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11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Daily
$10 per person
Reservations required for groups of 8 or more.
Amphora Winery is the creation of winemaker/owner Rick Hutchinson. A native of Sonoma County, Rick first became involved with wine while working at Sebastiani Vineyards in 1975, at the tender age of 20. He felt completely at home amidst the aromas of fermentation and barrel aging, which were so reminiscent of the aromas of his family’s kitchen during the summertime fruit canning season. Over the subsequent years of the burgeoning California wine renaissance, Rick honed his winemaking skills by apprenticing with some of the best and most passionate winemakers in Sonoma and Napa. In 1985, he accepted a cellar-master position in Dry Creek Valley, and has called it home ever since. During those same years, Rick followed an interest in the art of pottery to find himself straddling a potter’s wheel, crafting sensual amphorae — clay jars used by ancient Greeks and Romans to store wine. When the time came to make his own wine, Rick married both passions. His magnificent pottery became the symbol, and Amphora the moniker, for his new venture.
In the autumn of 1997, Amphora Winery came to life as Rick crushed a little Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Syrah. He pitch-forked the grapes into the crusher and pressed using an old ratcheting basket press. The few resulting barrels of wine aged in the tiny, hand-dug cellar of an old redwood barn in the midst of a vineyard. Those wines garnered such ’buzz’ that he sold out quickly. In 2005, Amphora moved to its present location, and Rick finally gained space necessary to expand his roster of wines. Over time, Amphora’s lineup has grown to include many different varietals, including such rarities as Teroldego and Aglianico, and several innovative blends. The wines are still crafted by hand (though the little old basket press has been retired as a flower pot), and in small quantities (average lot size about 200 cases). While Rick’s winemaking portfolio has broadened, his winemaking philosophy remains the same: work year round with knowledge and passion to transform best grapes into rich, delicious wines that truly are works of art.