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28 • BAY AREA REPORTER • January 5-11, 2017
Jack Gorman (left) and his husband Kyle at a winery event; their wedding.
From page 27
Such a process, on a much grander scale, is familiar to Jack Gorman, a Lodi native who, after living and working in Washington, D.C. for almost two decades, returned to California three years ago, settling with his partner (now husband) in rural Amador County, 45 miles east of Sacramento. The longtime lobbyist and politico traded in his suits and ties for blue jeans, and began working as the tasting room manager for Scott Harvey Wines. On the weekend of March 24-26, Gorman and his community of local friends are welcoming members of the LGBT community from far and wide to take a sip of rural reflection for themselves. The first ever Come Out to Amador food and wine weekend is aimed at introducing the region to first-timers, building connections between new friends, and sending attendees home as enthusi-
Hotel Sutter, one of several stylish overnight options in Amador.
astic Amador ambassadors. Come Out offers an agenda of tastings, pairing lessons, vineyard visits, hikes, farm tours, local history talks, yoga sessions, and winesoaked meals. Participants will
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Jack Gorman (center) at Scott Harvey Wines.
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A recent tasting in Amador County.
choose among several simultaneous offerings at Saturday’s morning and afternoon sessions, with everyone sharing four meals: Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner with a ‘Beer vs. Wine’ theme, and a progressive brunch on Sunday. “We’re limiting overall attendance to 75 and most activities will have no more than 15 participants,” says Gorman. “I hope it’s going to feel like camp. I’d like people to come with old friends and leave having made new friends. The activities aren’t available a la carte because we want to build a sense of community over the course of the weekend.” Transportation between activities will also be provided, allowing for non-stop merriment and no run stoplights. A ticket for the full weekend costs $325, exclusive of housing (Three sponsor hotels are offering discount rates). Amador County, about a two and a half hour drive from San Francisco, is home to more than 45 wineries, particularly notable for their zinfandels. More than 2,000 of the county’s 3,300 acres of vineyards are dedicated to zinfandel grapes. “Nothing against my brethren in Napa or Sonoma,” says Gorman. “But wine-tasting here is a completely different experience. And among people who live in Northern California and have been wine tasting for decades, there’s a desire for something different.” “When you come tasting here, it’s not uncommon to have the vineyard owner or grower doing the pouring,” Gorman adds. “It’s rare to find a wine snob, but it’s common to find people with deep expertise and passion they want to share. I think it’s the sort of experience you might have had in Napa or Sonoma twenty years ago. Some of the tasting rooms don’t even have a fee,” says Gorman, “And it’s rare you’ll find a bottle over $50.”