It was best of times on the date of wine tour October 13-14, 2019. We had a great group including Carol and Mario who traveled from Florida to attend. It was great to see them and their enthusiasm for the event even though they drove a Chevy Impala. The route we followed was same as last year. Through Carson to Jack’s Valley Road to HI way 88 for a rest stop at Carson Pass (beautiful drive- fall colors were great). Above a group picture at Carson Pass with mountains in background.
This year before we left Carson Pass everyone was alerted to watch for and take the Mormon Immigrant trail exit. Last year five cars blew past the exit. This year President Ron Nicasio and his navigator Art Ono charged ahead of the lead car without knowing how to get to first stop at Amador Cellars. The rest of us proceeded in an orderly manner to Amador Cellars where we were greeted by Linda Long one of the owners. Ron and Art did fine us. Amador Cellars is a family winery. Linda supervises the tasting room with help from her daughter and son. Mr. Long retired as winemaker but is around to help wine testing. They are welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable. In October they were still harvesting and crushing. We inspected grapes in fermenting vats in the outdoor tasting area set up just for us.
We next went to MaBeRa Winery for lunch catered by Beth Sogaard Catering from the Amador Vintage Market. Many of us sat outside and MaBeRa staff brought out wine to taste while we enjoyed lunch. We the only guests at MaBeRa that Saturday—it was closed to the public. The BMW Flag was displayed in the tasting room area of the warehouse where others had lunch (See group picture on Web Page). Unfortunately that is the last time we will enjoy MaBeRa hospitality. We learned later that It has closed. Wine sold off at discounts (We enjoyed MaBeRa wine at the Holiday Party dinner). MaBeRa gifted it the BMW flag to the Club and it was displayed at Holiday Party. So next year we will need to find a new lunch venue. Those who attended will tell you that it will be hard to beat MaBeRa.
The last stop was Paul J. Wines. It is new open in April 2018. Paul J. Sobon is the owner and wine maker. He lives next door to the tasting room. His daughter Camille run the tasting room and there is a red wine named after her that many of us purchased. The Sobon family owns Sobon Winery and Shenandoah Vineyards both in Amador County. The tasting room is new. The grounds include a bocce court and putting green. Mario, Fred, Ron Rachow and I played bocce. Others enjoyed wine and lounging in comfortable chairs outside the tasting room.
After Paul J it was on to Shenandoah Inn for a nap and preparing for the pool party. Everyone brought their favorite wine of the day and we consumed the left over lunch snacks and finished off with Pokerville market pizza. Can’t beat that.
Sunday breakfast was at Marlene and Glenn’s Dead Fly Dinner—as good as ever. After breakfast members headed off to Amador Flower Farm or to visit a winery or head home. We look forward to next year. Who knows what new great winery we will find to visit? For sure it will include some old favorites.
~ De Sharp