Sixth Annual Barbera Festival in Amador, June 11
Each June, the Foothills of Amador beckon Barberians to the annual celebration of one of the world’s best-loved grapes, Barbera. One of the main grapes of the Piemonte region of Italy, Barbera continues to gain in popularity here in California.
According to winemaker Scott Harvey, who has been producing Barbera from the Amador Foothills for decades, “Amador is the best place to grow Barbera today, perhaps even better than Piemonte. Think about it: we are in the foothills, with decomposed volcanic rock. Piemonte literally means ‘at the foot of the mountains.’ It’s a sun-loving grape. We have no fog. In Italy, Nebbiolo gets all the premium sites, while Barbera takes a back seat. Here, it thrives.”
Barbera Festival, now in its sixth year, invites wine lovers to meet the top Barbera producers from all over California. The event takes place at the original home of Barbera in Amador County: Terra d’Oro/Montevina Winery, Saturday, June 11, 11 – 4pm. (tickets: barberafestival.com)
*** Available online today only – Thursday, June 9 ***
You’ll be treated to lots of great food vendors with food available to purchase, as well as amazing vendors with unique furniture, pottery, art, jewelry and clothing, all set in a beautiful meadow spotted with ancient oaks tucked among hillside vineyards.
Long known for its old vine Zins, the Sierra Foothills boasts 350 acres of Barbera out of the statewide total of just under 6k acres. And over half of the Gold medals awarded to Barberas statewide went to Amador Foothills Barberas in the last year.
Plus, this just in: Amador Cellars of Plymouth was just awarded Best Barbera in California for their 2013 Barbera at the California State Fair, with Double Gold and 98 points. You know you want to try that one!
Barbera Festival is your chance to taste some of the best Barberas from all around California including the Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake County, Livermore, Ventura County, Lodi and the Santa Cruz Mountains. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world!
Top area restaurants and caterers offering their culinary sensations include Restaurant Taste, popular food truck Flavor Face, renowned Vendage & Co., classic Italian Teresa’s, Billy Bones BBQ, Clark’s Corner (Panini!!), RC Pizza Wagon and more. You won’t go hungry. Taste will probably have grilled corn with truffle butter: sinfully delish!
If you’re going, here are a few Barbera producers you should not miss:
You, too, could become a Barberian. Come taste for yourself!
BY: LAURA NESS, WINE JUDGE & WINE WRITER
Laura Ness, aka “Her VineNess,” is an accomplished wine journalist and wine critic whose passion for wine was ignited by a visit to France, where she had the unmatched pleasure of tasting Sancerre in the medieval town of Sancerre – splendid!— and then a Saumur, after visiting the Chateau de Saumur in Chinon. The concept of terroir came alive in those incandescent moments. She regularly judges wine competitions and serves on the tasting panels of the Pinot, Cabernet and Chardonnay Shootouts. She was instrumental in helping define the unique sub-regions of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in concert with Appellation America. You can usually find her sipping and smiling in Mendocino, Livermore, the Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Cruz Mountains and Paso Robles. Laura writes extensively for many industry and consumer publications, and has weekly wine columns in several Bay Area newspapers. She blogs, irreverently and sporadically, at myvinespace.com.