Amador Vintners hosts “Behind the Cellar Door” March 3-5

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—or 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 46 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 redolent 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.

Behind the Cellar Door
March 3-5

Fans of Amador County wines will be treated to an assortment of Barberas, Syrahs, old-vine Zinfandels, Sangioveses, Viogniers and other wines that flourish in Amador’s rich mountain terrain and hillside vineyards.

These delicious, food-friendly wines will be showcased at the Amador Vintners’ annual weekend wine extravaganza “Behind the Cellar Door.”

A winemaker reception takes place Friday, March 3, at Terra D’Oro Winery, showcasing Amador’s premier winemakers in partnership with American River College’s culinary arts program.

Experience 46 Amador County wineries on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-5 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. With a focus on wine education and perfect pairings, the annual event features a commemorative wine glass for food pairings, music, barrel samples, wine seminars, demonstrating a commitment to winemaking. For more information or tickets, visit

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