MORE & BUY TICKETS HERE

Amador_Four_Fires

 

BARBERA FESTIVAL
SATURDAY, JUNE 11th 2016

LEARN MORE & BUY TICKETS HERE

newbarberafestivallogo

 

AMADOR COUNTY FAIR WINE TASTING EVENT
FRIDAY, JULY 29th 2016

Amador_County_Fair_Wine_Tasting
 
 

 

THE BIG CRUSH HARVEST FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 1st & 2nd 2016

amador-vintners-big-crush
 
 

 

SUTTER CREEK WINEFEST
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12th 2016

LEARN MORE HERE

Winefest
Time Posted: Mar 14, 2018 at 6:29 PM
Monica Bennion
 
March 10, 2018 | Monica Bennion

Amador County Wine...California's Second Gold Rush

California_Wine_MapLet’s play a little word association game.  I’ll give you a word or phrase; you tell me what first comes to mind:
 
(1)    California's Wine Country
(2)    Gold Medal Winning California Wines
(3)    Old Vine Zinfandels
(4)    Barbera
 
Now, let us give the conventional answers:
 
(1)    Napa Valley
(2)    Again…Napa Valley
(3)    Jammy fruit bombs that are high in alcohol
(4)    That’s not how you spell Barbara…and what does she have to do with wine? 

For those of us who live in California or are familiar with California wines, we know that good wines come from the upper North Coast all the way down to the Southern California border, and everywhere in between.

California is home to some of the best wines in the world, and is only surpassed in production (not necessarily quality) by Italy, France and Spain.  While Napa Valley may have solidified its claim to fame at The Judgement of Paris in 1973, there are a vast number of wine regions in California that have been producing award winning wines for decades; many still unknown or thought to be insignificant in the world of wine.

For those who enjoy Scott Harvey Wines, you already know better.  Some of the best wine in the world comes from the fifth smallest county (in terms of square miles) in California; Amador County.  Within the 600 square miles that makes up Amador County, about 4,000 acres (less than 1%) consists of wine grapes.  But the grapes grown within that 1% produce some of the best wines in California, if not the world.

Amador Wine Grape Map.png

 

The Making of California’s 2nd Gold Rush:In part one of our two part blog, we visit some of Amador's deeply rooted wine history, including our own little piece of history in the Vineyard 1869 as well as the new shining star, Barbera.


During the 1850’s, California was flooded with prospectors staking claims and digging for fortunes, mining for their pot of gold.  The biggest surge of miners passed through Northern California and the Sierra Foothills, home to vast veins of this precious metal.  While some succeeded in finding prosperity, most were fooled and left “holding the pan”.  But all of the mining, successful or not, made the “49ers” thirsty, thus resulting in the planting, cultivating and fermenting of grapes to make wine to quench their thirst and ease the hard days.

Gold_Miners
The Sierra Foothills nearly fell off the map, with regard to wine production, when gold mining ended with the 19th century and the initiation of Prohibition started in the 1920s.  The miners deserted their camps and vineyards were left to wither and die.  It wasn’t until the 1960s when new “prospectors” started the second “Gold Rush” of Amador…winemaking!


 IMG_1917

While numerous vineyards were planted in Amador County during the 1850’s, the oldest documented vineyard is one of our very own; the Vineyard 1869.  A land deed from an 1869 U.S. Geological Survey notes a fully established vineyard on the property that is home to our historical Old Vine Zinfandel grapes (as well as some Barbera).  LEARN MORE ABOUT VINEYARD 1869 HERE.

Today, of Amador’s nearly 4,000 acres of wine grapes, over 600 acres are over 60 years old, and several date back to the 19th century.  These older vines are often non-irrigated and must rely on their roots to dig deep for water.  These stressed grapes produce bold, complex and multi-faceted wines that you won't find anywhere else.  These wines are often produced in the Old World style with low alcohol and balanced pH, making them perfect to pair with food.

More recently, Amador County has unearthed another piece of California gold by cultivating Barbera vineyards.  Hailing from the Piedmont region of Italy, this variety was first planted in Amador County in the 1880s, but didn't really gain traction as a known variety until the late 1990s.  Barbera vines are adaptive to a variety of soils, but thrive in decomposed granite and volcanic soils, and enjoy a little heat during the summer days with cooler evenings.  This describes Amador County perfectly.  Originally used as a "blending" wine, Barbera is now taking Amador County, California and the nation by storm.  Barbera is a versatile, food friendly wine that goes well with Italian style meals, vegetarian meals and a variety of cheeses.  READ MORE HERE ABOUT AMADOR'S SHINING STAR

Let's revist our little word association game now.  I’ll give you a word or phrase; you tell me what first comes to mind:
 
(1)    California's Wine Country
(2)    Gold Medal Winning California Wines
(3)    Old Vine Zinfandels
(4)    Barbera
 
Here are your new answers:
 
(1)    Amador County, California
(2)    Again…Amador County
(3)    Complex, balanced and multi-faceted
(4)    Sure to be your new favorite wine!

Just how many grapes does it take to make up Amador's "liquid gold"?
Download our Free Vineyard to Bottle Sheet to find out!

Time Posted: Mar 10, 2018 at 6:26 PM

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