Amador County
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Shake Ridge Ranch - Gem of the Sierra
by Roger King
May 16, 2013

Ann Kraemer has created one of the most profound Sierra Foothills - Amador County vineyards outside of Sutter Creek and some of California's best winemakers are her Shake Ridge Ranch 100% vineyard designate clients.

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Amador County is the land where Zinfandel reigns supreme and the vineyards are steeped in 150 years of winemaking tradition. It is here where European winemaking found a home in the late 19th century. Part of what has come to be known as the “Mother Lode”, Amador County was settled by immigrants, mostly of Mediterranean decent, who sought a golden future and brought their viticultural traditions to the iron rich soils of the area. After the prosperous wine industry was shut down by Prohibition early in the 20th century, the county remained dormant until the 60’s when a young Sutter Home winemaker rediscovered the spicy, bold Zinfandel grape which was abundant in the area and returned the name Amador to a label again. The success of this wine, as well as the ripe Cabernets and Chardonnays that would follow, has made the region nationally recognized. Today this county is divided into two appellations, Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown, but Amador and Zinfandel remain synonymous in the hearts of California wine lovers.

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In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.  [>] continue

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Best of Appellation

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Amador County


Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Amador County County Appellation





traditional Portuguese varieties

Tuscan-style blend



Alive & Well here

Zinfandel: Zinfandel...You’re a master of disguise. Who is that masked man known as ZIN? You hide behind a mask  [>] continue


Jean Deitz Sexton
is the Regional Correspondent for Amador County.


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Featured Wines

Thomas Fogarty Winery 2001 Port - Frank's Vineyard Unlike many California Ports, this one comes from traditional Portuguese grapes grown in Amador County. The Port displays lovely flavors of raisin, caramel, and pecans. Perfect with dark chocolate
buy wine $28.00

Burrell School Vineyards 2004 Zinfandel - Ryan Oaks Vineyard The nose yields ripe blackberry fruit laced with licorice and herbs. Blackberry pie with graceful spice notes greet the mouth.
buy wine $34.00

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