Weather forecasts for the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento this weekend are a bit dodgy, with one predicting sunny skies and balmy temperatures, another seeing a chance of continued showers and relatively cool highs. Whatever develops, throngs are expected to head up that way, some to take advantage of El Dorado County's Apple Hill at its prime (see today's page one article in The Bee), others to catch up on the progress of this year's challenging wine-grape harvest in neighboring Amador County.
There are wine grapes and wineries in El Dorado County, too, but this is the weekend for Amador County's Big Crush, when 29 wineries pull the corks on new releases, spread out signature foods, invite visitors to join harvest chores, and recruit enough bands for a music festival. There is to be blues at Amador Foothill Winery on Saturday, zydeco on Sunday; punching down of fermenting grapes at Avio Vineyards; sausages glazed with a jam of ancho chile peppers at Deaver Vineyards; and grape stomping at Renwood Winery, among numerous other draws.
The event is expected to sell out, though around 1500 tickets are still available for $35 per person Saturday, $30 Sunday. Wineries to have tickets are listed on the Web site of Amador County Vintners.