A map of amador county and it's place in California
A partially see through compass

Region Highlights


Amador County is located in Northern California 100 miles from San Francisco and 40 miles east from Sacramento in the Sierra foothills. During the gold rush, Amador County was once the center of viticulture in California. The oldest zinfandel vineyard in the United States, planted just four years after the Civil War, is located in Amador County.

Every region that grows wine grapes is unique and special. Amador County is no different. Amador County makes up about 1% of the wine grape agribusiness in California. Surprisingly, more than 30% of the gold medals awarded in State competitions come from grapes grown in Amador County.

There are two American Viticultural Areas “AVA” in Amador County. The majority of Amador grapes are grown in the California Shenandoah Valley AVA that is also home to many wineries. California Shenandoah Valley AVA contains about 3,500-planted acres and elevations range between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. The Fiddletown AVA has elevations between 1,500 and 3,000 feet.

Amador is a mosaic of different soils, elevations, and microclimates, and is farmed by a wide diversity of people. Together this creates very unique appellations.

A view from inside a vineyard A landscale view of another vineyard
This is a piw chart showing the variety of types of wines grown in amador Find Zinfandel Grapes Find Primitivo Grapes Find Barbera Grapes Find Petite Sirah Grapes Find Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes Find Sangiovese Grapes Find Syrah Grapes Find Viognier Grapes Find Tempranillo Grapes Find Mourvedre Grapes Find Grenache Grapes Find Sauvingnon Blanc Grapes

Varietals


Roughly 600 acres are 65 years or older

Amador County is home to nearly 30 distinct varietals. It is best known for Zinfandel, Barbera, Iberian varietals and more recently for Rhone varietals. Amador County grapes are known for being bold and complex. Stylistically, Zinfandels from the California Shenandoah Valley tend to be fuller, riper and earthier. Zinfandels from the Fiddletown AVA display a fruitier tone. About 20% of the wine produced in Amador County comes from the Fiddletown AVA.

Terroir


Amador County soils are typically rocky and well drained. Amador vines are grown on low vigor rootstalk, which provides a natural check on yields. Careful pruning, canopy management, and crop thinning also keep yields small. Almost all vineyards are hand picked.

A view from a vineyard with terraced terrior

Soil and Terraced Vineyard

Soil Type

A large hunk of dark red dirt

Soil Type

A shot of some of our equipment

Challenging Soil

Micro Climates


Elevation & Weather Conditions

A graphic showing the elevation and varying weather conditions in amador

Over millions of years, the granite rocks of the Sierras decomposed and filled the low lands. Hot summer days are balanced by the cool mountain air that falls into the valley in the evenings creating a temperature fluctuation of 30 degrees or more.

The soils, elevations and weather conditions in Amador County stress the vines and this stress is widely accepted as a desirable characteristic of complex, balanced wines.

A closeup of a grapevine being harvested

Growers


Most of our vineyards are small family operated and produce low yields. The farmers, who range from new comers to third generation families, tend these small vineyards and have a close relationship with their vines and pay attention to detail and excellence.

A closeup of a grapevine being harvested
The boots of workers A box of grapes being tossed into a truck during a harvest A touring of our facilities

Contact Us