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

  • Zinfandel

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

  • Syrah

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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 ...

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...

  • Fiddletown Cellars

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

  • 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...

  • Andis Wines (Plymouth, CA)

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

  • Tanis Vineyards

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

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Amador County on Snooth

  • Renwood Zinfandel Premier Old Vine Amador 2011

    Snoothrank:

    High quality red and blue fruited zin. Nice acidity and light tannic bite. Great value. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Sandlands Chenin Blanc Amador County 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Bright nose with lots of fruit aromaspeach, melon. Fairly crisp on the tongue with those white fruit flavorspeach, melon, maybe, even, a tropical hint like kiwi. Very excellent acid backbone makes this very refreshing and easy to drink. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Didn't mention it in the Amador County thread, but on our return from Amador County to the East Bay, we took the state routes through the Central Valley and down the Delta.  The route took us right through Clements, which is really the heart of Lodi wine country, and along the edge of the city of Lodi.  Here's a little map:Although Lodi is in th... Read More

    Forum post in the topic A Journey through Lodi


  • In Italy last year, we started tasting every day at about 10 a.m.  Sometimes we started at 9:30, but never later than 10. One visit in the morning, two most afternoons.  Running joke in the group was, "Dolcetto, it's what's for breakfast."  In fact, the Piemontese did used to drink it after working in the fields first thing in the morning. I thi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101


  • Randyfisher, nice to see you.  Funny thing is that some of the vineyards ... my phone from last week in Amador County.  Nice start, though.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic In the Vineyard


  • I suppose it depends what time one wakes up. With an early start to the day and a nice healthy breakfast, I have no issue tasting in the morning. Might agree with Spurrier in that case, as mental awakeness and attention figure to be highest in the morning, as there hasn't been anything prior to absorb much bandwith. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101


  • I remember when I met Steven Spurrier, back in the early-mid-80s, he insisted that the best time to taste wines in terms of body clock and sensory sharpness was around 10 in the morning... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101


  • We had a vaguely Chinese dinner of noodles, lamb and spinach, so we went for a ... ... the weekend purchases in Amador County Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Nice report!   When I was last up that way, I enjoyed Wilderotter very much, so if you get back up there, give them a try.   And yes, not much to do in Amador City.  When up that way,  I enjoy staying in Sutter Creek. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101


  • Very interesting assessment, RF.  I didn't think any wineries would open before 11 AM, but I was wrong.  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Amador County 101


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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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