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Appellation: Amador County
Location: 14520 Ridge Road
Sutter Creek, California 95685
Phone: (209)267-1515
Winemaker: Stefano Watson
Tasting Room: Small
Days/Hours: Friday thru Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Parking: Medium
Picnic Facilities: Patio Tables, Event Fac & Overnight Accomodations
Red Wines: Barbera, Chianti style blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir
White Wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Orange Muscat
Production: N/A


The Winery

The winery is located just southeast of Sutter Creek on Ridge Road, in a rolling foothill setting surrounded by vineyards and a beautiful rose garden. The Italian style tasting room is modern and upscale with a beautiful fountain and garden in the patio area. The estate is also home to more than sixty rescued, unwanted animals; a passion of the Watsons.

The Vineyards

The estate covers 77 acres, with thirty acres in production. They have ten acres of Zinfandel, one of Cabernet Sauvignon, three of Pinot Grigio, eleven of Sangiovese and five of a combination of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Aglianico, Orange Muscat and Pinot Noir.

The Wines

There is a definite focus on the Italian varietals and winemaking style at Avio, and they make a wonderful Barbera, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. The Oak barrels used by the winery are all either French or Hungarian oak (but made by Italian Coopers). They don't restrict themselves to Italian varietals, however, also featuring a bright and fruity un-oaked Chardonnay, with marvelous tropical fruit and floral notes. The beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon Stefano produces has an initial attack reminiscent of chocolate covered cherries, which develops into toast, spice and tea as it lingers through the finish.

The Winemaker

In college, Stefano Watson majored in business, and began home wine making while pursuing his degree on the east coast. After college, Stefano and his wife Lisa lived in Atlanta, and worked mostly in sales and marketing positions which required weekly airline travel. After losing two co-workers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Watsons decided it was time for a lifestyle change, and went to stay with Lisa’s family in Italy for a chance to try their hand at the winemaker’s life. Encouraged by their stay in Tuscany, Stefano and Lisa returned stateside with a new determination and resolve to fulfill their dreams of owning a winery. 

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