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Local wines win the day

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It’s been over a month, and I’m still in “shock and awe” at the quality of wines donated by 12 local winemakers and a cider-maker to the second annual Confluence Festival Wine Tasting, presented by Protect American River Canyons. I asked all of the Auburn area wineries to donate two bottles each of two of their wines, and 10 wineries and two private winemakers responded. Oh, what a feast for the senses it was! People asked me, “Which ones are the best?” So I tasted all of the reds and was simply astounded. They were all so good ... and so different. In all my years, and in all the different wine tastings I’ve been to, I have never tasted that many wines with such a high percentage of “yes” votes from my mouth and nose. I still remember that, and shake my head in amazement. If I may badly misquote Shakespeare’s “Henry V”: “Wine lovers then abed in Auburn will think themselves accursed they were not there.” And let’s hear it for Lone Buffalo, Mt. Vernon, Cristaldi, Fortezza, Popie/Duarte, Ciatti, Vina Castellano, Fawnridge, Pescatore and Dono dal Cielo for producing the finest collection of commercial wines I have ever tasted; Michael Ross and Vince Procopio for sharing their fine private productions; and Fox Barrel Cidery in Colfax for some great ciders. Mark your calendars for the Saturday evening before next year’s Confluence Festival on the second weekend in June. Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista