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Spring blossoms at Amador Wine Country

By: Gwen Bodhan, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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April marks the height of flower season in Amador County where visitors can pack a picnic, grab a bottle of wine and enjoy the bloom-covered Sierra foothills.

Amador County resident DeDe Doran thinks spring is the perfect time for a visit.

“Out in the vineyards, the vines are starting to sprout and look green, the hills are all green – it’s a beautiful time of year to be out here,” she said. “The weather’s always nice. It’s a great time.”

Several events take place this month to give guests an excuse to come out and play, starting with the Amador Flower Farm’s Spring Fling April 6-7.

“The Spring Fling is the kickoff for our day lily farm for the year,” said Flower Farm owner Jeanne Deaver. “We have picnic tables, great trees to sit underneath for shade. It’s just a wonderful place to come and spend an afternoon.”

The Flower Farm is located in the heart of Plymouth’s wine loop at 22001 Shenandoah School Road. It started as a direct mail business in 1994 with 350 different types of day lilies. By 1996, the site grew to include demonstration gardens filled with unusual grasses and perennials.

“People wanted to buy those, so that’s why we expanded from day lilies to a full nursery,” Deaver explained. “Now we have a little bit of everything.”

The Spring Fling will feature vendor booths, demonstrations from master gardeners and tram rides covering the 14-acre site filled with more than 1,300 varieties of day lilies, summer annuals, vegetables and other green thumb delights. Food will be available for purchase, but guests are welcome to bring their own. Admission and parking are free. No pets are allowed at the farm. For more information, call (209) 245-6660 or visit www.amadorflowerfarm.com.

If your visit is scheduled for the following two weekends, be sure to take part in the Get Your Wines Off Route 49 Passport April 12-21. Purchase a passport for $15 dollars through the Amador Vintners Association office at 9310 Pacific St. in Plymouth. The passport offers access to special discounts and other special offerings at participating wineries during those 10 days. When guests bring their passports stamped by the wineries they’ve visited, they will be entered into a drawing for a complimentary weekend in Amador Wine County that includes a one night stay for two at The Plymouth House Inn, VIP tasting for two at selected wineries, lunch for two at the Volcano Union Inn, and dinner for two at the five-star Taste restaurant.

For more information, call (209) 245-6992 or visit www.amadorwine.com.

On the second Saturday of each month, the Wine On Main Association in Sutter Creek hosts special themed events for visitors to enjoy. April’s theme is Olive Oil Tasting. Each of the six tasting rooms on Main Street will offer samples of infused oils and other complementary foods that pair well with local wines.

“It’s kind of fun to come through town and go to each tasting room and see how they have interpreted this theme,” said Mary Jo Pingree, tasting room manager for Sutter Creek Wine Tasting, located at 85 Main St. “There are a lot of fun themes that are open enough that we can all interpret them in very different ways.

“Coming to Sutter Creek to wine taste is a different kind of experience,” she added. “Mainly because you come to town, park your car, you can visit many tasting rooms in town - more that you can probably do in one day – walk around town, go through shops, eat some lunch, and hang out all day.”