Tasting Amador PleinAir Winery in Fiddletown

PleinAir: A Quaint Tasting Venue

Welcome to PleinAir Winery, a hidden gem nestled in the picturesque town of Fiddletown, CA. This small, intimate winery is a true family-owned and operated winery, which is why you can feel the passion and dedication in every glass of wine. If you’re looking for a unique experience, PleinAir is perfect for anyone who wants to escape to the romance of a quaint tasting venue. What makes PleinAir truly special is their attention to detail – they traveled and shopped throughout France to buy architectural salvage and furnishings for their tasting room. They also assembled a collection of euro-inspired décor for their outdoor tasting lounges, making every corner of the winery picture-perfect. When you visit PleinAir, you’ll be transported to a world of French-inspired luxury and charm that you won’t find anywhere else.

Tasting Amador PleinAir Entrance a quaint tasting venue

Tastings & Wine Club

PleinAir Winery offers tastings Friday through Sunday from 11am to 4:30pm, giving you the perfect opportunity to sample their exclusive handcrafted, small lot wines. With a focus on Rhone varietals, their estate vineyard sits between 1,850 and 1,950 feet elevation on 21.5 acres of rolling hills. Currently, PleinAir grows Syrah, Grenache, Mouvedre, Petite Sirah and Viognier, making for a diverse and exciting wine selection.

When it comes to wine tastings, PleinAir offers an exceptional experience. For just $10, you can enjoy a tasting flight of six different wines. And if you end up falling in love with one of their wines (which is highly likely), the tasting fee is waived with a bottle purchase. Vintage Club members get an even better deal, as their tastings are free. I would highly recommend allowing yourself at least an hour to enjoy the full tasting experience without feeling rushed.

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you won’t want to miss out on PleinAir’s Vintage Club. With four shipments per year, including three bottles per shipment, this club offers a fantastic way to discover new wines and expand your palate. Plus, members receive a 20% discount on wine purchases, with case discounts at 25%, providing even more value for your money. As a Vintage Club member, you’ll also enjoy exclusive access to reserve wines and early access to new releases, ensuring that you never miss out on the latest and greatest offerings from this exceptional winery.

Family-Owned & Operated

PleinAir Winery is the brainchild of owners Tom and Sarah, who honed their skills renovating homes before purchasing the property. They saw the winery as the perfect opportunity to expand their knack for creating casual environments with touches of European charm into a business influenced by the romance of rolling vineyards and quaint wine tasting venues. PleinAir is truly a reflection of all the things they love, which they describe as “casual rustic elegance.”

Their son Daniel, the youngest of their four children, is the talented winemaker behind PleinAir’s exceptional wines. Daniel worked in the cellar for many wineries throughout Amador before embarking on his winemaking adventures with PleinAir. With a deep understanding of the terroir and the unique characteristics of each grape varietal, Daniel crafts wines that perfectly capture the essence of Fiddletown’s rolling hills and sunny vineyards.

2021 Viognier – $24

If you’re looking for a delicious wine to add to your summer collection, than this wine is for you! This is their second vintage of Estate Viognier, and it tastes quite different than their 2020. With a beautiful golden hue, the wine has aromas of honeysuckle and peach, followed by ripe apricot on the palate. It’s incredibly easy to drink, with a nice crisp finish that makes it the perfect complement to any summer meal.
When it comes to food pairings, I would highly recommend trying this wine with grilled shrimp with a spicy sauce, as the wine’s acidity will balance out the heat from the spices. For a heartier meal, pair it with a chicken pot pie, as the fruity aromas of the Viognier will complement the tenderness of the chicken meat and the creamy texture of the dish.

Grilled pork is another excellent pairing, especially when paired with an apple and onion chutney to bring out more of the crisp acidity in the wine. And for all the salmon lovers out there, the Viognier is the perfect complement to salmon sashimi or any other grilled fatty fish. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Tasting Amador PleinAir Winery Viognier a quaint tasting venue

2018 Zinfandel – $34

If you’re a fan of Zinfandel, you won’t want to miss PleinAir’s 2018 Zinfandel. Sourced from Ann Kramer’s Shake Ridge Ranch, this wine offers a unique complexity that is simply amazing. The nose is incredibly fruity and heavenly to smell, and the palate is equally impressive. Smooth floral notes and hints of white pepper are complemented by intense blackberry flavors and a touch of vanilla. And just when you think it can’t get any better, a tart cherry finish lingers on the tongue with just a touch of acidity. It’s no surprise that this wine received a gold medal from the 2022 Foothill Wine Festival. The 2018 PleinAir Zinfandel is a true testament to the winery’s commitment to quality and their dedication to producing exceptional wines that are truly reflective of the region’s terroir.

This Zinfandel is perfect for savoring on its own, or paired with a meal. I would recommend pairing it with a juicy grilled steak or a hearty pasta dish. The rich flavors of the wine will complement the savory meat or tomato sauce perfectly. Also, pairings this fruity deliciousness with some Chinese food will tease your tongue!

2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – $75

The 2018 PleinAir Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that truly speaks to the heart of the region. Sourced from Cedarville Vineyard, which sits at a lofty 2,500 feet elevation in Fairplay, this mountain fruit offers a unique complexity with just a touch of greenness. While I am not typically a fan of elevation Cabernet due to their herbal flavors, this Cabernet was a pleasant surprise. It boasts notes of black plum, boysenberry, and a tannin-heavy, dry mouthfeel. The herbal notes of asparagus are accompanied by a subtle hint of black olive and forest floor, and the aging process in 50% new French oak adds some delightful baking spice qualities. As PleinAir’s library wine, there are very limited quantities available, so don’t hesitate to snag a bottle. With a 92-point rating from Wine Enthusiast, this Cabernet Sauvignon is truly a gem.

For the perfect pairing, try this Cab with rich, hearty foods. The tannins in the wine work well with red meats like Ribeye steak, lamb chops, and game meats like venison or elk. The wine’s earthy notes would also make it an excellent match for dishes with similar flavors, such as a grilled Portobello mushroom dish. I would also recommend pairing this Cabernet Sauvignon with aged cheeses like cheddar or gouda, or even with dark chocolate for a decadent dessert pairing if that’s your thing!

PleinAir, the perfect destination, is  a hidden gem that truly should not be missed. From their complex and delicious 2018 Zinfandel to the limited quantities of their 2018 Library Cabernet Sauvignon, each wine is crafted with care and attention to detail. And with a range of options to suit every budget, there’s no reason not to stop by and give them a try. Whether you’re a fan of bold reds or refreshing whites, PleinAir Winery has something for everyone. If you haven’t tried PleinAir yet, I highly encourage you to do so and share your own experiences in the comments below!

Tasting Amador: PleinAir a quaint tasting venue

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