Annual Barbera Festival in Amador County - Always a Sold Out Event

I'm so glad I jumped on the opportunity to get a ticket to the 4th Annual Barbera Festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 14 at Cooper Ranch in Plymouth, California (Amador County).

Ticket went on sale March 1st, and similar to the situation in 2013, sold out quickly.  In 2013, the event raised over $20,000 in net proceeds for the non-profit Amador County Foundation, the event’s fiscal sponsor, and 2014 should follow apace.

Here's a bit more info from the press release:
This summer’s outdoor event,will host more than 80 wineries from the Sierra Foothills, Paso Robles, Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake County, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Ventura County, Lodi and the Bay Area. Food enthusiasts will also be treated to some of the region’s top restaurants and chefs, including multiple, award-winning Taste Restaurant. Brian Miller notes that, “There will be something for everyone, from gourmet dishes to authentic wood-fired pizza.”

Cooper Ranch in Shenandoah Valley will again host the Barbera Festival among its vineyards and rolling hills. The scenic venue makes sense as Dick Cooper, of Cooper Ranch, is known in the wine industry as the “Godfather of Barbera” and supplies numerous vintners with barbera grapes.

In keeping with the tradition of “promoting new talent,” the festival will feature BlissesB, an up and coming band from San Francisco. In addition, Cooper Winery’s winemaker, Mike Roser, will take to the stage with his rock’n’roll band Wasted Space.

Barbera originated in the Piemonte region of northern Italy. In California, about 7,000 acres of Barbera are planted. Louis Martini, a legend in California wine history with a prestigious winery in St. Helena, California, was the first to produce a post-prohibition varietal Barbera in 1954. Today, nearly 200 California wineries produce Barbera wines.

Barbera is known for its generous acid structure. There are differing styles of Barbera ranging from brighter versions with flavors of tart cherry, raspberry, and spice, to riper styles with flavors of black cherry, blueberry, blackberry, and vanilla.

The Barbera Festival is a Green Event and has taken measures to minimize the environmental impact of the festivities, including using biodegradable/compostable bags, cups, plates, napkins and cutlery, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to add $1 to their ticket price to help offset the carbon footprint of the event (100% of these contributions will go to purchase carbon offsets with offset retailer Terrapass).

      The organizers, Brian Miller and Deirdre Mueller, are long time wine enthusiasts and advocates. They currently own and operate Amador360, a multi-winery tasting room in Plymouth focusing on wines from small, hard-to-find Amador producers.

For more information about the event, a list of participating wineries, map and directions, along with local lodging and tasting tips; see the official website at

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