Amador Vintners: from “Roots to Wine”

AMADOR COUNTY’S MICRO-CLIMATES 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, hiking, fishing 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 growing conditions—warm days and cool nights—are reminiscent of the famed Rutherford Bench in the Napa Valley.

East of Shenandoah Valley, the sub-appellation of Fiddletown is a smaller, higher-elevation region. And Shake Ridge east of Sutter Creek also is considered a prime vineyard.

Winemaking has been a passion in Amador County dating back to the Gold Rush era. The County is home to the original Grandpère Vineyard, the oldest documented Zinfandel vineyard in California.

“Some of the oldest grape vines on earth are the Zin vines planted in the Sierra foothills during the era of the Gold Rush, 150-plus years ago,” writes Smithsonian magazine, pointing to Vineyard 1869 Zinfandel wine from Scott Harvey Wines as an example.

“Roots to Wine” in July

Experience Amador wineries for 10 days in July with an exclusive passport during the Amador County Fair. From July 23-31, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., explore the scenic “roads less traveled” along Route 49 to experience summer wine tasting.

Purchase a $20 passport (per person) through the Amador Vintners Association and gain access to exclusive offerings from participating Amador County wineries. Your passport will be good for all 10 days at participating wineries for a unique offering, and it will be listed in your passport so you can receive a “stamp” at every location.

You’ll receive one passport and one complimentary wine- chiller bag. Pick up both your passport and your wine bag at the Vintners’ office from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at 9310 Pacific St., Plymouth CA 95669. For more information, call 888-655-8614 or visit

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