we are going from Sonoma County to Amador County on Sunday to do some wine tasting. This will be a first for us, we've never been to this area before. Any tips from the Hounders will be appreciated. Places to eat, or perhaps places to stock up on food products, or any other tips. Thanks for your help.
Al's Place in Locke (Walnut Grove's suburbs and historical Chinese ghetto) is kind of fun and funky, as long as you like steak. Alternately, Giusti's is just outside Walnut Grove on the south/east side, and they're pretty fun, too.
In Galt, there's a Squeeze Inn for really unique cheeseburgers, but they're closed on Sunday and Monday.
IF you're going to take Melanie Wong's advice about Munnerlyn's (and I suggest you do!), Mr. Beefy's makes pretty good burgers and garlic fries, and they're just a few miles past Munnerlyn's at Red Corral Road and Highway 88.
It's been three years since visiting Amador, so I hope these recos are still up to date.
There is a large concentration of wineries on Shenandoah Road just northeast of Plymouth. You can visit quite a few in a short time, literally going from one driveway to the next in some stretches of the road. In this area we liked Dobra Zemlja, a Croatian family winery, with hearty red blends (no whites at all), some sold by the jug, reasonably priced. Their tasting room is in a cave and they have pretty grounds for picnics. We also liked Deaver, Dillian and Vino Noceto.
While most wineries will have a variety of wines, the best things in this region are the old vine Zinfandels, and the Italian varietals like Sangiovese and Barbera. But keep your eye out for the unusual specialties you may find.
This is a map that gives you an idea of where things are located.
Story winery was frequently recommended to us, so we visited. It is located at the top of a hill, which gives it great views, and it is known for it's picnic potential. However, the wines weren't that good and it was one of the most crowded we encountered on that trip.
If you are coming from Sonoma, then you may not want to travel south towards Amador City, but that is where we stayed on our trip. It's an old gold mining town and quite charming. We stayed and had dinner at the Imperial Hotel. It's an 1879 building with a very modern restaurant and charming guest rooms. We really liked Drytown winery down in that area. Their tasting room was in a barn and the proprietor was doing the pouring. I like that sort of thing.
i am sure you will have a great trip.