AWG Correspondent

Yvonne Kochanowski

Villa Toscano Winery Photos

Villa Toscano Winery Review

Regions: Sierra Foothills AVA, Amador County, California Shenandoah Valley AVA, California

Reviewed: May 4, 2012 by Yvonne Kochanowski
Published: May 18, 2012

Not far from the town of Plymouth, Villa Toscano Winery offers a trip to Italy in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Northern California’s foothills. The extensive grounds, tasting room, and patios offer views both close-up and distant at every turn. Its sister winery, Bella Piazza, is another local treasure located a short distance away.

The Place:  Feel like tasting a wide selection of wines? Without a doubt, you’ll be happy here! Shopping for that special wine-related gift? They have you covered! Feel like having a pasta lunch? You’re in luck here too – on Fridays! Don’t miss the murals on the two story walls of the tasting room as well. Personally, relaxing on a shaded patio with a view of the ponds and the sounds of tinkling water in the background, while sipping a fine, very old vine Zin just can’t be beat!

The Experience:  Step into the tasting room and you know right away that this is a place which takes its wine experience very seriously. Staff are easy to identify in standard uniforms and the long tasting bar and room design are set up for maximum traffic flow. On the other hand, the staff and the wines are fun and enjoyable, and pretty soon, you’ll be poking through the gift shop area and the mustards, oils, vinegars and other food treats while sipping on yet another great offering.

The Wines:  Like almost all wineries in this region, Villa Toscano is best known for its selection of modern and old vine Zinfandels, but don’t miss the Barbera, Tempranillo, and the Centurion blend. Their Pinot Grigio is now available at Costco, which says a lot about the quality and volume of wine they can produce. Grapes are either estate-grown or purchased from surrounding vineyards in the appellation.

The People:  The tasting room staff is plentiful and knowledgeable about their wines and the region. There is no such thing as a ‘hard sell’ here! You’re invited to try the wines, share your thoughts, and make your selections at your own pace. Even when the place gets busy, which it does on pasta buffet days, you don’t feel rushed or overlooked.

Insider’s Tip:  Villa Toscano offers pasta buffet lunches every Friday. The catch, and it’s not a bad one, is that you must be a wine club member. This is not a hardship, as there are four different membership levels to choose from, one for every set of tastes and budget. When you see the large white tent as you drive in, don’t think that you’ll be intruding on a special event. That’s the serving area, set next to the ponds and gardens. Find a quiet corner and laze away an afternoon with your favorite wine or two while you watch the grapes grow!

Address & Contact Information: 10600 Shenandoah Rd. Plymouth, California 95669. Telephone: 209-245-3800, email:, website: Tasting Hours: 10:00-5:30.

Overall Rating:  

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