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Mahalo from Amador County

Mahalo from Amador County

In Hawaii, the term Mahalo is used as an expression of gratitude. For Andy Friedlander and Janis Akuna, it is a cultural and spiritual approach they take in managing Andis Wines, located in Plymouth, Calif., in the heart of Amador County.   Both very much have their roots in Hawaii and this plays a huge factor in the winery.

In conjunction with a modern style and business savvy acumen, Andy and Janis have built a winery that very much captures the new Sierra Foothills wine scene while appreciating a lot of the history that has come before them.  A contrast when you factor in an energy-efficient 17,000 square foot winemaking facility yet a simple steadfast approach to vineyard management that shines a spotlight on the high quality fruit coming out of the Sierra Foothills.  Their vision came to fruition in 2010 as they were able to apply their backgrounds in commercial real estate and financial planning into developing a winery that now has distribution in 20 states across the country while continuing to grow.

Andy and Janis brought in world renown winemaker, Philippe Melka, to play a prominent role in developing the wines at Andis. “We hired Philippe because he started out as a man of the soils,” noted Andy. Philippe’s humble approach and world class perspective has allowed him to navigate the Sierra Foothills with ease and treating everyone he comes across with respect.

The Andis portfolio emphasizes varieties that have thrived in the Sierra Foothills for over a hundred years with the spotlight on a rosy yet delicate Grenache and a robust, berry-drenched Zinfandel along with other favorites like Barbera and Petite Sirah.

“It’s real people, real soils, and beautifully grown fruit,” said Andy, referencing Amador County.   Andis Wines brings a new and innovative perspective to the region while being a steward of the area’s traditions.

Tasting Notes:


Estate grown bright majestic light ruby red Italian varietal. This wine will have you dreaming of northern Italy as it teases you with its balance between weight and complexity. Hints of raspberry slowly tap you on the shoulder as you start dreaming about a five course meal in which an authentic Ligurian style pizza would pair perfectly with this wine.

Alcohol %: 13.5


A beautiful light cherry red bringing back nostalgic childhood memories of sundae toppings. Mild fruit flavors give it a little bit of strawberry flare. This wine will have you craving a pulled pork sandwich with all the down home fixings. This Grenache is the embodiment of excellent Rhone varietals coming out of the Sierra Foothills.

Alcohol %: 15



A nice white earthy and acidic beauty with hints of tropical fruit flavors and grapefruit that have you dreaming of a Maui beachfront.  Order up a couple of Mahi tacos or even a hunk of Brie cheese and let this dry, savory gem do the rest.  . Fruit sourced from meticulous head trained vines in the sandy soils of Amador County.

Alcohol %: 13.5