Amador Vintners: Fine wines on roads less traveled

AMADOR COUNTY’S MICROCLIMATES are as diverse as any in California, ranging from oak- studded hillsides at 900 feet to Sierra peaks that top 9,000 feet. Besides offering a year round playground—for cycling, fishing, skiing and other activities — the county’s terroir, climate and soils are ideal for growing premium wine grapes.

The majority of Amador’s 3,700 vine acres and 45 wineries are in the northern part of the county in the Shenandoah Valley, near the small town of Plymouth. In the Shenandoah Valley, the combination of weather, terrain and soil is ideal for growing premium wine grapes.

Besides the Shenandoah Valley, the sub-appellations of Fiddletown and Shake Ridge are considered prime grape growing regions.

Winemaking has been a passion in Amador County dating back to the Gold Rush era. The county is home to the oldest documented zinfandel vineyard in California.

Amador County once was identified almost exclusively with zinfandel. During the past 20 years, Amador winemakers have begun producing a diverse array of varieties, especially those of Italian and southern French origin.

The region’s wineries also produce superb examples of barbera, sangiovese, sauvignon blanc, and syrah; exceptional bottlings of pinot grigio, verdelho, viognier, roussanne, marsanne, grenache, mourvedre, petite sirah, aglianico and tempranillo; rosés made from a wide variety of grapes; exceptional dessert wines made from muscat grapes; and port-style wines made from zinfandel and traditional Portuguese varieties.

Drink Pink, June 9-10

Amador wineries celebrate rosé wine with a new weekend wine gathering called “Drink Pink.” A “Picnic in the Park” takes place on Friday, June 9, in Milos Sharkey Begivich Park in Plymouth.

Bring a blanket and taste rosés from 16 Amador County wineries for $25 per person. Boxed picnic goodies from Taste and others will be offered for sale, and the high school jazz band will perform. The event is a fundraiser for the Amador Winegrowers Association’s high school scholarship fund.

On Saturday, June 10, wine enthusiasts can visit 16 Amador County wineries for rosé tastings, small bites and special discounts on rosé wine. The price is $25 and includes a “Drink Pink” wine glass and wristband.
For tickets and information, visit

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