Behind the Cellar Door 2023


Behind the Cellar Door: A Sierra Foothills Wine Adventure 

Ahoy, wine enthusiasts! The time is ripe to uncork our exciting recap of this year’s “Behind the Cellar Door” event in the Sierra Foothills. If you are not familiar with it, let’s pop the cork off. It’s an annual weekend affair where participating wineries roll out the red carpet, inviting visitors to special events that might include delectable food, soulful live music, and engaging educational sessions to enhance your wine appreciation. 

Without further ado, let’s embark on our virtual tour, starting with the wineries we visited on Saturday. 

First up was Andis Wines. The star attraction was a guided tasting of their acclaimed wines, along with a lively presentation on vine yield management. We left not just satiated but also equipped with a vine cutting, propagation instructions, and dreams of starting our own vineyards. The surprise element? Delectable bites from Flora & Fauna Provisions that flirted with our tastebuds while we sipped on those unique estate-grown varietals. 

We then headed over to Amador Cellars, where we were treated to an award-winning flight of six wines paired with pasta puttanesca. The best part? A fascinating session on writing tasting notes by winemaker Michael Long. From identifying key characters to articulating the sensory experience, we all tried our hand at it, making for a stimulating exercise. 

Our next stop, Linsteadt Family Winery, welcomed us with three flights of wines and a delicious charcuterie pairing. We also had the privilege to barrel sample their ‘21 red blend. As we sipped, Paul shared insightful details about vine training, irrigation, and other aspects of viticulture, providing a wholesome understanding of winemaking. 

Bella Grace Vineyards took us on a surreal journey through their underground wine cave. As we strolled, we learned about the essence of barrel aging and tasted their 2021 Barbera. Back in the sunshine, we savored award-winning wines paired with Chef Robert’s culinary delights, with the vineyards offering a spectacular backdrop. 

We wrapped up Saturday at Terre Rouge and Easton Wines, where we were plunged into the thrilling world of blind tasting. Six wines, hidden in bags, challenged our senses and knowledge of varietals and vintages. The event ended with a bistro lunch and a surprise prize-giving ceremony. 

On Sunday, our wine adventure continued with a visit to Di Arie Winery. The highlight was an enlightening session with Winemaker Chaim on growing world-class Cabernets in the Sierra Foothills. This was complemented by a special tasting of award-winning Cabernets, paired with delicious food. 

Next, we stopped at Terra d’Oro Winery, where we got hands-on with blending. Winemaker Emily Haines led us through a fascinating session, and we got to take home our very own blends, paired with the choicest of artisan cheese bites. 

At Convergence Vineyards, we feasted on Alaskan halibut and roasted corn chowder. The rockstar winemakers poured their estate and award-winning wines, and there were amazing discounts on offer. 

Feist offered a flight of six wines, including three barrel samples. Susan Feist guided us through a wine pairing session, enlightening us on understanding wine aromas and the expression of terroir. 

We ended our journey at Rancho Victoria Vineyard, a perfect blend of rustic warmth and country elegance. Here, we learned to pair artisan cheese and wine like a pro, enjoyed farm-to-fork bites, a seasonal soup, and live music by Jessie Hendricks on the Spanish Guitar. 

While our weekend was packed, there were more wineries we couldn’t visit but are worthy of mention. Rombauer, Helwig Winery, and Scott Harvey Wines offered intriguing experiences like winery tours, pairing sessions, and blending seminars. 

This whirlwind tour of “Behind the Cellar Door” was an amazing dive into the vibrant world of Sierra Foothills’ wine scene. If this recap has whetted your palate, we recommend penciling in next year’s event in your calendar. It’s time to raise our glasses and toast to the brilliant winemakers and artisans who make such memorable experiences possible. 

Until then, cheers to savoring the good life, one sip at a time! 

Unwind Vines, signing off! 

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