Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Amador Wineries and Cheese Shop #2

The next monster winery to take the Amador Valley by storm is Andis Wines. I did not take a lot of pictures because the winery is a clean modern design and the winery was packed that day as well. If you look at the second picture you will see the wall of woven wood. Well, the wood is from re-claimed oak barrels that they used as a design feature throughout the out side of the winery. The winery was founded by a husband and wife team that are native Hawaiians and still split their time between the main land and the islands. They owned a home on the Silverado Trail for years and one day went to a Wine Club dinner at a Amador Winery and met their now Wine Maker, Mark Mckenna. The story in its' entirety is located on Drink Up Magazine.
I have now gone to the winery twice since I shot the images. The wines across the board are very good but like Helwig are very young and need some time to settle. The region grows Italian varieties best because of its similarities to the climate of the Italian Wine country. Many Italians settled in the region and found the elevation and climate identical to their native Italy and so they planted what worked best also French varieties are grown in the region and do very well also. Amador is completely different growing region from Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Santa Barbara. Napa, Sonoma and Santa Barbara are near the ocean so that in its' self can tell you a lot. Lodi is very flat so that tells you another story all together. 

The tasting room is very large, clean and modern. When I first shot the images the room was packed so I did not want to shoot because I would have to get the crowds permission to post images with them in it. They have very cute out door furniture for you to buy a glass of wine and bring a picnic and enjoy their top of the hill views. Also a nice thing about Andis is their wines are on taps and you can refill your bottles when you come into the winery instead of buying corked bottles. They offer corked bottles but if you live close this is a great option. I think the winery is already a force to be reckon with, but give it another couple of years and you will see their wines featured in some top wine journals for sure.

Now on to Ben's favorite place on earth. The Sutter Creek Cheese Shoppe! This place is a great gem of a find. It is located on the main drag of the very cute Sutter Creek town. The Amador Valley is made up of all these old mining towns and they are all charming and cute as a button. If you love history then this is a great place to visit as well.

So what makes his little cheese shoppe so great is they let you taste every cheese they have and not even having to ask either. As soon as you walk in the door they shower you with samples and extremely detailed knowledge of the cheese as well. They know their cheese inside and out and have a true love for it.

They give you these tasting sheets and you can just down the list if you like. We usually walk out with maybe five or ten types of cheeses. They also are kind enough to give you extra pieces of that great french cheese paper that makes your cheese last extra long in the refrigerator at home. They even have the back history on the paper as well.

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