Amador County Wine

 

Amador County, in the Sierra Foothills district of California, is named for mid-1840s ranch-owner Jose Maria Amador, who set up some of the first encampments and towns there during the gold rush. It’s the gold rush settlers who are responsible for establishing what eventually became a thriving wine community. Before they arrived, the only wine grapes grown in the region were the Mission grapes, originally planted by Franciscan friars for religious ceremonial purposes. Zinfandel vines came to the west by way of Massachusetts (and we now know for certain, via Italy) by the 1840s. They were originally intended only for table grapes, but it was discovered that they made excellent wines, were well-suited to the climate and took a minimum amount of effort and equipment to grow. Gold-miners liked to drink, so Zinfandel was planted in abundance to keep supplies flowing. 
 
The Phylloxera louse crisis ruined many of the early California plantings, but Amador County’s isolation Read more »

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Popular wines made in Amador County under $20

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Varietals Produced in Amador County View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Barbera

    History of the grape: Barbera is a native to the Piedmont, where it has been growing for centuries, and is now the fo...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Sangiovese

    Prounounced “San-joh-vay-say,” this Italian wine varietal is Tuscany’s #1 red wine grape. It’s the pistol of Central ...

Subregions of Amador County

Popular Wineries in Amador County View all

  • Tanis Vineyards

    Tanis Vineyards is located in Amador County just below the Shenandoah Foothills. We are a very sm...

  • Fiddletown Cellars

    "Welcome to our first release! This ultra ripe, rich and jammy wine is truly what we believe Zinf...

  • Wine Tree Farm

    Wine Tree farm is located on 100+ acres in Amador County, on one of the historic farms, known as ...

  • Drytown Cellars

    Drytown Cellars is not an “unfortunate” name for a winery! —It’s toponymous! Drytown was never “d...

  • Zinfandelic Wines

    ZINFANDELIC is a tribute to the unique California wine varietal Zinfandel and to the Californi...

  • Montevina Winery

    Winemaking is art, science, passion and a healthy dose of voodoo. At Montevina, we got our start ...

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Amador County on Snooth

  • When you get to two kids and some gear, side trips to Joshua or whatever going our way to yours, then I-5 is a necessary evil.  Recently friends have done LA from SF by flying and using Uber and some light rail.  Doing it the other way--flying to SF or Oakland and using BART, Uber, and the like is easier still. It's those Napa/Sonoma/Marin jaunt... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Yeah I stubbornly drove up I5 on a Bay Area trip a year or two ago. Was pretty well drained the same night. My wife and kid flew up though and it was nice to wheel us all around the bay on our own time/speed in the comfort of our own car.Tend to agree with D though on a stop amid a trip. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Actually, there's some other cool things you can do on that trip:  It is the spine of the gold country, with old mines you can view and tour, you can go through Lodi's wine country, there's at least three major underground caverns (one with rappelling and an outdoor zipline), the town of Murphys is cute and has lots of tasting rooms.  If one has... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Growing up in Ventura/Ojai/Santa Barbara then later visiting family there during whatever kind of trip I never wanted to do I-5 if it was avoidable. Flying from Santa Barbara was an option but only in a big rush and when the limited flight schedule there warranted. Driving down to LAX or any of the other LA airports saved only an hour or two com... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • How do you stay conscious during the drive up I-5 before that turnoff?Coming from SoCal, would tend to want to view it as a side trip during a few days where other purposes were the reason for the trip. Is it really worth it as an entire trip's destination?One station on a road trip, sure. Sign me up.  ;-) Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • D, just didn't want the post to go overly long, and with the rhinovirus, I couldn't be completely fair.  But here's a thumbnail:Wife and I split an app and a main.  App was an octopus dish, which is one of those things I can't really do at home well, so I look for it when out.  If octopus is done well, it's amazing, but badly done it's rubbery a... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Another good report, Fox.Don't hesitate to go into detail on the food, though. What's wine without food? The idea that there is some Platonic ideal of wine without its context is kinda silly... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Sounds like a good time in an under appreciated town. That restaurant sounds like my ticket to Scherrer wines. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • November 28 update:We were back in Amador County for Thanksgiving.  (Puppy bonding took precedence over family this year, so we left the Bay Area to get away from everyone.)  While there we stayed at Rest, A Boutique Hotel. Rest is owned by Tracey and Mark Berkner, who met while working for Marriott.  He's a chef, but moved to the operational si... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101--See...


  • Montevina Skyland Ridge Barbera 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Take this for what it isa low-dollar wine (< $9, for me) wine that is easy to drink. A slight hit of strawberry fruit on the tip of the tongue that, fortunately, disapates quickly. Nice tartness (that I associate with a lot of Barberas) that gives it a refreshing characteristic. Not fancy, but very drinkable. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


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    Page modification by 212777Amador Wine 212777 Amador Wine


  • Amador is one of my favorite appelations. The Zinfandels are big, jammy and full bodied and the Shenandoah valley is home to some of the oldest Zin vines in CA! In particular, Karmere, Dobra Zemja, Renwood, Karly, Amador Vineyards, C.G. De Arie and Montevnia stand out! Sutter Creek is a great place to visit, as is Amador City! It's the Gold coun...

    Comment by 366897Da Wine Dog 366897 Da Wine Dog


  • Can someone point me to their top 3 favorite Zinfandels in this region? Thanks.

    Comment by 234118eraserhead 234118 eraserhead


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