Monday, June 6, 2016

Cedar Creek Ranch & Winery

Cedar Creek Ranch & Winery

I usually don’t write about an individual winery in this blog. This exception is Cedar Creek Ranch & Winery. Last weekend (6/4/16) Karen & Ginger had their annual release party for their 925 cases of wine. That’s right only 925 cases total. Each varietal, Viognier, Sangiovese, Syrah, Petite Syrah and Ranch Reserve spent 18 months in the barrel, then more time in the bottle before being opened for the public to enjoy. This boutique winery and vineyard is tucked into the gentle sloping hills at the edge of El Dorado and Amador Counties at 2,300 feet elevation.

The property is gorgeous and the vineyards are manicured, as if the vine canes were ladies finger nails.  You meander along a quaint back country road for what seems like forever, then around one of the many curves appears the long drive up to the vineyards and the their home. Behind the home is a sprawling pond encircled with a ribbon of green grass amidst the golden grasses.

Right out the back of the house just under the brick patio.

I have been a big fan of the winery even before it actually became a winery. I got to know Karen Wood a few years ago, shortly after Lucinda’s opened. Karen was on one of  her many fact finding missions by visiting and interviewing all those who knew anything about vines, vineyards, wines, wineries and even just gardening. She is a country girl by nature, so she felt right at home planting the vineyard. It took awhile but after her vines were in and beginning to thrive she became associated with one of the better winemaker/consultants in the area. She was a sponge, soaking up every bit of information Marco Cappelli provided. Quickly she flexed her wine making wings and became her own wine maker. Marco did observe and advise for a couple years, but now Karen Wood has become an excellent wine maker in her own right. All her wines are to die for. Great full bodied and the balance that makes good wine great.

The reason I write this now is two fold; first, it is always gratifying to see and in a minuscule way be part of someone’s dream come to fruition and second, if you ever get to their annual release party you better attend. It is one of the best release parties in any wine region, anywhere. Ginger and Karen do it all first class and with love and goodness thrown in for good blessings.

You can only see this wine label one of three ways. 1) You order a bottle or a case (why not two?) online; 2) a friend shares some with you or 3) you attend the annual release party. Well, maybe a few places in Plymouth: Taste Restaurant (rated one of the top 50 in the US by Open Table), Vintage Market and Amador 360.

My lovely bride of 50 years is not napping, but she is eyeing that glass of Viognier.

Cedar Creek Ranch & Winery website gives you all the necessary information you need to have the history of the old gold mining property, how to order wine and, when you attend the Annual Release Party, directions.