On Saturday, May 16 at 6 p.m., Karmere Winery joins Drytown Cellars, Feist Wines and BellaGrace Vineyards to support art and music in the Sutter Creek Elementary Schools.
Karmère Vineyards and Winery of Shenandoah Valley is a result of five generations of farming and a love of the land and rural life.
Marilyn K. Hoopes, co-founder of Karmère, grew up in Teton Valley, Idaho on a potato farm on the Teton river in full view of the Grand Tetons. In 1978, at age twenty-six, she moved to Amador county and fell in love with the bucolic Shenandoah Valley.
She also fell for Todd Pickens who made his way from LA to the Bay area and then to Amador County to become a "back to the lander."
They made their home in Jackson, California and in 1990 bought their first piece of property in Shenandoah Valley: a seventeen acre parcel adjacent to Terre Rouge.
In 1994, they completed an IRS 1031 real property trade and obtained the eighty-nine acre Jameson Ranch where the winery and tasting facility now exists. The name "Karmère" (car-mare) is in honor of Marilyn's mother, Karma Hoopes: "mère" is the French word for mother.
Since the land exchanged came from Marilyn's parent's estate and the existing farm in Idaho bears her father's name, Marilyn decided to honor her mother's hard work and vision by naming the winery for her.
The first Zinfandel vines were planted in 1994. Plantings of Zinfandel, Syrah, Barbera, Viognier, Primitivo and Nebbiolo have continued with sixty-seven acres planted of the hundred and five total.
Hayley Hoopes whose child goes to Sutter Creek Elementary is the tasting room manager. Dawn Martella, a local grape grower makes the wine. At the 2014 Amador County Fair Karmere received the best Amador Rhone wine award for their 2013 Viognier.
They will share their award winning wines al fresco at BellaGrace’s tasting room in Sutter Creek to the sounds of the Jack Tone Riordan Jazz Band.