A trip back in time
On our way to visit a family camp in the Sierras we would drive through this beautiful high altitude growing region - Amador County - we knew nothing about. Curious, we stopped to check it out. It was like the early days of when Sonoma and even Napa were where you could go for a personal experience with smaller crowds and be able to talk to the owners or winemaker, in a way feeling like we had discovered something secret no one else knew about. The wines were fantastic and made for great stories with our friends.
Steeped in rich history
As we searched for the perfect property to escape to, we learned of the rich history of this region going back to the gold rush days with some of the oldest vines in California. We saw secret wine caves and gold mine shafts nearby deep into the hillsides. We found the perfect spot - a former walnut farm owned by one of the earliest settlers of this area, the d’Agostini family, with some of the remaining 75 year old walnut trees still producing. The only scary part – it came with a vineyard!
THE FIRST BARREL, AS "GARAGISTES"
After we purchased the estate in 2011, as we prepared for renovations, a local contractor, Kirk Reuter, greeted us with a bottle of wine from his vineyard, Ard Aven – we could not help but think, does everyone up here have a vineyard and make wine? We hired Kirk to do some urgent work but in the thick of it all, he made us take a break to appreciate what we had stumbled into and walked us through making a single barrel of Primitivo from our vineyard. We were hooked from that moment - we learned just how challenging yet personally exciting it is to make wine and share it with others.
Best of show
Fast forward years later, from our humble beginning as “garagistes”, under the mentorship of several exceptional winemakers including our current star winemaker Antonia, one thing is for certain – the combination of our altitude, granitic red soil and small batch artisan style produces wines of exceptional quality. We invite you to explore this magical region while it is still in its early days and of course to visit La Mesa!