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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Drytown Cellars

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

  • Wine Tree Farm

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

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Amador County on Snooth

  • Renwood Zinfandel Premier Old Vine 2010


    Deep ruby in color, intoxicating aroma of dark berries. The taste is incredible full of rich deep flavor of cassis and a bit of spice. The flavor lingers and aftertastes of coffee and a slight floral taste. This is a bold satisfying wine sure to please many Cab, Malbec and other jam packed wine lovers. Read More

    Wine review by jamessulis

  • Renwood Zinfandel Amador County Red Usa California Amador 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by JuliaSchlitt

  • Release: 2012 Shake Ridge Ranch MourvèdreMountain Cat fights Timber ... ... ... in the rugged soils of Amador County. It is a curious blend of dirt and rock, lovingly farmed by Ann Kraemer and family. Shake Ridge Ranch is in the DNA of Dirty and Rowdy.  Kate and Hardy worked at Shake Ridge Ranch in 2011 and were engaged under the property's f... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Uh oh, there goes the SIWBM!

  • Sobon Estate Hillside Zinfandel 2011


    Unremarkable zinfandel from Sobon Estate. Had very harsh tannins when first opened, but rounded out after about an hour or so. Palate is dominated by earthy tones. A little bit of must in the background too. Can't say that I will repeat this purchase. Read More

    Wine review by pboss

  • Stonehedge Zinfandel Amador County Reserve 2008


    Smooth, chocolate, jam, full fruit, cherry and spice aromas, subtle tannins, pleasant lingering finish. Lacks some depth for an old vine zinfandel, but excellent value. Read More

    Wine review by Blinky

  • Andis Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by JPlasse

  • Andis Wines Grenache Amador County 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by JPlasse

  • Andis Wines Goedeck-Liu Vineyard Meritage Amador County 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by JPlasse

  • Macchia Adventurous Zinfandel Linsteadt Vineyard 2011


    No written review

    Wine review by pboss

  • Shenandoah Vineyards Zinfandel Special Reserve 2010


    My Rating: 88. Nice nose with complex aromas. Body is medium with unfortunately a hint of sweet. Easy drinkability Read More

    Wine review by Wolle

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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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