The postcard arrived, I chose Saturday Oct. 6th, and off we went to Amador county for the annual Big
Crush. The deep-purple grapes were lusciously ripe and heavy on the vines as we drove into Plymouth.
We picked up our tickets at Storey Winery, tasted a red Mission varietal we had never seen before (grown historically at the missions in the area), snacked on spanakopita, and with the help of a friendly local couple, mapped out our itinerary. Next stop, Amador Cellars just down the road.
Here the festivities included a live band, plenty of wine tasting and, out back, employees were crushing red grapes. While Dean was busy buying a case of 2011 Zinfandel futures, I started snapping pictures of the crush.
|Grapes are transferred from a bin to the wooden press and lovingly patted down before crushing|
While two men operated the wine press, an onlooker was sure the scene was enacted only for this event. He was quickly informed that this is the procedure and equipment the winery uses to crush and cellar all its grapes. After crushing, the crimson juice was carefully carried to the nearby wooden barrels and poured in through a funnel.
|It takes many pails of juice to fill one barrel. This is how it's done|
We then visited, picnicked, and tasted wines at Driven Cellars, Wilderotter and Helwig Vinyards. But the wines and the grape crush at Amador Cellars were the highlight of our fun-filled day in Amador County.
|Allie inspects a bottle of Amador Cellars Bunkhouse Red and its bag when we arrive home|