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Amista Vineyards

News from Amista Vineyards

Amista Vineyards
October 18, 2019 | Amista Vineyards

Amista Ilusión - Sweet Wine for People Who Don't Think They Like Sweet Wines

Amista Vineyards Ilusion Dessert Wine Glass & Bottle on Barrel in Vineyard"Just don’t call them dessert wines. While many of them are delicious with dessert, they are often just as transcendent with savory dishes. Foie gras with Sauternes, stilton with Port—there’s a reason that these are among the most classic food and wine pairings you’ll ever experience," writes Brian Freedman in Food and Wine.

He describes our Amista Ilusión from Dry Creek Valley as "A complex blend of Zinfandel and Syrah, it has aromas of sweet cigar tobacco, dried blueberries, and cedar, and a concentrated palate that carries flavors of black cherries, baker’s chocolate, and Chinese five-spice powder."  

Read "10 Sweet Wines for People Who Don't Think They Like Sweet Wine" in Food and Wine.

Time Posted: Oct 18, 2019 at 7:55 AM Permalink to Amista Ilusión - Sweet Wine for People Who Don't Think They Like Sweet Wines Permalink
Vicky Farrow
October 7, 2019 | Vicky Farrow

7 Hot Tips for Stomping Grapes

If This is on Your Bucket List

Stomping Grapes for Sparkling Mataró at Amista Vineyards, Healdsburg, California

I'll let you in on what I learned about stomping grapes from Amista winemaker Ashley Herzberg.



  1. They’re COLD! We harvest our grapes in the early morning hours for two reasons. One, it’s easier for the workers before the temperatures rise during the day. Two, it’s better to bring the grapes in when they’re cold to control the sugar levels and avoid oxidation. It’s not so comfy for the stomper and my feet got a bit numb.

  2. They hurt your feet. You’re stomping on whole clusters of grapes - stems included - not just the berries. The good news is that after a few minutes, your feet quit hurting because they’re numb!

  3. You don’t really stomp. In fact, our winemaker calls it “foot treading” not grape stomping. The idea is to gently tread on the grapes to extract the color. Plus, the pressure of human force is gentle enough so that the seeds won't break which creates bitterness in the wine.

  4. It’s hard to keep your balance. The clusters are lumpy and as you tread first one foot then the other sinks into the juice.

  5. It’s hard work! In fact, it’s a great cardio workout.

  6. It’s sticky. You’ll want to turn the hose on your feet and legs when you finish just like you did – hopefully - before you started.

  7. It’s fun! It’s also rewarding to use a traditional, natural technique to kick off the fermentation process.

Time Posted: Oct 7, 2019 at 12:50 PM Permalink to 7 Hot Tips for Stomping Grapes Permalink

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