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...

  • Barbera

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

  • Sangiovese

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

  • 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...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

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 ...

  • Andis Wines (Plymouth, CA)

    Andis Wines is an attempt at something new in the Sierra Foothills, to be among the finest and...

  • Zinfandelic Wines

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

  • Fiddletown Cellars

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

  • Karly Wines

    Like fine cooking, wine can be no better than the ingredients. Wine grape growing in Amador Count...

  • 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

  • Renwood Premier Old Vine Zinfandel 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nutty oak and almond aromas greet the nose over a base of plum and black cherry fruit. Rich, chewy and dark in the mouth with too much wood and vanilla for my palate though it is fairly well integrated with the black cherry fruit on the palate. The finish turns a bit candied again and shows both plenty of vanilla cream and increasingly aggressiv... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Terra d'Oro Zinfandel Deaver Ranch Amador County 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Big and jammy on the nose with lots of dark fruit, damp tobacco and earth aromas along with a touch of oak spice. Smooth, rich and focused in the mouth with mulberry and black plummy fruit underpinned by some wood tannin. Oak shows up a bit on the backend with creamy milk chocolate and cinnamon flavors finishing with black cherry, leather, and c... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Sobon Estate Zinfandel Rezerve Zin Amador County 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Dark, oaky, and with aromas of dark oily seeds, floral wood, and plenty of slightly inky extracted fruit to cover it, This shows lots of dark coffee bean and vanilla flavors, along with dusty wood tannins, all leading to a short finish. Wheres the fruit? 78pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Sobon Estate Zinfandel Rocky Top 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Gently smoky on the nose with a bit flint-like minerality and dark fruit, giving this a muscular feel on the nose,A bit of American oak pops on entry then this feels a bit matte on the palate, round and with good acids and dusty tannins but lacking definition. Showing a bit of medicinal extract on the tart finish, this also turns a bit sticky in... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Sobon Estate Zinfandel Fiddletown 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A little tarry on the nose and spicy with cigar wrapper nuances and a fine oak overlay. In the mouth one finds nice blackberry fruit, bit of herb all nice and bright and zesty with good richness, good length, and impressive depth. Air brings out the tobacco on the palate along with that gentle spice note all layered under rather rich and juicy r... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Easton Zinfandel Fiddletown 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Granite soil, no late heat, last vineyard picked, more severe Bright, floral, aromas and lots of crushed berry fruit emerge on the nose. In the mouth this is very pure and gently spicy with simple, fresh and juicy grapey fruit that ends with a nice long finish that shows some gentle tannin. 86pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A bit of oak greets the nose along with peachy freshness of fruit and layered aromas of smoky, oily blackberry fruit. Fairly rich and peppery, in the mouth, this is laden with bitter black cherry and blackberry fruit, supported by chewy little tannins and good finishing acids. A bit grapey and a touch rustic. 87pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Easton Zinfandel Old Vine Rinaldi Vineyard Fiddletown 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Dark in color and on the nose with old wood, earthy, dried flowers aromas wed to a core of very masculine, oily and dark fruit. Packed and smooth in the mouth with intensely briary, spicy and rich black cherry fruit and boysenberry flavors. This is a rich and complex wine with abundant ripe tannins, bright, juicy acids, and a long intense finish... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Jeff Runquist Zinfandel Amador County Z Massoni Ranch 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


  • Jeff Runquist Amador County Barbera 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by anchca


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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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