Judges assure palates will be pleased

At wine festivals and tastings, guests typically pay their money and take their chances. What they find in their glass well may be dull, flat, tired or otherwise unimpressive. They sniff, look around and ask, “Where’s the dump bucket?”

“Vintners are being encouraged to pour only their signature wines at Amador Four Fires…”

Amador Four Fires is taking a bold step to assure that the dump buckets won’t overflow. Two months before the event, 24 sommeliers, retailers and other seasoned wine judges without a direct stake in the local wine trade will gather in Plymouth to sanction wines to be poured at the gathering in May.

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As much County Fair as Wine Festival

Thirty years ago, Amador County grape grower Ken Deaver had a line that brought a smile to his face and a twinkle to his eyes no matter how often he repeated it.  Whenever someone said that Amador County was being discovered for its wine, Deaver gently corrected them, saying Amador County was being rediscovered for its wine.

“An amazing food and wine culture is developing here…”

His point was that grapes have been grown and wine has been made in Amador County since the Gold Rush, but that few people seemed to know that history.  On his Shenandoah Valley farm, Deaver himself was tending vines that dated from the 1860s.

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