Ready to Wine Taste in Amador County?
Any trip to Amador County should begin with a stop in Sutter Creek whee you can take in the visual aesthetics of the gold country. It transports you back in time and gets you in the mindset to explore like an early pioneer. Stop in at 1850 Wine Cellars and sip your way through a flight tasting while you plan out your adventure!
Amador County Wine Country
Amador County is in Central California, located in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada, approximately 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley and just 40 miles east of Sacramento.
Amador County's wineries are mostly in the Shenandoah Valley, near the town of Plymouth. Driving east from Plymouth on Shenandoah Road, the vines are planted on rolling hillsides with majestic oaks serving as the occasional landmark or respite of shade.
Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic Sierra soil – the sandy clay loam that comes from decomposition of granite over centuries. The moderately dense soil retains the limited volume of annual rainfall, enabling most growers to dry-farm their vineyards. Amador County's warm climate, luminosity and low humidity support the full ripening of wine grapes. The region's climate is comparable to St. Helena – but cooler than Calistoga – in northern Napa Valley.
For many years, Amador County was mostly known for zinfandel. However, in recent history, Amador winegrowers have been producing a diverse assortment of varieties. While zinfandel is certainly an Amador County signature variety, don't miss out on the chance to taste exceptional expressions of barbera, sangiovese, sauvignon blanc, syrah, pinot grigio, verdelho, viognier, roussanne, marsanne, grenache, mourvedre, petite sirah, aglianico and tempranillo.
It's also true that the incredible rosés made from single varietals and blends of grapes here in Amador have made the region a must-try for rosé fans!
A Bit of the History of Amador County Wine
California’s globally recognized wine industry is a lesser known product of the Gold Rush. In the 1850s, opportunity and fortune was on the mind of many who flocked to the western foothills of the rugged and beautiful Sierra Nevada. As they came, many of them European, small wineries took hold and sprouted to provide for the thousands joining them each week. Over the decades to follow, more than 100 wineries opened in the Mother Lode, more than Napa, more than Sonoma, more than any other California wine region.
The Rush receded and gold mining slowed at the end of the 19th-century, then Prohibition in 1920, wineries all over the state were devastated. It took until the late 1960's for the wine industry to really make a comeback in Amador County. A new generation began migrating to Amador County, drawn by the region’s warmth and rolling golden hillsides. The volcanic, decomposed granite soils remained ideal conditions for producing top-quality wine grapes. When the wines, especially zinfandel, began forcing the attention of wine drinkers, the historic wine region in the Sierra Foothills came back to life.
Today, there is a new rush in them hills. A rush to come out and enjoy the history, the people, the hospitality, and, of course, the wine!