Interesting that in Amador County, there seems to be a trend developing…or two trends that intersect.
The first trend is for bottling wines in jugs. The jugs range in size from what looks like 3/4 of a litre at Dobra Zemlja, all the way up to a gallon at Sera Fina. Amador Cellars and Deaver have jugs that are somewhere in between 3/4 of a liter and a gallon. Most of the wineries are bottling good wines in the jugs. I’m not quite sure of the reasoning behind this somewhat retro trend.
I remember when jug wines were much more common on market shelves, and they weren’t great wines. So the mental association for me is not a positive one. But having tasted all the wines that I’ve seen in jugs recently, that association is not holding up. These wines are good! And I’ve bought a few.
The second trend is that some wineries are offering to refill a jug or container that you purchase there. At Andis, you can buy a liter of wine on tap (there is only one wine on tap at any given time) for $22. The litre bottle is etched with the winery’s “A” logo and comes with an old fashioned stopper. When you return with the empty liter container, they’ll refill it for $18 with whatever wine is on tap at the time. Dobra Zemlja offers their NV Milan Ruz blend in a small jug for $16. You can bring the jug back for a refill for only $14.
This refillable container trend is something I can get behind. If you go up there as often as we do, it doesn’t take long to stop in at a winery and ask ‘em to “fill ‘er up”. And while you’re there you can sample what’s new!