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...

  • Sangiovese

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Barbera

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

  • Zinfandel

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

Subregions of Amador County

Popular Wineries in Amador County View all

  • Dobra Zemlja

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

  • Tanis Vineyards

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

  • Santino

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

  • 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 ...

  • Drytown Cellars

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

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Amador County on Snooth

  • Sobon Estate Rocky Top Zinfandel Amador County 2014


    Sharp, spicy and zesty on the nose with creamy vanilla spice and fruit notes of raspberry and cherry. Much darker on the palate with black cherry and blackberry fruit and milk chocolate and cinnamon coming in towards the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Bella Grace Vineyards Montagnaro Amador County 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by bobvree

  • Bella Grace Vineyards Montagnaro Amador County 2013


    Creamy and inviting aromas of raspberry, savory cherry and cranberry with black pepper and sweet spice. Clean and red fruited palate of red currant, cranberry and strawberry with chunky tannins and a top note of smoke that continues into the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Sobon Estate Barbera Amador County 2014


    Ripe and fresh cherry and strawberry aromas with notes of cinnamon stick and floral potpourri. This is immediately bright and fresh on the palate with red fruit developing into a bracing acidity and tart puckering cranberry note which fades into an earthy, tarry minerality on the finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Sobon Estate Reserve Zinfandel Amador County 2014


    Savory minerality and dark, earthy red fruit aromas of raspberry and cherry on the nose. Full bore fruit notes of cranberry and cherry with a shock of acidity, drying tannins, herbal eucalyptus and a truly earthy black olive finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Sobon Estate Cougar Hill Zinfandel Amador County 2014


    Cherry and watermelon candy on the nose, lightly floral with sweet spice and nice fruit. Similar notes on the palate with welcome zest and floral acidity, ripe strawberry juice and an herbal finish. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Sandlands Chenin Blanc Amador County 2013


    Lots of tropical and, maybe, citrus fruit on the nose. On the tongue Im getting papaya, kiwi and lemon. Very light bodied. Some nice stoniness. Sufficient acidity to give it refreshness, but it is certainly not tart. Read More

    Wine review by EMark

  • Oh, yeah, I drink Pamid all the time... no, really, never even heard of the ... the ... While I was up in Amador County over Thanksgiving, with a really bad cold or something that totally shut down my palate later, I bought two bottles, one a Barber from Terra d'Oro.  Nothing at all unusual there.  On sale at the local market (which has a rea... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • 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...

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  • 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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