On our recent trip with visiting family to Amador’s Wine Country we discovered another winery that is the perfect escape from the city. Helwig Winery is located right in Plymouth, CA and about a 30-45 drive from Sacramento. Our favorite time of year to visit this region is during spring when it isn’t too hot and views of rolling hillsides and flowers are everywhere.
Helwig Winery is a new, state-of-the-art winery located in the heart of picturesque Shenandoah Valley. The tasting room and other winery buildings offer unique modern architecture and a relaxed country vibe that instantly transports you to somewhere other than wherever you came from that day. Outside patios with incredible spanning vista views are available for picnicing and taking a bottle of wine to savor.
Almost every other tasting group at Helwig the day we went included babies and young children. It was nice to see families taking in wine country in a tot-friendly environment. The winery offers multiple tasting experiences including cave tours and concerts are hosted at the winery pavillion throughout the summer months. The winery asks that tots under the age of 14 not join their parents in the tasting room or on cave tours. Since the winery does host events and weddings, calling ahead to make sure the picnic area is available is advised.
Viognier, Zinfandel and Syrah are some of the most widely acclaimed wines from Helwig and we took home a bottle of library Syrah to have with grilled hamburgers and spinach strawberry salad that evening.
Helwig Winery is located at 11555 Shenandoah Rd., Plymouth , CA and is open seven days a week from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm. Advance reservations are required for Cave Tours and Tasting groups of 6 or more. Parking is a large paved lot and restrooms are available along with covered picnic areas.
When we first moved to this area we had a child who would only nap in the car. I drove. Around our town. Around and around. I learned the best drives. Drives that were relaxing. Drives that were not relaxing. Drives that took exactly the amount of time he needed to nap. Drives that were to short. Drives that were too long. I drove and drove some more.
During these drives I found some amazingly gorgeous places and some hidden out of the way businesses that I can’t get enough of.
One area that is a nice weekend drive away is Amador City. From our house it’s about a 30 minute drive. Most people know Amador County as our local wine region and big bold zinfandels. A place steeped in Gold Rush history and out of the way antique stores. Amador City is all that and more. It’s a quaint picturesque town that held onto it’s history and has local businesses that make people like us make the trip out to visit.
At the end of the old Gold Rush era main street is a farm house style building. Andrae’s Bakery. We have been visiting this bakery for about four years and it’s one of those favorites that just doesn’t change. It’s perfectly amazing every time we go.
The bakery has a full coffee menu along with pastries, cakes breads and other specialities. There is a deli case full of sandwiches and salads. Shelves of local wines and beer. Jars of delicacies you won’t find anywhere else and a collection of cookbooks that makes me want to install a wall of shelves in my house just so I could collect them all.
There are plentiful tables out front and back and all the way around the side and even on a busy weekend morning you can score a seat. Locals line the front of Andrae’s along with cyclists and tourists. Occasionally a wine taster strolls through. It’s amazing to see the diversity of the patrons at this bakery and listen to conversations and stories pausing to take it all in.
I rarely find a place like this that just makes me slow down. Listen to what is happening around me. A place with a friendly family atmosphere that is genuine and honest. A place where when you arrive you instantly have that vacation vibe that makes you forget about everything that happened before you entered.
Our family favorites are the ham and Swiss croissants. They are made with locally sourced ingredients, German butter and applewood smoked ham. We pair them with the iced mochas that are so thick and syrupy you won’t believe you could drink them all. Our tots can’t get enough of the cookies and we like to demolish their leftovers. There are pre-made sandwiches in the refrigerator case and sandwich and lunch kits can be pre-ordered by calling ahead. Perfect for wine tasting trips.
Andrae’s Bakery can be found at 14141 Old Highway 49, Amador City, CA. There are restrooms on site and parking along the front of the bakery or in a gravel parking area behind the bakery.