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

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Montevina Winery

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

  • Santino

    Surrounded by some of America’s oldest Zinfandel vineyards, Renwood Winery is located in the pict...

  • 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...

  • Dobra Zemlja

    At Dobra, the 2009 grape harvest frenzy has begun, and for most of September, vineyards and winer...

  • Fiddletown Cellars

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

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Amador County on Snooth

  • Montevina Skyland Ridge Barbera 2012


    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

  • Never back down from a challenge right?  Have you ever tried Easton Amador County or Dry Creek Heritage Vines Sonoma County?  Modest, usually under or around $20 and good for the grill. Paul Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2012


    Blackberry, dark cherry and herbal aromas combine on palate with anise and chewy tannins. Foothill minerality and good acidity make this a QPR wine worth waiting for - drink now - Paul 88 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951

  • Sobon Estate Zinfandel Port Amador County 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by Fred P

  • Four Vines Zinfandel Maverick 2012


    Excellent jammy wine for the price. Dense red currant with smooth tannins and a long finish . 90 points Read More

    Wine review by JeffSternstein

  • 2015 Bedrock Zinfandel Nouveau Esola Vyd Amador County Was able to source a couple bottles of this wine that was exclusively released to the restaurant biz  It's a Nouveau so no need to wait on it.Pours transparent ruby about 1/2 way between a pale Pinot Noir and a rosé. Nose is cherry lifesaver, red vines and walking into the front door of a fl... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Montevina Zinfandel Skyland Ridge 2012


    Interesting spicy nose. In your face red fruit on the tip of the tongue. Very annoying bitterness on the back of the palate and in the aftertaste. Fairly light-bodied. Very light on tannin. Lots of acid tartness. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • S & a Amador Tempranillo 2014


    A Naked Wines selection. A Californian Tempranillo. Another interesting take on Tempranillo, in profile, very similar to the Jen Pfeiffer - the Rebel Tempranillo - in fact, I had them side by side.This opened with milk chocolate and cream, then a red, red Cherry, Plum, and a bit of Slate. Finally, a bit of Fig and Allspice. Most of the fruit not... Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Primitivo 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Tganucheau

  • Morvedre 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by Tganucheau

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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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