Wine tasting on a Sunday is always a little dangerous. All of those one ounce tastes can add up to a whole lot of booze and before you know it, it's Monday morning and you still have a headache. Unfortunately (but also thankfully) for us, good wine is close by and a quick trip to wine country is sometimes just what the weekend requires.
About 45 minutes outside of Sacramento, Amador County hides in the foothills and is sneakily becoming the best place to produce and pour zinfandel in California. Often, the tasting rooms are small, the wineries are family owned, and the tasting fee is non-existent. You might even get to hang out with the local vineyard dog if you're lucky.
Amador Vintners Association has a complete list of wineries, activities, and festivals and their map can be very helpful when trying to navigate the narrow and winding roads of this tucked-away wine country.
However, like any good secret, it's leaking out. So the best way to enjoy Amador County wine country is with some insider information.
best wineries in amador*
- Story Winery - It has the best view, is perfect for picnics, and pours some serious reds. Plus, if you ask nicely, they might let you barrel taste.
- Amador Cellars - The tasting room is insulated with hay bales and I am a sucker for sustainability. And the winemaker is pretty likely to be pouring the wine for you.
- Karmére Vineyards - A much more extravagant edge with various flavors of sparkling wine - peach, almond, raspberry, delicious. Pretty popular with large groups.
- Charles Spinetta Winery & Wildlife Art Gallery - sip wine and peruse the extensive art gallery. Each of their bottle labels is a fantastic piece of wildlife art.
- Dobra Zemlja - This place is unique - the wines, the grounds, and the owners. Their tasting room is a wine cave, plus you can buy wine in a growler.
So, cheers to Sunday and all of its wine filled wonder.
*In my humble opinion...