Montevina Aleatico (half-bottle) 1997
Some say you can taste the history of a place in a glass of wine. Perhaps that’s why the wines of Montevina are brimming with such intense flavors and bold character. Spanish for “mountain vine,” Montevina brings a different altitude—and attitude—to its winemaking. Established in 1970 in the foothills of California’s rugged Sierra Nevada, historic Montevina was the region’s first post-Prohibition winery, resurrecting Amador County’s legendary wine industry. Since then, we’ve been known for crafting deeply flavored, robust wines that capture the unique character of this remarkable region. Our state-of-the art winery is spectacular, and features a spacious, friendly tasting room and a beautiful vineyard-ringed patio where you can relax with a glass of wine. There’s nothing quite like escaping to Amador wine country, at Montevina.
Originally a source of oenological sustenance for gold-seeking miners of the mid-1800s, the Sierra Foothills was the first region in California to produce wines from European grape varieties. Located between Sacramento and the Nevada border, this area’s immigrant settlers chose to forgo growing the then-ubiquitous Mission grape and instead brought with them superior vines from the Old World to plant alongside mining camps.
Zinfandel has been the most important variety of this region since its inception, taking on a spicy character with brambly fruit and firm structure. Amador and El Dorado counties, benefiting from the presence of volcanic and granite soils, are home to the best examples. Bold, robust Rhône Blends and Barbera are also important regional specialties.
While Muscat comes in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, still to sparkling and even fortified, it's safe to say it is always alluringly aromatic and delightful. The two most important versions are the noble, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, making wines of considerable quality and Muscat of Alexandria, thought to be a progeny of the former. Somm Secret—Pliny the Elder wrote in the 13th century of a sweet, perfumed grape variety so attractive to bees that he referred to it as uva apiana, or “grape of the bees.” Most likely, he was describing Muscat.