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In the Driver’s Seat with Deanna Irish: Expanding to California’s Best Kept Secret Wine Country

Updated: Jan 27, 2020

It’s time to expand to other American Viticultural Areas

As of 2016, there were 238 recognized AVAs in the United States—California has has over 107 recognized AVAs and produces 90% of American wines.

It’s time to expand to a few other AVAs, but still strong in Sonoma and Napa Counties.

We have begun business in Amador, El Dorado and Lodi. So share this with your friends or come visit a different area with Wine Tour Drivers.

Amador County is included in the Sierra Foothills AVA which was established in 1987. Growing grapes were introduced during the California Gold Rush.

With two major sub-appellations, Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown, both in the northern part of the county near Plymouth. Zinfandels being the prime grape grown in the region. In the Shenandoah Valley the Zinfandels tend to be fuller, riper and earthier with characteristics of dusty, dark berry fruit, hints of cedar, anise and clove spice, and scents of raisin and chocolate. Fiddletown Zinfandels which is a smaller, higher-elevation region east of Shenandoah Valley, tend to be lower in pH and display a fruitier, more cherry-like fruit tone.

El Dorado County is a sub appellation of the Sierra Foothills AVA established in 1983. The vintner’s strength is the land’s terrain: hundreds of microclimates provide a broad range of temperatures, exposures, and soils. When well matched, this topography provides an ideal location for the world’s finest wine grapes, hailing from Bordeaux, the Rhône, Germany, Italy, and Spain. And that’s what they call “Right Grape, Right Place.”

Growing approximately 50 different varieties of grapes, ranging from Gewürztraminer, which does best in the higher and cooler portions of the county, to Zinfandel and Barbera, which ripen perfectly in warmer climates. Also producing Syrah and Merlots.

Lodi became an AVA in 1986 as a designated wine growing area. The Lodi region has been home to grape growing since at least the 1850s when wild grapes would grow down from trees along the edge of rivers.

Winning the “2015 Wine Region of the Year” Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Y’all wine enthusiasts will enjoy a warm welcome and a friendly face as you travel Lodi Wine Country and enjoy a diverse range of wines, delicious foods, and great hospitality.

Although the appellation is probably best known for its old vine Zinfandel, Lodi also produces a large quantity of Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon blanc.

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