Updated: Jan 12
Have you ever been to a wine collective?
A group of wineries with their tasting rooms collectively in the same area.
It’s actually a BRILLIANT concept that benefits the wine taster.
Instead of having to drive all around wine country, you go to Timber Crest Farms Wine Collective and spend the day popping between several tasting rooms: Amphora, Kokomo Winery, Papapietro Perry Winery, and Peterson Winery.
In this post I focus on Amphora.
Now, be warned…
Don’t expect fancy-shmancy, roll-out the red wine tasting carpet, chandeliers, and epic vineyard views.
The Wine Collective is kinda like going to wine warehouses but cozier and personable.
Amphora has a barrel room which makes you feel like you’re hanging with the wine.
$10 per person waived with wine purchase.
Wines range from $30 to $58 per bottle.
Open daily, 11:00am-4:30pm
Both my friend and I really liked the 2015 Grenache.
There are a range of wines to try here: Zin, Petite Sirah, Mourvédre, Aglianico, Tempranillo.
The owners have an adorable lab named Rickie.
Social Media Worthy
Being a warehouse type one collective you wouldn’t think there would be many photo ops.
Taking photos inside by the barrels is cool.
I also really like the photo below.
Amphora is named after Amphorae of clay jars that were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to store/transport wine and olive oil.
At the entrance to the tasting room sit two statuesque amphora’s that look so statuesque and european in photos.
Feel Good Vibes
Name some hobbies a winemaker might have?
What first comes to mind might be cooking.
Well, Rick Hutchinson, owner/winemaker/president of Amphora has a fascinating hobby you might not be able to guess.
Years ago he stumbled into a pottery making class and realized he had talent behind a potter’s wheel.
This was before he owned Amphora and had been working in the Sonoma County wine industry since he was 20.
While in the pottery class, he made several Amphorae clay jugs like the one you see below.
When he started his own winery in 1997 his Amphorae became the symbol.
A few things I’ve learned about wineries
1) Never judge a winery by it’s cover. Sometimes the wineries with the best stories and passion, and grit are the ones off the beaten path.
2) Wineries are a lot like Goodwill. You go int o Goodwill and you have to HUNT. You have to look carefully to find a unique treasure you are looking for. Same with wineries. Thank goodness I asked the gal doing my tasting several questions. I was so fascinated to learn about the pottery making winemaker!
I can’t wait to share this wine with friends and tell them about the amphora significance.
Wine Nerd Facts
Ruins from wine cellars 6,000 years ago show that amphoras were used to make wine.
Rick has 1000 liter and 800 liter amphoras special ordered from Tuscany, Italy in his barrel room.
They don’t just sit there and look pretty.
Rick uses these large amphora’s to age and ferment some of his wine.
I don’t know of any other winery in Sonoma County with amphoras!
Wine Club? Fun Events?
Rick is a character.
I met him.
He has this mischievous smirk on his face as he walks around the tasting room.
He looks like he’s about to tell a joke or pull a prank or do some sort of magic trick.
You can tell he loves winemaking and being around the people who love his wine.
On Amphora’s Wine Club info sheet is listed all the membership benefits.
The very last item on the list is is a hug from Rick and his wife Bridget. lol!
Being in the wine club is being part of the family owned winery.
For the past 5 years it looks like they have a sell-out Paella event in May.
They also have a popular Luau event in July.
Amphora is a tasting room that knows how to throw a PARTY!
Sheila’s Tasting Notes
Dress me up as an ancient Roman.
Plop me down on one of those chaise lounge chairs.
Fan me with palm leaves.
Feed me bunches of grapes and turkey legs.
Pour me wine out of an Amphora.
I’m all about it.
That’s what I’ll be thinking of when I drink Rick’s wines.