Beyond Napa: Amador County Wine Region
Amador County is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills in California’s Gold Country – made famous by the Gold Rush of the 1850s. Fortunately for us, the prospectors planted vineyards to produce wines reminiscent of those from Europe. Today, this thriving wine region is home to35 wineries known for fantastic Zinfandels and other bold, fruity wines. Many of the wineries along these winding roads are small family operations where you will receive a hearty welcome when you visit.
Shenandoah Vineyards is one of the older, more established wineries in Amador County. Their award-winning wines are available for tasting in their modern tasting room and art gallery. The winery is owned by the Sobon family. The tasting room is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Sobon Estate is located at a historic winery with a wine museum and is worth exploring. They produce award-winning wines that can be enjoyed on the property.
Vino Noceto specializes in Sangiovese and offers tastings in its renovated barn structure. Taste their award-winning wines or attend some of their fun events. They are open on weekdays from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment.
The Renwood Winery produces Zinfandels and other bold wines. Their award-winning wines are rich in flavor and long on character. Try the Grandpère, made from the oldest clone of Zinfandel in America. Enjoy their tasting room or sip wine on their outdoor patio.
The Hanford House Inn is conveniently located in historic Sutter Creek and is just a short walk from downtown restaurants. Enjoy a gourmet breakfast, and a wine and cheese hour daily between 5-6 p.m. Rooms are uniquely decorated, including some with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. All offer comfortable beds, bathrobes, and Godiva chocolate on the pillow.
Twisted Fork has an outstanding menu, including delicious pasta, meats, seafood, and chicken. Portions are large enough to share, and the service is remarkable. Take advantage of the selection of local wines at reasonable prices. On Friday nights, enjoy the lounge singer next door at the American Exchange Hotel.
J&D’s Steakhouse is located in a historic building, serves the best steak in town, and has a full bar. Guests can personally select their favorite bottle of wine – many of them from local wineries – from the wine cellar.