California’s Gold Rush of the 1850s included the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. As fortune seekers flocked to the Sierras to prospect for gold, small wineries also began to appear. But the decline of gold mining in the late 1800s, followed by the start of Prohibition, brought devastation to this small wine community. But, some of the vineyards planted during that era survived and today are once again fueling the wineries of Amador County.
With some forty wineries in the region, there are some excellent wines being produced. Wineries such as Amador Cellars, Sobon, Turley, Helwig, Terra d’Oro (Montevina), Dillian and Renwood are just a few of the wonderful wineries producing great wines, some of which are distributed to wine sellers for your enjoyment.
Amador County wineries are focused on producing red wines including Zinfandel, Barbera, Syrah, and Petite Sirah, but you’ll also find a few whites and rosé wines being produced.
My ah-ha wine moment came years ago when I experienced an Amador County varietal that I’d heard of before my visit to Northern California. Upon learning it was a Barbera from Amador Cellars, my eyes were opened to more than just California Cab. And while finding a variety of Barberas continues to be a challenge outside of this region, you’ll “strike gold” in Amador County.
I’ll be featured a few of my favorites on Instagram (@EverWonderWine) in the coming days. But, if you are in Northern California, near Sacramento or Lake Tahoe, it’s worth a visit to Amador County, and it neighboring El Dorado County wineries. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the wines of these regions. Cheers!