Friday, August 30, 2013

The Deaver Dish Newsletter - Aug 2013

August 29th Newsletter

What's in this Issue

  • Annual Labor Day Celebration- This Saturday!
  • CA Wine Month
  • Ports on Parade Tickets 
  • Canned Food Drive
  • Wine Vine Line- What to watch for, Vine update

Annual Labor Day Celebration
Saturday, August 31st

Send off summer with a new family tradition. Grab your friends, family and neighbors and spend a day on the Deaver Green. Taste some of our newest releases, from our 4-star Zinfandel to the brand spanking new Late Harvest Zin. Enjoy tri-tip sandwiches, watermelon, potato salad and water for $10 (11:30-2). Relax with a bottle of your favorite Deaver wine while listening to "Jazz Uncorked." (12-4) We look forward to seeing you and your family Saturday
Don't forget, this event kicks off CA Wine Month AND our canned food drive!

Ports on Parade- Tickets on sale now
Saturday, November 9th  2:00pm - 5:00pm

  Quick Facts:
  -6 Deaver ports opened and paired
  -Casillas Cigars on-site with hand-rolled cigars
  -Riedel Port glass to take home
  -A very happy tummy
  -$18/person general admission
  -$12/person wine club (limit 2, use coupon code WineLover)
  -FREE, port club and port option members (limit 2, use coupon code PortLover)*
*You must log-in to your online account to validate your coupon

Canned Food Drive
August 31 - November 2nd

Support the Amador Interfaith Food Bank by donating a canned food item at the Deaver tasting room and enter to win! For every can, or dollar, donated you will receive one entry into a drawing for a PRIVATE dinner for 4 with the Deaver's. There is no limit on the number of entries so load up your car and stop on by!

Wine Vine Line

Low Inventory:
WARNING: If these wines are some of your favorites, grab your cases now so you don't miss out! 
Almond Sparkling
2010 Chardonnay with an Attitude
2009 Circa 1860's Zinfandel

Upcoming Events:
CA Wine Month-September Check the website for weekly deals, highlights and more.
August 31 - September 9th: Zinfandel Extravganza
September 10th - 16th: Whites after Labor Day
September 17th - 23rd: Blending it Up!
September 24th - 30th: Dessert Paradise

Big Crush: October 5th and 6th: Opening at 10 am! Grab your glass from Deaver, receive a free gift and enjoy early bird specials. The baked potato bar returns by popular demand with even more fixings. Listen to Brad Wilson on Saturday and Sunday enjoy the tunes of Unkl Bean.
Dine with the Deaver's Thanksgiving Style: Saturday, November 2nd Enjoy a complete Thanksgiving dinner with the Deaver family. Try your hand at trivia or enjoy one of our other fun activites. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Amador Interfaith Food Bank. Tickets on sale soon!
How are the vines doing?
We are happy to announce we have crushed the first grapes of the 2013! Earlier this week, we crushed our Sauvignon Blanc and Orange Muscat grapes, yum yum. Our vines are still progressing nicely and are on-track for the end of September to early October. We hope all of you will be able to visit during the 2013 harvest and crush!
Have a question about vines, wine, winemaking, etc? Send us an email, and your question may appear in a future edition of the Deaver Dish.

Visit our website for a complete calendar of events.

Have a great idea for an event? Contact us with your idea or suggestion.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sierra Chef Challenge Exemplifies the Farm-to-Fork Movement

Sierra Chef Challenge Exemplifies the Farm-to-Fork Movement

August 23, 2013 (South Lake Tahoe, CA) - The Sierra Chef Challenge is just one of the many highlights of the 4th annual Sample the Sierra festival. The competition is now in its second year and has already become a crowd favorite. The “Iron Chef” of the Sierra Nevada region brings three top chefs together to compete head to head in a 45 minute cook-off. The Chef Challenge is sponsored by Sierra Meat & Seafood Company, a company that has been providing private label, specialty, and exotic meat and seafood to the Reno-Tahoe area for 65 years.  They will be donating their quality meats to the competing chefs to use alongside a mystery box of fresh produce from Mountain Bounty Farm out of Nevada City.  The chefs have to use all of the ingredients and come up with their best dish in 45 minutes.   Local celebrity judges include Paul Middlebrook and Dreu Murin of K-Tahoe Radio.  The two will be joined by Mike Owen, no stranger to the food business, as owner and of Crystal Basin Cellars & Bistro in Camino, California.

Meet this year’s competitors:

The inaugural Sierra Chef Challenge winner, Chef Rob with Riva Grill was not able to return; in his place is his challenger, Chef Peter Brinkerhoff who will compete for the title for a second time.  Chef Brinkerhoff is the Executive Chef for the Tahoe Restaurant Collection (Gar Woods, Riva Grill, Caliente & Bar of America) and has lived in Lake Tahoe for over 20 years.  He started cooking at the age of 13 and enjoys finding obscure ingredients to come up with new flavors and dishes.  He has trained under several culinary Olympic winning chefs, and competed in many culinary competitions. When asked what his favorite thing to cook is he generally replies with “the best meal you have ever eaten”.

Chef Glenn Simpson, a transplant from New Zealand, and a staple to the Blue Angel Café & Catering, brings his years of experience in creating well-seasoned, honest food to the competition.  Always aspiring to thread a layer of simplicity through each dish, he has spent the last 17 years in South Lake Tahoe creating culinary splendors for several restaurants.  Educated at the California School of Culinary Arts in South Pasadena, he has worked for The Fresh Ketch and the Christiana Inn while participating in numerous food and wine events throughout Lake Tahoe, obtaining several gold medals including Best Food and Wine pairing at the annual Sunset Magazine Autumn Food & Wine Festival at Squaw Creek.  

The Executive Chef of Zephyr Cove Resort and Lake Tahoe Cruises, Chef Jeremy “Boomer” Acuña, grew up around food. He attended Scottsdale Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu and later did an internship at Georges at the Cove, a restaurant focused on seasonal and sustainable cooking.  After stints in Scottsdale, AZ and Glacier Bay Lodge in Alaska, where fresh crab off the boat was a nightly treat,  Boomer was brought down to Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove California. As Chef de Cuisine he focused on using local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable products. Never one to stray from a challenge, Boomer made his way to the CIA in New York to take the Pro Chef Tests, passing at the top of his class.  He’s participated for the last four years at the Monterey Bay Aquariums “Cooking for Solutions” - a long weekend dedicated to sustainable cooking practices and will surely be a threat in this competition.

This battle of passion for cooking and food will make for a great show as these three Chefs put their skills to the test and entertain the crowd.  The Sierra Chef Challenge will take place at 2:30 pm in the Sierra Stage Tent.   This creative culinary challenge is just one component of the Sample the Sierra festival on Sunday, September 1, 2013 from 1-5pm, on Ski Run Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe.  Full tasting tickets for the festival are $30 and include a commemorative wine tasting glass.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at For more information and media inquiries, please contact Jessica Cunningham at 775.588.1728 or email

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Amador Flower Farm holds a free Labor Day Progressive Picnic – Mon Sept 2

Join Amador Flower Farm and the wineries on Shenandoah School Road for a FREE progressive picnic on Labor Day.
Complimentary wine tasting all along the way at some of the
BEST wineries in Amador County! Start at Wilderotter Vineyard with a hotdog and baked beans, head to C.G. Di Arie for some get the idea. Stop by the farm for free ice cream and ice cold water! Of course, if you're the sort who believes in dessert first...start at our end of the
Monday, September 2, 2013 - 11:00am to 4:00pm
22001 Shenandoah School Rd

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Farm to Fork Week’s Amador County Farm Tour and Dinner - Sun Sept 29

Farms of Amador and Amador Farmers Market present a farm and vineyard tour and all Amador dinner highlighting local flavor

Sunday, September 29 12pm to 4pm tour, 4pm gather, 5pm dinner. Join us for a tour of Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown farms and vineyards.  The annual farm tour and dinner showcases the abundance of Amador County agriculture with spectacular food and wine.  At the height of harvest, dine in opulence at the Helwig winery with panoramic views of the Shenandoah Valley

Start the day at Alice Kaiser’s “Casa de la Pradera” which offers a farm stay.  Alice grows perfect lettuces shares her “bambino” eggplants at the Plymouth Farmers Market. 

Next, stop by “Abbodanza” where artist and gardener Daniel D’Agostini utilizes permaculture, organic and biodynamic methods in his raised beds and orchard; a perfect example of a sustainable farmstead. His prints of twenty-five years of agriculture will be on display.

Visit Noceto Winery which specializes in Sangiovese.  The Gullett family farms grapes, walnuts and Italian varietal olive trees to produce extra virgin olive oil. Next, check out the Sobon winery’s agricultural museum which will be available for tour. On site there is old vine Zin and a twelve year old olive grove.

The last stop is Helwig Winery and Vineyards.  This state of the art winery will host a generous farm to table dinner prepared by Lucy’s Spice Box.  This dinner highlights the best of abundant Amador. 

Upon Arrival guests will sample Helwig wines paired with meze amidst a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and vineyards of the Shenandoah Valley all to the sounds of live blues.
Dinner consists of a mixed grill of Sutter Creek Ranch Grass-fed Beef Brochettes, marinated with red wine & herbs, Local Pacific Yellowtail Brochettes with Lemon-Garlic-Herb Rub, and Summer Harvest Paella with assorted grilled vegetables, saffron & tomato broth.  All served with Andrae's French baguettes. Dessert consists of Local Apple-Cardamom Cake w/ Caramelized Apples and Creme Fraiche prepared by Ingrid Frasier.

Buy tickets online now at
$50/ ticket, includes tour and dinner
For more information call 209-267-5506

Monday, August 12, 2013

Preston Castle Wine Tasting Tour – Sat Sept 14

IONE, CA:  Taste the fine wines of Amador County and tour the historic Preston Castle.  Experience the history and feel the sensation of the past.  Attendees will sample fine wines, poured by 15 different wineries, from commemorative Preston Castle wine glasses.  A new addition this year is Turley Wine Cellars, a renowned producer of outstanding Zinfandels.

Sip a glass of wine, enjoy a variety of gourmet hors d'oeuvres, and listen to live music on the patio and in the Castle. Local favorite Manny Sosa will be playing in the Wine Cellar.

Val Starr & The Blues Rocket, a premier blues and blues rock band, will be playing on stage in the courtyard. They bring a unique style of traditional blues infused with blues songs from rock artists to create an entertaining show for dancing on the floor, dancing in your chair, drinking and listening or just listening and enjoying yourself!  Val Starr is a top class vocalist and shares the stage with top notch musicians to create the best in today's California Blues.

You can also wander the public areas of the Castle. Docents will be available to answer your questions.

This has become one of Amador County's premier wine events, and is always a sellout, so get your tickets now!

Participating Wineries:

Amador Cellars, Bella Grace, Bray, Clos du Lac, Drytown, Karmere, Nine Gables, Scott Harvey, Sera Fina, Sobon, Tanis, TKC, Turley, Vino Noceto, Wine Tree Farm.

Tickets, $40, available at Clark's Corner in Ione or online at

Preston Castle Wine Tasting and Tour
Saturday, September 14, 3 pm to 6 pm
Preston Castle, Ione - About 35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
Tickets: $40
Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
                        Jerry Funderburgh and Marie Nutting, Chairpersons

About Preston Castle Foundation
The strikingly beautiful Romanesque style Preston Castle, on a hill in Ione, was actually the administration building for the Preston School of Industry, the first major attempt in California at rehabilitating, instead of just impris­­­oning, young offenders.  Opened in 1894, the Preston School of Industry became a leader in the juvenile prison reform movement by giving convicted boys a real chance at life by educating them not only in academics, but in all of the useful trades of the time.  Closed in 1960, when the Preston Youth Authority moved into a new administration building down the hill, the Preston Castle was left to deteriorate due to weather, vandalism, and general neglect.  It now serves as a vacant, but vitally important landmark for Ione, Amador County, and the Motherlode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.  This year we are pushing hard to obtain our own utility connections that will ultimately lead to acquiring the title to the property.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year.  In addition to the upcoming Wine Tasting and Tour on September 14, we will hold the exciting and spooky Preston Castle Halloween Haunt the two weekends prior to Halloween, Oct. 18, 19, 25, and 26, and a holiday fair/bazaar called Old Tyme Christmas on December 14 and 15.

Also, Castle Tours are available on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, and selected Thursdays, from 10 am to 1 pm.  Help Save The Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting  All contributions are tax deductible. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Plymouth Farmers Market: Near Record Day last Thursday

Plymouth, California. August, 2013.  The 2013 Plymouth Farmer’s Market got off to a terrific start last Thursday.  Near record attendance supported excellent booths from Abbondanza, Hess Family Jam and Amador Olive Oil along with fresh fruit from newcomer Schletewicz Farms.  Popular bakery favorite, Villa Bakery, also returned from last year.
Caterer Beth Sogaard Catering sold out of small plate dinners and Ken Deaver poured the wine from Deaver Vineyards.  Crowd pleaser, Herb Boxhorn, created a rich musical background.
This Week
All the favorite vendors are expected back.  Clark’s Corner will provide the affordable dinners and the popular Gullett Family will be pouring wines from Vino Noceto.  Newcomer, Hal Gamble, is providing the music.
Y'all come!

  The Rotary Club of Plymouth-Foothills is once again sponsoring the Plymouth Farmer’s Market, held every Thursday, 4 pm to 7:00 pm, from Aug 1st,  through Sep 29th, at McGee Park on historic Main St, Plymouth. Featuring fresh produce from certified vendors, great wine, high quality crafts and live music, all in a grassy shaded park, the Plymouth Farmer’s Market has become a popular gathering place for folks from Plymouth, Fiddletown, River Pines, Drytown, Ione and more.
Dinner and Music
More than just a Farmers Market, visitors can ‘dine’ al fresco with background music from local favorites like Herb Boxhorn, Slade Rivers and Jack McGee. The increasingly popular ‘Dinner
in the Park’ provides affordable small plate dinners from a different restaurant each week, including Taste, Clark’s Corner, InCahoots  and others. 
There’s Wine of Course
An event in Plymouth (Old Pokerville), Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, wouldn’t be complete without wine tasting. And, to complement your meal, each week a different Amador County winery will offer wine-by-the-glass selections. Among those who will pour, Deaver Winery, Sobon Estate, Andis and Vino Noceto, the best of the best!
A Great Cause
 “We have been really pleased with the market’s growth,” said Elizabeth Swason,  recently installed President of the Plymouth-Foothills Rotary Club.  “Rotary is, of course, a service organization with local beneficiaries of our fund raising;  last year the Plymouth Farmer’s Market enabled us to donate over a thousand dollars to the local elementary school and, in addition, provide a scholarship for Amador County High School students to attend our Rotary Leadership Program,” she added.

Again this year, local non-profit organizations are invited to present their information at the market at no charge to their group. Please give Rotary a call to schedule a table. (Use above tel. no.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Deaver Vineyards is awarded Vineyard of the Year

The California State Fair has awarded Deaver Vineyards, in Amador County, as the Vineyard of the year. There was a formal presentation at the California State Fair Gala. “It’s not something I applied for,” said Ken Deaver, who owns the vineyard with his sisters, Joey (Mary Jo) Bigwood, Betty Harvey and Fran Sargent. “I didn’t expect it. I found out about it when I got a call to tell me we’d won. I felt quite humbled.” Besides Vineyard of the Year, Deaver also received numerous prestigious awards this year. Their Henry's House 2009 Zinfandel- was given 96 points and won Best of Class of Region and a Double Gold medal, also at the 2013 CA State Fair.
Deaver Vineyard is rich in history. Deaver and his sisters are fifth-generation Amador County citizens. The family came to the area for the gold rush and homesteaded their land in the 1800’s. They ended up providing food and drink to the miners. The first vines were planted in the 1800’s and they still have a 15 acre block of original vines from then, 5 acres of vines from the 1850’s, 7 acres of vines from the 1920’s and the rest were planted from the 1960’s on, totaling approximately 300 acres of vines. “The old vines are much sought after.” said Deaver.

The Shenandoah Valley is a unique place where you can grow anything ‘dryland’(no irrigation for the vines). Because the soil has the capacity to hold water for the plants to mine it during the dry season, it produces a better flavor. “You get more production if you irrigate, but you will not get the flavor that you will if you don’t. Irrigate” said Deaver. The dryland growing and the age of the vines is what sets Deaver Vineyards apart.

The Deaver Vineyards Tasting Room is located at 12355 Steiner Road, in Plymouth. It is open 7 days a week from 10:30am to 5 pm. Visitors can sample the wide variety of Deaver wines, including 11 different ports, five or more Zinfendels, Barbara, Cabernet, Mourverde, Voigneir and more. In addition to the tasting room, the family also runs a bed and breakfast inn, there is a beautiful scenic pond and lawn area for picnics and weddings, and they also have the Amador Flower Farm which is open for visitors. For more information about the Deaver Vineyards or the wine tasting room, visit their website at or call 209-245-4099

Submitted by:
Lisa Klosowski 
Director: Sutter Creek Visitor Center

Friday, August 2, 2013

The First Annual Downtown Wine Tasting in the Streets in Amador City - Fri Sept 27

The First Annual Downtown Wine Tasting in the Streets
Downtown Amador City 
September 27th 2013
6pm - 9pm
Ticket Price: $25
Contact: 209 267-8020
Artisan Cheese & Bread
Wine Tasting ~ Over 15 Wineries
Crystal Wine Glass
Music by Jack Tone Riordan Jazz