Amador Vintners Host California’s First Large-Scale COVID-Safe Regional Wine Event

Foothills wine region gives guests a peek “behind the cellar door” in a reimagined COVID-safe structure.

We were very excited to be able to bring people to Amador County in a modified setting to experience this wonderful annual event.” said Jack Gorman, executive director of the AVA.”

— Jack Gorman, Executive Director, Amador Vintners

PLYMOUTH, CALIFORNIA, USA, April 7, 2021 / — The Amador Vintners Association (AVA) welcomed more than 1200 people to the annual Behind the Cellar Door regional wine event over the weekend of March 26-28, 2021. Visitors from California, Nevada and beyond came to Amador Wine Country for a socially-distant, COVID-compliant peek into the wine making process at 37 participating wineries. Guests enjoyed flights of world class Amador wine, thoughtful food pairings, barrel samples and creative educational presentations — all presented in a COVID-safe environment following all state and local heath protocols.

The AVA partnered with CellarPass, an enterprise-level guest management solution for the wine and hospitality industry, to implement a program that ensured capacity restrictions were not exceeded while still allowing guests to chart the adventure of their choosing. Following all protocols outlined by the State of California, guests reserved their space at member wineries as part of the ticketing process.

“While our members have been able to conduct outdoor tastings since January, we were very excited to be able to bring people to Amador County in a modified setting to experience this wonderful annual event.” said Jack Gorman, executive director of the Amador Vintners Association. “For more than 25 years we have invited guests to peek into the winemaking process, going “behind the cellar door”, while enjoying great wine, food, entertainment and educational opportunities at our member wineries. Last year this event was the last regional wine event to be held in the state before the COVID shutdown. This year, we are proud to be the first region to hold an event of this size while adhering to all safety protocols.”

Behind the Cellar door gives guests a unique opportunity to learn about the winemaking process directly from Amador county producers. In many cases, guests can enjoy wines not available in retail outlets and only available directly from small, boutique Amador County wineries. In the past, guests purchased a ticket through the AVA and visited any participating winery throughout the weekend. However, COVID-19 safety protocols required the AVA to rethink the event structure and resulted in a better overall experience.

Guests and winery participants alike raved about the new format and applauded the overall experience. “I just wanted to tell you how very successful I thought this BCD was this year!… The service and tasting experience at each winery was very personal and they all went out of their way to make it a great event.” said guest Marilyn B. from California. The reimagined structure was also appreciated by winery participants. “The reservations made it a very relaxed, calm, and enjoyable experience for both the customers and all of us working the event. We had more time to engage with customers, tell them our story and provide renowned Amador hospitality. That resulted in happier guests and higher sales for the weekend. A win-win for everyone!” said, Tom Dillian, owner, Dillian Wines.

About the Amador Wine Region
The historic Amador wine region traces its roots back to the Gold Rush of the 1850s as settlers came looking for gold in the California foothills. Many of the prospectors were immigrants from Europe and brought with them their love of wine. Some plantings from the Gold Rush continue to thrive in Amador County today, giving producers access to some of the oldest vineyards in California. Amador is home to over 55 wineries and more than 3,700 acres of vineyards planted on rolling hillsides. Long a home of amazing Zinfandels, growers have planted, and winemakers are now making wines from a diverse array of grapes including Barbera, Sangiovese, and Syrah in the reds, and Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Viognier in the whites, just to name a few.

The region has garnered acclaim for full bodied, rich fruit flavors in its wines with balance and harmony that pair well with numerous cuisines. Award-winning restauranteurs and sommeliers seek out wines from Amador to complement their menus and enhance their wine lists.

About Amador Vintners
The Amador Vintners Association is a voluntary membership-based organization working with more than 45 extraordinary member wineries and tasting rooms in Amador County to showcase the region’s award-winning Zinfandel, Barbera, Italian and Rhone varietals. Rich in wine history and heritage, Amador holds a special distinction to be one of the only wine-producing regions to be home to all family-owned wineries. The Vintners host events and tastings throughout the year to invite guests to explore the region and learn more about Amador’s wine community and its history. To learn more, visit


Jack Gorman
Amador Vintners Association
+1 209-245-6992
email us here

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