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  • Delayne Martin

Gioia dell'Amore Cellars at Autumn Creek Vineyards

I have said before I love to hear winery owners tell their stories of how they came to own certain properties. It’s never a spur-of-the-moment decision, but one they have had and dreamed of often for years. David and Laura’s story is truly a love story. Laura’s sister, Julie, and their husbands began the dream, which has become Gioia dell’Amore Cellars while discussing the next chapter of their lives. It began with at-home wine kits given as a gift from Laura. This at-home experience eventually led to earning certification in winemaking and their dream of a winery becoming a reality. Unfortunately, Julie became sick and didn’t get to see Gioia dell’Amore as a finished project. Once David and Laura saw Autumn Creek Vineyards they knew it was the property to honor Julie’s memory. Gioia dell’Amore (the joy of love) was born out of love between sisters. (The picture below was taken from their website.)

Walking into Gioia Dell’Amore Cellars at Autumn Creek Vineyards we were greeted by David. We immediately felt at home and he invited us to a tasting. He and his wife Laura have recently bought the property and are putting their special touch on the vineyard, tasting room, and wedding venue. The tasting room itself is warm and cozy. We each enjoyed a tasting of their award-winning wines. David was more than a host; he and Laura are both winemakers. It was as if we were taking a class in the art of winemaking. We learned a lot about the process and the history of the property. Even though the tasting room was full, David and Laura greeted everyone that came in. They were gracious hosts who tended the entire room themselves.

After we completed our tasting we moved from the bar to a table to enjoy music by Eddie Carter while we ate lunch. I liked their Pinot Grigio and Diamond Girl White, a blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, and Pinot Gris. The Pinot Grigio had a clean finish and the Diamond Girl White finished with a hint of caramel. I finally decided on drinking the Diamond Girl over lunch and brought a bottle of the Pinot Grigio for later. Charles liked the Cabernet Sauvignon, with its long finish and black currant notes. We also purchased a cheese board of cheddar infused with merlot and a white cheddar infused with chardonnay. Both were amazing. One thing I noticed is even with the music playing you were able to carry on a conversation. So many times the music is so loud you can’t have a conversation. Yes, I might be getting older, but I am at a winery, not a concert. We decided to move outside and sit under one of the several covered tables on the patio. We met a couple of fellow ASU alumni and spent the better part of the afternoon talking to them. The wrap-around porch offers many places to gather with friends or celebrate a special occasion.

Being a venue as well as a winery they offer The Pavilion which can hold up to 300 people with more space on the accompanying patio. A beautiful picture spot is the 100-year-old oak tree located in front of the farmhouse. The farmhouse is being remodeled for the owners as they want to live on the property. Before we left we walked down to the pond and gazebo. The gazebo is a prime ceremony location on the property.

They also offer 2 cabins and 4 suites that make the perfect weekend getaway. All lodging is within walking distance of the tasting room. They are loaded with all the essentials and include a bottle of wine. Be sure to check out their website

before you visit to get up-to-date events and food information.

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